2009 Yunnan Sourcing Bu Lang Shan Yun
Yesterday, the consequences of seven grams of tippy sheng puerh in a 100 mL gaiwan hit me just after lunch. I was bouncing off the walls with caffeine, precipitating an afternoon of frantic house chores and a long walk on the beach. So, when I sat down this morning to have a sample from the same line of tea, I thought that perhaps I should scale back the amount of leaf I use. I might not get as much done today, but at least I’ll be able to concentrate for more than a quarter of second.
Oddly, using a scant two grams less may have been a mistake. I wouldn’t have thought it, but this cake of Bu Lang needed the extra leaf in the brewing vessel. What pours a bit oranger and peachy proves to be emptier in flavor an texture. This tea is just downright perplexing to me. I’m having trouble gathering my thoughts about it. The dry leaf, rinse, and first steep aromas are all quiet, sullen, and distant, pushing through a hint of spice, mushroom, and moss.
Flavor? Flavor? I’m looking for it. I’m searching. In the next gaiwan over, I’ve got the session of Wu Liang from yesterday. I give it a brief reinvigorating rinse to bring it back up to temperature and then pull off a minute-long 12th steep. I felt embarrassed for the Bu Lang cake when I put my nose to the cup of Wu Liang and then loudly slurped a big sip; it was still loaded with flavor, texture, bitterness and aroma. Moving back to the tea at hand, crickets are chirping. As it opens, it releases a distinct and surprising, wet, moldy basement on me. Aside from some slight date sugar and mulling spice character, I have little positive to say about this tea. It ends parching in an odd cottony sensation.
Perhaps this is an easy drinking tea, perhaps this is just a denuded tea. What I have learned from drinking this tea is how fantastic the Wu Liang really was. How powerful the act of comparison can be.
The Half-Dipper – 2009 Yunzhiyuan/Ruicaoxiang “Bulangshanyun”
The 39 Steeps – Review Series Pu-erh 3: “Gamma” by Yunnan Sourcing
My Private Collection – Tea Tasting Event ( Half-Dipper / YS )
Tea Goober – Yunnan Sourcing Tasting (Gamma) = Bu Lang