24 January, 2014

Badabing, Badaboom

Badabing and I, as you may know if you are a regular sufferer of this web-site, have a long and most amiable relationship.  Peter of Pu-erh.sk has been so kind as to press my Badabing-related buttons at regular intervals: it began with a 2011 Badabing that was delicious, but which was sold out; it went on to a 2012 Badabing that was entirely yumptious, and which I tonged.  I was terrifyingly enthusiastic about the latter.  There was then a 2012 autumnal Badabing, which was fine indeed.  Then, there was an excellent (but perhaps quite pricey) 2013 Badabing.  Where could we possibly go from here, given that the 2014s are not yet picked?

Of course, back in time to 2010!

The scent of fresh, grapelike sweetness, from young shengpu, is not one that I have enjoyed lately.  Tellingly of my circumstances, the session opens with the obvious scent of burning dust - this is because I have not had a proper tea session for some time, and so the hot-plate and tetsubin that I use at home have become a little dusty, which gets burned away as the everything warms up.

I am amused to see that the above photograph looks uncomfortable in both "landscape" and "portrait" orientations, such was the strange angle at which I took it.  What you can see, despite the bizarre shooting aspect, is a long-leaf Badashan that has some age to it, from the darkness of those leaves.

Even the rinse smells fantastic.  As the first wash of the tea drips through the slats of the tea-table, the scent of rich, sticky-sweet pu'ercha fills the room - and all is well with the world.

Unusually for a tea from this region, this has a visibly brown hue that I usually associate with Simao and Lincang cakes.  The character, however, is entirely familiar, and excellent: it is fresh, bitter, cooling, and has a rich, strong base that is entirely commendable.  The kuwei [good bitterness] is strong in the throat; the overall effect is a deeply satisfying darkness, with a slightly straw-like sweetness (in a good way).  "Just two cups and I am happy", I wrote in my journal.

I pause the session for two hours to help my dear wife write a covering letter in her application for a new position in the university; my delay in writing up my notes is that now, looking back, I know that the application was ultimately successful.  Perhaps we have the remarkable clarifying strength of this 2010 Badabing to thank.

Excellent stuff.

1 comment:

Sippin' on some Pu Erh said...

I definitely think pu erh temporarily increases my writing abilities, but the caveat of tolerance and dependence (not as bad as with coffee) as with any drugs unfortunately applies here too.