27 July, 2015

The Circle is Complete

Peacocks.  Sure, they look pretty - until they open their mouths.  GRAAAARKKK!  They sound like the eternal damned.

There is a very pretty pub in this city, by the river.  Everything nice, everything routine.  Bridge, running water, old buildings.  Also, it has a bunch of peacocks strutting around.  GRRAAAKKEEK!  It's not a peaceful place.

Old-school Gs among you might recall some similarly pretty-but-obnoxious cakes in the "peacock" range from Dayi, in 2008.  We had the Peacock of Badashan, and the Peacock of Menghai, and even the Peacock of Mengsong.  While perusing the darker zones of our tea-toom, I discovered a cake that I've not written about before: the 2008 PEACOCK OF BULANG.  Just when you thought it couldn't get any more bitter, we find a Bulangshan cake.

This cake has spent its entire life in storage at our place - we bought our house at almost exactly the same time as we bought these cakes.  Therefore, I am tense!  It has only known British storage.  Will it be any good?

It has a dense scent of sweet darkness, which is, at least, mildly suggestive of improvement.  The scent in the wenxiangbei is "breadlike" and sweet, which is, again, not bad news.

It is strong (strong!) plantation tea, as expected.  The soup, pictured below, demonstrates that - lo and behold - it does appear to have aged somewhat.  The chunky yellow Dayi youth has gone, at least. 

It is clean, bitter, and has a soft and settled flavour.  Also, it is bitter.  I am primarily thrilled by the fact that it doesn't suck, and secondly quite surprised that it tastes reasonably humid.  British storage is a funny thing: it is (very) wet, which you can taste in the air when you come home from abroad; this avoid the "dry" storage aspect.  However, it isn't very warm here, and so cakes do not rocket off into the aging that you'd expect from humid Asian regions close to the equator.  The result is interesting - it is a little like aging a super-tight tuocha in Asia, in the sense that its aging is slow (deliberately so, in the case of a supertight tea).

For $10, I am surprised that it is so drinkable.  I wonder if I have the mystery fifth variety of Peacock around here somewhere...



sunday monday
tuesday - shops, restaurants
museums closed


mother and child
emerge from the cathedral
their pushchair stolen


I cannot tell
French peaches from nectarines
- that's an apple


you taught him to beg
I wonder when you will
teach him to read


Hobbes said...

Spending a week in industrial France (Lille) was an education.

Haiku V:
As an Englishman, it felt as if most of the city was closed at some time or other. You really had to plan ahead, if your plans involve restaurants, children's attractions, shops, or museums. Even churches. (The general state of high-security lock-down on churches was interesting, and leads onto...)

Haiku VI
The crime-rate was extraordinary - who steals an old travel-pushchair, which deliberately looks knackered? And who does it outside a cathedral? While mother and son have gone into the cathedral to light a candle in prayer for a sick grandfather?

Haiku VIII
The quantity of beggars, and their bravado, was sobering. I recall one young child stuffing chips into her mouth greedily, while asking me for money.

Returning to civilisation was actually rather pleasant.



Tofu Miso said...

Hi Hobbes , I have to admit I'm impressed and inspired that a Dayi cake machine pressed from plantation material has visibly aged so well here in the U.k . It's a shame you did not taste it and make some notes when you first received it back in 2008 . It might have been interesting . Any chance I could twist your arm into revisiting the 2009 Nada cha Bulang cake sometime ? All the best ! Simeon .

Hobbes said...

Dear Tofu,

I'll queue up the 2009 Nadacha Bulang for consumption on my return from a quick holiday - it looks as if I was content with the tea in 2011!

Do I recall either you or Apache saying that you'd become less impressed with it than you once were?



Tofu Miso said...

I shall look forward to seeing your photographs and reading your thoughts / findings . The last time I drank it was at least a couple of years ago , I must dig a cake out myself again sometime . Up until and including the last time I drank it I always found it to be fairly AWESOME !!! It will be interesting to see what it is like now . All the best ! Enjoy your holiday !

Hobbes said...

AWESOME certainly sounds as if I should be drinking it. :)

I look forward to my return to the tea-table, next week!