My experience with pre-chingming teas is limited, but from what I know and have tasted, all of them have been gentle and light in flavor. This Pi Lo Chun is no exception. The leaves are a very pretty, curly green leaf, with many curly, furry white tipped leaves. They are also very young and tender. Sample aroma is lightly fresh and creamy.
My first two cups were steeped between 175-185 in an 8 oz cup. The hot, wet leaves smelled creamy and nutty, until; at their coolest, smelled lightly of grass and dirt. In the cup, the color was a light yellow, with a very light aroma. I had to inhale very deeply to get nutty aromatics from the cup. My palate was pleased with a delicate sweetness and smoothness. The tea also possesses a nutty quality that teased me with its gentle nature.
I added the rest of the sample to the leaves of my second cup (195-200 for 2.5 minutes), and the mix gave my nose aromas of cream, nuts, and grass. The wet leaves smelled somewhat smokey and nutty. Interestingly, I also noticed straw-like characteristics.
The cup color became a cloudy darker yellow. The flavors were fuller with additional nuttiness on my palate. Even though half the leaves were steeped six minutes, there was no bitterness. There was still a smoothness and greater sweetness, with lighter straw-like notes piggybacking for the ride along my tongue. Light astringency was more noticeable as the cup cooled, and coupled with the nuts, coated the back of my tongue. The flavor nuances remained after the last swallow.
This Pi Lo Chun proved to be a very subtle tea in its aromas and flavors, and only after a longer steep (with additional tea) did a slightly fuller cup emerge. This is a good, gentle tea that I really enjoyed. Not an everyday tea in my opinion, but one that should be savored-when a tea is needed for quiet and relaxing times.
Cupped: Monday & Tuesday, May 21-22, 2012.
Reviewed: Tuesday, May 22, 2012.