三峽是目前台灣唯一存留產製碧螺春的茶區,採用的是當地特有的青心柑仔品種,茶芽肥大,絨毛多,明確的綠豆、蔬菜香是它特殊的品種香型。三峽碧螺春茶菁以幼嫩的「一旗二槍」(一心二葉)為標準,製成的茶乾外型捲曲柔美,碧綠上披著細密的白毫。製作良好的碧螺春茶乾帶有海苔、綠豆的香氣。茶湯入口是鮮爽的綠豆、蔬菜香氣以及舌尖上的甜味,中段出現豆奶或是綠豆糕的醇厚和綿密感,飲畢鼻腔中存留的香氣久久不散。

碧螺春屬不發酵的綠茶,茶菁採摘後平鋪在笳歷(竹編的大簍)上,師傅們憑著長年的經驗,依照天氣狀況進行12~ 20小時的室內靜置萎凋,過程雖會產生少許發酵作用,但由於少了烏龍茶的攪拌碰撞,仍會保有綠茶該有的爽口,待茶菁裡水分散失到適當程度,便會被移至炒青機中,藉著250~300度的高溫進行殺青。殺青的時間大約3~4分鐘,完成後的茶菁在春日和煦的陽光中冒著騰騰的蒸氣和清香,像是剛出爐的熱饅頭,看著就有股家常的幸福感~殺青後的茶菁得趁熱進行揉捻,揉出碧螺春捲曲如螺的娟秀外觀。揉捻後的茶菁多少會有些糾結成塊,解塊機的工作便是讓茶菁分散,以便稍後能均勻地被烘乾。最後經過兩次的烘乾,茶菁由原先翠嫩的柳黃、櫻草色轉為碧綠帶白毫的茶乾,一支鮮活充滿春日生命力的碧螺春就完成囉~!

由於製作碧螺春一心二葉的標準,茶菁採摘一定得是手採,看著年長的採茶婆婆們在艷陽下彎著腰一整天,雙手不停迅速在茶樹尖梢躍動,製茶師傅在產季幾天幾夜不能好好睡一覺,更能體會這些大地賜給我們的禮物是何其珍貴。在這春暖花開的日子裡,讓我們一同用心以一杯碧螺春向這些辛勞的師傅們致敬吧~

 

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!