Monday, August 15, 2011

It's a Blog Carnival!

Some tea professionals who keep track of trends have noticed that tea drinkers are no longer content to just savor their tea, they want to know all about it. To that end, Adagio Teas  has started a new endeavor- Adagio Roots Campaign - highlighting certain teas and the farmers who grow and process them. They are doing this in conjunction with the folks who are part of the Association of Tea Bloggers .  It is such a privilege to be able to not only try some top notch tea, but share, however briefly, in the lives of these dedicated people who bring us one of life’s true delights. At Adagio stores, there will be pre-addressed postcards for customers to write directly to the showcased farmers, which is a really nice, encouraging touch - good idea, Adagio!

The ATB is a great group of folk for whom tea is special and we want to share that with as many of you as we possibly can. We range from specialists in Pu‘erh or Oolongs to generalists like me. Some of us do very well-researched and thought-provoking articles about important issues related to tea. We review books and accessories, tea and teapots. We try to bring the news of the tea world to your computers. Today, all of us want all of you to join us and Adagio in celebrating the life and tea of Huang Jian Lin. So, we are having a Carnival, in which a group of us all write about the same subject. The address of the others is at the bottom of this blog.

Huang Jian Lin’s tea is Pi Lo Chun, from Dongting, Jiangsu, Fujian Province, China. It is a green tea, loaded with lovely silvery buds. Jian Lin started working in tea when he was about 20 and that has been his only job. In fact, tea is his life, as it is the life of many of those in his area. His home town is ideally suited to the production of this particular tea as it is in the shadow of a mountain and on the shore of a lake. This provides an ideal micro-climate and Pi Lo Chun is grown here to the exclusion of all other teas, so it receives extravagant, personalized care.

Like all true gardeners, Jian Lin is thrilled to see the final product, to hold it in his hands, to feel and smell the reward of all those hours of labor. I feel the same way when I finally have the first pesto of the season, or the first gorgeous daylily blooms. It makes the work and the wait all worthwhile. Even worth that bane of all gardeners around the world, weeding, which is Jian Lin’s most hated task, as he does it all by hand, so as not to harm the tea plants. As you may imagine, it is very slow, time-consuming work.

Pi Lo Chun can only be picked in the early spring, starting about 8 am, according to Jian Lin. It is hand-picked and hand-processed from start to finish. Jian Lin recommends 1 heaping teaspoon per cup, 180 degrees for 2 minutes. He further says this should be brewed in a glass cup, with no lid, so as to give it the honor it is due, as well as more air for the brewing. In addition, you can watch the leaves unfurl and dance about, which is a joy. I have a glass one cup tea pot I am going to use, without the lid. By the way, Gingko, from Life in Teacup also recommends this way of brewing.

In the packet it smells fresh green and springy, almost floral. Whilst brewing it has a definite meaty aroma, paired with asparagus.. The tea liquor is very full-bodied, very spring green with hints of floral. The leaves are small and tender. The tea seems somewhat hearty and savory for a green tea, but also delicate and sweet, with floral touches at the end. It seems to have the very essence of Spring.

Please go and visit my colleagues in this endeavor. Black Dragon Tea Bar, , Gongfu Girl , Leaf Joy, ,Notes on Tea, ,Tea Pages, The Tea Enthusiasts Scrapbook, ,  That Pour Girl and Walker Tea Review . You’ll find a wide range of articles about Adagio, Jian Lin and tea. Enjoy! I would also invite you to look through these blogs for more information on all things tea.


Anonymous said...

I really like how you described the aroma of the steeped Pi Lo Chun, "a definite meaty aroma, paired with asparagus." So spot on!

I wish I could share a note with Huang via a postcard, but sadly I am not in Chicago.

Christine said...

Glad to see your post Marlena! Thanks for participating in the blog carnival. We're excited to share our farmers' stories, and are happy to know you enjoyed both the tea and knowing more about Mr. Huang.

Georgia said...

ooh, "meaty aroma, paired with asparagus". I think Rotea smelled asparagus, too, thanks!

-- Notes on Tea