2010 Ming Yan Bulang Zheng San
Gingko recently offered a number of unique teas in a blog sale at lifeinteacup.com, a number of which I’ve taken the opportunity to try. One of them was this tea, offered as a sale item, to see what others think and because some cakes were damaged in shipping. Her opinion was that it was a good example of a young sheng that was drinkable early in its life, because of low bitterness and astringency and high aroma and sweetness. I asked her for some more info on the producer and she wrote that it was made by Ming Yan Hao, as a sub-contract for Le Sheng Hao. Apparently, products from either factory rarely make it to the West, as indicated by Gingko and the fact that I could find no information online about either company.
A session this morning involved stuffing my lone yixing with a healthy quantity of leaves. It is obviously a very tippy tea, even from the onset, with copious single, white, furry buds. To me, it is nearly a hybrid puerh-white tea, finding a balance between sun-dried pu’er delight and floral, humid whiteness. This might explain the lack of bitterness and astringency. The tea carries a lot of tropical, juicy fruit smells and that faintly oxidized note you would find in silver needles.
What I really appreciate about this tea, in addition to the wonderful fruit character, is this tea’s consistent, blazing bright yellow color. There is nothing orange about this tea, until it reacts with air over a period of fifteen or twenty minutes. Clean production, with no over-processing nor softening to make it more approachable. Although, perhaps the leaf blending was an effort to do so. Not quite as pure as Essence of Tea’s cakes, but pleasantly yellow and bright.
Being a “drink it now” tea, I think this tea lacks endurance. I fail to produce a solid grip with this tea and the texture always comes across pretty soft and weak. The leaves exhaust themselves rather quickly. While not one for the ages, I think this would be a great tea to use for introducing others to sheng pu’er via white tea, especially if bitterness is an issue. Finally, a soft, delicate, settling qi descends on me, as though my stomach was full of warm summer clouds. I agree, Gingko, a good tea to enjoy now.