Hold the front page: I've found a modern CNNP cake that I rather like. Regular readers will no doubt have guessed that I'm not too hard to please, and love most pu'er in its own way - with the possible exception of the dross churned out in modernday CNNP wrappers. Yet this one is special.
Can it be - a nice CNNP cake?
The cake's name means "Nannuo ancient charm" - where "yun" is that difficult-to-translate word meaning something along the lines of characteristic charm, harmony, feeling. It has the sense of "rhyme" - something that harmonises.
The cake looks very pleasant - almost edible. Lei remarked that the photograph above has had a big mouse take a bite out of it. A hint of redness coaxes me into using a lot of leaves. This is a grievous, woeful error. The tea proceeds to punish me in the cup with a wonderfully aggressive, uncompromising attack.
It "slices like a ninja, cuts like a razor-blade", as I believe Horace wrote in his Epodes.
I remove one-third of the leaves, and continue on. The tea calms down, but plenty of Good Old Fashioned kuwei remains, which is a real, and welcome, surprise. I even detect a slight cooling sensation in the mouth, as of good leaves.
Kunming Factory ain't nothing to blanks with
While some red leaves have been used in the blend, which colour the soup accordingly (as pictured above), the majority are hardcore, green, and properly raw.
"How could this be?", methinks to myself. Then, on consideration of the wrapper, an answer is hinted: the producer was the Kunming Factory, one of the oldest of the old-school tea companies. It takes cojones* of steel to make a tea this nasty, as only an established factory would possess, and I rather loved the result.
(Disclaimer: thanks to China Chadao for this tea, which was provided without charge, for review. It is a coincidence that this tea was both free and very nice.)
*I take great delight in pronouncing "cojones" as "co-jones" (i.e., rhyming with "co-bones"). I like to imagine that the jones and co-jones could be properties of a matrix, like factors and co-factors. In the unlikely event that I ever get matrix properties named after me, I'm going to propose jones and co-jones.