In my quest to remain open-minded and sample a wide variety of cakes, in search of those that I like, this is the fifth cake from Yangpinhao that I have tried (all thanks to Keng). The two single-mountain cakes, a 2004 Yibang and a 2006 Bulang, were both excellent: potent, full, present, and enduring. We have tried a novelty 2009 Mengku zhutong [bamboo tong], which was roasted but decent, and a 2008 "Ganlu" blend which, while lesser in comparison to the single-mountains, was not at all bad.
Yangpinhao is an outfit that sprang up, like many others, in Xishuangbanna. They are based in the principal city, Jinghong, and sourced the leaves for this cake from Nakashan, which is in the Mengsong area. I recall a darned lovely 2009 Nakashan cake from Essence of Tea (then Nadacha), which had "grass-like scents, with a sweet flavour of low grain, and tons of bitterness". I remember it as being generally very heavy, energetic, and powerful.
(Dashucha refers to "big tree tea".)
The leaves are large, flat fragments, which come from a rather handsome, thick bing. After a year in Singapore, they already have a dense, sweet aroma.
It is a strong tea, and I overbrew it using my normal (fairly generous) quantity of leaves.
This is not an innocent, raw tea. It has notes of maltiness that suggest "reddened" processing, but its power and sweetness are redeeming, leading me to wonder if there is a significant quantity of raw leaves in the blend, in order to give it some muscle.
This is a simple, yet enjoyable, pu'ercha. I can't say with any certainty that it alludes to the terroire of a particular region, due to its processing, but the penetrating power of its sweetness does a good job at keeping my attention fixed on the tea session.
Tangy, sweet, penetrating, and even somewhat mouth-watering, I very much appreciate Keng's generosity in providing it. The 2010 version sells for around 50 RMB on Taobao, which is a fair price for a powerful, if not overly complex, cake. Its older single-mountain sisters probably have an edge over this in terms of immediately apparent quality, and, perhaps, aging potential.