What is Biluochun Tea?
One of the most famous green teas in China, Biluochun tea is also known by its literal translation, “green snail spring”, for its green tea leaves that are harvested in early spring and rolled into tight spirals, much like a snail.
The young, fuzzy tea buds used to make Biluochun are credited with giving it its bright yellow color, fresh taste, and beautiful fragrance, for which it was praised by the emperor of the Qing Dynasty.
You may also see this tea written as “Pi Lo Chun”.
How do you pronounce Biluochun?
The proper way to pronounce biluochun is “bee-low-chen”.
What do you need to make Biluochun tea?
Using loose tea leaves really will give you the best tea-drinking experience. By letting loose leaves steep in the boiled water, they have room to unfurl and release all of their natural aromas.
How do you make Biluochun tea properly?
To make the perfect cup of Biluochun tea, you will want to use 2 teaspoons of tea leaves for each 8-ounce cup. If you don’t have loose-leaf tea, use 1 tea sachet or 1 tea bag.
Tea tip: if you want a stronger flavor, add more tea leaves rather than steeping them for a longer period of time. Most people don’t realize this, but steeping tea too long doesn’t increase the good flavors, it actually can make it more bitter.
Step 1: Pour your water into the tea kettle.
Use cold bottled spring water or cold filtered water. (Tea Tip: Do not use distilled water – this will negatively impact the taste). Make sure to pour some extra water to warm up your teapot or steeping vessel.
Step 2: Boil your water.
For an optimal flavor experience, bring the water to about 175°F. This is important, as Pi Lo Chun is a fragile tea, and water that is too hot will scorch the leaves. If you do not have an electric tea kettle with a temperature setting, just bring your kettle to a simmer, then remove it from the heat and let the water sit for a moment before steeping the tea.
Step 3: Warm up your teapot.
First, pour a bit of your boiled water into your teapot or steeping vessel and swirl it around for a few seconds to allow it to warm the vessel. Then you can discard this water in the sink.
Step 4: Refill the teapot with water.
Step 5: Drop the tea leaves into the teapot and steep for about 2 minutes.
With a tea as delicate as Pi Lo Chun, it is better to drop the tea leaves into the filled steeping vessel and allow them to slowly sink to the bottom
Step 6: Strain your tea leaves.
This is easiest if you have a teapot with a strainer.
You can also save your tea leaves for an additional 2 to 3 infusions. Increase your steep time by about 30 seconds for each subsequent infusion.
Step 7: Decant your infused tea into your teacup and enjoy!
If desired, you can lightly sweeten your brew with a bit of honey, which will continue to bring out the natural flavors of Biluochun without overpowering them.
What are the different grades of Biluochun tea?
Biluochun tea is broken down into 7 grades:
Supreme (highest grade)
Chao Qing I
Chao Qing II (lowest grade)
What does Biluochun tea taste like?
Biluochun is known as a delicate and mellow tea with an incredibly beautiful fragrance. Biluochun tea has a grassy, sweet, and fruity taste with a floral aroma.
How much caffeine is in Biluochun tea?
The young tea leaves used to make Biluochun do provide some caffeine to the brew, however, on average, Biluochun tea has a lower caffeine level than other green teas, such as Gyokuro or Matcha.
Biluochun may be a great afternoon pick-me-up drink option, without being as overstimulating as a cup of coffee.
What are some health benefits of drinking Biluochun tea?
Biluochun tea has many health benefits including antioxidants, heart health, and oral health.
For the full summary, check out our post on the health benefits and possible side effects of Green tea.
What is the best way to store Biluochun tea?
When it comes to storing Biluochun green tea, there are a few important things you will want to avoid. These are air exposure, light exposure, moisture, heat, and strong odors.
In order to keep your Pi Lo Chun tea in its best and freshest condition, you will want to store it in a container that helps avoid the above-mentioned threats.
The best containers are made of opaque materials with a tight seal. Some good options include non-reactive metals, glazed ceramics, and non-leaching plastics. Beware that while you may see wood tea storage options, they are not best for storing loose-leaf tea, as they can have their own odors that can alter the taste of your tea.
Once you have your tea in its storage container, keep it in a cool, dark place.
You want to ensure your tea stays fresh as long as possible. To make sure you’re not making any common mistakes, be sure to check out our post on the best practices in tea storage!