Our Wenshan Baozhong and Oriental Beauty come from a small farm in Pinglin run by the Bai family, who are building on five generations of tea-making experience.
Meet the Bai family
After leaving the family business for a while, Jacob Bai and his brother decided to come back and help their father modernise the farm. With their help, the business has blossomed and their Baozhong tea has picked up a younger following.
Whenever they get a break from the hard work of farming, Jacob and his brother go surfing at Yilan on the northeastern coast of Taiwan. If you are able to visit one day, they recommend Yilan’s famous dish: clay-urn smoked chicken, baked in a clay urn and smoked with lychee wood. Delicious!
Read their full story in “Tea is for Everyone” by Man Mo Media.
About their tea farm
The Bai family grow their tea in several small fields on the same mountain. The harvests from each field are kept in separate batches. Each batch has its own distinct flavour profile, due to the differences in sunlight exposure, terroir and cultivars on each field.
After processing the tea, the Bai family sort all batches into different grades. For example, some batches of their Wenshan Baozhong tea are made with the Jinxuan (金萱) cultivar, which is known for yielding a buttery textured liquor and is typically used for Milky Oolong. It adds an extra creaminess to the Wenshan Baozhong tea.
The Bai family categorise their Jinxuan batches into two grades:
- Distinct floral notes and no astringency
- Gentle floral notes with slight astringency
They also grow the Qingxin Oolong (青心烏龍) cultivar, which is traditionally used for making Wenshan Baozhong tea. And they categorise this tea into three grades:
- Distinct floral notes, no bitterness and astringency
- Gentle floral notes and slight bitterness and astringency
- Grassy notes
For our teaCLUB in July 2022, we compared the top grades from each cultivar, to taste the difference cultivar makes when the processing is the same.
About Pinglin, Taiwan
A major tea growing region in Taiwan, Pinglin is home to one of the world’s largest tea museums, where you can learn about the history of tea and buy the famous baozhong tea popsicle!
It is also one of the first areas in northern Taiwan to prioritise organic tea farming methods.
You can explore the tea gardens by bike, as there are bike-trails throughout the area. And twice a year, Pinglin holds its famous tea competitions.