Sunday, February 22, 2015

Spring Green Bilo Chun tea (#52)

Green tea
In Nature Teas

Ingredients: Green tea.

It's still snowing here in Pittsburgh but I'm ready for spring with this Spring Green Bilo Chun tea from In Nature Teas in London!

The first smell of the dry tea is of seaweed. It's strong out of the bag; this tea smells pure and fresh. As I smell smaller amounts of the dry tea in my palm, the seaweed fades to a summery floral, honeydew smell, a preview of what the tea will taste like.

The tea has a beautiful variation in color and a very healthy covering of fine yellow/white downy hairs. The hairs float out of the bag when I open it! They even cling to the cup I've used in the photo above, and to my teaspoon measure.

I've overheated my water, so I'm waiting for it to cool a bit, while also using the hot water to warm my teapot and cups. The tea has a nice bounce and volume to it as I scoop it in my teaspoon. Its curls are escaping the spoon. I see why "Bilo Chun" means "Green Snail Spring."

I will use 1 teaspoon and small pours, just to make one-time cups with each infusion. I'm steeping for 2 minutes the first time. For fun, I'm setting out a mochi green tea ice cream with it, almost like a matcha experience.

I'm using one cup as a smelling cup. I briefly get seaweed, but it quickly changes to a sweet vegetable smell. The taste of this infusion is very light, with a satisfying tannin on the first steep that dissolves with the finish. I'm thinking, though, that next time I will try rinsing this tea.

After the second infusion at 2 minutes, the smelling cup gives me a fleeting sense of sweet squash. Smelling the liquid itself, I think of a soft white flower.

This second cup is just beautiful. There is a slight tannin but it's developed into a bright taste that almost seems like a white tea or oolong. Most green teas I've tried have had a deep color, and were heavier in flavor. I didn't know a green tea could be like this! The green tea mochi would overpower this tea, so I'm using it as a palate cleanser between infusions.

I'm increasing steep times with each infusion. The flavor is evolving slowly and subtly. The tea continues to pour a beautiful light yellow. I'm very calm working with this tea. My crackling "fireside" candle is burning in the corner, and my tortoiseshell cat is crouched next to me. What is it about tea and cats? I can't wait to make this again and share with my husband. It seems like a crime to put this tea in a teaball, but I know I'll crave it at work!

I've made it a second time with my husband! This time, I used 2 teaspoons instead of 1. The flavor is a bit more saturated, but still with the tastes I noticed the first time I made this tea.

Health benefits are listed on the back. I particularly appreciate the osteoporosis prevention and anti-stress. It doesn't take a scientific study to immediately feel the uplifting effects of this beautiful Spring Green tea from In Nature Teas.

Winter is hanging on by the claws outside, but in here, I'm enjoying spring.

This sample was provided by In Nature Teas.

Coming up this week is a review on a roasted green tea from Yunomi in Japan.

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