Bi Luo Chun, one of the top ten famous teas in China, became famous as early as the Sui and Tang Dynasties, with a history of more than a thousand years. It is produced in Dongting Mountain where the environment is unique and blooms in four seasons, so the tea has a special flower fragrance.
The locals first called it Dongting tea, also called Xiasha Renxiang[Scary Fragrance]. According to legend, a local girl came into the mountain to pick tea. The tea basket was full, and she put the tea under her clothes at the chest area. The tea got her body temperature, and the fragrance suddenly attacked. The tea picker exclaimed, “Scary and fragrant.” hence this tea is called ” Xiasha Renxiang[Scary Fragrance]”. In the Kangxi period of the Qing Dynasty, it was a tribute tea made every year. Emperor Kangxi tasted this tea with green soup and admired its snail-like curls. He admired it but felt that the previous name was inadequate for the tea, so he named it ” Biluochun”, which literally translate to “green snail spring”.
Another folklore of Bi Luo Chun:
In the past, there was a beautiful, kind-hearted girl, Bi Luo, who lived in the West Mountain of Dongting that loves to sing and her songs touched the hearts of the villagers of the mountain. While listening to her beautiful voice, a young fisherman named Ah Xiang who lived on the edge of East Mountain, got gradually and fell in love with her.
In the midst of peace, an evil dragon appeared in Taihu Lake, blocking mountains, and forcing people to build a temple in its honour. The dragon also demanded that every year, a young girl was to be selected as his [Mrs. Taihu] from the village. Rebelling against the dragon’s wishes, the villagers incurred the wrath of the dragon, and Bi Luo was kidnapped. In order to save Bi Luo, Ah Xiang armed himself with weapons and fought against the dragon for seven days and seven nights. Both sides were seriously injured and fell on the shore of Dongting Lake. The villagers caught wind of the news, rushed over to kill the dragon and rescued Ah Xiang. However, Ah Xiang was seriously injured from the battle and went into a coma. In order to repay Ah Xiang’s life-saving grace, Bi Luo took Ah Xiang home to personally take care of and treat the injuries. Due to the injury’s severity, Bi Luo went around the area to look for various herbs and medicine. While searching for cures, Bi Luo chanced upon a small tea tree that grew out of the spot where Ah Xiang and the evil dragon were fighting. Bi Luo transplanted this small tea tree to Dongting Mountain and cultivated it carefully. Around the time of the Qing Ming Festival in the second year, this tea tree grew tender leaves.
Ah Xiang’s body grew weaker and weaker and nothing seems to be working despite all efforts by Bi Luo. Drowned in her helplessness, Bi Luo suddenly remembered about the tea plant bred with Ah Xiang’s blood from the might battle with the dragon, so Bi Luo ran to Dongting Mountain, picked up the tea buds with his mouth, and soaked it into a green tea soup for Ah Xiang. After Ah Xiang drank it, not only his spirit improved, but his body began to show signs of recovery. When Ah Xiang asked where Bi Luo got the [Xian Yao], Bi Luo told Ah Xiang of her discovery.
With the newfound hope, Bi Luo persisted with the cure. She went up the mountain every morning, took the new tea bud full of crystal dewdrops back in his mouth, rubbed and dried it, brewed it into fragrant tea for Ah Xiang. Although Ah Xiang was recovering slowly, Bi Luo gradually became weaker from all the work and died of exhaustion.
Ah Xiang never expected that he was saved but lost the kind and beautiful Bi Luo. He buried Bi Luo under the tea tree on Dongting Mountain with his neighbours in remembrance of Bi Luo and named this miracle tea tree, “Bi Luo tea tree”.
Every spring, the tea leaves made from the buds and leaves of the Bi Luo tea tree are made by later generations. The strips are delicate and curved like snails, the colour is tender and green, the fragrance is elegant, and the soup is clear and green. Although Dongting Taihu Lake has gone through the vicissitudes of life, Bi Luo Chun tea, which was born with Ah Xiang’s blood and Bi Luo’s affectionate heart. The tea remains unique and fragrant to this day.
Biluochun’s strips are tightly knotted, curled up like snails, with an even layer of fine white fluff on the edges. Soaked in boiling water, the cup is flying like snowflakes, slowly stretching into a bud and a leaf. The tea is green in colour and tastes elegant and lasts for a long time.
1. Picking fresh leaves
While frying, use your hands to vigorously knead all the tea leaves into several small balls to reveal the silver tips.
Eager to taste the tea? Feel free to check out the link below!
- 搓团显毫 [边炒边用双手用力地将全部茶叶揉搓成数个小团让茸毫显露的过程]