The Nannuo cake is from a different farmer, this year. I imagine that this may be something to do with the fact that last year's 2010 Nannuo seemed a little... awry, in some sense. To his credit, Mr. Essence of Tea didn't sell that the cake. Perhaps it will sort itself out with time, and we might see it resurface.
So, we have a beast of an entirely different stripe to play with today.
The leaves seem a little smaller than previous years, and are luxuriously shiny, and lightly furred. As ever, they are well-handled, and are entirely seemly.
A thick, cloudy, yellow soup is produced that fills the mouth with unctuous, honey-like characteristics. Long and fresh, this is a wonderful example of Nannuo tea.
Notes of darker tobacco appear in later infusions, in concert with some wisps of wild grass. It is a shifting, colourful tea that repays an investment of attention.
I have a lot of Nada's Nannuo tea on my shelves, and even a cake as delicious as this can't really find room in my humble collection, given that already large quantity from the region. Combined with the increase in price (£18 in 2009, £22 in 2010, to £44 in 2011), I won't be buying much of it, because I have already plumped for the 2011 Mannuo.
However, if you don't have tons of Nannuo tea, and are looking for something of clearly laoshu quality, with complexity and endurance in abundance, this cake is highly recommended.