18 November, 2007

2006 Nanjian Wuliang

(Another archive post.)

This is a xiaobing [small cake], again recommended by Scott of Yunnan Sourcing. The Nanjian Factory, one of the elders (founded 1983) started making bingcha in 1998, following a history of Tuocha manufacture, being located in Xiaguan territory.

The tea is apparently a mixture of 40% Wuliangshan leaves, and 60% Mengku-region Lincang, which the factory mentions is due to the lighter flavours of the small-leaf Wuliang. It is claimed that this is the traditional manner of making Nanjian cakes.

Dry leaf:
Dark, broken, and small - this is particularly green leaf, with a decent aroma of mushroom - it's attractive, though clearly a mixture.

The soup starts out particularly cloudy, and this isn't a clean tea. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but reminds me of Chen Guang-He Tang cakes.

This tea has a considerable quantity of ku, presumably delivered by the larger Lincang leaves. The sweet, low aroma corresponds with the generally thin set of low "tea" flavours.

Later infusions become truly, absurdly sweet - is this Wuliang terroire? It is not a leaf with which I have much familiarity. What initial complexity existed courtesy of the low, bass flavours soon recedes to a simple "green" quality - with that correspondingly acerbic quality in the throat that one might expect.

Wet leaves:
Tiny, chopped, and exceedingly green.

This tea is neither particularly friendly nor particularly noteworthy, except for its highly active ku. I remember considering this "aggressive" in my original tasting, and I stand by that observation.

Rather uninspiring, unfortunately enough. At a trifling $6, at least it makes no claims to high status.

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