Baohong

A green tea from Yunnan, known for its large-leafed assamica plants, these slightly dull-coloured leaves may look unassuming. But wow! one sniff of its aroma, which presents as nothing so much as a bite into the freshest spring strawberry, and the most jaded green tea drinker will perk up. It has been prepared using the same time-honed process as Long Jing: the leaf buds placed in a wok and roasted as they are turned by hand, the producer pressing the ball of leaves into the wok's side. Though not as plane-like as its Zhejiang rival, it shares something of its chestnut note, though here more akin to crisp, refreshing water chestnut; later infusions tantalize the palate with the astringency of grape skin, prompting a return for the next infusion. And the next...

Long Jing has a worthy new rival.

  • ORIGIN:  Bingdao, Shuangjiang, Lincang, Yunnan
  • MEANING:  Ice island (bing dao)
  • CULTIVAR:  Da Ye Zhong
  • HARVEST TIME:  Spring 2013
  • TASTE:  Strawberry, bamboo shoots, beeswax
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$13.50 $13.50

Preparation

IN THE TEAPOT
  • Quantity: 6g / 500ml
  • Water temperature: 80°C
  • Infusion time: 3 min
GONGFU CHA METHOD
  • Quantity: 2g / 150ml
  • Water temperature: 80°C
  • 3 infusions: 60, 60, 90 sec

For best results brew in a tall glass and fill with water before adding the leaves. Too high water temperature would burn the leaves, and the tea would taste bitter and sour.