need help with bi lo chun


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need help with bi lo chun

Postby m147 » May 29th, '11, 09:51

i ordered some west lake longjing and got a small 3g sample of bi lo chun. as this will yield me one cup with several steeps, i would like to get some knowledge from those in the know how best to brew it. i've been reading it is a more involved process than most teas.

ps. is it ok to brew it in my tokoname kyusu or should i wait for my glass gaiwan, it's on its way.
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Re: need help with bi lo chun

Postby Chip » May 29th, '11, 11:15

Heck, you can just brew it in a glass ... no need to wait.

The thing I learned with BLC is to get the water in the brew vessel at the right temp, and then drop the leaves into the water ... opposite of convention for most teas.

What is the right temp, many factors come into play, especially personal taste and the actual BLC selection. I usually liked around 160*.

Brew 1-2 minutes.
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Re: need help with bi lo chun

Postby debunix » May 29th, '11, 12:14

I also like to start very cool with Bi Luo Chun, and often make it in a tokoname kyusu.
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Re: need help with bi lo chun

Postby m147 » May 29th, '11, 14:31

thanks for the help guys. i'll try it out tomorrow.
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Re: need help with bi lo chun

Postby m147 » May 29th, '11, 15:06

oh, also, for three grams how much water should i use? i read about 100ml. is this about right?
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Re: need help with bi lo chun

Postby Chip » May 29th, '11, 17:24

m147 wrote:oh, also, for three grams how much water should i use? i read about 100ml. is this about right?

That should work.
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Re: need help with bi lo chun

Postby AlexZorach » Jun 14th, '11, 18:19

I have not found bi luo chun to necessarily be picky (it certainly isn't any more picky than a number of "cheaper" teas like chun mee, which is so easily ruined by a higher water temperature). If anything, I've found it to be less picky than typical for a Chinese green.

Bi luo chun I have found has two things that can go wrong with it when brewing: it can become too astringent, or it can acquire unpleasant "off" aromas, somewhat like overcooked vegetables. These are the main two problems with any green tea though.

If you have very good tea, the astringency may be a moot point...I actually like some astringency in my tea and good bi luo chun can be so smooth that I sometimes deliberately up the brewing temperature to bring out more of this quality. Similarly, some people actually like the more vegetal aromas resulting if your water is too hot, again, as long as it's not too much.

Just experiment, you'll get it. No one can tell you the "right" way to brew...you may like it a different way from them. The key is to pay attention to how you brew it so that you can adjust to taste...haphazard brewing may get you good results, but you'll never be able to reproduce them.
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Re: need help with bi lo chun

Postby Poohblah » Jun 20th, '11, 17:31

Though I have not had much bi luo chun, my experience is similar to alexzorach's. One thing that I would like to add is that, with any Chinese green, it is better to start out with water that is too cool and steepings that are too short and work up to the right temperature and time, rather than the other way around. Once you brew the tea too strong, it can be difficult to remove the bitter taste from the leaves or your mouth.
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