29 November, 2007

2006 Mengyang Guoyan "98 Special"

Thanks aplenty to CB for this tea, made from blended maocha from years spanning the range 1998 to 2004. (Today's photographs are "archive footage" from the old camera.)

The leaves, as expected for the fairly brusque and eclectic nature of the blend, are varied: a large proportion are tiny leaves, variously fragmented, but there are occasional clumps of larger leaves, mixed with plenty of tips. As with some other blends, the aroma is fairly quiet - as if there's not really enough of any one component to make an impression.

The soup is a suspicious misty orange, and the flavour represents the variety seen in the chahe: there is some flat, brown sugar, but also a sharp, green tang - the two classes of flavour don't usually get presented together in a single cake. While trying to cover many bases at once, it doesn't really satisfy any one aspect. I get the feeling that something has gone missing, in the quest to be everything at once.

Later infusions change character as one component recedes, leaving ku and some simple, dark-green flavours. A fair texture is imparted from the tips, and there is a soupcon of huigan, but it's all too simple and too quiet.

The leaves look fairly messy once out of the pot.

Mengyang Guoyan are a variable bag. Their shop was utterly woeful when I visited in Maliandao (think bad Changtai), but some of their Internet-available teas are decent enough. I don't think this is one of them, sadly, but I very much appreciate the opportunity to find out how such a broad blend manifests itself in the tasting cup. Thanks again, Carla!


Tuo Cha Tea said...

As MarshalN pointed out, no one knows, how much of the older leaves is in the cake. It could be 1%, even less of the earlier years.

Hobbes said...

Always true, sadly enough.

Michel said...

try the dragon of bulang.

I rate it as this years best find, together with the 380g Yong De on Yunnan sourcing. great to drink now.

Hobbes said...

Dear Michel,

I'll do so, thanks for the suggestion. That's a cake I've not tried, so far.