Yunnan Sourcing 2015 Spring Moonlight Pavilion Pure Bud Bi Lo Chun White Tea

Origin: Zhenyuan Township (Simao)
Harvest: Spring 2015

Yunnan Sourcing was the first non-Indian tea store that I found with the first 2015 teas and I decided this was going to be my first! Initially when I bought this I did not realize this was a white tea, in fact I didn’t realize it was a white tea till after I brewed it. I do not think I have ever had a white Bi Lo Chun before, but I did brew this as a green tea, but I did brew this as a white tea afterwards and the flavor and aroma was pretty similar. While it may be a little embarrassing that my first tea of 2015 I mistook as another I’m not disappointed that my first new tea of 2015 was a white tea. Regardless Yunnan Sourcing describes this as:

This Yunnan Bi Luo Chun white tea is the smallest pure bud tea grown in Yunnan. A varietal that is a cross between the classic Jiangsu Bi Luo Chun and Yunnan large leaf varietal, yielding a delicate Bi Luo Chun that can grow in cooler high altitude conditions. The aroma is high with hints of fruit and fresh grass... the taste is super smooth with a subtle sweet after-taste.

I don’t drink a lot of non-puerh teas from Yunnan, but it is a region I’d like to try more of. While I am not big on Bi Lo Chun, I’m not sure if I ever had Jiangsu Bi Lo Chun before, let alone one crossed with a Yunnan cultivar, I must remember to try to find a Jiangsu Bi Lo Chun in the future.

Dry Leaves: The leaves are very green with a lot of fuzzy silver tips, which is surprising for such a modestly priced tea (but then again it is from Yunnan Sourcing a store known for selling amazing teas at modest prices).  The leaves are lot bigger than the typical Bi Lo Chun which would not have been surprising if I read the description before purchasing (Yes I’ll admit I occasionally purchase teas based on pictures alone, but Yunnan Sourcing is such a respected vendor so it was not like I was taking a big risk or anything). The leaves are a little reminiscent of Baozhong more so than Bi Lo Chun, I’m used to curlier Bi Lo Chun than this. The leaves have a slight grassy aroma.

First Steeping
Temperature: 175 oF
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Grassy and Herbaceous
Flavor: Fruity and Grassy
Tasting Notes: Once again I brewed this as a green tea rather than a white so please keep that in mind (I did brew this again at a lower temperature slightly longer and was meet with pretty similar results although there was less astringency). This is a very light tea; I did use seven grams in my tasting set which can hold about 100ml of water (95ml to be precise) when I brewed this again I used ten grams instead and found the results to be better. There is some astringency to this tea, but it is very slight I almost did not recognize it. Even with my awful photography I hope you can recognize how beautiful this tea is, I don’t often judge a tea by its appearance (unless I’m buying it without reading the description), but this is truly a gorgeous tea.

The aroma was rather nice, while it was not as grassy as a sencha, it still was quite pleasant. So far this is a pretty good tea for my first of 2015; it has quite a bit of sweetness (even for a Chinese tea) that balances out with the slight tartness of the fruity notes.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 180oF
Brewing Time: Two Minutes
Aroma: Grassy and Herbaceous        
Flavor: Fruity, Grassy and Nutty
Tasting Notes: The new nutty flavor added an interesting depth to this; it is starting to become more complex the longer I brew it. I’m starting to realize this tea brews really well the longer you brew it, perhaps not as well with shorter brews. I generally do not like brewing teas for anything shorter than thirty seconds, in fact when I’m not trying teas for this blog I tend to like brewing for three to six minutes (with Chinese teas at least) so this isn’t much of a problem for me, but if you are the type of person who likes short rapid tea sessions this may not be the tea for you.

Otherwise the aroma is starting to become more herbaceous, it is a little reminiscent of sweet basil and thyme, which is an odd contrast to the sweet grass scent. Once again this is a very sweet tea, although it sweetness is probably its defining feature, but I can’t exactly identify the sweetness. While there is quite a bit of fruity notes in this tea they are starting to become a little sharp.

Third Steeping
Temperature: 190 oF
Brewing Time:
Aroma: Grassy and Herbaceous
Flavor: Sweet Grass, Tart Fruity, and Nutty
Tasting Notes: From here on out it gets even sweeter! The grassy notes in the previous infusions were sweet, but nowhere like this and the fruity notes are developing a rather nice bite. The nutty notes are pretty similar to the last (and in later infusions do not change), it still is a little thin tasting. I really regret not using more leaves when brewing this, it is a much better tea when using more leaves, but the tastes are the same. The slight astringency disappears after this infusion. I’m not sure which of these three infusions was my favorite because of how thin this tea is.

This is a nice tea, although I do think you need to use more leaves than I did, but this is such an inexpensive tea it’s not going to hurt you to use a little extra. At the time of writing this Yunnan Sourcing is selling this tea at $7 for 50g which is a ridiculous low price. I’m not sure if I want to buy more of this tea because of how light it brews, but I can certainly imagine this would be nice on a hot summer day. It’s finally gotten cool and wet here in California so I have yet to try cold brewing this yet, but I feel confident saying this will brew up quite nice cold. I’m not saying I don’t like this tea, but for some reason I’m starting to crave heavier teas that I’d normally drink in winter (if California had a proper winter!). Regardless this was a nice first tea of 2015 for me and it is well worth trying if you are interested in lighter teas. I am a little curious what makes this Bi Lo Chun a white tea rather than a green tea.


Just a guy who likes tea.