Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2009 Bao Zhong, spring harvest

It already is spring for some time, the season I like enjoy to its fullest - and I usually drink mostly fresh Chinese teas nowadays – but today, I was just in a right mood for something different.

I purchased this tea in a local teahouse about half a year ago and, as I found out today, there still is a little bit left on my shelf. It’s Wen Shan Bao Zhong from the 2009 spring harvest.

My probably most favorite part about this Bao Zhong is the smell. It’s hard to define – some would say floral, some spicy, some would say anything. I would say it’s simply the smell of Bao Zhong. Personally, I can also smell something slightly similar to dried bananas – it really is a very complex, unique scent.

The infusion is golden yellow, different from green teas and different from jade oolongs – just as I would expect from Bao Zhong. Same goes with the taste – it’s neither green nor oolong, as it’s rather unique on its own. There is a little astringency in it – that kind of astringency you have to like, because it just goes with the whole character of this tea perfectly. It’s also fairly present in this tea’s wonderful, long aftertaste.

As you can probably see, I’ve got inspired by Matt’s wonderful blog and brought some little flowers from my usual walk today - and actually, I was really surprised about the good feeling these two bitsy florets fetched into my room. It’s wonderful just to look on them quietly, while sipping the tea from cup.

Overall, I made five infusions, personally preferring the second and third one most. Just then, the leaves were fully awakened, able to produce wonderful beverage for me to drink. Other infusions were great, too, each in its unique way.

I’m pretty much looking forward to 2010 version of this tea.


  1. The astringency that a baozhong can emit definitely adds to its character.
    I also tasted a 2009 (from a different vendor though) and I found similar notes to what you are describing.
    One thing though, your leaf looks a bit broken. Did it all come like that or was that just because it was the end of the bag?

  2. William,
    thanks for mentioning it, I actually wanted to write that the leaves are broken, because it was all that, along with a lot of dust and cuttings, remained in the package, but it seems like I completely forgot to do so in the end.
    Initially, they were in better condition, but unfortunately, I don't have any applying photo of them, as far as I remember.

  3. Sir William just sent me some Bao Zhong (perhaps the one he mentioned in his comment?). I'm gonna try it out soon.

    I'm starting to get acclimated to the bitterness and astringency of some teas. After experiencing it several times, one begins to actually like their presence. Before tea, I doubt I would ever enjoy having those kinds of tastes in my mouth.

  4. Michal,

    Nice flowers :)

    Venturing out to pick wild flowers is something one does daily. This small act always adds to the drinking experience.


  5. Asiatic Fox,

    enjoy the Bao Zhong then, I'm looking forward to see your review of it ;)


    its presence really adds something special to the tea session.
    These are actually chive flowers - I've probably never realized how charming this plant is in blossom, until now.