Beautiful Tea
  index The story of Wenshan Baozhong tea
The origins of Baozhong tea The distribution of Baozhong tea
The ecology of Baozhong tea The production of Baozhong tea
The brewing of Baozhong tea The byproducts
The story of Wenshan Baozhong tea  
  “Baozhong tea” is a special tea making skill from Fukien , the tea leaves are picked, pan roasted, and made into tea cakes, used to pay tribute to the emperors. Because all the emperors of the Song Dynasty enjoyed drinking tea, and Emperor Huizhong was also very skilled at tea tasting, so they had very high quality standards for tea at the time, it brought about the competition of tea making skills. The Min-Zhe area had tea leaf competitions ever year, at the height of its popularity, 22 provinces and more then 600 counties entered the competition. They selected around 20 good quality teas, among them the aroma and taste of Wuyi tea was the best. The so called “Baozhong tea” is one of the methods used to produce the “Rock tea” of Wuyi.However, there are not many literatures that can be referred to for Taiwan Baozhong tea history. In 1956, Fu-chuen Lin wrote Study of Oolong tea and Baozhong tea production. It recorded a very detailed history of Baozhong tea, and it is summarized as below.    
The tea exhibition hall introducing the tea gardens of Muzha.
Searching and finding books in the library.
  The origins of the Baozhong tea name  
  According to the survey of Japanese Inoue Fusakuni, Baozhong tea was created and produced 150 years ago by Yi-Cheng Wang from Anxi County in Quanzhou City of the Fukien Province . He imitated the production methods of Wuyi Rock tea to produce Anxi tea; he also promoted and passed down the tea production methods. When this type of tea was produced, it used two sheets of square Fukien deckle paper, then 4 liang of tea leaves were placed inside and packed into a four sided rectangular package. The name of the tea and tea firm was stamped on the package and called “Baozhong,” it was then either shipped to Fuzhou and sold after adding flower aromas, or it was directly sold to the South Pacific through Xiamen. This is the beginning of “Baozhong tea” production, and where the name Baozhong tea came from.  
  The origins of Taiwan Baozhong tea  
  Because the weather is warm, the air is humid, the rainfall is consistent, and the soil is filled with organic matter in Taiwan , it is very suitable for growing tea. There have been wild tea trees growing since ancient times, but most believe the first tea trees with real economic value came 200 years ago when immigrants from China came to Taiwan . Tsao Ko brought Min tea from Fukien, and first grew it in Yucun (currently the Rueifang District in Taipei County ), it developed quickly, places like Shrding, Shenkeng, Chuanshan (Wenshan), Dapingshan, and as far as Hsinchu also started to grow tea one after another. But before the year of Guagxu 7 (1881 BC), the only Taiwan tea was Oolong tea.

In Qing Tongzhi 12 (1873), Taiwan Oolong tea was affected by the recession in the world tea industry, in addition the five trading companies in Taipei that specialized in Oolong tea exports thought that Oolong tea was too expensive and had no profit, so they stopped all acquisitions, causing Oolong tea to have no market. Most tea merchants had no choice but to ship most of the Taiwan Oolong tea to Fuzhou , and it was all made into Baozhong tea. At the time the tea was called “Flower Aroma Tea” in Fuzhou , this is the origins of why Oolong tea was produced into Baozhong tea, and was the precursor of Baozhong tea production in Taiwan .
  The origins of Taiwan Baozhong tea  

In Guangxu 7 (1881), tea merchant Fu-Yuan Wu (a.k.a. Old Fu Wu) from Fukien Quanzhou House, Tongan County felt that there was little profit gained when producing the Baozhong tea in Fukien . In order to increase profit, he took the technical staff (tea master) to Taiwan and established the “Yuan-Long Hao” in Taipei specializing in Baozhong tea production. That year, Taiwan Baozhong tea was exported for the first time and distributed overseas. Not long after, Anxi County tea merchants An-Ding Wang and Gu-Kwei Chang became partners and established “Jian Chen Hao” managing Baozhong tea, shipping it to Xiamen from Danshui, and also selling and shipping the tea to the South Pacific. After this, many tea farmers imitated this model, and the production of Baozhong tea slowly increased.

In Guangxu 11 (1885), Hsui-Jing Want and Jing-Wei from Fukien Anxi also came to Taiwan ; in the Chishin District in Nangang Daken they researched Baozhong tea cultivation and production, on one hand they improved the cultivation and tea production skills, on the other hand they passed these skills down to members of the industry. After Japan occupied Taiwan (1895), in order to improve the Taiwan tea industry, they also chose this location as the Baozhong tea production research center. From Republic 9 (1920), every spring and autumn they would assemble all the members of the tea industry in the province and held Baozhong tea workshops. Wang and Wei would be appointed the lecturers, and they taught enthusiastically. The Taipei County Agriculture Council and the Hsinchu County Agriculture Council would also send relevant staff there to learn. Wang and Wei contributed greatly to Taiwan Baozhong tea.

From the above we learn that the earliest skilled producers of Baozhong tea were in Taipei County Chishin District (today it is Taipei City Nangang District), followed by the Wenshan District. In terms of the tea quality, the tea from Wenshan District is the best, so we have the habit of calling it “Wenshan Baozhong tea.” Currently the Wenshan tea district includes Taipei County Pinglin, Shrding, Shenkeng, Hsintien, and Hsichih townships or cities. The have a tea plantation area around 2,300 hectares, growing high-grade tea trees such as Qingxin Oolong, the tea buds are tender and soft, the Baozhong tea produced has excellent quality. They produce around 1.3 million kilograms a year (some say 2 billion kilograms), and are world-renowned for their Wenshan Baozhong tea.

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