This is the second Baozhong I have ever tried. The first one was fresh tea from last year, and it was reminiscent of green tea. In contrast, this aged Baozhong tasted like a ‘proper’ oolong if you know what I mean. It was smoky, richly floral reminiscent of a Phoenix oolong that I love. Also, a sheng pu-erh edge kicked in when I steeped it for the fifth time, and this added to the complexity of this aged tea and made it a phenomenal tea.
This tea has been dried stored for 20 years near Pinglin, Taiwan. According to the seller’s description, this Baozhong’s aromas are similar to that of aged Yancha, which I am yet to try. Some of my tasting notes overlap with seller’s descriptions such as wood, floral and mineral notes
and sweetness. The first infusions made me think of a charcoal roasted Tie Guan Yin.
When I started to research about this tea, I found that there are some aged Baozhong in the market which are re-roasted every five years to remove undesired moisture. I also heard from a fellow tea-head before that oolongs are suitable for re-roasting, but I wonder what happened if they are kept exactly as they are. I am not sure if this tea was re-roasted, but perhaps it was given how clean and perfumed it was.
Overall, an impressive tea. I am still learning about Baozhong, but this gave me a good idea about how diverse tastes a Baozhong tea could offer. In the market, I found Baozhong from 1960ies, and guess what I am looking forward to trying it.
Origin: Pinglin, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Harvest time: 1999
Leave colour: Tones of dark green and brown with visible stalks
Liquor colour: Dark yellow
Tea aroma: Tobacco
Tea taste: Subtle sweetness with floral and woody (no grassy notes)
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 100°C water temperature and brew for about two minutes in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Can be aged if appropriate conditions are provided.