pondělí 10. září 2012

2012 Pu-erh.sk Bada

I do not know why I omitted puerh.sk from my "sample raids" for so long. Maybe the belief that people from around here can not get a decent material on their own.

From what I have tasted so far from pu-erh.sk, the Slovakia has beaten the Czech Republic by a mile (if I do not count Chawangshop, which is not really a czech shop). Where local (czech) puerh people concentrate on making money, Peter of pu-erh.sk has obviously concentrated on making tea. Although the price rides on the same tsunami as the prices of other premium cakes (maybe a bit lower), the quality does so too and that is good.

To the first of the batch - Pu-erh.sk's Ba Da:

The leaves do smell actually and they smell rather good - there is an expected grassy Bada base, but a Mengku-ish fruitiness is there too - the less expected, the more welcome.

The wet leaves smell well, wide and thick. The base consists of usual Bada's conipher and citrus, the rest is fruity pleasantness. If I sniff it a lot, there is a bit of unwelcome laundry aroma, but it is really weak and does not appear anywhere else, so let us not care about it.

The brew (photos of which have gone missing most mysteriously - 'twas a good yellow brew) gives a solid, buttery aroma. 

The first brew (btw., dear english speakers, is "brew" a good way of saying it? Isn't "steeping" better? Thanks!) has more presence than actual taste, with an okay mouthfeel, without much aftertaste.

The second brew is more distinct and more Bada, with the usual pine and citrus combination. The sourness which appeared in some other Bada teas was substituted for sweetness, which is a commendable change. The interesting lighter Mengku-style fruitiness is present there too, which elevates this tea, for me, a bit higher than the other Bada teas I have tasted. A short while after sipping, a massive bitterness appears and then slowly goes away, which leads to a fun effect - as the bitterness goes away and vibrant mouthfeel appears, it seems that the bitterness itself made the mouth vibrate. However, it is not the case, of course.

3rd and 4th brews are alike - good, sweet, rather pleasant, but it does not have anything to gain my heart, There is a good aftertaste, which, after some time, develops an almost orchid character.

Slightly disturbed by the bitterness, I tried to use my yixing teapot instead of pitcher and it helped a bit, the tea was mellower after that.

With time, the fruitiness, taste in general and interesting mouthfeel tend to go away, leaving a buttery+sugary liquor behind. Not bad, it is a good way of tea death, but not that interesting either.

For me, left more or less cold by Bada charms, this tea does not have that much to offer. It is definitely well produced, robust, strong, with good base of tastes and all that, but there are no taste components I hold in high esteem in puerh. I.e., this is a good, tasty tea, but not my style.

Further reading: Half-Dipper

6 komentářů:

  1. Sounds like your typical Bada, which really isn't my cup of tea either and I have a hard time imagining them to be great when aged. I don't think I own a single Bada bing.

  2. Enjoyed your notes on this Bada, Jakub. I felt a little bad last year when I received a sample of his 2011 sourcing and was underwhelmed, not by the tea itself per se, just what it was delivering. It just could not hold my attention. I have a chunk of Chawangpu's Bada 2012 to see how it does for me, time will tell. I am looking forward to your take on the pu-erh.sk Mengsong, as that is the one that most interests me for some odd reason...

    Regarding brewing or steeping; from my culinary background, brewing suggests boiling with the leaves in water/milk... so like good Hong Kong tea or Tibetan butter tea. Steeping suggests placing leaves in already boiled water for a period of time, but not having them on the boil. So, technically, it is steeping.

  3. Hi!
    MarshalN: Indeed, I do not have any Bada either. This tea is not that bad though - it really tries to step out of its Bada origins, but fails by an inch. Still, I have better ways of spending the asked $72. Well, actually, it is bought out for several days. I wonder whether it was Hobbes who bought it out or crazed crowd following him.

    Disciple of the leaf: Thanks! I'll try the 2011 Bada the day after tomorrow. Today, it's the final tasting of Mannuo, tomorrow it is Mengsong and then I'll try the 2011 versions of Bada, Mannuo and Yibang. I'm looking forward to the Mengsong too - it is the only tea from puerh-sk with remotely acceptable price for me and it seems to be less tippy, which I often enjoy.

    Thanks for the correction about brewing/steeping, I'll keep using steeping. It's confusing, this tea terminology. In Art of tea, for example, they keep referring to "tea broth", which I was curious to see used in this way.


    1. Tea broth is a direct translation of the Chinese "茶湯" which literally means "tea soup" or "tea broth". It's a terrible translation though. I like the word liquor, even though that's probably inaccurate too.

  4. Hobbes bought at least one tong for himself, and then there are others who always follow him, plus I know someone else who bought right before Hobbes' post, so if they only had, say, six tongs or something, it'd be gone in a flash.

    Disciple: I learned something too, thanks for the clarification!

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