Fresh, rich, and creamy. Quite yummy and a standout amongst Yunnan golds.
“This has become my go-to black tea when I feel like I need something strong to start the day, but I can’t decide which tea I want to drink. It has that wonderful toastiness — almost...” Read full tasting note
“I was very close to having CTG’s Keemun again this morning (it’s that good) but I decided that I really should try my other teas, so I grabbed this one. The dry leaf smells malty-bakey-sweet...” Read full tasting note
“Wow, my first thought was this is so smooth and full of flavor. Slightly sweet, a bit chewy, and kind of meaty. Not that it tastes like meat but it has a quality I imagine meaty it to be. I know...” Read full tasting note
“I received this very nice sample from Chicago Tea Garden last night but since it was late by the time I checked the mail, I waited until today to give it a try. The dry tea consists of brown and...” Read full tasting note
David Lee Hoffman has been traveling China for over 20 years. His work has led to vast improvements in the quality of tea available to the West. David is especially proud of this tea. Golden Bi Luo is a high-grade black tea made in Yunnan Province in the style of Jiangsu Province’s Green Bi Luo Chun. The name means “snail spring” — spring because this tea is harvested in the spring; snail because the two leaves and down-covered tips are carefully rolled into tight spirals that slowly unfurl to release more flavor during steeping. The spirals are formed using three different hand movements in a heated wok. This tea produces a golden, creamy-tasting liquor with sweet notes of vanilla.
This tea is a master at producing multiple infusions, you can easily get 8 infusions from one serving of this tea. If you buy 50grams and steep 3grams each time, steeping the 3gram serving 8 times will bring the price of this tea to $0.11 a cup.
Golden Bi Luo is a great re-introduction to great, loose black tea. Whether you are looking for an alternative to coffee, or are just getting started with loose leaf and are ready to ditch your tea bags, Golden Bi Luo is a wonderful choice for an everyday tea. This tea is also known as Hong Bi Luo.
Chicago Tea Garden is an online tea shop committed to providing extraordinary teas and tea education to tea lovers and those new to the leaf. Chicago Tea Garden's co-owner Tony Gebely also runs the World of Tea Blog [http://www.worldoftea.org] and Tweets at @WorldofTea.
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Black Bi LuoKing's Zen Tea
This is the first of my sample order from Chicago Tea Garden. How could I resist a black tea that looks yellow and is curled up like snails? It’s a dark, rainy morning, I’ve got the whole day at home ahead of me, and my IngenuiTEA is longing to be broken in. Let’s try a nice malty tea that I can keep infusing all day long.
Thanks to SoccerMom for pointing out the recommended brewing time of 1 minute with boiling water.
The first infusion is a nice orange color. There are light floral notes in the nose; this tea might be a waste if you have a cold. The nose also carries a subtle vanilla, giving the tea a rich and creamy character, balanced by a delicate taste—not at all bitter or astringent. The mouthfeel itself is quite balanced: substantial, but not heavy. Overall, the perfect complement to my wet, dark day.
For the second infusion, I extended the time to 2 minutes. Now the floral wisps have disappeared as a full, malty character emerges. This is a complex and adventuresome tea, and I’m glad that I took the day to explore it. Next time, I’d extend the first infusion to at least 1:30.
The third infusion at another 2 minutes is less spectacular, but no less satisfactory. Everything has quieted down a bit, but the floral malt still lingers.
A good tea, and a good day.
The first time I brewed this tea, I was incredibly careful with temperatures, preheating, etc, and it was unlike any tea I’ve ever had. The next time, I didn’t bother as much, and it still came out good, but lacking a lot of the complexity. So this review is for the first time. You’ll want to set aside a good chunk of time to enjoy this tea properly. I think ‘scrumptious’ gets at the whole experience the best.
1st infusion (75 sec): Tasty, creamy, vanilla and malt notes, but not overpoweringly malty like many black teas can be. It reminds me a bit of sweet potato baked with marshmellows, but more savory. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel, even though it’s paradoxically a bit astringent.
2nd infusion (2 min): Slightly sweeter than the 1st, otherwise the same.
3rd infusion (3 min): Oops, may have oversteeped. This infusion is too astringent. It’s starting to get weak.
4th infusion (lost track; 3-5 min): Distinctly reminds me of gyokuro for some reason, but with mellow and savory substituted for grassy.
I usually have fruit for breakfast but this morning I have gone all out and made a good veggie style English breakfast. Two veggie sausages, baked beans, fried chestnut mushrooms, two fried eggs and some toast to mop up the food explosion that is on my plate. Not healthy but it will keep me going until dinner time and with something substantial in my stomach I am free to taste teas for the rest of the day without getting tea belly.
This sample of Golden Bi Luo Chun has been sat with me for just over a year and I don’t know why I was worried about sampling it before, or perhaps I forgot about it. Anyone’s guess is as good as my own. Either way an English breakfast is never complete without a cup of black tea.
The tea balls were nice and reflective and golden but they were also very small, I’ve had larger versions of this before elsewhere. I brewed this while I was cooking so I had a mixture of smells (my bad) but I could pick up silky malt tones.
I love my personaliTEA teapot from Adagio, it’s perfect size for 2 mugs of tea and comes in handy when I have days off.
Once steeped a dark brown liquid is produced that bares a sweet malt and chocolate scent that is light and silky. Very nice.
Flavour is mild but matches the scent very much ie soft, sweet, silky, malt, chocolate tones. Also a little smoky though it’s very subtle and hints of wood. After a few sips I can also taste a mature raisin or plum fruit.
This tea is wonderful and I’m sorry for keeping it on my shelf for so long. It makes the perfect start to my day.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Plums, Raisins, Wood