13 June, 2014

The Ancestors Approve

I was recently rather concerned that my collected ancestors would disapprove of my dalliance with what was a rather genteel and fragile pu'ercha from Baohexiang.  Today, we redress the balance with something that even Vercingetorix himself would have enjoyed.  I assume.

This is the 2011 "Jinyun Zhencang", where jin is "golden" and yun is the troublesome word that corresponds to some approximate mixture of rhyme / harmony / charm.  Chinese-English translations typically fail on that word, sadly, but you get the gist.  Zhencang is "collection", easily enough.

Strap on your halberd, polish the horns on your helmet: this is Bulangshan tea.  No namby-pamby ladytea here, thank you very much.

The maocha was made from "wild Bulang trees", writes Peter of pu-erh.sk.  This is terribly exciting, and reminds of some of the better facemelters from bygone years that Essence of Tea was made.  As you might conclude from the above (leaving aside the dreadful colour balance from the dawn light), the leaves are beautiful and loosely compressed.

Bulangshan tea from 2011 should look like this: yellow, but dense.  The beidixiang [cup-bottom scent] is heavy and invisible (in the sense that dominates the nose, but has no signal) which then leads to a lengxiang [cooling scent] that suggests long throatiness and afterscent.  The soup is precisely that: heavy and low, before expanding in the throat where it remains for a long time.  The heavy, low aftertaste is rich, dark sweetness that squats on the breath for many sentences.

It tastes very "old fashioned", and those who know me will know that there is no greater compliment that I can give.  The cooling sensation that it imparts to the tongue and lips suggests that the trees were indeed rather decent.  This is a fine tea.

At 5 a.m. it has the approximate effect of listening to chiptunes (Sabrepulse?) at ear-splitting volume with one's ear right next to the speaker.  This, too, is A Good Thing.  Heartily recommended. 

The ancestors, they are approving.

No comments: