24 March, 2011

2005 Changtai "Bulang"

I really appreciate Puerh Shop. The prices are good, the variety is enormous, and you have a good chance of finding real gems in the many pages of products. It's like a little Taobao, except with the benefit that Jim seems to take note of tea-blogs, and makes available teas widely available that someone finds, for example, on Taobao. I get the impression that Jim loves tea, and his entire outfit seems sincere and plain good fun. It's a very positive thing.  The Western-oriented pu'ercha market is a better thing for having Puerh Shop in it.


2005 Changtai Bulang


In an attempt to find something to drink, I ransacked the very depths of my cupboards and found a simply enormous bag of this 2005 Changtai Bulang that I bought ages ago and have neglected.  There must be a good 20% of the entire cake in this sample.


2005 Changtai Bulang


It's currently priced at $31, and, for a six-year-old cake from one of my favourite factories, this fills me with hope.  My "bargain" sensors are saturated.

The leaves, as may be seen above, are small and mostly tippy.  You may not be able to make out their definite redness from the image above, but it is pronounced.  Is this the redness of age, or is this one of those Changtai cakes that have seen a little bit of encouragement on the way to maturity?


2005 Changtai Bulang


Happily, it's the latter.  This is an honest, raw Bulang cake.  It opens in a sharp and woody manner that makes me immediately start to calculate how many cakes I should buy.  Like most Bulang, it wakes me up immediately, and reminds me that this is a tea to be taken slowly.

However, five or so infusions later, and the picture isn't quite so rosy.  The hope from the first infusions has faded, as it turns out to be a bit more down-to-Earth.  It isn't rough, but neither is it full.  $31 is a good price for a stable, powerful tea that doesn't really dominate my affections in the same way as the equally uncompromising, but more full-bodied, "Pasha" Xizihao.  The sharp, woody character did not last many infusions.  It is, ultimately, a lot more simple and predictable than it may seem at first.

I revise down my purchasing to "maybe one cake if I'm ordering from Puerh Shop sometime soon".  A fun session, but a very mainstream (yet fairly priced) tea.

8 comments:

Nicolas said...

I drink this tea with a low dosage (2.5 g/10cl). The result is more representative of this tea.

Best regards
Nicolas

Hobbes said...

I fear my salacious appetites would be left screaming for more if I used 2.5g. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Nicolas said...

I understand your salacious appetites :))
I think there is "female polarity" and "male polarity" in tea.
This Bulang is unfortunately "female polarity" and so it's better in low dosage.
It's humbly my way to brew.

I'm working in this direction for a futur article on my blog.
This article will appear on 04/04.

Amicalement
Nicolas

Hobbes said...

Dear Nicolas,

Interesting! I feel that Bulang feels rather "masculine", given the immense power of most Bulang cakes. Either that, or it's a really aggressive woman. ;)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Nicolas said...

I'm ok with you, we speak about point of view. Bulang teas are aggressive in general. this tea is a exception.

Tea with female polarity is sweet by definition. If you encounter menthol, you approach the right dosage. I have no see menthol in your description.

(thanks to google traduction)
Amicalement
Nicolas

Jason Fasi said...

@Nicolas & @Hobbes:

...women aren't powerful?

Your gendering of teas says much about your thoughts on women.

~j

Hobbes said...

I'm married to a Chinese lady - don't lecture me on powerful / angry women... :)


All the best,

Hobbes

P.s. If you're reading this, your hair looks lovely this afternoon, darling! /simper

Nicolas said...

:))
it's a secret...

Nicolas