Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bi Lo Chun: a comparison between Taiwan and Mainland China

Sunday, I got a sample of Bi Lo Chun from San Hsia, 30 km south of Taipei.
I wanted to compare it with the Mainland Bi Lo Chun from Jiang Su I got from Teaparker, my tea master.

The Taiwanese leaves, left, are bigger. Definitely post Qing Min Festival. I had to use at least twice as much (half a gaiwan when dry) to get the same concentration as the
Jiang Su Bi Lo Chun (picked 2 days after the Qing Min Festival).
Bi Lo Chun should have lots of hair on the leaves. But Taiwan's almost has none, as you can see on this second picture:

As for the smell, Taiwan's is quite similar and pleasant. But the yun, the after
taste, is almost non existant, whereas I found Mailand Bi Lo Chun's yun
especially powerfull (Teaparker says delicate, maybe depending on the amount used).
This was just one sample of Taiwan Bi Lo Chun, but it seems to be quite
representative, from what I heard elsewhere.

If you put more emphasis on the fragrance, then the Taiwan Bi Lo Chun can be a good alternative to the expensive bi lo chun, which I can't provide. But if you are looking for after taste, then it can't compare to the original Bi Lo Chun from Jiang Su.


TeaHub said...

Nice job, Stéphane! The side by side comparison shows the supreme quality of Jiang Su Bi Luo Chun.

TeaMasters said...

Thanks Linda for leaving a comment on my blog. I'm glad to see that your blog is more active recently.

You're comment is true, Jiang Su Bi Luo Chun can be of supreme quality, but looks can also be deceiving. Small leaves and fur are necessary but not sufficient conditions for top quality.