Monday, September 6, 2010

2010 Essence of Tea Man Mai

This tea comes from the village of Man Mai in the Bada region and is one of the latest offerings from Nada at Essence of Tea. The dry leaves smell pungent, creamy, and mainly sweet. The predominant sweet odour is more like the sweetness of vegetables than that of say sugar, honey, or fruit.

The first infusion is prepared and light sweet hay with subtle floral is present. The predominating flavour is of strong mushroom which is almost meaty in constancy in this oily infusion. Light flavours slowly fade in the mouth to a slightly dry grain character. There are no harsh ups and downs when drinking this tea just a smooth ride that fades into the horizon. The chaqi descends strongly from head down the spine from just the first sips.

The second infusion is more very fungi, very mushroom tastes, that fade into a very light touch of creamy sweetness that underlies everything. This delicious sweetness is the last to slowly fade into dry graininess. There is a very soft grainy and light mushroom aftertaste that is left behind.

The third infusion pours a pale greenish-tinged yellow. It has some bean notes mixed with mushroom and the sweet creamy base. The soup is pretty oily then ends up grainy and slightly sandy in the mouth.

The forth infusion still tastes of strong mushroom but has some slight malty brown sugar notes tucked in there and finishes more sweet that the preceding infusions. The chaqi is quite strong but in a very mellowing kind of way.

The fifth and sixth infusions are much more mild but still contain an initial burst of flavour that turns quickly over to a dry, lightly sandy mouth feel. These infusions start to develop more of a musky tone to them. The aftertaste is mainly sweet and contains a slight suggestion of floral.

The seventh and eighth infusions start to carry more of the grainy profile the whole way through but it starts and ends sweet and even a touch floral.

The later infusions still have some flavour especially in the initial burst. The feel becomes grittier but still shows nice stamina that carries very mild flavours. The chaqi is still strong-mellow it too lasts for a long time.



Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures; I especially love the last two. You have a very elegant, compact tea table which I like a lot.

On the essence of tea's website the pictures make it look like a sheng puer, is that right? I've never tasted mushrooms in a sheng before but nest time I brew one I'll search for them. I usually just find myself comparing sheng puers to tobacco.

Thanks for the post; can't wait to look for some mushrooms in my sheng puer.


Matt said...


The tea table is a favourite here on MattCha's Blog- it is a beauty.

This sheng is indeed mushroomy. You might want to put on your mushroom forging trousers when trying this cake out.