Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2008 Fangmingyuan Bama

One has a great tea drinking bud that drinks exclusively puerh tea. We meet up for tea every month or so to drink a bunch of puerh. He is a fan of ol'Hobbes of the Half-Dipper (aren't we all) and was ordering some cakes from Taobao that Hobbes had recently reviewed (months ago now). This Bama was one of those cakes from that Taobao order that we ended up splitting.

The dry leaves are of a muted, sour, and slightly pungent wood odour. These leaves are rinsed with boiling water and the first infusion commences...

The first infusion is sour-pungent, deep-gritty-dirty tastes with a sweetness of over ripe fruit. Pumpkin notes can be detected in the watery bouquet. Late sour plum notes can be detected minutes later on the breath. A feeling of warm qi swirling and pooling in the stomach and lower abdomen is noticed.

The second infusion is more deep gritty notes now with a malty-bitter-sweet initial taste. There is a sour, distinctly apricot and plum, fruit taste. These flavours are strong and heavy. The mouth is coated in a thin slightly drying coat with plum and dirty apricot aftertastes hanging on. Qi is strong and moving.

The third infusion is a thick, malty, sweet taste which arrives first before a sour, bitter taste follows not far behind. There is a heavy floral note in there as well that can be compared to patchouli. Qi now induces a sweat.

The fourth infusion comes on with a watery sweetness in a sour-bitter initial taste. It has a goopy-thick, gritty edge with a thick flower-plum finish. The mouthfeel swells in the throat expending slightly and covers the mouth in a thin dry coat.

The fifth infusion has a watery-sweet start but is markedly smoother than previous infusions with creamy, plum finish over slightly sour-bitter base notes.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth infusions have noticeably more fruit edges among the watery, bitter-sweet base. Apricot, mango, and melon come to mind- this fruity taste is now quite long and stretches throughout the taste profile. Qi causes bursts of heat the whole body turns quite warm now. The gritty and dirty elements of this tea are now so subtle in the background providing nice contrast to the distinct fruit tastes.

The tenth infusion is pushed a bit longer and yields more tangy-apricot but slightly more bitter as well. It seems less vibrant now.

This tea is put through longer infusions now, even overnight infusions, revealing a full, distinct, juicy taste with a substantial mouthfeel pinning lingering floral tastes down. The aftertaste is a continuation of the floral and fruit tastes.

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