Saturday, May 30, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #22 - Wenshan BaoZhong
Surprisingly, I found myself missing the green teas I said goodbye to last week, but one taste of this week's tea and it was "Hello, Mr. Oolong!"
Category: Oolong Tea
Purveyor: Harney & Sons
When purchased: May 2009
Dry leaf appearance: Long, ultra dark green tea leaves. I noticed when measuring they seemed especially rigid and didn't have any "give" to them.
Wet leaf appearance: Dark olive green tea leaves that struck me as very large (1-1/2 inches or so) compared to those of recent weeks.
Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 205 degrees, 3 minutes.
Scent: Dry, this tea definitely made me think of classic black tea as soon as I sniffed it. Once steeped, the leaves took on a slightly woodsy/roasted note. (The Harney book, interestingly, differs with me a great deal on this point, describing the tea's scent as "so fragrant, it is hard to stop smelling its blend of gardenia, jasmine, and butter aromas." That wasn't my experience, but I have no complaints with this tea.)
Color: Pale yellow.
Flavor: Wonderful! I've had oolong teas before, but this one had an especially nice "mouth feel" and just seemed richer, fuller somehow. I resteeped the leaves and ended up having five cups of it before the day was over. I even drank this with dinner!
Additional notes: From "The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea" -- "One of the oldest Taiwanese oolongs, BaoZhong grows just outside bustling Taipei, the island's capital. The gardens lie to the south of the city, in a quiet mountainside spot where the air is clear of urban smog and mist almost always cloaks the gardens."
Next week's tea: Ali Shan