Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spring 2014 Baozhong: 4 years old Wenshan plantation

Cultivar: Qingxin (ruanzhi) Oolong
Harvested by hand: April 29th, 2014
Origin: A 4 years young plantation near Pinglin, Wenshan

Elevation: 400 meters
Process: Lightly oxidized Baozhong, very light roasting

Brewed in a porcelain gaiwan with boiled water and poured in classic qingbai cups. The small Chabu is green with intersecting lines and it is on the black side of a classic sized Chabu. I'm using a Jianyang bowl for the waste water. This creates a powerful contrast underlining a fresh spring feeling.

The leaves are big, dark green, without stems. Their dry scent is light, flowery and reminds me a little bit of vetiver fragrance.  

This Baozhong can be ordered on my new site. Its presentation there may feel dry and impersonal compared with what I used to do on my blog. Actually, the way I brew and review it on my boutique is like a judge at a tea competition: I use a white competition set, 3 grams and brew for 6 minutes. You can see pictures of the dry leaves, the brew and the spent leaves. My notes are those for the tea brewed that way. The goal is to let the leaves speak for themselves. This brewing technique isn't about getting the best out of the leaves, but it aims at getting almost everything out at once in order to better understand its qualities and defects. I think this professional and objective approach is best suited for my tea boutique.
How to brew the leaves to perfection takes a life-long learning! That kind of pursuit and knowledge is best passed through my blog, I feel. For instance, pouring directly with a gaiwan in teacups isn't just about saving the cost of a pitcher, it teaches concentration and dexterity.
 The brew is bright and clear. The scents are like fresh lilies.
The taste is zesty and sweet. The mouth feels fresh and continues to salivate. The aftertaste is pleasant and fresh. The overall feeling is cooling and young. This comes from the fact that this plantation is only 4 years old and it was just started to be harvested last year. New plantation soil is naturally rich and requires little fertilizer, which gives a clean taste in the mouth.
I chose this green fabric for its many thin, intersecting lines. Spring tea is what makes my path meet many of you. I feel very fortunate for all these positive interactions. That's also why I want to continue my blog. Selecting and purchasing tea should be done very critically and objectively. But with the right tea, good knowledge and practice, tea can be so much more than just a hot beverage!
Healthy tea leaves

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