Bai Sha Lu

Bai Sha Lu tea leaves

This tea was part of my second round of purchases from House of Tea.

I was after a green tea to take the place of the green gunpowder I’ve been drinking at breakfast for quite some time now. I think it’s good to shake things up every now and then, a change being as good as a rest, and all that.

The Bai Sha Lu seemed a good fit for a number of reasons. Firstly, I’d read that rather than being a prima-donna, must-be-drunk-unaccompanied green tea, it played rather nicely with food, obviously a good characteristic for a potential breakfast tea.

Secondly, although it’s of a good quality it’s also good value for money, as well as having a reputation as a solid, workaday kind of a tea.

The 70g packet cost me 54 Swedish Crowns, the equivalent of £4.68 GB, $6.64 US, or €5.87.

Bai Sha Lu comes from the tropical island province of Hainan. This tea was grown at an altitude of 900m on Wu Zhi mountain, and was harvested early spring 2015. One unusual thing about Bai Sha Lu is that in order to stop oxidation of the leaves at the required point steaming is used, rather than pan frying, as is the norm with Chinese green teas. This is a technique more commonly used by Japanese green tea producers.

brewing Bai Sha Lu tea

This gives the tea a significantly less smoky, toasted flavour, and lets the more subtle,  vegetal tones come to the fore.

The dry leaf has a very pleasant nutty, malty aroma.

I steeped the tea for this session in my Samadoyo E-01,  – this is the technique I’ll more likely than not be using on a morning when drinking the tea.

Water was at 80°C. As with all other white and green teas, I didn’t perform a rinse, but went to work straight away with a first infusion at 5 seconds duration. Subsequent steepings were each 5 seconds longer than the previous one.

Bai Sha Lu tea in the pot

My first impression was that the tea was quite similar to a Longjing, but with a milder taste and yet more body somehow. The colour of the tea was a delightful yellow with a hint of green.

After 5 infusions I got the impression that I’d had the best out of the leaves, and so called a halt to the session at that point. Still, that made for a very pleasant easy, casual morning tea event.

I can also happily report that this tea hasn’t clashed flavour wise with my default breakfast of fruit and boiled eggs. Quite the opposite, in fact – the food seemed to complement the tea quite well.

Although I still might try out other teas, this was a good start to my quest to find a new early morning green.

Bai Sha Lu leaves after infusion

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