Really excited to discover this tea room near my house. On my first visit today, I picked up an ounce of bao zhong and a mini tou-cha. I tend to be a little wary of buying loose leaf tea from local shops because in my experience, the quality usually isn’t as good as online stores. However, wanting to support a local business, I set aside my reservations and decided to give it a shot.
The first thing I noticed about this tea was the smell. It smelled strongly of vanilla bean and incense. I wonder if that’s was possibly due to cross contamination from another tea? After a rinse, I steeped 5g of leaf for 1 minute at approximately 190 F. The tea brewed up amber so apparently this is a baked oolong. The taste was quite different from other baozhongs I’ve had. The vanilla were there, along with sandalwood, cedar wood and some spice. There’s a tingling, minty sensation left behind in the aftertaste after each sip which I found oddly satisfying on a hot summer afternoon.
This was a very atypical baozhong. It wasn’t the flowery, lilac bouquet I was hoping for. It could have been a good tea, but unfortunately the off flavors spoiled it for me.
Flavors: Cedar, Spices, Vanilla