Competition grades of Bi Luo Chun tea use smaller, more tender bud-leaf sets with white downy tips. The highest grades come from the earliest pluckings in the two week season. When dry, they remain tightly curled and do not unravel.
The original Bi Luo Chun tea is grown in the Dong Ting Mountain of the Jiangsu Province. The tea is famed for its delicate leaves and fruity flavor.
The Dong Ting Mountain is now granted the status of National Designated Protected Zone. It produces about 550 tonnes each year
Due to its popularity, this tea is now widely cultivated in other parts of Jiangsu Province such as Yi Xing, Li Yang, Li Shui and Gao Chun. They produce about 1,500 tonnes each year.
The tea making process is similar, but the Jiangsu Bi Luo Chun is larger, less delicate and less fruity than their Dong Ting cousin.
Bi Luo Chun tea is also grown in Zhejiang and Sichuan provinces. These are fake teas that are produced from other tea plant species.
Their leaves are larger and less uniform (may contain yellow leaves). They taste more nutty than fruity and smooth.