The original Biluochun from the source: Xishandao in Lake Tai.This is the birthplace of this well-loved Chinese green tea and it is made entirely by hand by a master that’s been growing tea on the island for 60 years and making it for 30.This tea is a treasured find of ours, as every part of it’s growth, harvest, and production are wholesome and tended to with care.
While less tightly furled than their Mingqian counterpart, and noticeably less visible downy buds, the leaves of the Guyu Biluochun are slender, twisted, and gently curled. This tea is entirely handmade in a wood-fired wok by master Shen and his Wife who have lived on Xishan Island in the middle of Lake Tai for the past 60 years. The aroma of the leaves is a vegetal alfalfa with a sharp citrus note behind. While the brewed tea is rich like buttered toast with a notes of radish micro greens. This tea brews up a rich gold and is very savory and full on the tongue. A wonderful tea for long hot summer days.
This kind of quality is difficult to find even inside of China. Since Biluochun is so popular, there are many fakes, and the only way to be sure of the authenticity of place and producer is to visit the farm, or with with trusted sources. We visited this farm in summer 2020. Our Biluochun comes from an independent household on Suzhou’s West Dongting Mountain. The large amount of fruit trees on the island and its slightly acidic soil are said to give this tea its floral and fruity notes. This tea is entirely made in a wood-fired wok, from killing the green, to rolling, to drying. Each wok full of tea only yields about 1/3 a pound, thus the quantity produced by a single master every spring is extremely limited.
The brewing style recommendation is a top-down brewing style: Fill a glass with 80 degree water (Celsius) and add 3-4 grams of tea on top. This allows the tea to warm up, release its fragrance and slowly sink to the bottom of the glass to steep. The brew should be a pale green filled with swirling down. Let steep for 2 - 3 minutes before decanting or drinking directly from the glass. The Top-down brewing method can be repeated 3 - 4 times with the same leaves.