2010 Yunnan Sourcing "NanNuo YaKou"
This 2010 YS NanNuo YaKou sample comes from the Yunnan Sourcing production and according to the producer it is "composed entirely of first flush of Spring material from the village of Ya Kou in the southern stretch of the Nan Nuo mountain range in the county of Menghai". The vendor also informs about the leaf origin, saying that "this tea has been carefully processed by hand at each stage and comes from tea trees ranging in age from 80 years to 250 years of age growing naturally unadulterated by fertilizers or pesticides".
When you see the sample, you must admit it definitely is a very nice cake that smells after blossoming flowers. The smell however, again as with 2010 YiWu Zheng Shan reminds me of fresh green tea which does not belong to my most preferable characteristics.
The leaf is perfectly separable with bear hands, you don't need a knife or a pick, it goes apart itself as if it hasn't even been pressed. It smells intensely and the leaf seems to be of high quality: long, clean and dark green (not too dark though).
I was wondering what its flavour will be like as I have already mentioned here I enjoy drinking NanNuo teas. This tea definitely comes from that area. It has the typical NanNuo attribute in its flavour which is so hard to describe for me. I compared it to Bergamot orange hint in another NanNuo ancient tree cake but in this case I would not say the same. It was nearly there but it just wasn't that specific. On the other hand, I was able to detect the presence of apricots in the background, as a part of the returning sweet of this tea.
As you can see from the picture below, the colour of the first infusion is not very dark, it is rather sparkling yellow and to my surprise it did not change much throughout the rest of the session. I took a picture of the tenth infusion just to compare the results. It did not seem to get darker or more golden. It even more underlined the character of younger tea together with its fresh and strong floral aroma.
The taste of this tea is pleasant, I could hardly say anything else considering the fact that I like this kind of combination of flavour, aroma and aftertaste. Neverheless, I can of course take advantage of having the experience with excellent NanNuo and average good. This one is somewhere in the middle.
I identified a strange presence of astringency in the first infusion and was expecting its higher intensity later, it however turned out to be that special kind of "numbness" people often describe when drinking ancient tree cakes. In this particular tea this tongue-paralyzing effect as if you were chewing mint leaves is quite high. It therefore as if suppressed the rest of other taste traits and it was quite hard to feel anything else. The tea got suddenly weaker around the tenth infusion and with the intention to squeeze the leaves up a little bit I was getting very similar results for the rest of the session.
It is not a bad tea though, rather fresh and powerful. Scott even warns against its strong chaqi and he probably knows why. I got quite alert after drinking first few cups and also a bit distracted, feeling it circulating in my body as if it was looking for the best place to sit but could not find one. It might be appreciated by people who like tea that can wake you up, with floral flavours and aroma. I would probably not buy the whole cake now, maybe in a few years time. I believe however it can turn up to be a treasure one day.