2011 Essence of Tea Bulang
After another family hurricane, this time my own, I can return to the tea table. Recovering from the storm surge on Friday, I was eager for something clean, potent, and fresh. Essence of Tea’s recent productions are a safe bet for these characters. Little did I know how potent the Bulang would be, despite warnings from Hobbes.
This tea is the darkest chocolate I’ve ever had. It’s also the most brutally potent tea I’ve ever had. The infusion timing for 5g in 85mL employed to prevent over-brewing was as follows: 3s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, 12s! I’ve never had a tea like this, although bulang bitterness is incredibly distinct, as it immediately reminds me of the nip of bitterness left in the 1997 Heng Li Chang Bulang. For me, the taste and texture experience on the front end of this tea is most akin to the finish on a 100% cacao super-dry, extra-dark alkaline heavy chocolate bar. Alkaline is really the absolute best word to describe this tea.
Once the potent alkalinity has been washed from the tea with almost a dozen infusions, it calms down a little and plays the role of sweet young, innocent sheng. There’s really nothing wrong with this tea, but the palate-crushing and immediate potency make it almost undrinkable at this age. Surprisingly, considering the mega-potency, this tea does not crush me with qi or caffeine.
The Half-Dipper – 2011 Essence of Tea “Bulang”
Essence of Tea – 2011 EoT Bulang