I’ve been in the tea doldrums lately between being sick and just not really into anything I’ve received lately. That’s changed, and in a big way. HouDe Asian Art is a very respected vendor and one I have dabbled with but never sunk into. Now I have and I’m glad I did.
Bi Lo Chun is a comfort tea to me. It is a solid green that has a unique flavor which can be as straight-forward or as subtle as you are feeling as long as it is of even middling quality. It is clean and refreshing but with a deeper nutty flavor and some other nuances that change with the year and location. It is always similar enough to be my comfort tea but with just enough variation to keep me interested and surprised.
I was shopping for a Taiwanese competition oolong tea tasting set (which I’ll cover soon) and HouDe not only had them but for a very reasonable price. I can never order teaware without a few teas and one that caught my eye was this 2008 Spring Taiwan San-Xia Bi Lo Chun. It was unique in a number of ways and unlike the “snail” shaped BLC it was more of a downy, wiry, and shabby looking lot… I was intrigued.
It shipped in a nice sealed foil pouch inside of a resealable beautifully labeled outer pouch and as soon as I cut open the inner pouch I was hit with the true essence of Bi Lo Chun. Hard. The leaves are very verdant and much darker than what I am used to, but any hesitation was instantly dispelled on the first brewing. This is simply an amazing treat! It has all of the usual characteristics but all intensified as if double or triple the normal flavors. I was actually torn at first if that was a particularly good thing or not, but after just a few initial sips I was totally sold. Three infusions kept it coming and the fourth was light but still easily identifiable as BLC. Sweet, nutty, intense, smooth, lush… this is a must try for a BLC fan. It may be almost too much as a daily drinker but I’m going to have a go at it anyhow.