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


  1. This sounds like a tea I would enjoy. I have read that when fermentation is below 15% it is referred to as pouchong tea (a type of oolong closer to green tea). Maybe that is why you like it so much.

    This is confusing to me since I had thought that oolong and pouchong were two different teas. However, I do like oolong tea and think that this sounds like a good one to try. Thanks for your review.

  2. Lots of great information here on loose tea!

  3. Thanks for sharing. This sounds like a nice tea.

  4. I have enjoyed visiting your blog this evening. I found it doing a google search for Martha Sue McCain's cookbook. I was just in Newnan recently to speak for a ladies day at the Downtown Church of Christ, and Ms. McCain prepared many of the dishes served. I love to have tea when I travel, so I had looked online to see if there were any tea rooms to visit in Newnan. So I was delighted to meet Ms. McCain and sample teatime treats at our ladies day. Since you are passionate about tea also, I thought I would say hello!

  5. I continue to enjoy your tea tastings. I appreciate your dedication to this project.


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