Chicago Tea Garden Golden Bi Luo

Chicago Tea Garden is one of my new favorite tea vendors. I recently ordered a couple of tea cups and a whole bunch of samples from them. I love that they package their samples with a card for writing tasting notes. It certainly came in handy when trying this unusual tea. I prepared it using a gaiwan and successive one minute steepings. The dry leaves were varied shades of brown with silvery white hairs visible. Each leaf was rolled into a snail shell-like curl. According to their website, this unique shape is created by using three different hand movements in a heated wok. They did not have a noticeable aroma to them prior to steeping.

Once completely unfurled, the mostly whole leaves were a uniform chocolate color. This tea was almost puerh like in both in taste and it’s ability to withstand multiple infusions. I reached seven infusions before I thought that I had gotten all that I could out of it. I had the feeling I could have squeaked out a few more weaker infusions as well. The flavor was complex and evolved with each and every infusion. It started out earthy and nutty and changed to a rounder and more gentle flavor that had hints of vanilla. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Nicole has been writing about her love of the leaf since 2008. Her work has been featured on World Tea News, The Daily Tea, Tea Journey, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2018 World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog.