Thursday, December 04, 2008
New Winter Baozhong
Two boxes of Winter Baozhong came in today. What a nice surprise! I was not expecting them to arrive for another week. And it's good timing, too. My friends, Michael, Klaus, Rich, and Todd were all here.
I decided to taste these four Baozhong in white bowls. This is a wonderful way to compare teas and to judge a tea quality. And what a nice way to try some fresh new tea with good company!
The Four Baozhongs are: First Place Winning Baozhong, Second Place Winning Baozhong, Honorable Mention Winning Baozhong, and Farmer's Choice Baozhong. Rich helped to put those teas in four different bowls so that we wouldn't know which tea is which. I like to compare tea this way so that my tasting won't be affected by pricing, prize winning or which place the tea is from.
After hot water was poured into the bowls, we all picked up a porcelain spoon, dipped it into the tea liquid, and started to smell the spoon. Wow, some of tea is so floral! I started to tell them about the criteria for the bouquet and the color that judges are looking for. Todd immediately decided which Baozhong won a prize. And he was right on!
The first run of tasting, I didn't want to decide the sequence of the teas, but I knew what I liked. The first tea is very floral and the tea color is just the right color, jade green. The second tea was voted by Michael, Todd, and Klaus as the best Baozhong out of the four. They all agreed on that tea has floral note and body. I personally like the third one the best. I like Baozhong with just a light floral note and a nice mouth feel. The fourth one came very close to the third Baozhong. People were all very happy with the quality. Todd was especially happy because he just ran out of good Baozhong.
By the end of the tasting, I thought the teas were exactly what I was expecting from these Baozhong. The one with a nice bright green color and a big floral fragrance won first place. Second place is a very balanced tea. Honorable Mention and Farmer's Choice represent Farmer Chen's tea making style, with a bit more oxidation than the prize winners. Some people like Baozhong tea with a big floral note and others prefer it with a bigger body. I am happy that I can offer both styles.