1967 Baozhong

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

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Jan 12th 12 5:46 am
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1967 Baozhong

by needaTEAcher » Jan 12th 12 5:46 am

I just gifted myself a 1967 Baozhong to celebrate an upcoming Day Of Importance! Every year, on this day, I will drink said tea. :lol:

Except....I have no clue what I am doing. Lil' help? :oops:

I was thinking of brewing it in a 180ml low-profile duanni yixing pot, which I dedicated to med-high quality wuyi rock tea (9/10 times), and out of which I occasionally drink yin-zhen (sp?) silver needles (1/10 times). Great combo pairing I have found, btw, because the rock tea adds some fruitiness to the needles' nuttiness, but the needles don't seem to affect the rock tea. I was thinking bring the water off a boil for about 10 or 15 seconds, then do a flash rinse, and start with 10 second infusions going up to 12, 14, 16, 20, 25, 30, 40, and so forth, until I have squeezed every possible drop of goodness from this very expensive tea.

Is this right-ish? Is the duanni a bad idea? I also have a gaiwan, about 120ml, and if highly recommended by the veterans here, I can go get a small glass teapot for $10ish nearby.

Thanks, as always, for rocking so hard and helping me out!

PS-I am gonna store it in it's original paper bag, inside a tin. Thoughts?

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Jan 12th 12 5:53 am
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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by the_economist » Jan 12th 12 5:53 am

I like the paper-bag-in-tin. If I were you, I'd go with the 120ml gaiwan. Smaller if you can find it, unless you're sharing.

I'd pack the gaiwan and do the brewing similar to what you described.

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by tingjunkie » Jan 12th 12 3:51 pm

Small gaiwan, 1/2 to 3/4 full, quick rinse, start with 10s and then adjust from there. No point in planning all the infusions out before hand, the tea will show you what to do.

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by TIM » Jan 12th 12 4:21 pm

Do tell if it taste like sour plum :lol:

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by tenuki » Jan 12th 12 11:28 pm

I would brew that with a lot of leaves at well off a boil in a glass gaiwan for a longish time. Most teas that age tend to be, um, er, sour, musty and very weak, much like the typical person that old in tea years ( I believe the formula is 1 tea year = 2.181 human years, experts please correct me). :twisted:

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by debunix » Jan 13th 12 12:21 am

Precious teas like that are how I justified my tiniest teapot--the 25mL pot that holds about a gram of a nice aged puerh--and the tiny gaiwan (35mL) would be just right for this oolong.

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by tingjunkie » Jan 13th 12 4:20 am

Just be sure to focus on the feeling the tea gives you. If you spend too much time on flavors and aroma, the tea might come up lacking. Then again, maybe not.

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by needaTEAcher » Jan 13th 12 7:21 am

Duly noted Junkie. I just saw a chongsuni or hongni (the distinctions in Korea are different than in the States, and I get conflicting answers!) that was about 80 or so ml that was Ching (sp?!) dynasty. $300. Not too bad! I want it! Made me thing of Junkie. :lol:

Anyway, I just got this:
2012-01-13 15.53.46.jpg
2012-01-13 15.53.25.jpg
I'm guessing 40-60ml, though I will know tonight when I measure from home. Nothing special, but should be good for conserving leaf. Photos posted after!

Thanks for the help all. :D
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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by tingjunkie » Jan 13th 12 11:04 pm

Happy brewing!

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by Cole » Jan 17th 12 7:27 pm

Really looking forward to hearing how this tea holds up over the years -- I'm assuming this has to be a highly oxidized Baozhong, since a "greener" roast wouldn't last, right? I'm new to Baozhong (and have only had barely oxidized versions so far), so pardon my silly question.

Either way, you're in for a treat! :)

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by wyardley » Jan 17th 12 7:37 pm

Cole wrote:Really looking forward to hearing how this tea holds up over the years -- I'm assuming this has to be a highly oxidized Baozhong, since a "greener" roast wouldn't last, right? I'm new to Baozhong (and have only had barely oxidized versions so far), so pardon my silly question.
Oxidation and roast are two separate parameters. Oxidation happens before the process to stop further oxidation, and roasting happens later.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Teaprocessing.svg

Oolongs which are partially oxidized but not heavily roasted can age well. I do think having a relatively high level of oxidation is a good thing in terms of aging oolongs.

Most of the older baozhongs were made before the current trend towards super low oxidation and little or no roasting in oolongs, so they do tend to be a little heavier.

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by intelligen_tea_a » Jan 17th 12 11:13 pm

I don't know much about aged oolongs, but I'm surprised that so many people are recommending a gaiwan for brewing an oolong! The big problem with this is that gaiwans do not hold heat well at all, and boiling water has to be in contact with the tea for as long as the steeping requires for one to get the best flavor out of it. The gaiwan just can't retain that hot temp for more than a few seconds.

I would not recommend brewing the tea in an yixing pot that has been seasoned with yancha, as it might affect or even mask the flavor of your hopefully spectacular tea. Ideally you want to season a new yixing pot with the 1967 baozhong and proceed to brew the tea from that pot. But I understand, this might be considered a waste of precious leaf.

Alternatively, try a thick porcelain pot or vessel, since it holds heat better than a paper porcelain gaiwan. The thing that you posted should work fine. Just a note, make sure to warm the vessel before you brew the leaves!

Hope this helps, and enjoy your rare and expensive tea!

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by wyardley » Jan 17th 12 11:21 pm

intelligen_tea_a wrote:I don't know much about aged oolongs, but I'm surprised that so many people are recommending a gaiwan for brewing an oolong! The big problem with this is that gaiwans do not hold heat well at all, and boiling water has to be in contact with the tea for as long as the steeping requires for one to get the best flavor out of it. The gaiwan just can't retain that hot temp for more than a few seconds.
There are a lot of variables there (and some gaiwans are thicker than others). The way you pour, the thickness of the gaiwan, how thoroughly the vessel has been pre-heated, what kind of kettle you're using, and exactly how hot the water is. In theory, boiling is boiling, but my experience is that by the time the water hits the tea, the results will be different depending on the type of kettle, and many people don't actually get their water to a full rolling boil. Having the open top may lose a little heat, but I am not sure that there's much difference in the heat loss in 5-10 seconds between a porcelain gaiwan and a porcelain teapot of equivalent thickness. Yixing pot, I think will have a little more heat retention.

While I do tend to use boiling or just off-the boil water for most oolongs, my experience has been quite the opposite of yours - I feel that oolongs, even some heavier style ones, many will benefit from an eggshell gaiwan. You may sacrifice a little thickness, but you often gain more fragrance. For example, I have Yixing pots dedicated to both Wuyi yancha and Fenghuang dancong, but I often opt to use a gaiwan instead. With greener oolongs, the same is true.

For aged teas, I will often use a pot, and I agree that such teas might benefit from a Yixing pot, but I think you can get good results (and sufficient heat) with a gaiwan too. And, while you can't as easily shower a gaiwan with hot water, you could also put the gaiwan in a dish just as you would with a teapot, to hold in a bit more heat from the hot water around it.

Anyway, I don't think folks were saying that a Yixing pot is a bad idea for this tea, simply that if one doesn't have a teapot devoted to this style of aged oolongs, a porcelain gaiwan or teapot will probably give decent results.

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by tortoise » Jan 18th 12 12:05 am

I hope to hear about your experience.

Brewing oolong in a gaiwan is quite common. Quite.

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Re: 1967 Baozhong

by intelligen_tea_a » Jan 18th 12 1:14 am

wyardley wrote:
intelligen_tea_a wrote:I don't know much about aged oolongs, but I'm surprised that so many people are recommending a gaiwan for brewing an oolong! The big problem with this is that gaiwans do not hold heat well at all, and boiling water has to be in contact with the tea for as long as the steeping requires for one to get the best flavor out of it. The gaiwan just can't retain that hot temp for more than a few seconds.
There are a lot of variables there (and some gaiwans are thicker than others). The way you pour, the thickness of the gaiwan, how thoroughly the vessel has been pre-heated, what kind of kettle you're using, and exactly how hot the water is. In theory, boiling is boiling, but my experience is that by the time the water hits the tea, the results will be different depending on the type of kettle, and many people don't actually get their water to a full rolling boil. Having the open top may lose a little heat, but I am not sure that there's much difference in the heat loss in 5-10 seconds between a porcelain gaiwan and a porcelain teapot of equivalent thickness. Yixing pot, I think will have a little more heat retention.

While I do tend to use boiling or just off-the boil water for most oolongs, my experience has been quite the opposite of yours - I feel that oolongs, even some heavier style ones, many will benefit from an eggshell gaiwan. You may sacrifice a little thickness, but you often gain more fragrance. For example, I have Yixing pots dedicated to both Wuyi yancha and Fenghuang dancong, but I often opt to use a gaiwan instead. With greener oolongs, the same is true.

For aged teas, I will often use a pot, and I agree that such teas might benefit from a Yixing pot, but I think you can get good results (and sufficient heat) with a gaiwan too. And, while you can't as easily shower a gaiwan with hot water, you could also put the gaiwan in a dish just as you would with a teapot, to hold in a bit more heat from the hot water around it.

Anyway, I don't think folks were saying that a Yixing pot is a bad idea for this tea, simply that if one doesn't have a teapot devoted to this style of aged oolongs, a porcelain gaiwan or teapot will probably give decent results.
I can see your perspective. I have brewed my Dan Cong oolongs in gaiwans, and I usually get a better aroma in the first few steepings. However, I find that if I brew the tea for 4 or more minutes, the tea cools to almost lukewarm. With a yixing pot, which I use for rock oolongs, I can brew for as much as 6 minutes and lose minimal heat. Granted, I use a paper thin porcelain gaiwan. Overall, I prefer the yixing brewing experience because I get more, hotter steepings.