Many thanks for the e-mails regarding blogging from China, and especial thanks to MarshalN for recommendations in Maliandao. As Lei reminded me today, that is only a subsidiary reason for my journey - but it will be good to get it right. Pertinent links for the traveller to Beijing interested in tea include:
Moving swiftly on, thanks to Gordon for actually including the neifei with this one. Are the coloured backgrounds a touch cheesy? You decide...
"Scottish Mountain" @ 100C in 10cl shengpu pot; ~8-9g leaf; 1 rinse
Greener than the "blue" tea, and with larger leaves, there are many tips present. A satisfying grape aroma is intermingled with deeper mushroom scents. The photograph doesn't really do justice to what is a slightly prettier cake than the previous.
3s, 3s, 5s, 7s, 10s:
More yellow in its soup than orange, and quite cloudy in comparison to the "blue", the beidixiang is low and long, leading into a sweet lengxiang of brown sugar.
The first impression is the smooth texture, which makes its initial mushroom flavour seem quite viscous. Like the "blue" cake, this is sweet in the finish, but is more dark - the sweetness of honey, in comparison to the previous sugary sweetness. Again, there is a tangy huigan. The whole affair is quite self-contained, not stepping too far in any one direction, but it maintains a gentle, pleasant overall effect.
I was expecting my attention to wander, but the refreshing nature of the sweetness kept me fairly well entertained, even if this isn't going to win any prizes for complexity. After five infusions, the tea felt as if it could happily continue, though I stopped.
3cm spring leaves in whole, good condition back up the observations of the dry leaves. Pure green, with no crazy processing, makes for a refreshing change given the modern environment.
The appeal of a simple, honey-like tea combined with the decent leaves gives me a fairly favourable impression of this cake. A bit of light fun for the evening - my einekleinenachtmusik.