neděle 11. srpna 2013

2013 Pu-erh.sk Youle and Bada

The last of the samples generously provided by Peter of pu-erh.sk come from Youle (Jinuo) and Bada. The next series will be about teas made by Essence of tea. Without further ado...

Tiny little ado
As I was drinking tea today, I took a couple of pictures of a lovely tree (a willow?) and micro-mushrooms (only about 2mm high).








Youle
Youle seems to me like an area whose teas are generally very well suited for drinking outside. I tend to enjoy some teas more at home, which also yields greater neutrality of tasting. However, some teas just go very well with the aroma of grass and flowers. Typical Youle teas do just that, in my opinion. And this particular one is not an exception.


The rinsed leaves give a happy aroma of fresh garden fruit, with a lower base of moss/lilies (not unlike some Yiwu teas have), and with a bit of honey. It is very intense and "open" aroma.


The liquor is pleasantly thick, without giving up flavor. The taste consists of garden fruit (apricots dominating), meadow flowers and meadow honey (actually, dandelion honey is more accurate, but probably not too widely known. What surprised me in a Youle tea was the taste of clay, which I associated mostly with Banzhang and Pasha up to now. A very welcome addition. There is still some of the "universal young sheng" taste, but that should go away soon, leaving only the very harmonized mixture.

Even though the tea is very sweet, it is also quite powerfully bitter! Some might have an issue with that. It was all right to me, but it has above-average bitterness, to be sure.

The long aftertaste goes well with light activity on the tongue... Qi was not particularly heavy here. The stamina of this Youle is quite good, it does degrade as steepings go, but it is somewhat interesting even after 7-8 steepings, which not every young sheng can say.

Onto big bada boom...
Bada


The rinsed leaves emit a sweet, though not as trivially pleasant aroma, as did the Youle. It is basically a mixture of dark flowers and some sweet fruit (apricots, but less ripe than the ones in Youle).


The Bada is one of lighter teas, in terms of liquor color.

The first couple of steepings are very thick, buttery/oily, sweet and heavy, but not with much taste. There is a rather strange baked/roasted component in there, but it is also rather faint. At this stage, there is good activity in mouth.

Unfortunately, after a couple of steepings (literally), the thickness gets weaker and a strange taste of minerality/washed laundry appears... it gets progressively worse. When I poured steeping no. 7 into the pitcher, I looked it, grinned and poured it out... just not worth it. The activity in mouth, nor qi, is not too good at this stage either...

In a tester, the tea is quite decent as all the things get mixed up together and the problems are not as obvious. But in gongfu, the tea did not work too well for me.


Summary
First, congratulations to Peter! I'm very happy that a person from central Europe is capable of getting/making as nice tea as he sent me this year (plus the area of lightly aged pu improved too). I firmly believe that Peter's teas are not lost among EoT's, YS's, Chawangshop's, Tea Urchin's, etc. fancy young teas, far from that.

From the partly-(Magnificent seven) I had from Pu-erh.sk, I consider: 
Naka and Mansa very good
Youle, Bulang, Hekai and Manzhuan good, but not particularly exciting
Bada strange... hopefully I just got a bad sample

Thanks, Peter!

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