Damp cedar wood, mushroom, menthol
Oolong tea · low oxidation
"This Baozhong was made in the year 1990, or was it 89 or 91. It was around year 1990." said Mr. Chang. He has been producing Baozhong for decades and the batch year can seem hazy. A lover of whiskey and karaoke, Mr. Chang is easy going, honest, and always in a good mood - he is one of our favorites.
This vintage lot was discovered during a virtual telesourcing call for his current year Baozhong, a lightly oxidized oolong that's floral and grassy. In conversations, he mentioned a stash of tea he made 30 years ago, "it tastes like ginseng, he said".
Baozhong was one of the most popular teas in the early days of Taiwanese tea production and export. Its name came from how the tea was packaged before foil bags were available - wrapped in paper, by hand. It was the "wrapped variety (kind)". A historical tea means more aged versions can be found if you take the time, or if you get lucky.
Aging a lighter oxidized and unroasted oolong yields a higher degree of flavor variation, compared to aging a black tea or a roasted tea. The signature white lily flower aroma transformed into damped earthy cedar wood. Pale eggshell colored infusion turned into a dark amber hue. Drunk cold, there is an herbaceous sweetness that embraces the palate. 30-year-old tea has less vibrancy and caffeine as the stimulant mellowed out overtime. It is the choicest pick for an evening tea in any season.