Wen Shan Competition Bao Zhong Oolong (文山包種茶) is a fantastic Competition Grade tea from Wen Shan District, New Taipei City in Taiwan. This batch achieved a ‘Fine Grade’ at the Spring 2020 Wen Shan Bao Zhong Tea Competition. Made from carefully processed leaves of the Qing Xin (青心) cultivar, it is crafted to be an exemplar representation of this famous tea. The lightly oxidised leaves produce a characteristic floral liquor that has complex and deep savoury flavours. This tea is from the Spring 2020 harvest.
This is one of the four Taiwanese Competition Grade Oolong teas that we currently feature in our shop, which are: Alishan Competition Qing Xin, Dong Ding Competition Oolong, Gui Fei Competition Oolong and Wen Shan Competition Bao Zhong Oolong.
We were able to acquire a small amount of this 2020 Competition Oolong with the help of a tea master in Taiwan and it is a brand new addition to our shop for 2020. Every year in Taiwan, local competitions are held to determine the best teas of that season. This particular tea took part in the Wen Shan Bao Zhong Tea Competition competition in 2020 and achieved a ‘Fine Grade’. This means that while by no means being a top prize-winning tea, it was judged to be an excellent representation of a classic Wen Shan Bao Zhong, worthy of taking a place in the competition.
This oolong has a dark green twisted strip leaf with a characteristic blue tinge. The leaves have a lovely floral aroma and produce a light green-yellow liquor. The flavours are dominated by floral flavours that are reminiscent of orchids and alpine meadow flowers. The aromas are quite heady yet delicate. This gives way to more savoury and umami flavours that are much greener and herbaceous in nature. Some sweetness also comes through on the aftertaste, leaving a comforting lasting impression. This is a really classic representation of the kind of flavours a good and complex Wen Shan Bao Zhong should have.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste and should be brewed multiple times, increasing steeping time with each brew if desired. Traditional gong fu brewing would allow to extract more authentic flavours as well as much more complexity from this tea.