88

This was the second winter harvest baozhong I picked up from TTC, the other one being the more oxidized “Heritage” variety. It’s remarkable how the same kind of tea grown in the same region, of the same cultivar, and picked in the same season yet processed slightly different can be so radically different.

Out of the bag, I get fresh aromas of orchid and spring flowers (hyacinth, tulips). In a heated pot, the usual lilac notes of baozhong are detected along with sweet hyacinth and an odd hint of black pepper. I brewed this grandpa style starting with 195 F water. First sip is light with lilacs and little green apple in the finish. Fairly thin and light bodied. After topping off with boiling water, a meadowy green flavor emerges along with sweet pea, more lilacs, and a mineral/spring water like note.

While this an enjoyable tea, it’s several notches below Heritage baozhong which I consider a top grade tea. It has a mild, simple floral flavor and lacks the complexity and depth of better baozhong oolongs.

Flavors: Flowers, Green Apple, Peas

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 g

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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