Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 Essence of Tea Bu Lang

This tea is another from Essence of Tea. This tea from the Bu Lang producing area.

As the kettle boils, the dry leaf is admired. Its very bitter and pungent notes fill the nose with each deep breath- the dry leaves show a mix of about half dark leaves and half lighter leaves. The dark ones are a green-brown or dark-brown and the lighter ones are straw coloured or hairy with darker tones underneath. Beautiful leaves. These dry leaves smell tough.

The first infusion is bitter, strong, smoky, and rubbery. The feeling is bridging overwhelmingly harsh the first time it was made, so much less leaf is now used. No matter, it still swings hard into the guts. It's qi wild, strong, and untamed. Under the strength is a buttery almost salty flavour that is mostly crowed out. The flavour is almost meaty with the slightest hints of coco underneath. The mouth and lips dry and pucker under the bitter of this Bu Lang.

The second infusion's thick liquor is even stronger and harsher. It is sour and has a muted sweetness start that leads into a sweet bitter coco/ tobacco aftertaste. The aftertaste also sours and bitters in the mouth. The mouth feel continues to dry and pucker the lips. On a cool, rainy, and terribly humid autumn day these sensations are whole heartedly embraced. It seems redundant to mention that this tea's qi is very alerting.

The third infusion reveals more of the rich nature of this tea. A savoury slathering of camphor and bitter coco are quite noticeable in its depth. Their is an nice earthiness to this infusion. The strong nature of this tea has not subsided.

The fourth and fifth infusions are still strong but have lots of room for more subtleties. Earthy camphor and woody coco flavours now standout above the other elements of this tea. A slight sour composition is noticeable. The mouthfeel is still very dry but also feels a bit sandy.

The sixth and seventh infusions are more of the above but on a much more manageable scale. There is a bitter-sweet, dry finish that lasts long with the flavours on the breath. The chaqi darts around the body charging it, changing it, with very little relaxing euphoria. It presses hard on the digestive organs. Ones goes for a walk to burn some of this excess energy off and to move the stagnating sensation aggregating in the stomach.

The infusions that follow become creamier. The harsh, raw, bitter edge of this tea fades enough for the flavours to be unimpeded. When the above mentioned flavours have all but vanished the spent leaves are spilt out and thanks is given.

Link to Hobbes' (The Half-Dipper) Tasting Notes

Link to Sebastien's (Vacuithe) Tasting Notes



Ryan said...

The teaware in this piece is really gorgeous. Have you written about it before? Where might one acquire a similar cup/saucer set?

Matt said...


There is a post on the cup, it is by a Korean master potter, Sel Young Jin. See here:

There is a post on the coaster, they are by potter Park Sung Il. See here:

There is a post on the ceramic tea table (you can only see the corner of it in this picture). It is by master potter Kim Kyoung Soo. See here:

The tea warmer (cube shaped) is also by Kim Kyoung Soo, still need to post about that.

Been hoping to post some new teaware posts sometime in the next few weeks.

These pieces are not for sale outside of Korea. David Louveau's works are heavily influenced by master Sel Young Jin for a fair price. You can contact him on his webpage:

If you are seriously interested in the Korean pieces, one can point you in the right direction.


Ryan said...

Thank you so much for the pointers, Matt! I will catch up on my reading. :)

If you wouldn't mind dropping me a line at ryan @ (my URL, which I mistyped in my original comment!), I do have a few questions I'd like to ask offline about Korean teaware.

Matt said...


Just sent you an email.