Friday, May 03, 2013

Bi Luo Chun

This Monday I received an unexpected care package of herbal teas from Israel. Among packets of Ban Lan Gen and Anise Hyssop, he had included Stephane Erler's Bi Luo Chun for the end of my camelia sinensis hiatus.

I've been feeling like a cave-dwelling critter living on an old pile of bones but Israel's anise hyssop made me feel light-hearted and gay.

I swirled around the purple petals giggling- I was prancing about in a hay meadow in the first few sips.           But anise hyssop has a relaxing effect so the feeling settled to lying in the green grass. How did Israel know this is exactly what I needed? 

You can see from the photo below that I could not wait to try the Spring Bi Lo Chun. (I tried to hold off Israel but life got too hard without tea and I dug in at work this morning. And now as expected I am wide awake at midnight!)  I too once upon a time eagerly awaited for the year's first spring Bi Lo Chun. This was all before puerh. 

And as far as Bi Luo Chun goes, it's all very fine with a grassy nutty nose that I could sniff forever.   You may have heard the myth behind the old name of Bi Luo Chun used to be scary fragrance(嚇煞人香)  and the unlikely story involves some tea leaves that got stored and heated between a tea picker's -ahem- bosom when her basket got full.   Ming Dynasty(?) men probably were not breast men- otherwise it would be something more like "enticing maiden fragrance". (You would think some enterprising merchant would have already recreated such a tea but this particular Bi Luo Chun from Stephane I believe is just hand rolled. )

There is a simplicity and seasonality to green tea that appeals to me now in a way it hasn't for the last 10 years.  You don't have to obsess about how it's going to age, you have to enjoy it for what it is now, not what it is to become.

Chinese are ever so wise with their cycles and I guess I have come full circle back to green tea.  Thank you Israel.


  1. This is Taiwan biluochun, not the real McCoy


    1. I'd be a bit worried about drinking Dongting biluochun - the air and water pollution in Eastern China is fierce. H

    2. True, but calling this biluochun is a bit misleading too - I don't think they're very similar at all.

    3. I get huffy when my friend keeps gushing about California Madeira because madeira in my mind can only come from the island of Madeira. But I'm nonplussed about this imposter Biluochun because it came as a special gift.