Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 BaDa & ManNuo (Pu-erh.sk)

Here I am again with another blogging about 2012 Pu-erh.sk fresh cakes, this time one post about two different spring crop samples: 2012 BaDa and 2012 ManNuo. Both of these are excellent tea of superior quality and there is no way I could compare them. Both of them are different and have a lot to offer. 

Since 2011 Pu-erh.sk Bada was by far my most favourite last year's shengpu (you can read the review here: BaDa 2011), I was especially interested in how the 2012 sample would introduce itself. The dry leaf is beautiful and has an intense fresh fruity smell after unripe berries (perhaps currants), tamarind (indian date), with a nice fresh flowery scent. 

2012 BaDa
The taste, too, is fruity and floral. It is easy to detect apricot in the first few infusions which goes further to yellow watermelon tone (or one of those melons that I do not know the name of). Later infusions turn golden, still very bright, and get a little bitter with a longer steeping time. It is, however, pleasant kind of bitterness (more bitter than astringent). Its drying effect on the top of the tongue allows for the intense sweet and mouth-watering aftertaste, which leaves a juicy trace of grapes in the mouth. 

It seems to me that this year's BaDa is even more potent than the 2011 cakes but it could easily be just my own subjective impression. It gives many intense and powerful infusions and despite its very fresh taste it offers quite complex experience. This definitely is a sample to remember.

2012 ManNuo
The 2012 ManNuo sample is as beautiful as the BaDa one, with a fresh and intense smell after fruit and a whiff of the rough and severe remote places. I have not actually written about pu-erh from this region so far so let me ask babelcarp for some information about this interesting place on Earth: ManNuo, 曼糯, is short for ManNuoZhai, which is a plantation in Bulangshan, a Menghai County mountain where maocha for puerh is harvested. The Bulang region is famous for its "good" bitterness and strong qi.  

This ManNuo cake moreover has a very assertive floral and fruity tone which leaves a sweet and intense mouthfeel sensation. Together with its bitter and somewhat typical Bulang spicy component it evolves in a long-lasting complex experience. The fresh green tone is present, too, and adds to the complexity of tastes of the tea. The aftertaste is full and mouth-watering, bringing in a bit pungent and spicy, almost celery scent. This tea is sharp yet delicate, with a powerful qi intensifying the energy flow in the upper chakras while still reminding me of the roots it comes from. 

In a nutshell, both of the cakes are truly impressive.
The choice is yours.



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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