21 October, 2008

2005 Mingxiang Yayuan - Hailanghao "Motian Yinhao"

Liquid wildflowers.

July 5th

This is a cake kindly bought by proxy, by Nada. I didn't see this one on Nadacha, however.

You know by now how much I like Hailanghao, it being reliable and fairly priced. This cake is a chubby chappy.

"Motian" literally means "reach heaven", but is the word also used for "skyscraper". I do love the poetic nature of Chinese. "I work in a reach-heaven." It sounds almost tolerable.

"Yinhao" is "silver fur", referring to the young tip leaves, pictured below. This cake has a sufficient number of dark leaves in its blend to keep me happy - I'm not usually one for enjoying cakes made purely of buds, as they are a touch simplistic for all their creamy flavours.

Surprisingly enough, the aroma is complex - I have enjoyed this tea several times over the summer, and it is always the complex aroma of wildflowers that draws me back.

The honest, yellow brew is really very enjoyable - it mixes grassy, "meaty" Biluochun with honey and mushrooms, and wraps it up in a satisfying acidity that its pure-bud cousins lack.

Breathing out after a cup brings all those wildflowers back into the nose...

As the sessions wear on, I notice a tendency towards green roughness, which I usually associate with plantation leaves. At this stage, it pays to back off and not push too hard.

I've been drinking it all morning and afternoon, totalling over 20 infusions, and it still gives sweetness and those eternal wildflowers...

Thanks to Nada for identifying this friendly, enjoyable tea. It is one of the few yinhao teas that I have found appealing, primarily due to its blend of darker leaves.

Good old Hailanghao...


nada said...

Hi Hobbes,

Glad you enjoyed this - it's often a slight concern when buying teas for someone by proxy. One doesn't want to send them a bunch of tea they don't like to drink.

This is one of a series of teas that Hai Lang produced in 2005 that were apparently (and it seems he's usually pretty upfront about this) 100% wild arbor.

As you can see from the 1260 on the front, they were really quite limited and since he only has a few left he wouldn't give more than £1-£2 off, no matter how many I considered buying! Making this quite an expensive tea - especially compared to Hailang's other (more reasonably priced) offerings.

That said, I do find my self returning to my solitary bing i have left of this from time to time & enjoying the tea sessions I have with this. I'm glad you also enjoyed,


Hobbes said...

Dear Nada,

Half the battle in evaluating teas is finding someone who has similar tastes, I think. I receive letters from many readers disagreeing with articles here and there (which is to be expected, and a healthy sign!), but it goes to show that buying or learning by proxy can only go so far. That said, I don't get to Yunnan every day of the week, so I'm not picky. ;)

Thanks for the note about the wild arbor content of this one. I hadn't realised the significance of the number, either, and so will drink this a little more slowly than I otherwise would, given its limited run...

All this talk of pu'er makes me thirsty! Where did I pack that kettle? :)

Best Hibernian wishes,


Vladimir Lukiyanov said...

I've tried this tea, a few years ago I must say, but it's nice to see it mentioned now. Personally I didn't find it very fulfilling, it did remind me of a kind of wild-flower type thing if I remember, but it was very fresh and a bit too "silver bud" for me, not enough real guts.

I think I even have a picture way back in the archives of my photobucket

Thanks for your advice on Banbury by the way. I knew it was a train stop on the way "down south" but never been, yet.


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Hobbes said...

Dear Vlad,

I'm impressed you've come across this one, given its limited scope. It definitely does tend towards the more gentle, true enough.



Anonymous said...

It is useful to try everything in practice anyway and I like that here it's always possible to find something new. :)

shah8 said...

Heh, this would be an interesting time to see how this tea is, at past a decade!

Hobbes said...

I am trapped in The Other Place for Christmas, visiting my parents, but will try to remember to drink this on my return to civilisation!

With best wishes for Christmas,