14 June, 2009

2009 Nadacha "Naka"

You would be forgiven for thinking that you have seen this one before:

2009 Nada Naka

...because it has the same wrapper as the Yiwu Mahei cake! It's not difficult to tell the two apart from the leaves, though...

2009 Nada Naka

The leaves from this bing are tiny little fellows, throughout. Nada wrote on his web-site that Nakashan (near Mengsong) is famed for its wee leaves, and that these are from 400 year-old trees. Given the longevity and lack of roughness in his Yiwu Mahei, Bulang, and Nannuo, I am hoping for more of the same here.

2009 Nada Naka

Whereas the Bulang assaulted the nostrils the moment that the wrapper was opened, this is more standard: gentle sweetness, a little green. Clean and fresh.

2009 Nada Naka

The soup, as you can see above, is a pure yellow. Unlike some active teas, however, this does not rapidly turn to orange - it stays a stable yellow throughout each infusion. The aroma is so sweet and buttery that it reminds me of wulong, absent the concerns of cheeky pre-shaqing [kill-green] oxidation, as shown by the pure yellow soup.

It is super-clean, extremely vivid, and contains a swelling sensation into a very decent huigan. This tea reminds me for all the world of a pu'er version of Xinyang Maojian, one of the "10 Famous Chinese Teas", and the local brew in my wife's family home. Creamy, green, sweet.

As with Nada's other 2009s, it lasts forever. I took it to my office after an extended session at home, and was reinfusing it all day until the time I went home. It actually affected the quality of my sleep, such was its potency.

A note of warning: it seems that this tea is very sensitive to water, or preparation, or both - certainly moreso than most others. With the water that I use to infuse in my office, it was flat and merely sweet. Back at home, it was the complex, fresh affair that I describe in the above.

The price: £20. About the cost of a quarter of a Xizihao cake. My monetary scale needs reevaluation...

May, 2011

Grass-like scents, with a sweet flavour of low grain, and tons of bitterness.  This is a fine cake that continues to march on strongly.  A lovely, complex, and powerful tea that is alternately sweet, rich, savoury, and bitter.  I love it, and am relieved to see that it is responding well to our house.

September, 2014

This tea is now red-brown, and has obviously aged.  It has moved towards the red, candy-sweet end of the cale, and has a background of lucha - actual green tea.  This suggests a fault in the processing.  It could be, perhaps, that it is merely caught at the wrong moment, in its adolescence, before becoming "aged".

It is energetic on the tongue and has a heavy body.  I am pleased to taste that it is not "dry", and that our humid climate may be helping to avoid such extremes.  This cake - one of a tong - clearly needs more time, but seems to have the fullness of body to improve.

Brewed quickly, it is cooling and bright, with a candy-like, sour-straw body that really needs another five years.  EoT is clearly selecting and processing better teas in recent years than in these formative times.


Anonymous said...

hobbes lad,

nice article as usual. noticed those lovely tongs in the first photo in the background. do you think you will ever finish drinking up all your pu erh tea cakes in THIS life time? or perhaps you will end up giving them away or as gifts?


éric said...

Thank you for your very interesting report,as usual!
Sure that Nada's teas are outstanding
You say about this one that the quality of the water is very important,so what kind of water do you use at home to brew the best way this young sheng pu ?tap water,brita filtered water,or water in bottle,rather hard or soft water ?

Cheers from France

Hobbes said...

Ayup, Our Kid!

Don't speak too loudly, my wife reads this! (Hello, darling.) We definitely do not have too much tea!

My goal is to have enough of various years to form a tea-library, or cellar, so that you can dip into various mountains or years without worrying that you'll run out any time soon. As you say, they'll make great gifts for tea-friends, and - who knows - maybe our future children will enjoy them. :)

Dear Eric,

A very good question. I use tap water and Brita water at work, and they're terrible. Then again, the water in Oxford is unfathomably hard.

Back at home, I use bottled water. I don't like the expensive bottled waters for tea (Evian, etc.), as they seem more geared towards being enjoyed as beverages on their own. Instead, I find that the next level down makes the best tea: the supermarket brands. In England, that would be, for example, Caledonian Spring in Sainsbury supermarkets, or Highland Spring in Tesco supermarkets. As well as making better tea than Evian/Volvic/etc., they're also better value.

A bientot,


éric said...

Thanks (H)Obbes and see you soon !

SIAK KENG said...

Hi, very interesting article. I am from Singapore and just started learning about Puerh Tea 2 years ago. May I know the Chinese characters of "Nada"? I can't figure it out although I am Chinese. I hope to find it here in S'pore. Thanks, Keng.

Hobbes said...

Dear Keng,

Good question! The only image of the characters I have are in Xiaozhuan form on the neifei of the cake in this article.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

HI Hobbes:
The Character's of "NADA" is 那達

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your info. I have not seen this brand of puerh in Singapore, but will definitely look out for it.



speakfreely said...

There are many reasons to read your blog, Hobbes, but one of them is I learn all these cool British words that we don't really use much in the States. "Naff", for instance.

I've read blogs where people have constructed their own teahouse, even gone all-out and mimicked traditional Japanese construction. I'm not suggesting you do that, but I do suggest you give great consideration to the ergonomics of the final structure. Think about what benches, table, orientation, etc. would facilitate your tea habits; if you want to sit on a floor cushion at a low table, or Western-style on a bench, at a table, how many guests you want to be able to accommodate, etc. After you know your desired "floorplan", as it were, then see if any prefab kits could fill the bill, possibly with a little modification. If not, you may end up building it yourself...

Anonymous said...

Keng from Singapore.

These cakes are only available through a boutique store run by the mysterious "NADA". Type in Nada cha + puerh into google and you should arrive at the virtual storefront :-) Hobbes makes these things sound so delicious!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your info. Unfortunately the tea was sold out.