28 December, 2008

2008 Shuangjiang Mengku "Bingdao"

Ah, festivals. I trust you've had a good one, if you celebrate Christmas. Vacations can be deferred during busy times, but there's nothing like the immediacy of a non-negotiable festival to tear you away from your daily concerns. Park the thesis, close up the log-books, power down the computers, and warm up the mulled wine...

Frosty Ouseley

Over Christmas at home, I was drinking a delicious Darjeeling, hand-picked and generously supplied by JC. I was surprised by the rich, dark fruitiness similar to Oriental Beauty (Dongfang Meiren, or Baihao). Relaxing back in the lounge of the house in which I grew up, drinking tea from a distant friend, sharing some with my mother - great stuff.

Now, a swift journey and we're back in our home city.

Balcony of Roses

What better way to get back into the swing of things than with a random tea, plucked from my wee collection of samples?

The vendor pages claim that this tea is made from Bingdao leaves, but at the $24 price, I suspect they're not going to be too far from the plantations. They do look decent enough, though, as you can see for yourself in the image below. Small, dark, and a touch fragmented, they have a cold, metallic, icy aroma - appropriately enough, given their name [ice island].

2008 Mengku "Bingdao"

This is quite orthodox: sweetness in the wenxiangbei [aroma cup], a fine yellow brew, and a little thickness of texture.

"Not bad, but simple", sayeth my dear wife, which rather sums it up. There is no obvious mintiness here (bingdao!).

2008 Mengku "Bingdao"

This excessive mediocrity of this tea is impressive: no matter how I brew it, how the water is changed, no matter which leaves are used, it remains irretrievably average. A refreshing session, but I was hoping for something just a little bit more interesting.

Too sour, too simple, too average.

May the good Lord deliver us from average tea in 2009, amen.


Scotto said...

Interesting. I was sufficiently impressed with the sample I had to purchase a bing. My notes read: "Medium compression, somewhat tippy. Aroma is unique - cotton candy, camphor, sweet 'shroom, low-toned and earthy. Quite rich in taste, pungent, long huigan. Lots of energy in this one - my hands are shaking and my head is throbbing a bit. Also, there is a nice cooling sensation in the mouth"

Certainly different from your description. I hope when the cake arrives, it matches my impressions of the sample!

Hobbes said...

G'day, Scotto! I hope you had a good one. I'm currently working out a strain of the local 'flu epidemic, so, it's all soup and rest for me. :)

Thanks as always for your notes - I I'll revisit this one in the New Year and see if I can find those characteristics that clearly passed me by.

Have a good New Year's Eve,


Anonymous said...

Dear Hobbes, Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2009 be better than predicted. Be well.

~ Phyll

Hobbes said...

Same to you, big man! Best wishes to Mrs. Sheng and your lovely daughter.



Jason M. Cohen said...

Hello Hobbes,
Thanks for the Kind words.
I love reading other peoples descriptions of teas I Drink,
Especially from someone with know good taste.
I would have got back to you sooner, but I was in Peru for 2 weeks. We spent Christmas in the tinny pueblo of Tingo, where we were invited to midnight dinner with the family we were renting a room from.
It was a nice time.
Hope to here from you soon,
Happy New year!

Hobbes said...

Dear James,

You're quite the traveller - midnight dinner in Peru sounds good :)

Here's to a Happy 2009 for us all,