Award Winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea Spring 2023 | Eco-Cha Tea Club
July 20, 2023

Award Winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea Spring 2023 | Eco-Cha Tea Club

Wenshan Baozhong Tea Farm

Batch 92 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an Award Winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea from spring 2023 harvest. We tasted and chose this batch just after it was completely cured. The stems had not been removed yet, but its maker had already designated this batch made from the Qing Xin Oolong tea strain as a potential competition entry. After destemming and tasting again, our source chose this for his spring competition entry, and it received an award in the New Taipei City Farmers' Association spring 2023 tea competition. For a fully detailed description of this batch, check our tasting notes blogpost, including a tasting video!

Wenshan Baozhong top category prize

Shown above is the Top Category Award that our source achieved in the 2021 spring competition. He has achieved this award twice over the last several years. This batch of tea that we are sharing this month also achieved an award in this spring's competition — yet not as prestigious. Nevertheless, our friend is a solid representative of his local tradition and his skills have been proven. A couple years ago, he participated in a national tea making competition where the level of oxidation in the leaves was judged. He won national champion prize!

In the end, we are most inspired to share this batch of tea in order to allow our tea club members to experience the local quality standards for this type of tea. Wenshan Baozhong has deep historical roots in Taiwan's tea culture, and warrants recognition as a traditional Taiwan Oolong.

Wenshan Baozhong Award Winning Tea

We'd like to share a story about the photo above that was told when we shared Wenshan Baozhong Tea as Batch 63 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club, just because it still makes us giggle.... Upon arrival, we were immediately led to the tasting table where there were two bowls of brewed tea leaves on the tea tray with less than 30mL of cold tea in each. We were ordered to taste them without any introduction to what they were. We immediately recognized them as freshly produced Baozhong Tea of high quality, but there was only enough left for two small sips. After first sip, we were told that one of them was much more expensive than the other, and then asked which one we liked. We took the second sip and picked one, saying that it was a bit more fragrant, and were met with a scowl and a sigh. It was the most honest facial expression we've seen in ages. The expression above was probably 10 minutes after that moment, but still holds some of the humor and angst!

The bowl of tea we picked had just won Champion Prize in the winter 2020 competition. The other bowl, which tasted quite similar, got disqualified. We felt our friend's pain! He was playing it up with his feigned expressions of protest, but he was also clearly making a point. He offered us a first hand experience of how much of a gamble the whole competition thing can be. Of course, the competition entries are assessed systematically, and graded according to decades of research and development of the tea judging process. Yet still, there are instances like this, where our friend got disqualified while a colleague won first prize — not to mention that our friend's other entry from the same harvest ranked in the top 2% category award. The two teas were not drastically different in quality, we can personally attest to that — and this is all he was trying to convey to us.


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