San Xia Bi Luo Chun (三峽碧螺春) is a classic green tea from Sanxia District of New Taipei City in northern Taiwan. Carefully handpicked leaves of the Qing Xin Gan Zi varietal are processed in a traditional style to create a vegetal liquor with herbaceous and fruity notes and a clean taste. Grown at an altitude of between 300m and 600m, it was harvested and processed in June 2020. We also stock an early spring Pre Qing Ming version of this tea.
Bi Luo Chun ‘Green Snail Spring’ is a classic Chinese green tea, with the original type hailing from the Dong Ting tea growing area of Jiangsu Province. Such is the popularity of this tea that the name became a popular name for other green teas made in similar style. Typically they exhibit a tippy leaf with a coiled shape resembling a snail. Often however, the name is descriptive of the flavour profile rather than the appearance of the leaf. Such as the case in our San Xia Bi Luo Chun, it is made of single leaf with some white buds but they are not coiled in the distinctive snail shape. Instead the name is attributed to the flavour, having a classic vegetal green tea taste and aromatic liquor common to other Bi Luo Chun teas.
The teas from Sanxia District are largely outliers from other Taiwanese teas in terms of picking standard and production. Unlike many other regions of Taiwan that have distinct harvest seasons and where the leaves are harvested with stalks, utilising the top 2-4 leaves and the bud, the harvest in Sanxia occurs when the leaves are picked every 10-14 days. Only the top leaves and buds are harvested, so the leaves are picked without stalk, in a style that is more common with the Mainland Chinese standard of picking. Furthermore, this tea comes from a small cooperative factory of Mr Lee. They work with about 200 very small scale growers in the area who sell their tea leaves to the factory. Depending on the quality and characteristics of each harvest the factory then decides on the best tea to make from each harvest, varying between styles such as Bi Luo Chun or Long Jing for green tea, various types of oolong or by making Hong Cha (red/black tea).
Our San Xia Bi Luo Chun consists of neat, dark green leaves. It produces a light vegetal liquor that is aromatic, with a vegetal and grassy scent. The flavours are light and clean with minimal astringency or dryness. The taste has a classic vegetal green tea profile with herbaceous brassica and umami flavours and light floral and fruity notes. The lasting aftertaste is bright and clean with slight dryness. This is an excellent green tea that will definitely appeal to fans of classic green teas of Mainland China.
It is best brewed at 80°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste and should be brewed multiple times, increasing steeping time with each brew if desired.
San Xia Bi Luo Chun green tea was first featured in our January 2021 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.