Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sanne Tea, Bao Zhong

sample front

Sanne Tea Description:
The tea comes from Pinglin area, one of the oldest tea regions in Taiwan. The tea farm is in Cuku, Pinglin District, near the Feitsui Reservoir area. The environment is strictly protected in this area. Though other areas also produce Bao Zhong Tea, this Bao Zhong Tea, also called Wen Shan Bao Zhong Tea, is recognized as the best quality and the best fragrance.

Fragrance is the key to determine the quality of Bao Zhong Tea. High quality Bao Zhong Tea has a clean, elegant, rich and generous floral scent. The best way to fully enjoy Bao Zhong Tea is to inhale deeply the intoxicating fragrance before drinking. The tea has an after-drinking sweetness blended with hints of gardenias and refreshing flavor surging back up to your nose. The leaves of Bao Zhong Tea have a natural twist and are bright blackish green with a light golden color on the tips. Our Bao Zhong Tea leaves also show grey/white dots, a feature of the highest quality. When brewed, the tea liquor has a clean honey yellow color with a touch of pale green.
sample back

Our handcrafted tea was harvested and made in April, 2015. All tea leaves were from an organic tea farm, and 100% handpicked. The tea workers only picked the well-grown tea leaves, which contain sufficient nutrition to generate exquisite flavors. After harvest, the flesh tea leaves were naturally withered under sun and gentle breeze. Compared to blower withering, natural withering keeps the tea’s innate aroma. These teas are mildly fermented and only lightly roasted to preserve the fresh, lush nature.

Sample provided by Sanne Tea.

My Review:
I have tried Bao Zhong a few times and liked it. So, going in to this review I expect to enjoy the cup. I included two pics of the sample bag. The front is a simple minimalist design. The back contains a lot of information. Rather than going through the details, you can click on the picture to enlarge. I personally thought the back was kind of cool. The information appears to have been hand written on the bag with a Sharpie.

I opened the resealable bag and inhaled. The scent is at first subtle but opens up while lingering. It is sweet fresh cut field grass that takes on that slightly sour aroma of fresh hay. I am enjoying it.

Removing half the leaf (abt 3g), I am surprised by the color. If memory serves me correctly, this is far more green than what I have experienced in the past. What appears to be whole leaves, are withered and lightly twisted. The color ranges from that fresh spring green to an almost battleship gray. I also notice tan tips and some white. Interesting and nice looking leaf.

I put the leaf in my clear glass press, then looking at the bag noticed Sanne Tea recommends 6g per cup. Well that is twice what I would normally use but into the press goes the rest of the sample. I probably would have been fine doing a western style brew my way, but the bag has directions for short steeping times, so I went with it.  The water was heated to 198F which is roughly in the middle of the range. The first steep is a short 40s.

Pouring, I notice how light and yellow is the liquor. A cheap point and shoot camera with bad lighting doesn't do this justice. It is so bright and clean looking. Very nice.

Lifting the cup, I breathe in a wonderful floral aroma. Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of oolong as most that are popular in the west are heavily roasted and highly oxidized. This is just the opposite. Sanne Tea notes the aroma as similar to gardenias. I personally have not sniffed gardenias so I can't say. To me, it is very similar to Taiwan Alishan teas I have tried. A really clean and inviting aroma.

Tasting, it is sweet. This reminds me of corn. It is very clean and refreshing like spring water. Mid sip I again notice the floral notes. None of the flavors are overpowering. This is an excellent afternoon tea to sip, relax, and meditate on the cup or the moment. It has a lingering green viney aftertaste.

Sanne Tea gives parameters for 6 steeps. I don't have the time for going the full length on this one. That said, my cup is now empty and I am still craving more of this so steep two is at 30s.

Cup two has the same color as the first. Same wonderful aroma. The flavor is more green leaf like than corn and there is a spice note that kind of bounces towards peppery then backs off. Feels thick milky except with a slightly rougher texture.

Bao Zhong is also Pouchong, so maybe you have tried it under one or the other names before. This one just strikes me as different. Maybe I need to pull out some of my other samples to be sure, but this one just feels richer and has more life than I remember. A very nice tea.    

You can find Sanne Tea Bao Zhong here.


  1. The wordings were not written by Sharpie. I wrote with a brush pen. ;)

    Thank you for the review! I would love to quote your review on our website. Please let me know if you have any concern.

    We have new teas coming, and will be more than happy to have your review!

    Let us know! :D

    1. Thank you for asking. Feel free to quote away on your website.

      I am always happy to review new teas. I have to confess though, I was just searching through my to be reviewed box and found an unopened sample from Sanne Tea. Apologies. I will move it toward the front of the line. Barring any (additional) family craziness, it should be up in the next few days.