Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea Tasting Notes| Eco-Cha Tea Club
This is what an award winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea looks like, in its dry leaf state, of course. Notice the uniformity in the size and coloration of the leaves. The yellow hues are only in the spine of the leaves, which would naturally protrude into a stem, but the stems have been removed, along with the larger, lighter colored, over-matured leaf stock. This uniformity of leaf material offers a pure flavor profile. It allows for a complexity of aromatic and flavor notes, but it comes from a uniform stock which is essential in producing a purity of character. This is a fundamental aspect of competition grade tea. It's not muddled. It's refined.
For visual purposes, we probably should have used a sieve when pouring this brew from the pot into the pitcher, and then into the cup. But, we just don't believe in sieves when it comes to brewing tea! Our take is, at the expense of a a visually unmitigated cup of tea, it's best to keep stainless steel screens out of your tea experience. And, even if you have a ceramic sieve, the question remains: Are you making a better tasting cup of tea by using it? We don't have an answer, other than natural is best! In the final analysis, the limpid luminescence can still be noted and appreciated, albeit with some tea leaf sediment!
We used 9g of dried tea leaves in this 200mL capacity gaiwan teapot, and brewed with boling temp water for approximately one minute intervals. In our experience, Baozhong Tea has one of the widest ranges of tea brewing possibilities. Some advocate a much lighter brew, with less leaf:water ratio, and lower temp water. These variations in brewing will only offer a broader range of flavor notes and character to the brewed tea. We simply learn by osmosis from the locals. But we fully acknowledge that it is hardly the only, or even optimal method to go by. So, in short, we encourage you to explore the brewing parameters! Especially with a tea like this one — which will basically perform well with all reasonable variations in brewing techniques!
Just look at those brewed leaves! You know what is striking about them, in our perception? They have not been tightly rolled. THIS, is the most prominent factor in producing the distinctive fresh green, aromatic quality that is unique to Baozhong Tea. The leaves have maintained their structural integrity, despite their rather extensive withering and oxidation process, because they have been treated with more finesse than the modern tea processing methods that have been developed in the last 30 or more years.
Wenshan Baozhong Tea is a traditionally made tea, with methods that embody a wisdom that dates back to the mid-19th century. In this respect, it's a noble tea, on par with the other traditionally made tea with generations of history and evolution of tea culture.
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Batch 63 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was harvested in November 2020, processed, and then sorted to remove stem material and any discolored leaves in preparation for the winter 2020 competition and the New Taipei City Farmers's Association.
The distinctive quality of Baozhong Tea is that the leaves are shuffled well to induce uniform oxidation, but they are only minimally rolled. This keeps their physical composition in tact. The leaves are not damaged by pressure rolling. This locks in a fresh, green quality that put Baozhong Tea in a category of its own.