Although several Menghai peacocks have met fellow bloggers, I could not find any evidence of meeting between them and the Bulang peacock. I thought it strange and since I wanted a Bulang cake as a study material, to watch the aging progression, I gave it a try. The tea is available at Yunnan Sourcing at a modest price of $21 per 400g, it has not risen much since it appeared it on the market.
The cake consists of a blend of various kinds of leaves and is rather heavily pressed. I enjoy a mix of leaves in a cake - it may not be as "clean" and pure as single mountain, single type of leaves teas, but it offers different kind of complexity which I enjoy.
So far, I found two distinct clusters of Bulang teas - one cluster is leathery, woody, often slightly smoky. The second one, my favourite kind of puerh, is not smoky, not much leathery, but heavily, densely sweet, sort of treacle-tasting. To my sadness, teas of the second cluster are not easily obtained. The Menghai Gu Cha is probably the closest thing to it.
This tea falls into the first cluster, being slightly smoky (smoke from burning wood, rather than tobacco smoke) and green. Although some aging has obviously happened, the tea is still pretty green.
The taste was a pleasant surprise. I generally do not enjoy the first cluster of Bulang too much, my affections lie elsewhere. Nevertheless, in this case, I had to admit that this tea has something good about it. When one drinks so many fancy and premium teas, it is sometimes a pleasure to get back to more normal production.
This tea tastes leathery and woody, with a bit of camphor and smoke. Thickness and sweetness are sufficient, but nothing to write home about. Not my cup of cake in general, but it works well here. I enjoy how strong this tea is. From the 3rd brew on, it is bitter, but in a nondisturbing way (for me, at least, I can not imagine anyone not versed in puerh enjoying this tea).
What I enjoyed the most was the feeling after swallowing the tea - it gave a rather intense cooling feeling (unexpected in a $21 cake) and good energy. I was finishing the tea session while coding my new denoising algorithm called ANKH (adaptive noise killing h-something, got to find something good starting with h)... When I concentrated for a while and then "woke up", I realized that my mouth was "fixated" by the tea (sort of difficult to describe). It may not sound too pleasant, but it was enjoyable in fact.
Another positive thing was, that in the aftertaste of 3rd and 4th brew, I could find bits of the second Bulang cluster I know. Will this tea become at least slightly like these great second-cluster teas? Well, see you in the future, Marty.