November 17, 2017

Tillerman Tea Wenshan Bao Zhong - Winter 2016, Spring 2017


Wenshan Baozhong is unusual among Taiwanese green oolongs in its twisted presentation. The first part of the tea's name refers to the Wen Shan range where shan translates to mountain. The second half of the tea's name, bao zhong, refers to the origin of the tea's shape. The tea historically was wrapped in paper to achieve the twisted shape. This technique is still used though it is not as widespread.

Another distinctive aspect of this tea is its "generous [floral] fragrances" (Gascoyne et al.). In my reading, I have seen the following flowers associated with baozhong: lilac, lily of the valley, gardenia, and orchid. The two Wenshan baozhongs from Tillerman Tea I drank smelled and tasted of flowers. Despite my botanophilia, I am unable to say which flower(s). The baozhongs specifically were Winter 2016 (Wong One Dashi) and Spring 2017 (Wang Han Yang). Two grams of each tea were steeped in tasting cups filled with 195F water for 3 minutes.




WINTER 2016 (Wong One Dashi)

Dry leaf appearance: long, twisted, mix of olive and forest green

Dry leaf fragrance: floral, dry

Infused leaf appearance: longest leaf was 1.5 inches, choppy leaves, forest green

Liquor color: yellow, clear

Liquor taste: Floral yet savory, light broth mouthfeel but medium body; as the liquor cooled, the tea tasted like buttered toast, just as Tillerman Tea said it would




SPRING 2017 (Wang Han Yang)

Dry leaf appearance: long, twisted, mix of olive and forest green

Dry leaf fragrance: very floral, creamy, toasted barley [in contrast to the Winter 2016, the bag of Spring 2017 was first opened for this tasting]

Infused leaf appearance: longest leaf was 2 inches, more whole leaves, shinier, forest green

Liquor color: green yellow, clear

Liquor taste: Bright, floral, medium body, coated mouth, vegetal (but not savory); the cooled tea tasted very green, vegetal, and headily floral

THE TAKEAWAY

The two teas are of the same style but differ by farm and by season. These two factors could account for the differences in their flavor profiles. I enjoyed drinking both teas but my favorite of the two teas as infused above is the Spring 2017 Wenshan Bao Zhong. This baozhong was featured in Tea Pairing 101: Oolong Tea. Pair it with a plum. But before you go: steep 3-4 grams of the Winter 2016 in 3-4 ounces of 195F for 30-second infusions for a highly floral liquor.

Both Wenshan baozhongs were provided for review by Tillerman Tea.

P.S. Baozhong used to be processed as a dark oolong! Read about baozhong history at TeaDB.

2 comments :

  1. Your descriptions are making me so thirsty! These look really lovely, Georgia...it's Baozhong time now. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Notes on Tea11/25/17, 6:57 PM

      I appreciate your engagement with the blog, Bonnie. They are good teas!
      - Georgia

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