2008 winter harvest Pinglin contest Baozhongs at FLT


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

2008 winter harvest Pinglin contest Baozhongs at FLT

Postby tenuki » Dec 4th, '08, 13:38

Had the opportunity to competition style taste the new Baozhong winter harvest at Floating Leaves Tea the other day with some fellow tea geeks and thought I would give my general impression.

Good Baozhong is yummy amazing nectar of the gods. :D My feeling is this winter's harvest is better than this years spring harvest (and last year too) although the fragrance isn't the strongest ever. I haven't had baozhong this good for a while ( I don't really care that much about fragrance though, so take that with a grain of salt ).

Again this harvest the 1st place (gold medal) baozhong is too green for my taste, didn't like it. The 2nd place (silver medal) is much much better for my taste, really an exceptional baozhong. The honorable mention (bronze medal) is not as floral or aromatic, but has a really strong mouth feel and is my hands down personal favorite (what I bought for my use). The farmers choice and the honorable mention are very close this season with the farmers choice being slightly less sweet and floral IMO, I would be happy to drink either one, but unlike past seasons prefer the honorable mention. That may be reflecting my changing tastes towards complexity.

For someone who is looking for a 'standard' baozhong available in the US I don't think the 2008 winter 2nd place from FLT can be beat. The first time I dipped my spoon in the cup and took a wiff my whole face lit up and most everyone there had a similar reaction. Body, aftertaste, aroma, everything is there and spot on. The teas were fresh out of the box, it will be interesting to see how they settle over the next few weeks.

Pictures were taken, look for more info on Shiuwen's blog eventually, I believe she committed to posting the pictures and putting down her thoughts. She told us some very interesting stories and information on batch numbering and how the competition is run, etc that I hope will make it to her blog.

Anyway, thought I would share my good fortune. It was a lucky day for nubes like me sitting at that table; besides Shiuwen, there was a graduate of the chinese tea research institute and lifelong student of tea, a Taiwanese tea buyer, someone just back from studying tea in Taiwan with an amazing range of knowledge and years in the business, a longtime tea geek who doesn't say much but is always spot on when he does, and poor little outclassed me trying to keep my mouth shut and listen except to ask many many questions. They were all so mean, making me rate the teas first and commenting on my choices and joking in chinese (which I don't speak but they all do) and laughing a lot. hehehe. Seriously though, I feel so lucky to be able to sit and learn from her and the other tea geeks that seem to always be around there and are always so generous with their knowledge. :D Her tea tastings are always the best fun. Gao Shans are next!
Last edited by tenuki on Dec 11th, '08, 19:22, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby tenuki » Dec 4th, '08, 13:46

PS: I don't think the new harvest's teas are up on the website yet, if you want the 2008 winter right now I think you have to call to order.
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Postby Chip » Dec 4th, '08, 13:48

Thanks Tenuki for the insightful and very early information. Baozhong has been a quite subject lately, this could change with the release of Winter harvests.
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Postby thanks » Dec 4th, '08, 13:52

Thanks a lot Tenuki, this is really helpful. I've only had one baozhong, so I'll probably be ordering up some of this winter's crop.

I'm also a "taste over aroma" person as well.
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Postby Victoria » Dec 4th, '08, 14:04

Wow, thanks for the post. Believe it or not I was just thinking about it this morning,
wondering if you went and what the harvest was like. So it looks
like I'll be buying more tea sooner than I expected.

Thanks for the great post and sharing your experience
needless to say I am very ... :mrgreen:
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Postby tenuki » Dec 4th, '08, 17:24

thanks wrote:I'm also a "taste over aroma" person as well.


Funny thing eh? I'm almost ashamed to admit that the thing I like most about a good Baozhong is actually the long sweet lingering aftertaste and smooth mouth/throat feel. If it doesn't have that going on for hours I'm unhappy but I can forgive minor deviations from the path in aroma and taste.

"You drink Baozhong for what?!"

Hey, there is no accounting for taste.
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Postby brandon » Dec 4th, '08, 21:01

tenuki wrote:
thanks wrote:I'm also a "taste over aroma" person as well.


Funny thing eh? I'm almost ashamed to admit that the thing I like most about a good Baozhong is actually the long sweet lingering aftertaste and smooth mouth/throat feel. If it doesn't have that going on for hours I'm unhappy but I can forgive minor deviations from the path in aroma and taste.

"You drink Baozhong for what?!"

Hey, there is no accounting for taste.


I was just explaining this same concept of hui gan to a new tea person.
I find that baozhong itself has very little taste up front when brewed to my liking, mostly a ghost of a taste. With my sinuses I wouldn't know an aroma if it bit me, but the lingerers are fantastic.
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Postby Salsero » Dec 5th, '08, 01:23

brandon wrote: but the lingerers are fantastic.

+1

(BTW, BH, I am currently drinking the YSLLC 2005 Lao Ban Zhang Raw Pu-erh that was "was never sold as Guoyan's own production" and I swear the only taste analogy I can think of is beef. Or maybe the combination of aromas in a horse barn.)
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Postby thanks » Dec 5th, '08, 11:02

Salsero wrote:
brandon wrote: but the lingerers are fantastic.

+1

(BTW, BH, I am currently drinking the YSLLC 2005 Lao Ban Zhang Raw Pu-erh that was "was never sold as Guoyan's own production" and I swear the only taste analogy I can think of is beef. Or maybe the combination of aromas in a horse barn.)


It's fantastic, isn't it? :lol:

As for baozhongs, I do really enjoy the more flavorful ones as a daily drinker, much like the organic pin lin one sold through hou de. When I first tried it I thought, "Wow, it's like all the good flavors of green tea, without all the bad ones, and it's mouthfeel is silky smooth." To me it took all the "problems" with green tea, and fixed them.
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Postby hop_goblin » Dec 5th, '08, 11:32

I am utterly Jealous! Thanks Tenuki for sharing!
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Postby Smells_Familiar » Dec 6th, '08, 01:11

thanks for the heads up sonny!
(edited to reduce dorkiness)
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