This is an exceptional green tea. Now, I have tasted a lot of teas … and I’ve enjoyed many of them. Maybe even most of them. And I’ve written about many of them here! But, there are very few that I would categorize as exceptional. This tea is one of those very few!
The dry leaf smells very delicate. It has distant vegetative and fruit notes, with a mere suggestion of a flowery essence. While brewing, however, the vegetative quality came alive in my gaiwan! The scent was so pungent that I worried that this tea would taste a bit too grassy for my palate.
But I really don’t think I would describe this taste as “grassy.” There is a distinct vegetative quality to the taste, but, it tastes much more like vegetables (perhaps steamed broccoli?) than it does of grass. There is also a touch of butter to the taste – which enhances that broccoli taste even more.
But, the vegetative taste does not dominate the cup, it is just one of the many flavors that I can taste here. There is a floral taste to the cup, although I don’t know that I could tell you which flower I’m tasting! It tastes a bit like fruit blossoms were steeping in my gaiwan along with the green tea (but they weren’t!) I can taste hints of plum and peach and maybe even apple! Although these fruit flavors (and the floral flavors) are not exceptionally strong, they offer a very agreeable contrast to the vegetative taste.
The flowery notes offer just a hint of sharpness to the palate too, so that it isn’t overwhelmed by the sweetness of the tea. It isn’t bitter and there is a faint astringency that leaves the palate feeling clean in the finish.
Drink T describes this tea as
One of the rarest of green teas, Pi Lo Chun is grown in orchards amongst fruit trees. The sweet fragrance of the fruit blossoms are absorbed by the tea leaves while growing. The short harvest season, from the Spring Equinox (end of March) to the Clear Brightness (early April), also contributes to its exclusivity.
Our Pi Lo Chun uses only the finest, most tender leaves. It’s hand picked and processed in the higher elevations of Taiwan where the tea bushes are shrouded in mist and kept cool by the high mountain air.
Sweet and crisp, this tea is well rounded and will finish with a clean, lingering taste.
This tea is beautifully complex. The notes of fruit and flower together with the butter and vegetable taste is a very satisfying combination of flavors. Enjoy this one hot. The complexity fades as the tea cools. It has such an appealing flavor on its own that I can’t imagine sweetening this one.