2021 Spring Farmer's Choice BaozhongFloating Leaves US
Baozhong is brightly fragrant, open leaf oolong. Leaves are long, spindly and deep forest green. Although the floral, green profile is similar to high mountain oolong, Baozhong is more direct and straightforward.
This Baozhong is made by our longtime farmer friend Mr Chen in Pinglin. We have been working with him since 2005. He was born into a family of rice farmers, and he switched to tea when he was 17. He is a delightful, hard working and upbeat man. He has an experimental attitude about tea farming, and does every step of the processing in house, instead of outsourcing as is common practice now.
Farmer Chen processes this tea to give it a heavier body and more fruit notes. It is not made to win competitions; that would require delicate processing, floral notes and a jade colored broth like the Smooth Water Baozhong.
Apparently the land on which this tea grows is hard to get to up on a hill, so Mr Chen the junior doesn't often go to feed the plants nutrients or spray pesticides. They said they only sprayed once this year. These plants are technically conventionally grown, but they are really not too far from growing wild. Shows in the broth, it feels very clean.
Note: This year Farmer Chen had a stroke. When I went to go visit him, he was in a good condition. Able to move around no problem. But his memory has been affected. But he still remembers how to sell tea! He kept telling me he's won many awards for his tea, and that although his memory has been damaged, his tea has no problems! I talked to his wife, and she said their youngest son has actually been making the tea for a couple of seasons now. So we've been buying tea processed by his son already. And of course, this season's tea was made by their son.
I agree with Mr Chen, it still tastes the same as before, clean and straightforward just like their family. And I have confidence that, with the support of his family, Mr Chen will recover his health.
Notes of pineapple and cooked zucchini fill out the sweet flavor of this old school Baozhong tea. Broth is well balanced, and spreads over the tongue in a full way. For Baozhong, Farmer's Choice is more on the brothy side, just a tinge heavier in body and very comforting.
It will continue to develop more depth for at least a couple weeks to a month from now. It was JUST finished yesterday as of posting this.
- Harvest Location : Pinglin, Taiwan
- Harvest Date : April, 2021
- Cultivar : Man Zhong
- Farming Method : Conventional (almost no pesticides used)