A young disciple asked wise Shifu Lao Cha:
– Master, I overheard monks talking about Wenshan Baozhong tea. What is this tea and why it is so special?
Shifu Lao Cha smiled, twirling his beard, and replied:
– Ah, Baozhong! It dances between Green and Oolong, like a mischievous sprite on misty mountains. Not tightly rolled like a stern scholar, but loose and free, like a laughing child! Taste it and find a garden's bloom in a cup, with a buttery whisper that lingers like an old, sweet song.
The disciple sipped, grinned, and knew he had met a tea with the wisdom of ages and the heart of a child.
Wenshan Baozhong tea, also known as Pouchong, is a lightly oxidized Oolong tea known for its refreshing and floral taste. The history of Baozhong tea goes back to 1885. With roots tracing back to Fujian, China, the tea found a new home in Pinglin, Taiwan.
The name "Bao Zhong" means "the wrapped product". It's like a trip down memory lane to the days when folks used to wrap food items, especially high-end tea, in paper. Imagine skilled hands meticulously folding paper around precious tea, ensuring it travels safely and soundly. Tea, being the delicate treasure it is, got some extra special treatment. Only the best teas were tucked away in petite packages, about 150 grams each. This snug little wrapping ritual for top-tier teas in Fujian gave Baozhong tea its name. Today, although this packing method has been long replaced, the essence of care and tradition remains.
When you first encounter Baozhong tea, you may notice the loose, slightly twisted shape of the leaves, which sets it apart from the tightly rolled appearance of other Oolong teas. This form allows the tea to maintain its natural refreshing floral and melon fragrance characteristics. It also gives the tea a more open and expansive structure, allowing the subtle nuances of flavor to emerge more readily in the brewing process.
Wen Shan region is renowned for producing the most popular kinds of Baozhong. The beginning of the picking season for this famous Taiwan "spring tea" is an anticipated event, a promise of a tea that reflects the flavors of the season and the land it's cultivated on.
The soil and weather conditions in Wen Shan contribute to the subtle flavors of Baozhong tea. Misty mountains and fertile soil give rise to a tea that carries sweetness and a delicate floral aroma. Unlike some Oolong teas, Bao Zhong doesn't undergo heavy roasting, preserving its bright and fresh characteristics. Its light oxidation level, between 10-20%, places it between Green and Oolong. The initial sip reveals a fresh, sweet, and floral taste, followed by a delightful buttery finish of a high mountain oolong that lingers on the palate.
Those practicing Gong Fu Cha will find Wenshan Baozhong tea to be a delightful subject for exploration. The contemplative process of Gong Fu brewing reveals the nuanced layers of Bao Zhong's taste. With each infusion, new aspects of its flavor come forth, engaging the drinker in a dialogue that goes beyond mere consumption.
195℉ / 90℃
1g per 50ml 3-5min
1g per 20ml 5sec + 5sec for each subsequent infusion