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And here's how it brews: Yunnan spring tea 2019


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As usual you have excelled yourself in describing all the salient points with clarity and although light hearted in places, serious when needed. Thank you. I have a glass mug, you may remember me showing it to you awhile ago. I use this as it saves scorched fingers.  I have a glass tea pot that is tall and jug shaped, I may press this into service as a fairness jug because I know it will cope with the heat. This is a much better method for me as I don't like my tea strong and I can see how strong it has got.


Is it a fairness jug because it allows "fair" portions, as everyone can see how much there is? The thing is glass is not part of the Chinese skill set until the last 100 years or so. Would these have been thin porcelain in the past? Is this method fairly modern? Sorry for all the questions, thanks again for your efforts.

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9 hours ago, Shelley said:

This is a much better method for me as I don't like my tea strong and I can see how strong it has got.


You have hit the nail on the head, @Shelley-- being able to see the tea as it develops its color allows you to watch as it brews, stopping the process at any point you deem appropriate. A good way to wind up with a cup that fits your own individual preferences. One of the nice things about this tea, I think, is that it can be brewed weak and still have a very pleasant flavor. Some other teas don't become interesting in the mouth unless you brew them strong. 


If this Yunnan biluochun is not available where you live and you wind up ordering by mail, then by all means look into China's most popular biluochun tea, Dongting Biluochun 洞庭碧螺春茶。It comes from JIangsu in the hills close to Lake Tai  太湖, China's largest fresh-water lake. The winds off the lake improve the tea growing conditions in the neighboring hills. It is right up there in a neck in neck popularity race with Xihu Longjing for the honor of being China's best loved green tea. 

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On 3/27/2019 at 9:49 PM, backwards said:

Can you describe what kind of aroma this kind of tea has? I'm curious.


The taste is usually described as fruity and floral with notes that perhaps suggest nuts. The aroma, well gosh, I would have to look up what some other experts have said and borrow pieces of their descriptions. I find it difficult to put into original words. It smells like green tea (I realize that's not very helpful and I apologize.)


I think of it as having a very clean taste and an aroma to match; very "fresh." It's best if the aroma (and the taste) are not excessively grassy, though some people prefer that finish. The color of the tea liquor is a vibrant but pale yellow green. I had occasion to taste two different biluochun teas side by side this morning. The liquor of the better tea was clear as crystal. The lesser tea was slightly cloudy,  slightly muddy, even though they both had the same green-yellow tint. 


When the tea heats it releases its aroma. It does that in the hot glass even before hot water is added. One reason to carefully sniff it at several stages of brewing and even after, is that sometimes inferior tea will have a "chemical" smell which is a clue that the maker has sprayed something on his trees. 


Most growers don't use fertilizers or pesticides in growing these teas. When I've visited these back-country tea farms; the owner has often proudly pointed out small healthy "inch worms" crawling on the leaves as we walk around. He want's me to observe that these benign insects have not been poisoned.


These tea trees are also grown far enough back in the wilderness not to get airborne industrial pollution. They are away from major roads, way up in the mountains, high enough up that that the groundwater which feeds them is from rain showers and small streams, not from large polluted rivers carrying factory runoff.  


So the aroma is partly something that smells good, simple and natural, but it's also about what you don't smell when you sniff. 

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