Sanxia is the only area still producing Biluochun Tea in Taiwan at the moment. The fresh leaves are from a local tea tree variety: Chin-Shin Gan Zai, which is recognized by large tips full of white cilia, and is carrying prominent green bean and grassy scent. The tea leaves are picked strictly with one tip and two leaves. The finished tea looks curly and mixed with dark green and white. Biluochun with fine quality smells like seaweed and green bean while it’s dried. The front taste of the brew is fresh as grass, green bean and vegetable, followed by thick soya milk taste. The aroma stays in the nasal cavity for a long time.
Biluochun is categorized as non-fermented green tea. The fresh leaves are spread out nicely in a big flat basket made of bamboo for 12- 20 hours of withering, depending on the weather and to the masters’ experience. During the withering process, a slight degree of fermentation occurs, but it still keeps the fresh grassy green tea flavor since there’s no tossing process like Oolong. After the moisture decrease to a fine level, withered tea leaves goes into fixation. The temperature for fixation reaches 250 to 300 degrees and lasts for 3 to 4 minutes. The fixed leaves steaming in the lovely spring sunshine smells like freshly home made bread and warms everyone’s heart. The next step is rolling which shapes the curly appearance of Biluochun. Later on the leaves needed to be unraveled in order to be air-dried evenly. After two times of drying process with hot air, the leaves turned from bright green to dark green mixing with white, a delicious Biluochun is now finished.
Since the standard of one-tip-two-leaves, the fresh leaves must be hand plucked. Seeing the old plucking ladies, exposing in the burning sun, bending over for a whole day; also the experienced tea makers stay up for days in the hot season of tea making, reminds us how precious the tea we are drinking is. In this adorable spring, let us tribute our upmost respect to the tea makers by having a cup of nice Biluochun!