Wenshan Bao Chong (2 oz)
Wenshan Bao Chong | In Pursuit of Tea
Wenshan Bao Chong | In Pursuit of Tea
The Wenshan area of northern Taiwan is known for its cool, moist climate and rich soil, which have produced some of the finest light oolong teas for the past 150 years. Very slightly oxidized Bao Chong leaves are carefully shaped into long, tight twists; once steeped, the uniformly deep green leaves produce a beautiful jade liquor and intensely floral, fragipani aroma. The extremely well balanced flavor is reminiscent of nectar and green melon. A spring 2013 award-winning tea in Taiwan.

Country: Taiwan
Region: Taipei County
Tasting Notes: floral, frangipani, nectar
Year of Production: Summer 2013

Stock Status:(Out of Stock)
Product Code: OTB12

In Pursuit of Tea Bao Chong - A different kind of oolong tea

Bao Chong is a famous tea from Taiwan, and considered by many to be the best in fragrant oolongs. Due to its light oxidization and greenish color, this oolong is sometimes classified separately from other oolongs. It is primarily grown and produced in Northern Taiwan, processed according to a tradition that dates back 150 years. The inherited processing skills were further improved by Wen Shan farmers over the next generations. With several towns involved in the production of this tea located near Taipei, more than 2,000 hectares are under cultivation in the Wen Shan district. Its subtropical weather, fertile soil and high altitudes of the surrounding hills make it an excellent environment for tea cultivation.

The Taiwanese enjoy the leaves so much they have made a tasty appetizer out of it by lightly frying the young leaves! We had a chance to enjoy these yummy treats while visiting the farmers.

The leaves of this very greenish oolong are oxidized only about 20%, much less than other oolongs. Harvested individually by hand, picking usually involves one bud, one young leaf and two mature leaves.

After plucking, the leaves are twisted all the way to their tips, and withered for nearly ten hours before heating to "kill the green". During the withering period, the leaves are gently agitated by hand every few hours, with careful attention being paid in turning the leaves. Small amounts are rolled at a time, usually around ten pounds. Careless hand processing could cause the leaves to bruise, which would quickly discolor the leaf, and ruin the high floral aroma that Bao Chong is famous for.

Spring and winter crops produce the best picks for premium grades. Spring crops are thought by many to be the most fragrant, whereas the winter crop tends to be richer in flavor. Although both are considered equally superior, spring yields tend to be higher, making up 40% of a yearly production. Autumn harvested leaves are normally rated second best. The summer harvest yields less tea, and is mostly used for making Bai Hao (Oriental or Eastern Beauty) oolongs or black teas, which requires much more oxidization.

Bao Chong tea has a light, golden-green color, with a fragrant scent and lingering, sweet aftertaste. The umami note can be felt at the back of the tongue, and gives a soft feeling, almost like a warm, cotton blanket, which the Chinese call "mian". This word can also be used to describe that "walking on clouds" feeling. "Gang", is another word that best describes the tea note that is prevalent in oolongs - it goes in astringent, then rounds out sweet. Due to the delicate nature of this tea, the type of water used is very important. We suggest fresh spring water, at a temperature just below the boil.
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  • Start with your favorite spring or filtered water. Heat the water to about 180 F, which is when the steam curls out of the kettle. (Or let the water cool from a boil.)
  • Use 2 heaping tablespoons (3g) for a 6oz serving.
  • Steep for 2-3 minutes. Remove the leaves when ready -- rely on taste, not color. Use a large enough strainer basket to allow the leaves to open and release their flavor. Try it Gong Fu style -- use a small clay pot and lots of leaf for multiple infusions. Get to know the tea by playing with the amount of leaf, the water temperature, and steeping time. Re-steep to make another cup!
  • For more about brewing tea, visit our Brewing Notes page.

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