Bi Luo Chun Spring 2011

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Green Tea
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From DeRen Tea

Harvest Year: 2011

Season: Spring

Source: Mt. Dong Ting, Jiangsu Province, China

Grade: Premium

Product #: 11blc01

The Bi Luo Chun (Mandarin), Cantonese speakers call it Pi Lo Chun, is a fine green tea grown and crafted in the Dong Ting mountain region in JiangSu Province of China. It is made from the tender buds picked only during the early spring season each year.

The Bi Luo Chun has two signature characteristics – its shape and white hair, some call it pekoe while the Chinese call it BaiHao. All Bi Luo Chun are wok fired and hand rolled into its twisted spiral shape. During the rolling process, the BaiHao slowly emerges.

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3 Tasting Notes

171 tasting notes

Experience buying from DeRen Tea

Age of leaf: Advertised as spring 2011. Received samples late September. Brewed up a couple of days after I received it in the mail.

Packaging: Samples: silver translucent bags with simple label.

Dry leaf: Looks as shown on website and like one other Bi Lo Chun I have tried. Smelled fresh, woodsy, and somewhat sweet.

Brewing guidelines: Loose in glass Bodum, Stevia added. Two and a half teaspoons of dry tea = two and a half eight-ounce cups of water (I brewed this up a little longer than I would for a standard green tea):
………1st: 165 (I was shooting for 170), 2’
………2nd: 170, 2’
………3rd: 175, 2’
………4th: 180, 2.5’

Aroma: Pleasant: standard fresh green tea smell.

Color of liquor: Very light yellow-green.

Wet leaf: Not uniform in color—-ranging from pale yellow to dark green—-but looked fresh and smelled sweet and slightly roasted.

Flavor: light, sweet, and very pleasant, with a slightly roasted note.

Value: Sample was provided by DeRen Tea (Thank you Aaron!). Tea on their website is competitively priced for fresh, standard Bi Lo Chun.

Overall: I was pleased with the flavor of this tea (it reminded me of a H&S version I had weeks before). To me Bi Lo Chun seems to exemplify freshness (somewhat similar to the taste of Anji Bancha, but not as strong). It held flavor through to the forth steeping, with a slight astringency coming through (most of the leaves were on the bottom beginning with the first steeping). With the right price, this is a tea I would seriously consider buying and having around.

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304 tasting notes

This smells dark and spicey, almost meaty. Maybe like brussel sprouts. It’s hard to say but it’s intense and yummy.

Taste: This is a very green green. Brussel sprouts about nails it. There’s also a green sweetness to it. The finish is mid-tongue and still holds that greenness.

Did I mention green?

As you drink more of it a very slight bitterness (again, a green bitterness, again like brussel sprouts) comes out to the back of the mouth and throat. It’s not unpleasant at all; instead, it gives an even fuller taste to the tea.

This may indeed be a buyer. It’s very different from other greens I’ve had… much more green, more full, more rich.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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248 tasting notes

This was a rather interesting experience for me, because I am used to milder green teas. This tea was like a sledgehammer of greenness. From the moment the hot water hit the leaves, there was an almost overwhelming vegetative aroma. The first sip was the same, except that there was a bit of a bitter taste as well.

I was once again brewing this in the so-called “Grandpa” style, meaning I added water to the tea when I started to get low. I am writing this review 3 hours later, and the only real difference is that the aroma and taste have mellowed. From how it tastes, I think the leaves haven’t yet reached the end of their life either. This longevity is something to be commended, and greatly enhanced the score I gave this tea.

In the end, this is an above-average tea, but not something that I would recommend for a new tea drinker, an not really something that I would go out of my way to purchase.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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