January 31, 2019

Tea Cupping Three Tillerman Wenshan Baozhong

I am having so much fun writing about tea preparation! So far I've shared a post about brewing shou puerh in a gaiwan and steeping Darjeeling in a professional cupping set. Today's post features the professional cupping set again but this time I used the tea cupping set to compare three Wenshan Baozhong oolong teas.


The Wenshan Baozhongs are courtesy of Tillerman Tea: Wenshan Bao Zhong Winter 2018 (farmer Weng Wan Dashi), Spring 2018 (Wong One Dashi), and Spring 2017 (Wang Han Yang Dashi). Read my review of the Spring 2018 Wenshan Bao Zhong and review of the Spring 2017 Wenshan Bao Zhong. Wenshan Baozhong also known as pouchong is a twisted Taiwanese green oolong. Baozhong teas are lightly oxidized anywhere from 10% to 15%. Their provenance is northern Taiwan in Taipei and Pinglin. The best harvest is spring and the resounding aspect of this tea is its floral aroma.


The professional cupping set was designed to compare Indian black teas but it has been used to evaluate similarities and difference among other types and styles of tea. For this tea cupping of oolongs, I steeped 3 grams of tea in 195F water for 3 minutes. After measuring the leaves of each tea, I placed them in the lidded cup then poured hot water to overflowing then replaced the lid. At the end of the steep time, I poured the tea into each drinking cup starting with the first cup to receive hot water.

Related - Tea Cupping - Three Chinese Spring 2016 Green Teas from TeaVivre

Before I even steeped the leaves I evaluated the dry leaf color and smell. I made notes about color and smell.
  • Winter 2018  Wenshan Bao Zhong - vibrant dark green leaves, no stems, floral and woody scents
  • Spring 2018 Wenshan Bao Zhong - duller dark green and brown leaves, stems, floral and buttery scents
  • Spring 2017 Wenshan Bao Zhong - similar leaf to the Spring 2018, woody and fruity scents

After pouring the each liquor into its respective drinking cup, one can smell the infused leaves to gauge consistency between these and the dry leaf. I did not. The floral steam coming off the Winter 2018 diverted my attention. Next one evaluates the color and taste of the liquor.
  • Winter 2018  Wenshan Bao Zhong - lively green-yellow liquor, floral, heady, buttery, thick (now imagine I had typed these words in caps!)
  • Spring 2018 Wenshan Bao Zhong - tending more yellow in color, also thick and buttery but the floral is significantly less unbridled than the Winter 2018
  • Spring 2017 Wenshan Bao Zhong - almost apricot colored liquor, medium-bodied, smooth, Baimudan-esque, fruity
You can resteep the leaves by adding 30 seconds to the initial steep time. The second infusion of the Spring 2018 Wenshan Bao Zhong was delightfully floral.

I did not evaluate the infused leaves as I was too busy slurping all the cups of oolong. By the time I had turned my attention, and camera, back to the wet leaves much of that immediate sensory information had evaporated.

Related - Tea Cupping - Tasting Two Oriental Beauty Oolongs


It's definitely worth reading my original reviews of the Spring 2018 Wenshan Bao Zhong and the Spring 2017 Wenshan Bao Zhong. I stored both teas well but their profiles have changed since I first drank them. I enjoyed both teas then and now. However, my favorite of the trio presented here is the Winter 2018 Wenshan Bao Zhong. It's fresh and bursting with classic bao zhong flavors and texture.

All three teas in this post were provided by Tillerman Tea for review.

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