"Is this tea from the same mountain as the last?" asked my dear wife, referring to the 2010 YS Bulang Jieliang. In fact, it was made 10km away, which left me rather impressed with her tastebuds.
From the product web-page
This is a "white label" cake from Yunnan Sourcing, and I have a soft spot for white labels. Impromptu, independent, disestablishmentarianism.
I bought just a sample, pictured below.
This cake is priced at the mightier end of the scale, being $40/250g ($60/375g equivalent). I tend not to go for the "Laoman'e is the new Laobanzhang" line of reasoning, and so I remain healthily open-minded when it comes to this tea.
The leaves look very pretty - as you can see from the photograph above, they are small- and medium-sized springtime leaves. What you won't be able to see is their lovely sweet aroma, which is fresh and welcoming.
Yellow-orange soup looks up at me from the cup, giving off a husky, sweet aroma. This huskiness seems to come from a smoky characteristic in the mouth, which isn't entirely welcome. It has had two years to settle down, and so this is smokiness of a pronounced duration.
It is energetic, and makes my mouth water... do I like it? It is a solid cake, but I can't say that it really made me want to buy it. This is probably a subjective concern, but that enduring huskiness didn't win me over. It reminded me of a (much gentler version of) the more bizarre, husky Menghai blends, such as 0622.
It seems that I wrote "easily forgettable" in my diary entry for that day, concerning this cake. With shelf space at a premium, and the price of this cake being on the high side, it slips under the radar unnoticed and will not be missed by me, I imagine.
To my reckoning, it wasn't immediately similar to that Bulang Jieliang, but that does nothing to diminish my appreciation of my wife's tastebuds...