Last week, my brother Jackson told me that he is going to visit Mr. Wang (王國來), a senior teaman lives in Taiepi old town, to ask for a demostration of Pouchong's Paper Wrapping. I was thrilled for this good news...and I begged Jackson to take photos, so we can share this Taiwan tea legend with our friends.
Here they are...Thank you, master Wang and master Huang.
As we all know, Pouchong (Bauzhong), literally means Wrap Varietal. But why so?
Historically, tea lovers were willing to pay for the frangrance in this tea prior to its taste. However, Pouchong tends to lose its freshness and natural aroma very fast...Tea merchants then figuered if they used Paper to wrap every 4 Taiwan Ounces in a package instead of selling Pouchong in open barrels or cases...
With today's packing and storing technique, we can easily overcome the problems, pack and seal the freshness and fragrance fairly well. Back in old days, that is not the case, though. Can you imagine how many people in Taipei were used to busy Paper Wrapping fine Pouchongs during and after each season ?
I encourage you to follow the photos, step by step, practice your own Paper Wrapping skill. Who knows, maybe there will be an innovative contest some day...here in USA, at the tea trade shows or culture events.
(Thomas Shu 5/27/2009)