1794 Tasting Notes
A recent bit of excitement in my life involved the reception of a special box from Teavivre, containing samples of their new green teas for spring 2014. So excited was I to share these teas with you that I decided to share reviews even before the next Tea Review Tuesday arrived!
I cannot say for certain what made me choose Bi Luo Chun as the first of the samples to taste, but I am glad that I did. From the moment in which I opened the packaging, the smell was entrancing. As a bit of a disclaimer, I am not typically one to “oooh” and “aaah” over the smells of green tea. If anytime, I might do so, when drinking a particularly rich shou pu’erh or oolong. But this green tea pulled me into the aroma. Fans of greens will know of the intensity of which I speak, when I describe the tea as smelling sweet, fresh, and vegetal. In some respects, it is akin to fresh grass, but the sweetness embodied within is so much greater. Make no mistake, this is not by any means a sugary sweetness. This sweetness is entirely clean and natural, almost like a fruit, yet not fruity. I had yet to even brew any tea!
Teavivre recommends that this tea be steeped for 1 to 6 minutes. Since I was using enough tea for two cups, due to my choice in mug for the morning, I picked 3 minutes as my steeping time, figuring that such a length would work to gain a good strength in flavor. (The ratio was about 1.5 teaspoons of tea to 8 ounces of water.) Taking a last deep breath of the dry leaf aroma, I pour the water over the leaves and set my timer. In the middle of the steeping, I leaned over the mug and wafted some of the steam toward my nose. Subdued a bit, the sweet grassiness remained! I could tell that this cup was going to be a joy to drink.
At last, the timer rang, and I removed the infuser basket from the mug. The aroma rising from the cup was absolutely bold, and my first sip agreed. Bi Luo Chun might have fruity notes, but this is no weak tea. And to think it was only harvested a month and a half ago (according to their website). The freshness comes through in the taste. I prefer my tea to be a bit stronger. While the flavor was not bitter, I could tell that a longer steep would have caused some astringency. The taste profile seems well-balanced and well-rounded. The aftertaste is full of a memory of the same flavor. Drinking this tea brings one down to earth, rooting the senses with bold aromas and tastes that do not require a connoisseur’s trained nose and tongue to appreciate.
If the other offerings from Teavivre’s spring 2014 green teas are as good as this cup, this will be a line of greens, which you do not want to miss. The Bi Luo Chun in particular is a hit. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this green tea a 95/100.
Flavors: Fruity, Sweet, warm grass