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Pinglin Bao Zhong Oolong Tea

Translation: Wrapped in Pinglin paper
Alternative name: Wen Shan Bao Zhong
Production area: Taipei (Wen Shan), at an altitude of 1,300 to 2,000 feet (400 to 600 m)
Harvest season: April, June, September and November
Cultivar: Qing Xin and sometimes CuiYi

Situated in the Wen Shan mountain massif, about 30 minutes from Taipei, Pinglin is a very popular village. Many residents of the capital go there regularly to buy their favorite tea. This high demand has pushed up the prices of the tea from this region considerably. It is interesting to note that Bao Zhong is one of the only wulong teas that is becoming hard to find in Taiwan. Today, the twisted-leaf style is being replaced by leaves rolled into small beads.

Tasting notes: When the long, twisted leaves are rinsed they release generous fragrances of lilac, lily of the valley and vanilla. The infusion produces a nose with a dominant floral aspect enhanced with a gentle vegetal note of chlorophyll. The straw-colored liquid has a sweet and delicate attack and offers a mild acidity reminiscent of cooked peach. Aromas of flowers and melon develop in the mouth, culminating in a full roundness. The still-flowery finish stretches into a sweet note of birchwood. The aromas released by this tea are remarkably persistent.

Recommended infusion method and accessory: The gong fu cha technique and a gaiwan or Yixing teapot.