Wenshan Baozhong is perhaps the most historical Taiwan tea. Originating in Fujian, China —it was initially exported to Europe and America in the 1800's. It is also the predecessor of Taiwan's famous High Mountain Tea in the sense it is a lightly oxidized, unroasted tea. The processing methods are very similar. The most obvious difference between them is that High Mountain Tea is tightly rolled (a modern Taiwanese innovation), while Wenshan Baozhong has maintained its twisted leaf shape. This twisted leaf shape is a major factor in giving Wenshan Baozhong its distinctive flavor profile.
Minimal rolling to attain a curled leaf shape maintains its integrity, allowing for the preservation of a fresh, green character of Oolong that makes it unique. Delicate, uniform oxidation of the leaves resulting from extensive withering with intermittent, very minimal shuffling and tumbling of the leaves are also essential in the making of Wenshan Baozhong. The result is an impressively full-flavored, deep green, herbal/floral character with a refreshing aftertaste.
We brewed this tea at about a 1:20 leaf to water ratio. We used 10g of dried leaves in a nearly 200mL pot, and brewed with about 95°C water for about 40 seconds, and increased the brewing time by about 10 seconds with each successive brew. This tea can be brewed 5-6 times.
Our winter batch differs noticeably from the previous batch of spring tea in that it is more savory, green leafy and herbal in its flavor notes. Spring tea typically has more light, vibrant, yet delicate floral notes. Winter tea is more substantial, with more subtle, yet very satisfying flavor notes.
The winter yield was only a fraction of the spring harvest. So we are grateful to have developed a consistent, sustainable relationship with our source. In order to provide us and his other long term customers with our fair shares, he only prepared a single entry for competition, whereas he would normally prepare several.
In fact, more than half our winter batch was going to be his single competition entry, but he chose another day's harvest that was a bit lighter in color, with a slightly floral aroma. We tasted it, and it was very similar to our batch, which ended up being a combination of two days' harvest. This is common practice for our Baozhong source in preparing competition tea in order to attain a more balanced overall flavor profile. Spring harvest is a long way away, and we are not sure how long our winter batch of Baozhong Tea will last. So get your share now, while you can!
Watch the sourcing/tasting video below for the full scoop:
LET US KNOW!
Please post any questions or comments you may have in the comments section below!
If you enjoyed this post and would like to hear more about the specialty tea industry here in Taiwan, follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram and please subscribe to our newsletter. Subscribe now and get $5 off your first order!