13 December, 2008

2006 Hailanghao "Lao Banzhang"

Oh, Hailanghao, how do I love thee.

Let me count the ways.

I've been drinking this sample generously provided by AL since May, and it has been making me repeatedly happy. I believe that it has long since disappeared from the vendors, so I have been enjoying it slowly.

Luxuriously long leaves, mixed with plump silver tips - the entire affair is furry. It looks like some kind of pet, rather than a beverage.

Banzhang aroma aplenty in the dry leaves, that familiar sweet leather that I love so much. The soup opens with an honest yellow, though it oxidises quickly, as pictured above. The aroma is thick and sweet, sweet, sweet, continuing for whole minutes. Marvellous stuff.

Mushroom and wild grass, just like clean, unprocessed maocha, but with some bite. That sweetness, eternal and strong, hangs in the finish. After just one small cup, I am awake, my mouth watering, my body warm.

There is acidity, but of the appealing variety that adds to the complexity in the throat, emphasising and augmenting the huigan. Just the thing for a cold, blue day.

What was I thinking to let this one slip past unnoticed?

(Detailed notes from AL on Chadao.)

Headington Hill


nada said...

I've not tasted this, but I think some others must share your appreciation of this tea... a few months back, the price of this in Kunming was already £100/bing!

Hobbes said...

Dear Nada,

Good grief, that's a lot of money for a 2006 cake! Perhaps a little out of my league for such recent leaves.

Best wishes, and toodlepip,