Saturday, May 02, 2020

Spring 2020 Wenshan Baozhongs

2020 Spring 'Subtropical Forest' Baozhong
 The 2020 spring Wenshan Baozhongs are here!
 And since I couldn't wait anymore, I brewing this 'subtropical forest' Baozhong right there in the hills near Pinglin, the center of Wenshan Baozhongs. I'm literally surrounded by tea plantations on this elevated spot!
The weather is just perfect for this outdoor Chaxi: sunny, but not too hot thanks to a light breeze!
 Here! Have a cup with me while I tell you more about this year's harvests.
This April may have been the coldest since I arrived in Taiwan 23 years ago! This is a good news for all those who like their Oolongs and Baozhongs on the lighter side with flowery notes. This is especially the case with this 'subtropical forest' Baozhong made from Qingxin Oolong on March 29th.
Its brew is the lightest of my Baozhongs and it has never been so close to a high mountain Oolong! Instead of 300 to 500 m, it now feels over 1000 meters in elevation thanks to that cold weather (and early harvest for this particular Baozhong).
The Jinxuan Baozhong is this year's entry level Baozhong. It will be interesting to compare it to the Jinxuan Oolong from Yiguang Shan to understand how the same cultivar is impact by its process (striped vs rolled) and by its region (Wenshan vs Nantou).
The third classic Baozhong in my selection is the Organic Baozhong based on top quality Qingxin Oolong leaves. Harvested on April 21st, during a rare time of good weather, this is the most traditional Wenshan Baozhong I could find!
But the beauty of the Wenshan area compared to Dong Ding or the high mountains, is that you find many more tea cultivars and not just Jinxuan or Qingxin Oolong! So, to celebrate the diversity of Wenshan Baozhongs, I also selected this FoShou Baozhong. It is a fascinating tea cultivar, because it produces huge leaves that look very impressive when they unfold. And it has very unique citrus aromas (similar to the FoShou fruit, which is how it got its name). This year, thanks to the cool weather, these notes are rather light and, while not very traditional, I felt it added energy to the taste in a very pleasant manner!
And, for the first time, I also selected a Qilan Baozhong! Like Rougui, this WuYi cultivar has been planted in the Wenshan area and is adding to the diversity of cultivars we can enjoy! This is another reason why learning about tea never stops: there are always innovations, new cultivars in a tea region or a different way to process them!  
For my Wenshan Baozhong Chaxi, I chose a green Chabu in harmony with the colors of the subtropical forest. I'm brewing in a porcelain gaiwan and drinking from my celadon singing cups. This enhances the green color of the brew!
The leaves have opened up evenly and occupy all the space in my gaiwan!
Thanks for reading this article to the end! The view from this spot and this Baozhong, they go so well together! Have another cup for the road!...

No comments: