Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Rose Pouchong with Rose Buds
translation: (pau-chióng) paper wrapped
Origin: Wen Shan, Shiding & Pinglin, China
Steeping Suggestion: 176°F for 1-2 minutes
Rose Pouchong with Rose Buds is truly rare oolong laced with rose buds from the South of France. The rose buds coming from the hills North of Cannes above the French Riviera were obtained from a small farm that usually reserves its supply for the perfume world. Gladly, the beautiful buds landed in a light oolong classified as a rich black tea by The Rare Tea Co.
Pouchong is known to be a tea light, floral and malty tea experience somewhere in between green and oolong but usually classified with the latter since it lacks the sharp crisp green tea flavors. The rich chocolate and malty notes paired with the soft and aerating flavors of the French rose buds make for a truly elegant sip.
Rose Pouchong with Rose Buds, when steeped at black tea temperatures (212°F) is a dark caramel hue. Deep but not as dark and amber-like as some black teas. None the less, it is a beautiful and warm hue. The hue would most likely be on a more yellow or dark green hue if steeped at the recommended temperature and for the recommended time.
Malt, caramel, chocolate scents laced with deeply aromatic roses
A naturally sweet malt scent with soft aromatic rose
I steeped Rose Pouchong with Rose Buds once at 212°F for 2-3 minutes before I realized that it was just too high of a temperature for this light oolong. The steep came out tasting quite fine though, although I was left curiously thinking what cooler temperatures would have done for the chocolate and rose notes . The recommended steep time is actually 176 degrees Fahrenheit and I think perhaps my next steeping experience will take this suggestion into account to, at the very least, appease my curiosity.
Rose Pouchong with Rose Buds with Honey:
Rose Pouchong with Rose Buds takes on the candied rose notes that are detected in scent. The rose is sweetened and plays on the palette and within the nostrils while the light black tea takes on a heavier mouth feel role with the same malty sweetness that it has without honey.
Steep One: Chilled without Honey
Sipping Rose Pouchong with Rose Buds chilled is heavenly! Once again, I did not add honey but allowed the natural sweetness of the French rose buds to shine and was sincerely impressed with how the tea held up up against colder temperatures. The pouchong was still deeply flavorful and the rose notes were just as potent. I will add Rose Pouchong with Rose Buds to my list of teas that I like chilled, however, this is the first tea that I sipped chilled without some sort of sweetener, which speaks volumes to its quality.
The tea world can be as simple and complicated as you want it to be. For example, some people simply classify a pouchong as a black tea while others feel as though a pouchong is a tea that is somewhere in between a green tea and an oolong tea, classifying it often with the latter due to its characteristics. I believe that a pouchong is a type of oolong. I think, to avoid confusion, we should all stick to the descriptions originating from where this tea itself originated, China.
In The Tea Dictionary by James Norwood Pratt on page 37, Pouchong Oolong is defined this way: Chinese. Literally, "Paper Wrapped". Very lightly oxidized oolong, a specialty of Taiwan tea growers in the vicinity of Wen Shan, Shiding, and Pinglin, not far from Taipei. Bao Zhong is characterized by highly floral aroma, greenish yellow liquors, and light body. Two regional Bao Zhong competitions are held each year. The name Bao Zhong refers to a way of packing that originated circa 1860. To retain its freshness, farmers would package lightly oxidized tea in elongated papers, hence "Baozhong" meaning paper-wrapped tea. This method was used in Wen Shan creating a recognizable type if not exactly a brand of tea.
Learn more about Pouchong
"Pouchong Wrapping" by Thomas Shu
"How to brew Baozhong (Pouchong) another Taiwanese Oolong" by Cuppa Cha
At what temperature do you like to steep your Pouchong teas?