One of our favorite teas to sip on when the mercury starts scaling the roof is Baozhong Wenshan oolong. There was a heat wave this past week here in upstate NY, and after a few days of respite, we have another one in the forecast. If you are looking to cool off with tea, reach for Baozhong.
Made after very little oxidation from leaves picked in early spring in the Wenshan mountains of northern Taiwan, Baozhong oolong tea yields fresh cool flavors of spring itself in the cup. The leaves are lightly rolled in strip-style (as opposed to the balled up style common for green oolongs) and have a vibrant green color. One can mistake it for a green tea going by its appearance.
As a reminder: oolongs are partially oxidized tea leaves. Green tea has zero oxidation, while black teas are full oxidized.
One of the reasons why Baozhong oolong tea can be cooling is because you use less hot water for steeping it. The current batch of Baozhong can be steeped at 170-176F. Notably, green teas (which are steeped in water of similar temperature) are considered to be "cooling" in Chinese traditional medicine, and is prescribed for body types that run "hot."
The fragrant floral character of this oolong tea contained in a fairly delicate body also helps to beat back the heat.
Here are two ways in which you can enjoy Baozhong Wenshan oolong tea.
MAKE A CUP OF BAOZHONG WENSHAN
Measure 3 gm of tea
Put it into a 8 oz cup with a strainer
Pour hot water at 176F into the cup
Steep for 3 minutes
Remove the steeper
Enjoy the tea
Steep 5 minutes for a re-steep
PREPARE IN GONG FU STYLE
Rinse the tea ware with hot water
Measure around 8 gm of tea
Put it into a 150 ml gaiwan
Pour hot water at 176-180F
You may or may not choose to rinse the leaves
Steep the first round for a minute
2nd steep for 30 seconds
3rd steep for 40 seconds
4th steep for 50 seconds
5th steep for 1 minute
If you are a long time fan of Baozhong oolong tea or have just tried it for the first time please let us know your thoughts about this tea in the comments below.