China Memories - A new friend in Tea
I have always enjoyed Bao zhong but haven’t been drinking enough of it recently, maybe I just have too much tea…
Our last day in China was filled with tea. Went to two tea markets in Shanghai and drank approximately 25 different teas during the course of the day!
At one shop, we met 3 lovely women who treated us with a series of Fujian Oolongs and one spectacular Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong!
as we drank tea, we traded stories about our love of tea and how we work for a teahouse in the U.S. They were quite impressed with our tea knowledge. It felt good to be acknowledged for something we have all worked hard to learn, but I could easily see how much more they all knew about Chinese tea.
After buying some Shui Xian from them, we went to the shop that Jane worked at. She has a such a rich vocabulary, even in english, when it comes to talking about tea. As we all have a romantic relationship with tea, this was music to our ears!
Jane, being impressed with our professionalism and interest in tea, treated us to a spectacular, master level, unroasted Gao shan Bao Zhong!
The tea looked gorgeous when dry, the leaves vibrant and like a fresh vine. The aroma was a sweet grass with flower buds and post-rain air in the spring.
The first insufion was a pale green that looked more like the liquor of Bi Luo Chun than Bao Zhong. Once I smelled and then tasted the brew, I was overwhelmed by the power of this tea. The light appearance carried a distinct aroma of warm bananas with a hint of mint. The taste was a sweet blend of mountain stream and deep woods flora emerging from a cold winter.
After 8 wonderful infusions, Jane poured the leaves into a bowl, poured boiling water on to create a tea soup. A few minutes later, she poured each of us a cup using her beautifully glazed tea ladle. we were rewarded with a smooth, buttery broth with late infusion sweetness, but it still has a lingering floral quality, making a pleasent final impression on the pallet!
Whenever I talk with Jane, we cherish the memory of this tea and experience, which has clearly made an impression on all of us!