Review of Bilouchun Green Tea

7 of 104 of 55 of 580 of 100
Very GoodGoodOutstanding

This was the second 'bargain buy' I found in the attractive black-and-green tins that have recently cropped up in Asian markets, from the import company Starway Inc. I think this tea was even more impressive than the first: at $3.98 for 6 ounces, this tea is very cheap, although significantly pricier than the other, Huangshan mao feng (which was $2.99 for the same amount). Like the other, it's not the best green tea I've ever tried, but it is absolutely the best at this price.

Dry leaves have a powerful aroma that suggests sweetness, airy, fresh, but strong. In contrast to the Huang Shan Mao Feng from Starway, I found this tea a bit trickier to brew. If the water is too hot, it gets a bit skunky, bitter, and astringent, with a metallic aftertaste. If it's too cool, it's bland. Fairly strongly caffeinated -- I think this tea contains a lot more tips than the other. When brewed properly though, I find this tea is lighter and sweeter than the mao feng.

Grassy aroma, with an almost fishy quality. Crisp, brisk, not too bitter if you figure out how to brew it well, but with some astringency in the aftertaste. Aftertaste is also somewhat metallic.

Overall though I think this is a better tea. Less leaf is needed to produce a similarly strong, more aromatic cup. Is it authentic Bi Luo Chun? Is it a good example of this style? It's definitely recognizable as the style, but I find it's noticeably less smooth in flavor. The leaf is not very tightly rolled, which I've heard is often an indicator of quality (tighter = higher quality). That said, it's still a good tea. And while I may slightly prefer this to the Huangshan mao feng from the same company, the two teas are very different and I enjoy having both in my cupboard.

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