Badashan - where would we be without you? We wouldn't be able to make "Bada-bing!" jokes, that's for sure, and the world would be all the poorer for it.
I have to confess in advance that I don't find myself thrilled by Badashan cakes. They can be enjoyable and refreshing, in their grassy way, but I tend to avoid them in favour of tea from other regions, given the choice. This could be because I was drinking Badashan pu'ercha every day for several months in my office, some time ago, back when I couldn't drink tea at home (due to renovations).
That cake was a special run from Menghai Tea Co., which scarred me so badly that I don't seem to have written about it here at the Half-Dipper. Perhaps a revisitation could be cathartic.
This version from Yunnan Sourcing is just $29, for a whole proper-sized cake, which is not expensive. The medium-sized leaves, pictured above and below, are (you guessed it) grassy. The scent is long and clean, which makes for a good first impression.
Scott notes "tobacco and pine", but I don't seem to agree. To me, this cake is primarily "creamy and smooth". It is pleasantly tart (perhaps indicative of Scott's pine), but has a solid and dark base of ripe grass.
While less expensive than some of Scott's springtime range from 2011, it is perhaps more potent than many of its cousins, and lasts plentifully long in the mouth. Such endurance is to be commended - it holds the attention.
In its way, it is a stable, workhorse of a cake, soldiering on with a constant creamy grassiness for infusion after infusion. The leaves have a great deal of content to deliver, which bodes well for future years.
Ultimately, this is a very decent Badashan cake which is highly typical of the area. It could be a good buy if you'd like to explore Bada characteristics, but it's not really my "cup of tea", excepting its potent longevity.
However, purchase of this cake does guarantee you the opportunity to say "Badabing". That, surely, must be worth something.