Pinglin Natural Farming "Dragonfly" Baozhong Oolong Tea - Winter 2018Taiwan Sourcing
We finally have another Baozhong that is made from Qing Xin Oolong varietal. After so many seasons of absence, we are confident enough this will be a proper Qing Xin Baozhong to offer to you again.
Baozhong, one of the oldest tea types in Taiwan, is probably the most unique tea type in the world. The reason for it being named "Baozhong" (包種) is interesting. Some say it is called "Baozhong" (包種) because of a typo from "Se Zhong" (色種), which means a special varietal that is different from the traditional varietal from Wu Yi (武夷), and people miswrote the two words.
Another more convincing, and well known in Japanese document, recorded that the name Baozhong was derived from the way in which tea merchants at that time packed their tea products with folding paper, because "Baozhong" in Han character literally "the type of tea that was packed." Furthermore, this is again, one of the most crucial points for Baozhong being classified as "Baozhong" in 19th century, is that it was a scented oolong tea with flowers such as osmanthus. Eventually, the old Baozhong evoluted to the modern Baozhong we are more familiar with today after the innovative process invented by tea masters in the 1910s, which made the new type of Baozhong no longer required to be scented with flower to carry a floral aroma.
However, despite them being very similar, the 21st century Baozhong and 20th century Baozhong, are two totally different tea types now after the rising of high mountain oolong, and therefore making the 21st century Baozhong very "green tea like." This Baozhong follows the tradition of proper processing by using one of the most popular varietals in Taiwan, and Qing Xin Oolong varietal has proven its value for creating complex and appealing taste.
This Baozhong delivers a dry guava-like character in the nostrils with a lively body. It also has a hint of bug bitten aroma when reaching your throat, which is a true surprise to any Baozhong lover. This is so far the most lively Qing Xin Baozhong we ever created, drinking it is like watching dragonflies dancing in the field during a relatively warm spring, making this another great tea during this year's freezing winter.
Harvest Season: Winter 2018 / 冬 貳零壹捌
Varietal: Qing Xin Oolong / 青心烏龍
Elevation: 400 M / 肆佰 公尺
Region: Pinglin / 坪林
Fermentation Level: 25% / 分之 貳拾伍
Roast Level: 2 / 貳 分
There is a baked aroma in the preheated gaiwan that made me think this tea was going to be much different than it is. Then there was a sugarcane and fruity (maybe guava) wet leaf aroma.. no more baked-ness. Fun. I brewed 5 rounds and got a lot of fruit and slightly nuttiness in waves. The fruitiness is round and crisp as opposed to plump. Gummy and candy like aftertaste. I also got a more "plumpness" from good spring water and one of my raw clays. Good to experiment.
It has been too long since an old dog had any Baozhong that was made from Qing Xin varietal, and we were not able to obtain any proper one in the past couple seasons due to the elevated standard. With other varietals failed to flush or not being properly processed, this Baozhong stood out with "Golden Melon" as the only two Baozhongs we are offering this winter. Compared to "Golden Melon," which is a "crisp" type of Baozhong, this "Dragonfly" made from Qing Xin Oolong emphasizes more on the sweet part of a tea. Strangely speaking, this tea gives an old dog a almost nostalgic feeling. This may because a Qing Xin Oolong Baozhong tea had been absent for too long in an old dog's short life.