Black Gold Bi Luo Chun - Yunnan Sourcing
Tea : Black Gold Bi Luo Chun
Producer: Yunnan Sourcing US
Website: Black Gold Bi Luo Chun
Website description: This lovely tea is a classic Yunnan black tea grown in Ning’er county of Simao. This has been picked as 1 leaf to 1 bud sets and processed carefully by rolling the tea into pellets. Like most Yunnan black teas, the tea benefits from short-term aging and develops a malty sweet taste and lovely fragrance with a hint of chocolate and flowers.
Spring & Autumn Harvest can differ a bit. Spring is a little less tippy gold, but taste is more robust. Autumn is more tippy gold and a bit more easy-going and sweet in taste. With age (Spring 2019) it develops a bit more honey mellowness. If in doubt about which one you’d like, try a small amount of each!
Water: 240 ml/ approximately 8 oz
Temperature: 195 F
Steep Time: 3 minutes
My Review System: https://artofthepair.com/tea-overview/
My Overall Impression (Score of 86.75%)
Ladies and Gentlemen, WOW!!! In sampling this tea, on the first cup, it seemed a bit muted in the aroma and taste. When I brewed a second cup, that’s when all of the incredible characteristics came out. Temperature on this tea is crucial. Typically when I review, I’m smelling the cup for a few minutes before I sample the flavor. Therefore, the tea was a bit cold when I tasted it (less than 195F).
The second cup when I tasted it right after brewing was unreal. Arguably it has the best mouthfeel of any tea that I’ve tried. It kept calling me to take another sip again and again. Another great aspect that the aromas have a hidden gem. I could not dial it in but it reminded me of walking through the grocery section of an Asian market. It’s a mixture of everything (spices, sauces, dried products) that just hangs over the top faintly. Just a great tea overall.
As of 3/23/2023, here is the cost breakdown.
- 100 gm / 3 gm for steeping = 33 cups (For the Spring 2023 harvest)
- 100 gm cost $12.00 or 36 cents per cup
Typically, I double steep all my teas (use the tea twice) so I can get 66 cups or approximately 18 cents per cup. It’s hard enough to find a good cup of tea that brews this high quality. However, to be able to enjoy it for this price per cup? YOU HAVE TO PURCHASE THIS TEA!!!
Quick note: The picture of the food at the bottom is my adaptation of using this tea. I heated some heavy cream to a light simmer and placed in 6 gm of the tea. I immediately turned off the burner, covered the pan and let the tea steep for 5 minutes. When I tried the cream, I added 2 more minutes to let more flavor come through. This cream finished the whole wheat pasta with the sauteed vegetables, capers, homemade bacon and a hint of Yellow Slap Your Momma for spice. One of the best dishes I’ve ever made. Infusions are another dimension of cooking that I’m starting to explore.
- In the bag, intense aromas of dried straw bales.
- Underneath the straw, it reminded me of Carnation Malted Mix powder with a hint of almonds/chestnuts.
- In the cup, the straw and malt tones dominate with mushroom, and toast.
- It showed a hint of vanilla at the start and finished with candle wax at the end of the profile.
- It also showed and underlying tone from an Asian Market (very pleasant).
- The toasted malt tones flow throughout the profile at a constant level.
- It has hints of citrus rind, caramel, and thyme.
- I loved the overall faint consistent biscuit tone with pops of cocoa powder and toasted nuts.
- It finished with a mineral mouthfeel that was fantastic (very inviting).
- Aromas (4.1/5)
- Flavors (8.5/10)
- Overall impression (4.75/5)
- Total score = 86.75 percent (17.35/20)
Foods to Pair
- Smoked ‘C’ sized bacon potatoes (go easy on the spice as it can overpower the tea).
- Duck confit over toast points to match the tea’s sweetness, acid levels, and mouthfeel.
- Vanilla macarons as the texture, hint of vanilla and delicate notes will match the tea.
- Tiramisu but instead of the coffee, use an exceptionally heavy brewed tea as the tea infused in the dish is a natural pairing.
- Tea infused pasta with sauteed vegetables as the tea infused cream matches the tea components (example below).