This is a wonderful pan fried green tea from Suzhou which I purchased at One Good Woman. I don't usually feature the same vendor twice in a row, but I've been drinking this tea all month - and it would be dishonest to pick something else at this point.
Pi Lo Chun is my go to for rainy days now, and February had plenty of them! I love this tea, it's like spring come early. My overall impression is that it's very similar to some of the more delicate fragrant oolongs I sampled from Wudong Tea. This is a little less complex, but it's simplicity is part of the attraction for me. I don't feel bad just brewing a big pot of it at a time - where as, with a really good oolong, it feels like such a waste not to take the time to steep it gong fu cha style and savor it's storied sips.
Here's the breakdown: The dry leaf looks exciting. The consistently twisted green and yellow leaves are energetic looking. There's something kind of cute about it, like tiny green snakes. It's no surprise looking at it why Pi Lo Chun means "Green Snail of Spring"
I shoveled two spoons into my green pot (which serves 4 cups) and steeped for 3 minutes. The wet leaf is an even brighter green than the dry. Unfurling it looks like seaweed and has a vegetal smell. The tea turns the water to a pale green, the steam rising off of it has a faint smell as well, a trace of nectar.
The taste is fragrant, with hints of pear, and a slight toasty/nuttiness to it - like genmaicha. In the second cup, which steeped a little longer to an amber color, the toasted flavor was stronger and the green-teaishness was more typical to my experience. The fruitiness that I tasted in the first cup is overpowered by the vegitable notes in the second, more potent steep.