Adagio Teas’ Roots Campaign, which has been operating for the past two years, was created for the purpose of connecting tea drinkers more directly with information about the producers of the teas they drink. More than a dozen tea growers have been featured so far, providing Adagio’s customers additional insight into the people who comprise the first links in the supply chain.
In addition to the interviews and photos available on Adagio’s site, a new arm of this project, scheduled to launch this month, is an opportunity for consumers to communicate with the farmers by writing them notes on pre-addressed postcards which are available in Adagio’s retail stores.
The tea selected for this group tasting by ATB members – and currently the featured tea in the Roots Campaign – is a Pi Lo Chun which was grown and produced by Huang Jian Lin in Dongting, Jiangsu, China.
Note that Adagio spells the tea name, “Pi Lo Chun,” the farmer spells it “Pi Luo Chun” and the Pinyin Mandarin spelling is “Bi Luo Chun” (碧螺春). The name translates literally as “green snail spring” and this delicate green tea is universally recognized as one of the historical ten famous teas of China.
Huang Jian Lin has been close to the tea industry his entire life and tea farming has been the only job he has ever worked. His farm near Tongting Lake only produces Pi Lo Chun, so his days are very focused on protecting the tea field from overgrowth of weeds and on the short plucking season in the Spring.
Pi luo chun is very tender. Do not use boiling water with 100 degrees centigrade. Better use the water with 90 degrees centigrade. Second, use glass cup to brew the tea. Do not use teapot with lid. Because pi luo chun needs more air for brewing. While waiting for the tea to be cool down, you can enjoy the beautiful green soup with pleasant aroma from the glass cup.
I used a couple of different methods to brew this tea, determined by previous encounters with Bi Luo Chun and experimenting with what I like. The first was in a glass gaiwan with cooled water and four steeps for about 30 seconds each. This is generally how I brew Chinese green teas, and it always brings out the best from the teas. The other method I used was to cool the water in a tall Chinese tea glass and add the tea when it got down to 160° Farenheit. This method achieves results similar to what you would get using a traditional glass tea thermos, and the tea does not get bitter even with such a long steeping time as long as the water is not too hot.
This type of tea is one that can exhibit very different qualities depending on how it is brewed, so my recommendation is to experiment until you find what works for you.
Here are links to the posts from other contributing ATB members:
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