10 October, 2008

2003 Menghai "Big Green Tree"

Big? Check.
Green? Check.
Tree? Check!

University Parks

Long-time victims of the Half-Dipper may remember my encounters with the 1999 Big Green Tree blue/black label and red label. As always, CB's immensely deluxe generosity has allowed me to enjoy this more modern example of the 1999 benchmarks for gancang [dry storage]. Many thanks, as always.

Rusty orange-brown leaves and that tell-tale aroma of sweetness indicate that this is shicang [wet storage], which is fine by me. It has a hint of old library, but distant. An old library smelled from several corridors away.

Some decidedly large leaves (pictured above) take me by surprise, being more used to the Menghai spring-time baby leaves.

I get excited by the yellow colour of the rinse ("Yellow! From Menghai!"), but the first infusion turns out to be the expected orange hue. Sticky caramel scents in the wenxiangbei [aroma cup] make this a decidedly pleasant experience.

Young, packed with cedar woodiness, with some underlying Menghai malty oxidation, this has plenty of under-the-tongue, mouth-watering sourness that I do enjoy so very much in young shengpu. A little bit of a challenge to lift it out of the ordinary.

It sprints quickly to a robust huigan [after-sweetness in the throat].

My notes indicate that this is probably the same tea as the 2003 Menghai "Dayi Qiaomu" that we encountered long ago. It certainly feels similar to that description. Punchy, vigourous, yet full of library, this is a good tea and I'm very pleased to see Menghai making more challenging cakes - even if it has been Menghai'd.

As M. Michel sagely observed a while back, "Sometimes it is fun to be 'had' by Menghai."

Alan Bullock Close


Bill said...

Great post Hobbes. I especially found the Library description interesting! Do you mean that ever so lovly old paper and leather smell? :D I had posted but subsequently deleted as I had gotten the years wrong. :D


Hobbes said...

Hi Bill,

"Library" for me is musty, dusty, rich-scented paper and creaking leather. :)

I like libraries.



speakfreely said...

Hi there! Glad to see you're still drinking my tea (as I'm not - no caffeine for me unless and until I figure out what's putting the adrenals into overdrive) and interesting to see Laetiporus sulphureus looking a lot like it does this side of the pond.

Hobbes said...

Howdy ma'am!

Still drinking it, yes indeed - I save it for when the weather's cold and I need some guaranteed decent tea. :)

I hope all is well!