As a single man, I used to love travelling to conferences. In fact, I met my dear wife at the "Neural Computing Applications Forum" conference. Love blossomed over a neural network.
These days, as an indication of my new-found status as a crusty old man, I find that I long for conferences to be over so that I can get back to my family. So it is today, and I celebrate my return with a sample bought from Yunnan Sourcing.
Properly banged bangma
My translation may be a little off in this instance, but my dictionary tells me that the characters for "Bangma" mean "Nation's Curse". If correct, this is a brilliant name. It refers to a town somewhere in Mengku County, within Lincang - an old favourite of mine, as far as pu'ercha goes.
This isn't a grand, expensive tea, and yet it has all the appearances of being decidedly excellent. Rejoice in its long leaves. Suck some of that fine, sweet aroma into the nostrils. I have high hopes for this little fellow.
As you can see in the photograph, it is a bright yellow tea, which is a good start for a young cake. In aroma, it is odd: it is enduring and heavy in sensation, and yet is almost invisible but for a hint of sugar. There is much here, and yet it has no impact on the scent senses.
Unsurprisingly, it is similar in the mouth: it is lightly fruity, and gently cooling, but quite distant and remote. Scott notes that the semi-wild nature of the leaves is responsible for a lack of bitterness (and I appreciate the fact that he addressed this aspect of the tea, rather than ignoring it). However, I wonder if the lack of kuwei is more due to its autumnal timing, and the fact that 2010 was a drought year, perhaps making this tea more empty than it otherwise would be.
I can taste good Mengku flavours in the far distance. While it is a little too empty and remote to consider buying, the price is suitably low at a very reasonable $22 / 400g. I cannot imagine that these leaves have enough content to develop into much with the passing of the years. I fear that they may have run out of puff before the race even began.
However, one doesn't often find such good, cooling leaves for such a low price, and this would make a fun cake for casual drinking.