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Bi Tan Piao Xue (Snow Drop Jasmine)

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a Brief Introduction to
Bi Tan Piao Xue (Snow Drop Jasmine)

The full name of this famous Chinese tea is “Bi Tan Piao Xue” or “Snow Drop in Emerald Pond.” When this jasmine green tea is brewed in a transparent glass, the tea buds fall to the bottom while the white jasmine petals float on the surface of the glowing green water. This vision recalls snowflakes falling into an emerald pool. Snow Drop has very limited production. This tea is produced from high-quality, early spring tea buds and the highest-quality, most delicate jasmine flower buds to create a fresh flavor and lingering aroma over several infusions. The quality of this tea allows you to use less tea and short infusion times to fully appreciate the flavor and aroma.

Jasmine tea is very popular tea in north and southwest China. If you go to Sichuan Province or Beijing, every tea house will have jasmine tea for service. Jasmine tea masters always try to make their own unique style of jasmine tea. Snow Drop jasmine was invented by an anonymous tea master who traveled to a famous scenic location, Jiu Zhai Gou. There is incredibly picturesque landscapes in this area, with clear flowing rivers. When the tea maker traveled there, it was in the middle of winter. The scene of big snow flakes dropping on top of the ponds and flowing rivers gave him an idea. He decided to recreate this scene with white jasmine flowers floating above a delicate green tea that would color the water a pure and transparent green, just like the ponds.

For this tea, we’ve ordered the tea leaves from the famous Sichuan tea region, Meng Ding Mountain, which is believed to be one of the first places humans began to cultivate tea. There are also a great number of tribute teas from this region. The high end green tea is finished at the end of March with a picking standard of one bud to one leaf. The green tea is stored in coolers until jasmine flowers bloom, normally around May. Jasmine flowers used for scenting are not completely opened nor are very small buds. The buds must be those that are just about to open, which the Chinese call “tigers palm.” This stage of jasmine flower will have the richest aroma and the scent will last the longest, about 9-12 hours after picking.

When tea makers scent high-end tea, they use 60 percent tea to 40 percent jasmine flowers. Lower grades use less flowers and more tea. The jasmine flowers will be picked in the morning and brought back to the factory immediately. Tea makers will pile 5 cm of tea leaves below a layer of jasmine, followed by 5 cm layer of tea and another layer of jasmine. They will continue layering until the pile is about ½ a foot tall. After about 5 hours, they mix the tea and jasmine together. The fresh jasmine flowers create heat as they oxidize, and to evenly disperse this heat as well as to distribute their scent, the flowers and leaves must be stirred. The mixture will sit for another 5-6 hours, depending on the humidity that day. After a sufficient amount of time, tea makers use a special machine to sort out all of the jasmine flowers from the tea. The tea will quickly be re-roasted to remove any water it has absorbed from the flowers during the scenting process. The tea will be set aside for 2-3 days to absorb the jasmine aroma. After a couple days, they will repeat the scenting process, but pile the leaves and flowers thicker. This process is repeated 5 times to finish the tea, taking about 2-3 weeks in total. At the end of the 5th process, the tea makers must roast the tea one final time to make it shelf stable by reducing their water content to about 5 percent.

High end jasmine teas must be completely separated from the jasmine flowers after each scenting process. For the flowers that are included in the final tea, tea makers use jasmine flower petals that have been dried quickly to prevent them from yellowing. For our Snow Drop Jasmine, the delicate, white jasmine petals are only used for decoration, they are not involved in the scenting process.

make the perfect cup of
Bi Tan Piao Xue (Snow Drop Jasmine)

    • Teaware
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-teapot
    • 12 OZ. Glass or Porcelain Pot
    • Leaves
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-leaf
    • 1 TBS
    • Water
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-water
    • Filtered (Spring) Water
    • Fire
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-fire
    • 87°C | 190°F
    • Time
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-clock
    • 2 Min for 1st Infusion
    • Infusion
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-infusion
    • 5-7 infusions

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Bi Tan Piao Xue (Snow Drop Jasmine)

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