Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Winter Wenshan Baozhongs

There are lots of nice places with great views near Pinglin. However, I failed to find something more spectacular than the pavilion below. You might find the pictures familiar, especially since I've already shown the second OB Chaxi I had there that day.
My first Chaxi was, naturally, a Wenshan Baozhong. There's no better way to connect to this landscape than tasting leaves that have grown just at my feet there, literally! The smells in the cup echo those of the surroundings and it's even possible to taste how sweet this place is!
There are a lot of reasons to love Wenshan Baozhong. For me, the first is the proximity. In less than an hour I can be in Pinglin. It's also the most historical and oldest kind of 'Formosa Oolong'. Even with a new and fresh Baozhong, I feel a sense of tradition that I don't get in a high mountain Oolong.   
Wenshan Baozhongs are very similar to Wuyi Yan Cha in their process and appearance. The difference is the terroir and the level of roasting. Wenshan Baozhongs are mostly fresh, just dried, while Yan Cha are mostly (too much) roasted. However, this winter, I've also selected 2 roasted Baozhongs (a medium and a strong/high roast).
Wenshan Baozhongs also share another characteristic of Yan Cha. They can be made from a long list of different cultivars. Almost each time I make a selection, I find a cultivar I had never tasted before. This time, it's a Manzhong Baozhong!
I also added a very classic winter 'subtropical forest' Wenshan Baozhong and an organic Qilan Baozhong with a long aftertaste! The best buy in this selection is a Fall 2020 Baozhong mix made from Jinxuan and Tsui Yu cultivars. 
Besides, contrary to Wuyi Yan Cha, Wenshan Baozhongs have long been overlooked by tea drinkers. But this may be changing. My farmer told me that 2020 has been a very good year for him. There was a a strong demand for this familiar tea, at a time when people stayed more at home and focused on their health. 
Pour a piece of Taiwan in your cup! You'll love it!

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