Batch 80 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea from spring 2022 harvest. We sourced this batch at the same time we sourced our in store stock of spring Baozhong. While were tasting the different days of harvest, our friend told us that he will enter this batch into the local competition. We promptly asked if he had enough to share with us, and he did!
We felt a sense of recognition when our source called us on a Sunday night, and asked if we could make the trip up north the next day, because a local merchant was coming to visit on Tuesday, and would mostly likely procure a great deal of his spring produce. He wanted to give us the opportunity to procure our share first.
When we arrived and sat down to taste the spring tea, there were only about half the number of selections as last year (when there were 10!). We asked why, and our friend frankly replied that he well knows what we like by now, so he presented us with the batches within our range of preference. Now if it weren't for the level of familiarity and camaraderie that has grown between us over the years, we may have been less than assured to hear this, but in this case, we fully trust his honesty as well as accuracy!
Shown above is the Top Category Award that our source achieved in last year's competition. He has achieved this award twice over the last four 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. Last year 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.