Guess who came to meet me at my college the other day?
None other than THE JAKUB. What a delight it was - it's not often that I get to meet teachums (with the excellent exception of Apache), especially those from the Czech Republic. We didn't get time for an actual pu'ercha session, but we did get to neck some conventional bevvies in the relative warmth of the Senior Common Room.
THE JAKUB had a confesssion to make. He is, and I don't think I'm breaking any confidences here, a computer scientist. First of all, I think it is wonderful that society has reached the tolerant stage at which it is completely acceptable to "out" oneself in that way, and admit to being a computer scientist.
Unlike every other computer scientist on the planet, THE JAKUB appears to have a girlfriend, and a most charming one at that. Your computer scientist brethren raise their faded Metallica t-shirts to you in a gesture of appreciation!
We chatted about much, and this sample was kindly given to me as my two guests left.
I rather like Chawangshop. There are bargains to be had there, especially in the cakes that bear the company's own "Chawangpu" brand. I am very much in favour of personal-brand cakes being sold at pleasing prices, and I tend to avail myself of the opportunity to buy such things at distressingly regular intervals. It is rather canny, I suspect, to sell many cakes at a reasonable price rather than a small number of cakes at a very high price. Then again, I never was cut out for a mercantile life, so what do I know? Answer: not much.
This is from the Mangzhishan in northern Mengla County, near Gedengshan, and is a traditional source of pu'ercha that is much overlooked. The "huangshan" part of the name means "wild/desolate mountain", which is a little bit "Xizihao", but perhaps permissible just this once.
The yellow-orange soup is immediately sweet, very much like candy. It combines with a pleasantly "cereal" base to give it a rustic, but endearing, character that seizes the attention immediately. All of those characteristics get deposited in the nose after the swallow, and which combine with a very robust kuwei [pleasant bitterness] and a solid core of Xishuangbanna-but-sweet notes. It lingers well, with a gently cooling finish.
It is so very sweet!
The plantation origins of this cake become more obvious after the tenth infusion, but it has done very well to get there. The immense bargaination of this cake becomes evident when we consider the price: $12.50. That isn't even £8, for a 200g xiaobing. In terms of good pu'ercha per unit currency, this little fellow scores remarkably highly.
We cannot be too particular at such a generous price; if we were, I might mention that it eventually takes a turn for the citric, but these are small considerations given the overall quantity of pleasure that is delivered for a small outlay.
Thanks again to THE JAKUB - I look forward to the possibility of our humble university being the home for two Czech computer scientists!
Late edit: since the time of writing, it seems that both THE JAKUB and his good lady have won scholarships, which suggests that the admissions system simply broke under the strain of trying to comprehend the existence of a computer scientist with a girlfriend. Hefty congratulations! Time to buy a pair of those Elizabethan graduate scholar gowns that we make you wear...