When we previously tried the 2004 Yangpinhao, Mr. Yusko reminded me that my mother-in-law says I have too much tea. One occasionally sees photographs of houses laden down with pu'er, and I'm relieved to write that our humble abode is definitely not that bad. Yet.
However, "Chinese Mama", as she is known in our home, saw neither a triple-stack of large plastic storage containers filled with pu'er, nor the various boxes that have been arriving thanks to the generosity of Keng, and which we've bought from Taobao or Essence of Tea (many of the latter of which are still stored in my office, until our seemingly-Sisyphean house renovations have stabilised). In one of those hidden containers, this delightful Yangpinhao "Ganlu".
The cake's name is "sweet dew", which strikes a nice line between poesy and naffness.
It would take a heart of stone not to be wooed by the appearance of this tea: big, long leaves combine with a good, dusty shengpu aroma that brings hope to the spirit.
I estimate that this is a blend of raw and somewhat processed leaves - it has a leather darkness that cannot be achieved from nature alone, and yet it also has a sharp, bitter flavour (kuwei). The producers have done well, and this is not imbalanced in either direction, making it enjoyable yet slightly challenging.
It is a solid, reliable cake, with decent energy and a pleasant huigan. I wouldn't pursue any more of this, as I am strictly limited to buying only exceptional cakes, these days, given the size of our collection. While not exceptional, it makes for an enjoyable, low-maintenance session.
And speaking of low-maintenance, for those of you that follow my series of conference-based cartoons, I invite you to check your Facebook feeds...