There is an old saying regarding Taiwanese Oolong growing regions – “North Baozhong, South Dong Ding,” which indicates the classical representation of Taiwanese Oolong teas from south to north. For classical southern Oolong, it is Dong Ding; but for classical northern Oolong, it will be Baozhong. That is the prominence Baozhong has in the world of oolong. Indeed, the name “Baozhong” is the scientific name for oolong teas.
But this old saying, despite popular, might not be that old, as we discovered this year. The history of Dong Ding Oolong is probably not as old as the legend goes, with over one hundred years of history. In fact, Dong Ding area was probably not a prominent tea producing area before the Japanese finally was able to hold control of the entire island. The style of processing and roasting technique was probably not even matured until 1960s. We will write an blog article to clarify the interesting tea history of Taiwan one day.
Although not as famous as the classical “Wenshan Baozhong,” this Baozhong oolong from Shih Ding took us by surprise in 2016. A typical Baozhong should have a clean and light taste, but this Baozhong is relatively “thick” compared to anything we have encountered before. We are not sure whether it is because of the vibrant plantation it was harvested from, or because of the very rare varietal “the Egret 17” was used to make this Baozhong, that offers a very sweet note with a “honey yam” taste.
And this year’s Egret 17 Baozhong, will be our “Tea of the Year.” This may sound bold to some people, since the winter tea is not even out yet! We thought the one from last year already re-defines the category of Baozhong oolong, but this year, thanks to its very unusual weather, again re-defines our idea for Baozhong oolong because of the heavy bug-bittenness and most importantly, an heavier oxidation to bring out the absolutely stunning aroma. We are more than happy to have this tea being selected into our grand collection. And please, if you are not a fan of any oolong tea, we are confident that this will be the one to begin with!
Harvest: Spring 2017 / 春 貳零壹柒
Varietal: White Egret #17 / 白鷺十七號
Elevation: 450 M / 肆佰伍拾 公尺
Region: Shih Ting / 石碇
Oxidation Level: 30%
Roast Level: 0
Best Enjoyed Before: Before it’s sold out