This is the second of three products from Essence of Tea of which I bought a tong, this year. It comes in a close second to the Mansai.
Bangwei is in the Jingmai area, which is a region that I usually appreciate. As always, the maocha looks delicious, and well-treated. The aroma is a healthily strong green.
Highly energetic, clean, and sweet, this turns out a beautiful yellow soup (pictured below). It is so very thick on the lips, with a resounding kuwei [bitterness] that swells and leaves the mouth watering long after the swallow.
I like Jingmai for its dry nuttiness, of which there is plenty to be found in this production: it reminded me somewhat of the skin that grows around hazelnuts, mixed in with its buttery sweetness.
As with the Mansai, I have no doubt from the contents of the cup that this is a product of good origin. Old-tree tea is never rough, just clean, sweet, potent, and, somehow, just more. More of everything.
"Powerful but complex", notes Lei. It lasts very well, and is easily worth the £25 asking price, in my estimation. This is good Jingmai.
I haven't touched this tea since buying a tong (shown above). Let's crack it open.
Some people love cakes from this vendor; others seem to dislike the vendor on principle. I'm definitely in the former category.
I notice with amusement that the village is misnamed on the above stamp, which caused the original version of this article to be similarly misnamed, and which I have since corrected. The "wai" / "wei" confusion often gets me, too. However, I think the name "Bangwhy" is much more funny than "Bangway", so I'll continue to have a place in my heart for the original misspelling.
This is a pretty cake:
I bought this tong at £25 / 357g cake, which is very good. The cakes in 2011 were around £40something. This year, 2012, they've increased by a similarly large increment. This makes me appreciate my earlier acquisitions a little more.
The big question is: how is this tea coming on? It's all very well for me to speak highly of these cakes if they turn out to be insipid, and poorly aging.
Thankfully, everything I've bought from Nadacha appears to be going in the right direction. The leaves have darkened in accordance with expectations, as they started off distinctly dark green.
It is clean, fresh and potent, with plenty of Jingmai character - a "hairy" sort of nuttiness that reminds me of the skin of hazelnuts. You'll recognise it when you try it, I'm sure. The endurance is really rather impressive: I brewed this for over 20 infusions, and it stayed potent, and, best of all, clean and well-made. Whereas so many recent cakes crack apart and become rough and green, this Nadacha cake reminds me how it should be done: immense potency, combined with superb clarity of character.
Fantastic. Bring on the 2012s.