2012 BaDa & ManNuo (Pu-erh.sk)

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

Since 2011 Bada was by far my most favourite last year's shengpu (you can read the review here: BaDa 2011), I was interested in how the 2012 sample would introduce itself. 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
It tastes fruity and floral. It is easy to detect apricot in the first few infusions, quite typical for young sheng, which further develops into yellow melon tone. Later infusions turn golden, still very bright, and get a bit bitter with a longer steeping time. It is, however, pleasant kind of ku wei bitterness. As for young sheng it is still quite dry. It allows for 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 of the intensity of the fresh sample. It gives many 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 fresh and intense smell after fruit and a whiff of some rough remote places. I have not actually written about pu-erh from this region so far so let me ask babelcarp for some information: 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 the taste. 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 chaqi intensifying the energy flow in the upper body while still reminding of the roots it comes from. The samples show the potential of very good and quite complex tea in both cases.


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