Friday, October 28, 2011

2010 NanNuo (Pu-erh.sk)


I was quite looking forward to writing this review as I really enjoyed this tea. I am now writing it after tasting the sample twice already. I was wondering first that perhaps my first impression might change but I must say it was great experience each time.

The dry leaf is beautiful dark green, long, and easily separable. Wet in a hot pot it smells intensely after raspberry and blackcurrant. The first infusion is rather light yellow, with an ochre tone, it smells after fruit and honey. The taste is very intense, typically NanNuo, something I really enjoy, with absolutely amazing huigan.  

HuiGan, 回甘, literally Returning Sweet or, much less commonly, a less specific label for virtually any effect after the liquor has been swallowed, literally Returning Feeling, 回感 (aftertaste) in this particular tea was the best surprise. It is strong, immediate, bitter at the beginning, sweet afterwards, bringing a refreshing mouth-watering effect with Bergamot orange scent in the flavour, something that reminded me of good old Earl Grey Tea I used to sip in Coventry many many years ago, this time however without milk and tons of sugar of course.

This tea is just fascinating. Being quite young, it offers typical bitter kuwei which goes hand in hand with returning sweet and altogether it creates a wonderful palette of tones. The bitterness gets stronger in the second, third and fourth infusions, it is never paralyzing though. After the sixth infusion the taste becomes much more balanced, still accompanied with wonderfully intense Bergamot orange trace, provoking sweet aftertaste and mouth-watering effect. This tea's got simply everything.  

I have had a chance to taste a few more tea samples from NanNuo recently and it has quickly and easily become one of my favourite areas. NanNuoShan is a Menghai Xian mountain near Gelanghe with ancient tea trees. NanNuoShan, 南糯山, means literally Bamboo Shoot Paste Mountain in the language of the Hani people, who have lived there for ~1100 years; the Bu Lang people cultivated tea trees there even earlier. The oldest cake I have is from 2005 and the specific flavour and aroma is still present there, making a special citric-mint cooling effect on the tongue. 

2010 Pu-erh.sk NanNuo
Astringency: Some
Bitterness / Smokiness: High / None
Aroma: Sweet and spicy, interesting, typical NanNuo
Flavour: Bittersweet, intense with Bergamot orange special bonus
Aftertaste: Intense, immediate, sweet and refreshing

No more words today.
Good tea, good night.

-ER-





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Drink your tea
slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves.
Slowly, evenly,
without rushing toward the future.
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Best to be like water,
Which benefits the ten thousand things
And does not contend.
It pools where humans disdain to dwell,
Close to the Tao.

Live in a good place.
Keep your mind deep.
Treat others well.
Stand by your word.
Keep good order.
Do the right thing.
Work when it's time.

Only do not contend,
And you will not go wrong.

Tao Te Ching, 8 / transl. Addis & Lombardo