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|Type:||Between Green and Oolong|
|Other names:||Light Oolong, Bao Zhong|
|Origin:||Fujian Province, China and Taiwan|
|Quick description:||Acidic floral fragrance and has a rich, mild melony taste|
Pouchong (Chinese: 包種茶; pinyin: Bāozhŏngchá; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: pau-chióng-tê) or light oolong, it is a lightly fermented (oxidized) tea, twist shape, with floral notes, and usually not roasted, somewhere between green tea and what is usually considered Oolong tea (Chinese: 烏龍; pinyin: wūlóng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: o͘-liông; literally: "Black Dragon"), though often classified with the latter due to its lack of the sharper green tea flavours. It is produced mainly in Fujian, China, and in Pinglin Township near Taipei, Taiwan.
Its name in Chinese, literally "the wrapped kind", refers to a practice of wrapping the leaves in paper during the drying process that has largely been discontinued due to advancement in tea processing. At its best, Pouchong gives off a floral and melon fragrance and has a rich, mild taste. Usually around the end of March, begins picking of this famous Taiwan "spring tea" (春茶). Pouchong is a popular choice with producers of scented tea, with rose pouchong a particular favourite.
Before 1873, oolong tea was widely sold in Mainland China and Taiwan, but after an economic slump, some tea companies stopped selling oolong tea because of decreasing demand. At this time, tea companies moved production from Taiwan to Fuzhou and began producing pouchong tea. Pouchong tea is referred to as “flower tea” because of its fragrant smell.
Together with green tea, oolong tea, and black tea, Pouchong tea has been shown to have antioxidant activity and antimutagenic properties. Tea catechins are important antioxidants and one study found Pouchong tea to have over three times the amount of these compounds relative to black tea, although it was found to have less than green or oolong teas. The name pouchong comes into the English language from the Chinese name (Chinese: 包種; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: pau-ching-tê; literally: "the wrapped kind").
Pouchong tea in Taiwan
Farmers from Taiwan imported trees and growing techniques from Fujian during the nineteenth century. The name of pouchong tea means “wrapped” tea and refers to the former paper package style. The most popular kinds of pouchong tea are from the Nankang and Wenshan regions. It has been produced since about 1885, but today very little is grown. Wenshan Pouchong Tea is also one of the ten most popular teas in Taiwan.
The appearance of pouchong tea is similar to a rope and is curled up. It has a deep green color with tiny grayish white spots. The fermentation is between 8 and 12%. It has a delicate fragrance similar to fresh flowers. The taste is not harsh and its sweet flavor has a moisturizing effect.