Went to Floating Leaves tea tonight and at Scruff's request had the Taiwan WuYi Baozhong. What an interesting tea, definately not something I would usually seek out. It's the same varietal as the well known WuYi cliff tea (red robe) from china, but is cultivated as a Baozhong in Taiwan. The processing is somewhat different too apparently. The result? Well, I dont' know much about these teas so I'll just report what I tasted.
Leaves greener than shown in the picture - that's obviously the wrong photo in the online catalog for the tea, greener, more like a Baozhong, unless you smell it, then you get a persistant but not overpowering smokey/roasty scent with undrelying hmn, ?floral? ? hmn. no idea.
First brew - the smokey feeling flows through you but doesn't alight. There is a strong bitterness like the skin on walnut meat or dark semi sweet chocolate, a faint room temperature peach, and maybe a hint of, can it be that baozhong, hmn, no. strong bitterness in the aftertaste that teases you with sweetness and fire. They are competing, but strike a moving balance.
third brew - the smokey really comes out to play but again it just drifts through you, you can't get a taste bud on it, perfect smokey to me, I hate it when that taste sticks to your tounge. I swear I feel it in my chest too, weird.
fourth - smoke is more muted. from here on out it feels like the tea settles down, the balance between the semi-sweet bitter and faint peach is established, and the fire settles into a steady flame. I never really indentified it, but there is something that all this rides on, a structure - maybe someone with a more sophisticated palate can figure it out.
Would I drink it again? hmn, maybe, if I'm in the right mood. I have the feeling it would really grow on me, far more than the couple of chinese wuyi''s I've had, which left me feeling like I had eaten charcoal and not much else. Hope that answer your questions Scruff.
Don't expect either a Baozhong or a Chinese WuYi.
Shuiwen told me that she had to make a special effort to get some this year, as last year someone else bought up the whole limited production run before she got hers. Evidently this isn't a very common Taiwanese tea and certainly an uncommon Baozhong, which was my experience drinking it as well.
I promise to quit posting epics - someone please stop me if you see this happen again.