Review: Driftwood Tea Organic Bao Zhong

Driftwood Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is a very fine example of a Bao Zhong. The rich, fruity notes and the floral finish of the first infusion are truly delicious. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.7/10
Other Teaviews: Katie gave it 7.6/10, Raven gave it 7.2/10, Daniel gave it 7.0/10
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I was really impressed with Driftwood Tea's delicious Huan Shan Mao Feng, so it's with some trepidation that I approach this lovely sample of Bao Zhong. Harvested in Taipai County, Taiwan in the Spring of 2011, the leaves are a deep shade of forest green. They are rather fluffy, being loosely folded and mostly whole. Their aroma is a pretty mixture of lilac and vanilla... Yum!

I followed Driftwood's recommended brewing directions, infusing 2.5 grams of leaves, or about a heaping teaspoonful, in 8 ounces of water heated to 90 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes. The resulting liquor bears a greenish-gold hue and a mouth-watering aroma combining burnt sugar, vanilla and springtime blooms. The top notes consist of a hint of vegetal astringency. This really is just a hint so don't let this deter you if you're not a fan of vegetable-tasting tea. Besides, this astringency helps to highlight the sweetness of what follows. The middle to finish of this tea are the true stars of the show. The website describes the flavour as grilled peaches, and that's pretty much bang on. However I also detect vanilla, lilac and narcissus. The long lasting finish becomes more mineral over time but it remains silky smooth throughout.

Driftwood's informative website recommends two to three Western-style infusions with these leaves. After 3 and a half minutes, my second steep is rather thin in feel and taste. The sweet finish is still detectable but has considerably faded. The majority of the flavour profile is mineral-tasting at this point. While it's not bitter or rough in any way, it's not particularly exciting either.

This is a very fine example of a Bao Zhong. The rich, fruity notes and the floral finish of the first infusion are truly delicious. I'm reluctant to say it's excellent, being a one hit wonder. Usually Pouchongs last at least 2 infusions. There is no doubt however that these leaves are of premium quality. Fans of floral oolongs will be very pleased indeed!

— To purchase Driftwood Tea Organic Bao Zhong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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