What is Chun Lu Tea?

Picture of Chun Lu Tea

Whether you’re a tea connoisseur or new to the world of herbal beverages, you’ve likely heard about Chun Lu tea. This semi-rare Chinese tea is worth knowing about, because its flavor and unique aroma are an experience that no tea drinker should have to miss. In this article, you’ll learn all about what Chun Lu tea is and how to enjoy it to the fullest.

Where Does Chun Lu Tea Come From?

Chun Lu Tea, also sometimes known as Lu Chun or Bi Luo Chun, is a Chinese green tea which you’d be hard pressed to find outside of its very specific growth areas. Chun Lu tea is an herbal tea which must be grown at over 2600 ft of elevation in order to acquire its signature taste. In other words, this tea can be high maintenance, making it a somewhat rare delicacy.

Chun Lu tea is over 1000 years old, with a rich history throughout. Legend says that it was discovered by a nun who was searching for wild tea. When the nun came upon Chun Lu, she tucked it into the front of her dress. Her body heat warmed the herb as she traversed the mountains, and she noticed it caused a strong smell. According to legend, the tea’s aroma was so strong it startled her, and so she called it “Scary Fragrance”. The name was later changed to Chun Lu to make the tea sound more appealing.

What Does Chun Lu Tea Look Like?

Chun Lu tea leaves are a dark green color with hints of turquoise and abundant white fibers. The individual leaves are often small and curly. One variant of this tea called Chun Mee, which looks almost identical, is called “Precious Eyebrow” because the little leaf curls resemble a human eyebrow. Although this takes away a little bit of the appeal, it’s definitely a very interesting fact!

How to Make Chun Lu Tea

Chun Lu tea can be easily made just like any other tea. It’s available for purchase online in sachets as well as bulk amounts of loose leaves. The price may be a surprise, as it ranges from $20-$60 for anywhere from 10-30 tea bags. However, the price reflects the strict criteria under which Chun Lu will grow and thrive, as well as the shipping from China to your doorstep.

Here’s how to make Chun Lu tea:

  1. Using a tea kettle, boil enough water for as much tea as you’d like to make. If you don’t have a kettle, you can also microwave a mug filled with water, but it might be a better idea to use more sophisticated methods for such a high-end tea. The last thing you want to do is damage the quality.
  2. When the water finally comes to a boil, remove the kettle from heat and pour the water into a mug.
  3. If your Chun Lu is available in tea bags or sachets, simply submerge the bag into the cup and allow it to steep for about 2-5 minutes. If you have loose leaf tea, you’ll need a tea strainer or infuser instead.
  4. Chun Lu tea is supposed to be a distinct, highly saturated yellow color. When the color looks right, you can remove the tea bag and discard it. Now you’re ready to enjoy that delicious cup of tea.

What Does Chun Lu Tea Taste Like?

Chun Lu tea is described as having a sweet, mellow, floral and almost plum-like flavor. It’s known for being significantly sweeter than most green tea, which may explain its popularity. The aroma is distinct, and it has a mellow aftertaste. This tea has a unique flavor profile in that it’s strong but soft at the same time. It’s truly an experience you just have to try for yourself!

If you want to make your Chun Lu tea taste even better, you can add some extras such as honey, sugar, or a side of tea cookies. Some teas work well with an addition of cream or milk, but I don’t recommend this with Chun Lu. 

Chun Lu is a green tea, so the flavor is already expected to be mellow, which differs from black tea, which would be complemented by the cream because of its bitterness. The addition of cream can dilute Chun Lu’s revered natural flavor, which defeats the purpose of putting so much work into buying and brewing it.

Caffeine, Carbs, & Calories

Chun Lu tea contains 50mg of caffeine, which is about half as much as your standard cup of coffee. The caffeine content in Chun Lu strikes a delicate balance. It won’t put you to sleep, but it won’t make you wired the way coffee does, either. Chun Lu has less than 3 calories per cup without extras, and less than 1 carb per cup, so it’s also very healthy.

How Long Does Chun Lu Tea Last?

When stored properly in an air-tight, room-temperature container, dry Chun Lu tea will last until the best by date which should be clearly marked on the original packaging. Green tea is less processed than black tea, meaning it has a shorter shelf life due to a lack of oxidation and preservatives. 

Once you’ve brewed a cup of Chun Lu, you want to finish drinking it within 6 hours of brewing, at which point it can be considered trash and is unsafe to consume. If you added sugar or cream, cutting this time in half is a good rule of thumb, because the add-ons will spoil before the tea. If you brew it and place it in the fridge immediately after, it’ll stay fresh for at least 24 hours.

Time for Tea

It’s fun trying new things, and Chun Lu could be the next item on your list. This delicious tea has roots in ancient history, and it’s been a staple in Chinese households for generations. Chun Lu’s unique flavor and aroma have a lot to offer for your average tea lover, even if it’s just a one-time experience.