Pi lo chun question


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Pi lo chun question

Postby SimonRichie » Jan 11th, '12, 12:27

I bought a sampler of Pi Lo Chun from Adagio, and this morning I've brewed two infusions, the first for two minutes at 180 degrees (as the instructions suggest), and the second for three and a half minutes at 180 degrees. And of all the teas I've had, this one seems to have the least flavor.

Is this normal for this tea?

The main reason I'm asking, is because the sampler bag, unlike the rest I purchased, was full of air before I opened it. Is it possible that this tea is just dead? Or is it a case of bad instructions? Or is it just my uneducated palate?
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby teaisme » Jan 11th, '12, 18:12

The ones I have tried all turned out very sweet, beany, veggie, and flowery, never boring or lacking in flavour

Often flat/muted/boring tasting is related to water being not suitable
Switch water and see. If not that then more likely it is just not very good tea

Kettle and brewing device could be another consideration (though I think tea and water quality should be the first to be ruled out).
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby woozl » Jan 11th, '12, 18:29

Try cooler water like 170.
Also how much leaf did you use?
Bump up the leaf to water ratio.
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby SimonRichie » Jan 11th, '12, 19:13

I brewed in a borosilicate glass tea bottle, and I used a heaping teaspoonful of leaf.

Waterwise, I use city water filtered through a PUR pitcher, or one of those types. And it certainly hasn't affected any of my other teas to this extent.

What about the inflated bag? Is that a possibility, or is it unlikely to have had any effect?
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby verus » Jan 11th, '12, 20:17

I don't know how big those tea bottles are, but I think you need a lot more leaf for that amount of water.

Pi Lo Chun is one of those teas that is very suited for gongfu brewing. Lots of leaf, little water, short steeps. And if it's a good one, you'll be able to re-infuse the leaves several times.
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby SimonRichie » Jan 11th, '12, 23:17

I'm doing 8 oz., but I've a gaiwan coming soon, so I'll save the rest for that, see if that doesn't work out.
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby verus » Jan 12th, '12, 17:30

With 8 oz, I'd at least double the amount of leaf. Think tablespoons rather than teaspoons. Then do a fairly short steeping, although the first steeping is usually a bit longer because it takes a while for the leaves to start going. Generally the temparature should be sub boiling, maybee at 70 or 80 degree centigrade. So for example, first steeping, maybe 30 seconds, second steeping 15 seconds, third steeping 25 seconds, and for the subsequent steepings increasingly longer. Some green teas, like a very good Long Jing or a very high quality Pi Lo Chun, can be steeped 8 times or more.

There's not one golden rule for this. It's trying and seeing what works for you. If you've had some different types of Chinese green tea you'll get a feeling for what is good and what is definitely not good.
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby tenuki » Jan 12th, '12, 18:28

verus wrote:I don't know how big those tea bottles are, but I think you need a lot more leaf for that amount of water.

Pi Lo Chun is one of those teas that is very suited for gongfu brewing. Lots of leaf, little water, short steeps. And if it's a good one, you'll be able to re-infuse the leaves several times.


this.

I also drink it cold brewed when fresh, amazing summer drink. Use lots of leaves in any case.
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby AlexZorach » Feb 6th, '12, 14:30

I'd actually recommend trying hotter water, not cooler, since you said in the original post that it seemed too bland, rather than too strong. My experience is that if you get unpleasant qualities in the cup (too bitter, too astringent, etc.) it's a sign you went too hot...but if it was just too bland, you might do well to go hotter.

You can also try more leaf, and more steeping time. The dry leaf of bi luo chun takes up a bit more space than some teas, if it's a rather loosely-packed one (I haven't seen / tried Adagio's, but this is common for this variety) so you may need to use more volume of leaf than you're used to to get the same weight of leaf.

And you may also just not like this style of tea. I actually have noticed that Adagio's pure teas tend on the smoother, mellower side. I personally prefer edgy teas much of the time, so this could explain it too.
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby TIM » Feb 6th, '12, 14:37

If I may suggest using off boiled water for a flash rinse. Same temp. water as the rinse but test it with your finger after 5 mins, which should be tolerable. Pour gently into the side of the cup and steep for 1 mins. Drink half and add boiling water to fill, continue the same procedure until spent.

Have Fun ~ T
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby Intelligen_tea_... » Apr 8th, '12, 23:24

AlexZorach wrote:I'd actually recommend trying hotter water, not cooler, since you said in the original post that it seemed too bland, rather than too strong. My experience is that if you get unpleasant qualities in the cup (too bitter, too astringent, etc.) it's a sign you went too hot...but if it was just too bland, you might do well to go hotter.



I might be a little careful with this advice. My experience with super-high quality Chinese green teas is that if the water is even slightly too hot, it completely looses its flavor. So, my unqualified diagnosis might be that the water is too hot. Keep close attention to the heating water, and pull it off the heat as soon as the shrimp eyes start winking at you from the bottom of the pan.

I also want to reiterate what many have said so far. Use more leaves. If you want a stronger flavor from a delicate tea, this is what you must do. I'd love to hear how the brewing went in the gaiwan.

The only time that I've tried a good Bi Luo Chun was at Seven Cups in Denver when it was open. It was by far the best green tea experience that I've ever had. Then again, they have a special machine that keeps the water at any desired temperature, to the degree. Every time I try to take one of their high-end green teas home, I have to try at least three times before I get the temperature right. Even the slightest bit too hot or too cold, it loses its flavor. I've noticed that up here in Denver, I usually have to let the shrimp eyes grow into crab eyes before it works well for most green teas like a good long jing, green bamboo, or purple bamboo, or etc. However, there is one tea, the meng ding gan lu 2011, that likes the temperature to be at around 175 before it submits to yielding its best flavor to me.
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Re: Pi lo chun question

Postby jcov » Apr 19th, '12, 16:45

I had the same issue with adagio's Pi Lo Chun. I've bought from 3 different vendors so far, and they all had their characteristics but were flavorful non the less.

I can confidently say it's the tea, I wouldn't say the quality more of a storage issue. Since I've had similar issues with other of their teas. (mei hua and sleeping dragon) I bought them when just arrived... delicious I reordered a while after... mei hua was ok at most and Sleeping dragon totally faded.
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