During a previous period of house renovation, occurring at about this time last year, I spent ages drinking only in the office - usually a quite mundane Dayi "Badashan Organic". I have become quite accustomed to that particular cake, and found the 2009 Zhimingdu "Bada" to have similar grassy characteristics.
This 2010 Manmai / Bada from Essence of Tea is the third of the 2010 productions of which I bought a tong. In fact, it's sitting in a big box in my office, because our house is currently undergoing a second wave of fundamental renovations...
This is a simple tea, being grassy like the other Badashan cakes I mentioned above, but it is redeemed by its cleanliness and its potency. It is quite solid, with a leather and sweet nature that keeps my attention. It cools the mouth, has a mildly effervescent texture, and feels, generally, very good in the mouth.
"Quite simple. Nada's teas are always pure", notes Lei.
I initially disregarded this tea, due to its simple resemblance to the other Badashan cakes, but over repeated sessions, using more leaf, I was swayed by its constant, potent charms. Be warned, this is an "elegant" tea, but I rather like it nonetheless. After the Mansai and the Bangwai, this cake is a decent buy at the asking price of £25, if not quite up to the excellence of the former.