Zisun (Purple Bamboo Shoot) Tea from Mt.Guzhu
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Mt. Guzhu stands in the northwest of Changxing county, Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province. The area belongs to Guzhu Village of Shuikou Township. Tea has long been produced here. Of local teas, the Zisun Tea is the most famous. Mt.Guzhu is 355 meters above sea level. It adjoins some low hills of Mt.Tianmu in northwest, including Mt. Huanglongtou, Mt.Zhuomuling, Mt.Xuanjiu, and Mt.Wutou, forming a natural barriar to stop winter cold waves. It is 10 KM from the Taihu Lake to the east. In spring and summer, the are is subject to southeast wind, which brings humid air from the Taihu Lake into the mountain valleys. Wild tea trees are growing in these valleys with good micro climate conditions, mainly including Fangwu (Fangsangwu), Gaowu, Zhuwu, and Mt.Zhoushe (Known as Mingyue Valley in the ancient times) of Guzhu Village.
The Zisun Tea from Mt.Guzhu derives its name from its purple buds and leaves and baboo-shoot-like backward rolling tender leaves. As far back as the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Zisun Tea had been the favorite tribute tea of the royal family. It remained a tribute tea for 876 years through the following dynasties. In addition, the administrations of Huzhou and Changzhou prefectures in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) set up a Jinghua Pavilion in Mt.Guzhu, which served as a venue for officials from both prefectures to taste the new tea of each year. The tea-tasting party has become an event frequently talked about among tea drinkers. Not far from the Tribute Tea Station in Mt.Guzhu is the Jinsha Spring. Water from the spring was also presented to the royal family in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) together with the Zisun Tea as 2 tributes from the area. The Zisun Tea was caky tea in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and a dragon lump tea in Song Dynasty (960-1279), and a bud tea since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Current Zisun Tea has a totally different appearance. According to the size of the buds, there several varieties such as Zisun, Qiya (Flag Bud), and Queshe (Sparrow Tongue). Of them, Zisun is the best.
The Zisun Tea From Mt. Guzhu is a semi-baked and semi-stir-fixation green tea. It is picked and made during the period between Pure Brightness and Grain Rain when the first bud and first 2 leaves begin to open. The mature tea has long buds and long leaves, which are shaped like orchid in bright green and with obvious silver tips. The tea soup is bright and clear, with a sweet and fresh taste. The brewed tea leaves are tender and cluster into lumps.