Aged Wen Shan Bao Zhong (文山包種老茶) is an expertly aged pouchong from Pinglin District, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Traditionally it is a lightly oxidised oolong, however the ageing process introduces more complex and unusual flavours. It was made by Mr Chen, a 91 year old tea master still practising his tea craft. The tea was stored at his house at optimum ageing conditions so it does not have the musty dull flavours found in poorly aged teas. This vintage was made circa 2000, so it has been aged around 20 years prior to us being able to purchase it.
We are extremely excited to be able to offer three vintages on this occasion: 2000, 2005 and 2008. These are a great addition to our current line up of Aged Taiwanese Oolongs. These teas were all made by Mr Chen from Qing Xin ‘Green Heart’ (青心) plants that are handpicked on the hills next to his ancestral home in Pinglin. He has been making tea here since the end of the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in 1945, although he does get assistance with his craft from the younger generations of his family. His capacity as a tea master for making great teas is evident from these beautifully aged oolongs.
This Aged Wen Shan Bao Zhong has been aged for about 20 years, so the flavours had time to develop into something really special. The original floral flavours are not as evident anymore but they still do underpin the whole tasting experience. The flavours here are much darker and stronger, more complex and exciting. The herbaceous profile has savoury and mineral notes that lead to a medicinal impression. There are also notes of unripe stewed fruits and roasted pumpkin. Even though this tea has been aged for a long time, there is no mustiness or sourness. It still has a clean finish with a smooth mouthfeel and a lightly tangy note to the aftertaste.
Brew at 90°C in western style for 2-3 minutes according to your taste. However, we strongly advise gong fu brewing for these teas, with 5g per 100ml brewed in a gaiwan or good quality clay teapot. Use 95°C water with an optional rinse and an initial infusion of 45 seconds. Add an additional 10 seconds to subsequent infusions. Different teaware will perform differently, so the infusion times may be shortened or lengthened to taste.