Chinese green teas
Curious about what your favorite Chinese green tea is, and, especially, how you brew it to maximize its awesomeness. Personally, a great Bi Luo Chun is part of what got me hooked on whole-leaf tea and gong-fu brewing. It’s been a while since I’ve come back to Chinese greens, and after wandering down paths full of pu’erh, oolongs, and even Japanese green teas, I’m finding the Chinese greens to be a little boring and insipid, even ones I loved before. So, I’m looking for some suggestions from the green tea lovers out there. I know there’s magic out there somewhere!
I have an amazing aged Bai Mu Dan here.
I don’t drink too much green tea but have gotten some good green tea from both Yunnan Sourcing and Teavivre.
I have to agree with you and say that a good Bi Luo Chun is my all time favorite green tea with my newest favorite being Laoshan Green. I always steep my Chinese greens in a gaiwan and try to spend the entire morning appreciating the various steeps. The only exception is when work or something else prohibits me from using my gaiwan and I have to stick with a simple western steep poured into a to-go mug :) For me, Chinese greens offer something fresh, simple, and refreshing to my tea collection. Although there are other teas that provide more flavor etc., green tea is simply light and fresh. There is something very appealing about that to me.
I’ve heard good things about Laoshan; it’s on my short list of next purchases. To your point, I agree that it may be more about shifting my paradigm and expectations when approaching these teas. I’ve become too accustomed to more pungent, smack-you-in-the-face sorts of things.
Laoshan definitely offers something different. I’d recommend and of Verdant’s offerings.
As far as the expectation shift, I believe that that is a large part of appreciating a large variety of tea types. For me, it is seeing tea as not a simple drink, but a variety of drinks. First you decide you want tea, then what type. Is today a light green or white tea day? Perhaps an oolong.. Or maybe you want something bolder. At least that’s how I look at it.
Taiwanese greens. Sanxia biluochun. Best I’ve had is green tea from Sanxia simply described as ‘green tea.’ Absolutely delicious!
I’d recommend trying teavivre’s bilochun or any laoshan green from verdant, but I mean theres so many more greens I want to try before I could properly recommend anything
As a fan of Japanese green teas, I love the Laoshan green from Verdant because it has similar flavor profile but is unique in its own way.
Longjing or Dragowell as it is known in the west.
In a sense, I feel the same way. All three green teas that I have gotten from David’s tea taste the same when brewed properly. All I am getting is sour or bitter from these teas. I use sugar, and it shifts to citrus like acidity. I doubt I could drink the last one without sugar. Of course brewing them with lots of water yields a different tea.
So either I am doing something wrong, or these are low grade teas. Perhaps you just don’t notice when you brew 500 mL at a time.
Even my oolong from them was bitter last night.
On the other hand, brewing some teas I have had for years is amazing.
These were the recommended:
7 or 8 grams
200 mL of water
140 to 158F or 50 to 60 C
How long is each steep? That’s quite a low temperature for a Chinese green, IMO. That’s even a little low for gyokuro. That is, however, a lot of leaf for that volume, which may be why your brew is bitter, especially if you are brewing for several minutes per infusion.
Those do seem like low temps. My default temps for green teas is somewhere around 175-185F/80C-85C, although I’ve had some better results with a few greens when pushed a little higher, particularly in later steeps gong fu style. Generally stick to 1g per 20-30ml. I brew in a gaiwan gong-fu style (usually), with steeps of 30sec or so until it needs a little more oomph later on.
This was successful last year with bi luo chun, dragonwell, and teng chong. For whatever reason, I haven’t had any success this year with dragonwell and mao feng, hence this discussion thread. The dragonwell was acrid and the mao feng lacks body and flavor, tasting like the final steeps of some other green tea, no matter what parameters I adjust. Could be user error, or maybe I obliterated my palate somehow!
Try a pan fried tamaryokucha too. Lovely
I brewed for 2 minutes the first time.
You know, I got up and made myself an English Breakfast Or Irish Breakfast that was sitting in a bag for a number of years, and the first taste on my tongue.. sour.. then it quieted down a bit.