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Everything we know has changed forever and so has my tea
The first thing to change about 2 weeks ago is my when I stopped using my gong fu set up at work. With the coronavirus starting to emerge, I determined
that there was some level of risk with the gong fu set up because the little
cups don’t have handles and they are small enough that your fingers are going
to come in close contact with the lip.
And with it being in the open office others could easily sneeze or cough
on it. And with the amount of times I go
back and forth from the table in a daily session, what if I forgot to wash my
hands? So much risk assessment over
something so not risky… So I just started one cupping and grandpa brewing puerh
instead. Maybe this is why Marshal’N
seems to do this while social distancing as well? Or maybe he just really loves
the grandpa brewing? Either way, I
missed my gong fu at work… but at least I had work… now the government has ordered that I stop working this week…
In a way it’s nice because my only real chance of a proper daily gong fu session is the one I
share with my family. We load up the
big pot or maybe the other not as big pot too.
These days the good stuff is being drank up because you only live once
as they say. The last few days we have
been drinking lots of gushu type puerh especially the ones that profoundly relax,
gently harmonize, or string you out into a relaxing contemplative high. Gone is the need for the strong puerhs, the “energizer
bunnies”, the rough stuff, and the factory puerh. These are not the days for such energies in
our house. I find it funny that I
recently stocked up on Bulang… hahahah…. How things change quickly… about a
month ago I was busier than ever at both work and with family life and needed
the big boost of a Bulang, especially in the laziness of winter, I required
such things, craved such energies. Now,
its all about keeping calm, introspection, taking it slow…
My wife and I joked over tea this morning that it doesn’t
count as minimalism if you have no money… hahahah… tea minimalism just the
same. As we joked toddlers and babies
got a hold of a somewhat cool cup of 2006 Yang Qing Hao Qixiang and managed to
chug down a whole mug… they were actually pretty good after imbibing that
calming qi.... hahaha
For me, even a few
years ago, my tea drinking was very very different but for the last year or two
it has been pretty consistent mainly due to stable life circumstances. My tea drinking falls into (1) morning gongfu
I drink/ make for wife and family. (2) Stored productions that I bring out of
storage to drink with my family on a rare occasion. (3) Teas I drink with other
people. (4) Everyday drinkers I one cup steep at work. (5) better teas I gong
fu at work.
It was pretty much like this up until the last few weeks now
I mainly indulge in (2) & (1).
Numbers (3)-(5) are out of the question there is none of that happening
anytime soon. How things change so
quickly! So much in life often depends
on how stable life circumstances are… everything is now in a state of flux but
I’m not concerned…
I have a happy family and good tea. What else is better than that?
Here is a list of other puerh bloggers take on COVID 19:
It’s first mentioned in a puerh blog by Wilson of traveling
teapot when he wishes us a “Happy Chinese New Year”. He mentions resuming travel to China later
Marshal’N gives us some hope and encouragement and reminds
us to enjoy the little things in this time of social distancing by “Staying Home”.
Cwyn reminds us that “We’re Really Lucky” to be able to be surrounded
by so much good tea and teawear in this time of uncertainty and anxiety.
There is something about this description that laid down a
bit of a challenge which I couldn’t resist…
So far every tea that has been offered for sale on the hyper curated Teas
We Like have basically been ready to drink.
Either aged out or at least pushed past any harsh or awkward stages for
this we are all grateful. The
description of this one is subtle but suggestive, “Highly recommended for
further aging.”… Unable to turn off such curiosity I purchase one of these ($165.00 for 357g cake or $0.46/g) in a re-order of the 2005 Nan Qiao Double Lion Bulang.
There is a recent puerh trend of puerh nostalgia I just want
to touch on here. Basically, a renewed
appreciation for traditionally processed puerh that used old production methods
and left the end product sometimes smokey and sometimes with charred leaves and
even other burned wood stuffs or other random stuffs (hair, plastic from
processing bags, other plant leaves, ect) pressed into the cake. There are going to be people who will never
get why you would want smoke and char in a puerh. Those people, I guarantee, were not drinking
puerh back in the day when the material was of much better quality that you can
generally acquire today but the processing methods were not always perfect. I suppose there are also those that have
never tried these old school puerhs and are new to it all but find something
alternative in a rustic puerh. This is
the lure of these nostalgic puerhs.
Right away this puerh gets extra bonus points for “authentic
rustic” when the unwrapped bing has a thread of plastic that is sometimes
common in older factory puerh. These
strands usually come from falling off the tarp or bags used to transport tea
leaves. I also find a long black strand
of hair also very very common in older puerh cakes - double bonus! This stuff doesn’t faze me because some of
the best aged tea I’ve tried had some of this… truly rustic.
The very distinct mesquite odour of the dry leaves comes on
strong then a bunch of depth is revealed in the smokey overture. Faint autumn leaf, creamy sweetness, cheery
fruitiness, woodiness, slight humid storage basement note. Very complex with strong and subtle notes
presenting at once in the nose.
The first infusion has a surprisingly sweet onset a vibrant,
tangy sweetness that has a tingling pungency on the tongue and feels
surprisingly vibrant and fresh and mainly sweet with a subtle mesquite then a
bit of pungent than a long vegetal sweet potato sweetness. The mouthfeeling is sticky and soft. The throat opens nicely and deeply. There is a very long tangy cherry sweetness
and almost a vegetal like sweetness minutes later. Overall, this first infusion can be described
as quite acrid, cooling and pungently sweet.
The Qi is strong in the chest almost immediately.
The second infusion has a sweet mesquite onset that reminds
me of BBQ sauce in its thickness. There
is like a port wine like nuance to this puerh’s taste. Like a deep, rich sweetness of grapes. There are also other layers of sweetness like
blackberry, sweet potato, even a vegetal sweetness. The pungency is fuzzy and stimulating. This puerh seems very vibrant but yet coated
in some faint smoke and depth. The smoke
is faint not strong. This puerh is very
tasty and complex in its layers. It has
a deep in the throat reach and numbing cooling sensation in the mouth. The Qi is very alerting
The third: A thick caramel sweetness comes fast then a
slight mesquite then a pungency pushes a creamy sweet and almost fruity nuance
deep into the throat. The mouthfeeling
is numbing and there is an overall feeling of vibrant and active pungency and
out right numbing. The puerh feels very pure,
despite its questionable processing.
There is an uplifting, re-energizing overall feeling to this puerh. The Qi is making the mind sharp and body
restless. The sweet aftertaste is very
long and sometimes like port wine or sweet potato even Chinese date taste. The storage of this puerh is really
interesting and does well for something like this. It feels dry stored- the leaves are still
olive green but it has a suggestion of deeper humidity. It works really well to bring out the
polarities of depth and lightness of this puer.
4th comes off with a chalky, powdery sweet taste,
there is nuances of caramel, potato, vegetal, date that is trapped in a blob of
saliva in the mouth. There is a
under-reaching pungency in here that pushes out a long returning sweetness-
some woodiness, port, slight oak, and mesquite. The smoke is throughout but is
mild. There is a richness to the taste
here as well like a roasted coffee subtle bitterness that comes out on the
breath. It has a mineral taste to it as
well almost like a Yancha (cliff tea).
The mouthfeeling is silky and chalky and sticky. The Qi is vibrant and energizing.
The 5th infusion has a caramel apple date like
onset. It has a robust rich almost
coffee like vibe to it. The flavor
really stays long in the mouth, throat, and breath. There is nuances of chestnut, minerals, dates,
woods, faint smoke throughout. The smoke
is not upfront just faint. The sweetness
is rich and long. This puerh is really dazzling,
vibrant, active, and rich in these first infusions. The Qi is warming in my body and is not
harsh. I would say this is sufficiently
aged for most to drink now and doesn’t necessarily need to be aged anymore to
enjoy. The Qi in the head is starting to
feel floating and expansive.
The 6th infusion has a sweet, rich, almost nutty,
roasted coffee like feeling. There is
some bitterness still in here but it is integrated into a roasted nutty bitter
like nuts can be bitter. The belly feels
an intense warming sensation. The
mouthfeeling is almost sandy, oily, sticky feeling. The taste really stays in the mouth, throat, and
breath for a long time. There is a
chalky sweetness up front as well that has glimpses of melon high notes and
pear skin still present. The strength and
length of taste is profound and surprising really.
7th starts with a incense woody subtle charcoal
with a creamy sweet finish there is some mild pungency, woody, there is more of
a woody creamy sweet thing going on now with much less pungency and more of a subtle
creamy sweetness, woody incense charcoal and the mouthfeeling, throatfeeling
and aftertaste is starting to wane a bit now.
The 8th has a mesquite sweetness with incense the
sweetness is a vegetal sweetness with a long creaminess that comes out in the
aftertaste. There is faint smoke
throughout and a full sticky, almost dry, coating in the mouth. There is a bit of rich nutty sweetness in the
aftertaste. The Qi is more relaxing in
the mind now and heavy in the body. The
length and complexity of this puerh seems to drop off fast in typical factory
The ninth I leave in the cup for a while and come back to a
cup that has a woody incense taste with a subtle creaminess. There are suggestions of Chinese date in the
returning sweetness. The taste is still
sunny but not as full or complex and much more incense, woody, charcoal
now. It can’t seem to get deep into the
throat so I’m going to push it with a 20 second stepping now…
The 10th oops I flashed steeped it again out of
habbit… hahahha.. this one has a more rich nuttiness to it also a sweeter mesquite
tastes. Lots of woodiness comes out of here
in the end.
11th is at 30 seconds and pushes out a thicker
creamier sweeter broth- the sweetness dominates throughout here. Some incense
and woody base. Creamy almost
yeast-bread sweet aftertaste. The
pungency was also pushed out more giving this one a fuller and longer sweetness
12th is at 45 seconds and pushes a pungent
sweetness out nicely again. There is
lots of creamy sweetness pushed out and a deep pungency. This puerh needs quite a bit of nudging
earlier on than most but the result is really nice as not much bitterness comes
out. There is a distinct incense base
taste. The Qi gives up quite early too
and now is a bit stuffy in the chest and floaty in the head. A long creamy sweetness can be found here.
The 13th I push longer… and it gives back nice
camphor woody pungent and sweet notes with a sticky mouthfeeling and pungency
that tries to go into the mid throat.
Creamy bread like sweet finish.
I long steep the 14th and out comes a sweet and
woody with a resounding pungency of cool. This infusion starts to get a touch dry. The smoke is faint here.
I put this one into an overnight steeping…
I like this tea and it’s a factory production to a
fault. Very tasty early on with a very
active stimulation in the mouth but poor stamina typical of factory puerh. I think it will age into a very date tasting
and camphor tasting puerh. Better than Menghai factory stuff of the same
age. Very nice stuff.
I’m happy to have one and if I hadn’t just ordered a bunch
of Double Lion I might have even bought another.
*I wrote the rough draft of this last week before the world
was flipped upside down. Some of this is
a lot more obvious now that a week has passed…
There was a wave of initial posts debunking the idea of the Coronavirus
being spread in tea orders. Common logic
further supported by scientific probabilities make this one a real long
shot. However there are many deeper
topics of discussion about how the Novel Coronavirus has already and may
continue to impact the world of puerh…
The shipping delays
must have impacted business. This
was the first and most obvious impact of the outbreak. The Western vendors that seemed hardest hit,
from what I can tell, are white2tea and Tea Urchin. Famous tea wearhousing area Guangzhou has
been the second hardest hit province with of course Wuhan being the first. White2tea’s warehouse is in Guangzhou, the only
of the Western puerh vendors to be located there. The authorities prohibited white2tea to ship
for weeks and this must have hit Paul’s bottom line. Tea Urchin also put up a warning that their
packages are shipping out much slower. Other vendors like Yunnan Sourcing in Kunming
seemed much less affected at this time.
There is also the problem
of brand association to the Coronavirus.
There have been hundreds of articles posted about the effect this is
having on Corona Beer although the results don’t seem to be as clear as the
early articles suggest. In a broader
sense all things “Chinese” could be effected this includes Chinese tea such as
puerh. The effect is unconscious as
people illogically attach a perceived threat to the pictures they first saw of
Wuhan. This could slightly impact sales
but is unlikely to cause much damage.
Then there is the damage that could be caused by a more
direct association of a specific brand to the Coronavirus. This is maybe the threat that white2tea was
under especially during the shipping ban.
They ran the risk of being labeled “the Coronavirus puerh brand” if the
brand starts to be associated with completely unrelated negativity. Paul did something super interesting and just
basically pulled the plug on all his social media for weeks on end during the
peak crisis and shipping delay. From a
business and marketing perspective this seemed like the right thing to do to
avoid continuous chatter and association to the Coronavirus. It also goes to show that social media isn’t
just fun connections to the customer.
For Paul, its mainly simply marketing otherwise he would have continued
the chatter. No question Paul was fielding
lots of questions in private messages and emails out of public view. I think puerh drinkers are too smart for
these negative associations and I hope they will come out strong to support white2tea
in its spring release.
****Looking back now with consumer confidence quite low this
week, I wonder if Paul regrets not aggressively marketing at that time. He might have sat idle during an opportune calm
before the storm?***
The Novel Coronavirus is starting to effect markets. It wouldn’t surprise me this year that the pressure
the virus outbreak is putting on markets might
actually result in lower prices for 2020 maocha. This would be the first time since the puerh
bubble popped and I think it might happen. If the season produces a good product some Western
vendors might take advantage of the lower maocha prices and stock up if they
have the funds to ride things out and the stomach to dive head first into the
The other thing is that consumer
confidence might be impacted and sales of puerh might suffer. Puerh is a luxury. No one needs puerh to live and luxuries are
the first thing to suffer as consumer confidence wanes. Alternatively, brands like Dayi might go up
in value as they may be used as a hedge as a commenter mentioned a few years
I’ve been through this sort of thing before during the Great
Recession (Dec 2007-June 2009). The one
thing that really annoys me when people talk about the puerh bubble bursting is
that they never put it in the wider context of what was going on at the time,
which was the biggest recession of our generation. Yeah, of course you should have bought up a
bunch puerh at that time but consumer confidence was the lowest in
decades. Back in 2008, 2009, 2010 I
pretty much stopped buying tongs of puerh and drank up some aged and semi aged
puerh. If you look back on my blog I was
drinking lots of Korean green tea and Balhyocha and even Darjeeling. Anyways, my point is that I was buying way,
way less tea and spending way way less money on tea during this time. I was buying more drink now tea and less tea
that required aging (although the young kids these day will drink that stuff
Its feels like it’s all happening again… I don’t know if the
bubble will burst but definitely things are slowing. Personally, it’s starting to financially affect
our family as we are bringing in 15% less the two weeks before last. Last week is 25% down and well this week aren’t
looking good either. It’s enough that I
didn’t go through with a puerh purchase that I was planning… and at a time when
I’ve already said that I probably have enough puerh to last me a long long time…
this might be the straw that broke the puerh buyers back… hahha…
If it’s happening to me, it’s probably happening to others
***There is nothing like a little consumer confidence issue
to get our beloved puerh vendors back on their A game. Two vendors came out fast over the last few
days. It seems like our favorite Zen
monk, David and always awesomely pleasant, Kathy, from the Essence of Tea got things
going with a puerh cake give away. Paul
of white2tea did an amazing job at putting together a much more user friendlyand practical site. We got to support
these people and the other vendors too if we feel we can…
There is lots to think about… like the fact that there are
many people who will lose their lives from this… this makes the whole topic
seem pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things I suppose.
I going back to the tea table and drinking me some good
I just received my sampler of bottom to less popular mid-range
Yang Qing Hao puerh from Liquid Proust Teas. I wanted to include this 2011Yang Qing Hao Guyun Bulang ($225.00 for 500g cake or $0.45/g) as a part of the
Bulang sampling I have been doing here as of late…
Very very tight compressed dry leaves smell of familiar Yang
storage smells and some mild creamy sweetness and a vegetal like foresty odour. There almost looks like there are some
purplish leaves blended into the mix as you can see from the photo. The purple leaves immediately remind me of
the 2012 Yang Qing Hao Ye Gu…
The first infusion has a creamy milky sweet onset with a
flat milk almost bitterness throughout.
There is a muted sweetness and a slight tingling chalky mouthfeeling
especially on the tongue. There is a
mild creamy almost powdery chalky sweetness on the breath that has some very
vague suggestions of fruits. The
mouthfeeling is interestingly thin but tingling chalky. There is a rolling moca like chocolate milk
finish off this one that is really delicious.
The second infusion has a milky sweet foresty onset that
slowly crests into something sweeter. Simple
tastes. There is a clear purity to the
taste not muddled. The creamy sweet
milky note is long and deep and very satisfying. The mouthfeel is thin but chalky and
tingling. The throat carries a deep and very faint pungency.
Third steep… pot clogged about 1/3 way through the pour and
the tea sat in there for a good minute… this will be a stronger one… yes… quite
strong.. there is a coffee ground onset bitter and roasted like nutty taste
with a deep medicinal Traditional Chinese Medicine bitterness. There is also some sweetness nutty sweetness
and creamy bitter milk sweetness. A
peaty musky depth to it. The
mouthfeeling is tart on the tongue. The
mouthfeeling isn’t that thick nor is the throat feeling that stimulating. There is a faint deep reach which gives this
tea something. There is a lingering returning
sweetness in the breath- a milky flat sweetness.
The fourth infusion has a coffee mild bitter nutty almost
but not really toffee like onset with a long milky sweet note that fades out
into the aftertaste. Milky smooth sweet
with a coffee, nutty bitter with some faint TCM nuances. The taste has a certain simple shallowness to
it. The Qi is really subtle and not very
Bulang like at all. It has a more typically
Gushu like relaxing thing going on.
Almost like a gentle rocking soothing feeling. I can feel my face puffy. I feel relaxed and happy. The Qi is mild and subtle.
The fifth infusion has a flat sweet blank faint sweetness
that transitions to a creamy milky sweetness.
There is a storage taste that is pretty strong and a faint buttery
taste. The tastes are very mild
here. The forest base is the strongest
but it feels more like a background taste.
There is a faint bitterness in this one as well. The mouthfeel is thin and kind of mossy. The throat feel is faint and weak but reasonably
deep. This one reminds me a lot of 2012
Yang Qing Hao Yegu like budget Yegu but the divide between the two is vast.
The sixth infusion has a dirt like taste with storage onset
that slides into a more typical but very muted bitter sweet creamy Bulang
suggestion. The mouthfeel is chalky and
mossy but fuller here. It ends in a
foresty storage tastes with a faint thread of the bitter sweet. This puerh is really neither bitter nor sweet
but more medicinal forest. A mild
relaxing Qi. Can feel it just a touch in
the chest. This puerh is filled with
mild and simple things.
The seventh has a rich nutty foresty dirt like onset with a
longer bitter coffee grounds almost nut like not that creamy sweetness. There
is a forest and dirt like edge with a mild mossy mouthcoating with faint,
almost non-throat feeling. The Qi is
relaxing and tranquil. Not to much going
on with this one.
The eighth infusion has a foresty almost dirt and storage
taste with a touch of bitter herbal medicine nuance. There is a subtle creamy bitter sweetness but
it is faint. The taste is shallow and
The ninth infusion is very soft muted barely sweet barely
bitter barely medicinal and forest tasting.
The Storage taste is probably the strongest taste here. The next infusion I will push harder…
The 10th infusion I put to a minute long infusion
and it pushes out some coffee ground tastes, some bitter milk tastes even some
low lying pungency. There is an overarching
forest taste as well as coffee bitter.
The Qi is mild and relaxing almost sleepy.
The 11th infusion I do a few minutes long
infusion a longer one and get a bitter coffee grounds bitter almost nutty flat
dirt bitter. There is a mild pungency
but with a thin mouthfeeling and absence of throat feeling- this taste doesn’t
do that much. There are some vague
suggestions so milky sweet…
The 12th infusion is very long infused and pushes
out much of the same…. Something kind of funny happens here… I notice a faint
and unusual euphoria lingering in my mind… I kind of feel a bit lazy but also
high in a not that obvious sense… The Qi is sneaky but it’s most definitely doing
My guess is that Yang was trying to press a unique possibly
a wild like forest production much like his 2012 Yang Qing Hao Ye Gu. But this one kind of failed, I think. The purple leaf material is very nice much
like the 2012 Ye Gu. I have no question
that this is gushu, it just doesn’t do much.
Overall, its uniqueness is accomplished as I would never guess to be
Bulang and I would say it is almost more like a medicinal tasting Bulang. It has a typical gushu like Qi sensation that
seems foreign compared to a usually powerful Bulang Qi. I can kind of see where this tea was going
but I just am not a fan and don’t think that this one will age into anything
very exciting either. Just like I said
before all vendors press both very good puerh and not as good puerh…. Everyone knows
that Yang presses some of the best but sometimes nature dictates that things
just don’t turn out as planned. Even
Yang probably knows this by now- you can’t win em all.
James and Denny’s review was what spurred this whole search
for Bulang mission back into motion.
Really, it was Denny’s reaction (this is really what sells teas) which
suggested to me that this was a rather strong one with a bit of smoke.…
Dry leaves smell of mainly smoke but some plum fruits and
wood odours as well.
First infusion has a subtle smokey, woody, plummy taste in a
watery base. There is some coolness with
a nice long sweet plum aftertaste. The
mouthfeeling is soft and slightly tingling.
This first infusion is surprisingly sweet and fruity tasting with no
The second starts with a mild coco sweet fruity faint
bitterness which expands in the mouth.
The nice coolness pushes a very sweet plum and creamy sweet long
aftertaste. There is a faint lingering plumb mixed with ghostly smoke. The mind feels very calm but the heart begins
to pound. The mouthfeeling has a thicker
fullness to it. Roasted nut nuance can
be tasted in there as well. This is a
really nice Bulang.
The third infusion has a smokey sweet fruity slight bitter
start. These tastes are pretty vibrant
and alive and kind of converge into the slight bitter note. Then comes a nice
long cool pungent with a sweet plum returning sweetness with a creamy sweet
underbelly. The mouthfeeling is full, a thick
chalky coating. The smoke more comes out
in the end in the aftertaste. The throat
has a mild deeper opening feeling.
The fourth infusion has a smokier onset with a balance of
plum sweetness and slight bitter. The
smoke recedes then a cool menthol like smoke slides into it and out comes a
sweet plumb, woody, and slightly creamy sweet taste. The mouthfeel is really
thick and chalky and full. The throat opens mildly but deeply. The Qi is peaceful but strong and makes the
chest beat in a nice but obvious rhythm.
A warm surge of energy engulfs me.
The fifth infusion has a nice woody, slight muted smoky and
plum onset the bitterness is mild. The
tastes are mainly over a creamy sweet base- the cool pungency accentuates the
creamy sweetness. The mouthfeel
continues to be very full chalky thickness which starts to reach down into the
throat now. The aftertaste is long and
sweet with faint smoky nuance. The Qi is
very focusing, almost peaceful but very powerful, warming the body and flushing
the face mildly. The heart is mildly and
rhythmically stimulated and the overall effect is beautiful.
The sixth infusion starts with a creamy plum sweetness with
faint smoke and faint bitterness underneath.
The mouthcoating is thick and the taste is sweet and creamy with a
lingering coolness and long creamy sweetness.
This is yummy puerh. The Qi is
focusing now and keeps the heart on beat.
A nice focused energy.
The seventh infusion starts with a sweet wood, sweet creamy
and smokey balance, there is a faint bitterness that linger, a cool menthol
comes in and leaves a long creamy sweet aftertaste. The mouthcoat is full and chalky and a faint
touch gripping. Nice Qi.
The eighth infusion is a full creamy sweet profile much like
the last. There is a touch of smoke and
woody along with sweet creamy almost plum.
There is some cooling then a long creamy sweetness and slight coco
nuance with faint smoke.
9th is more coco creamy sweetness with just a
faint touch of smoke to add a bit of interesting to it. The infusions are becoming sweeter coco as we
go here with the bitter dropped off. A
nice cooling with coco finish.
10th infusion is much more of the same. The smoke is still faint but compounds as you
drink infusions closer together and recede with a bit of space between
infusions. This is standard stuff with
the smoke. Nice relaxing Qi sensation.
The 11th is the same a bit more wood, a touch of
astringency, slightly more bitter and smoke.
Coolness in throat with a sweet coco, and now a woodier finish. Nice peaceful warming Qi.
The 12th is really nice a sweet bread like coco
taste through and through. Nice coolness then finishes sweet creamy and long.
Faint, very faint smoke.
The 13th is a bit more woody, astringent, bitter
but mainly just sweet. The taste of most
Bulang is rarely complex this late in the game- neither is this one but I
usually just push through. Nice relaxing
The 14th is a touch fruity and watery sweet. The mouthfeeling is lessening here as is the
bitter. What’s left is a very sweet easy
The 15th is more woody and astringent but still
quite sweet coco and some faint creamy sweetness.
This is an excellent classic tasting Bulang! The drier Malaysian storage is right on. I just can’t imagine a better storage on this
Bulang. It’s humid enough to tame its smoke
and bitter but yet dry enough to highlight the sweetness that this Bulang has a
lot of. This has it all… but it also
isn’t cheap at $225.00 for 357g cake or $0.63/g…. Darn…. I actually have no clue about how to apprise something
like this. A classic Bulang with a
modern price…. I think it’s at least fair for something of this caliber for
something that is likely the gold standard for at least judging Nan Qiao
factory if not mid 2000s factory Bulang.
Although I wouldn’t say that this is a deal at this price it does have
many positives such as its perfect and ideal storage and true classic feeling. It wouldn’t surprise me if a cake like this
doubles in price in the next few years due to this really authentic Bulang
essence that this cake presents. I feel
like a very classic tasting factory Bulang like this will become a bit famous
years down the road. I like.
To compare to the 2004 Nan Qiao Bulang King. Pictured Left
is the 2005 and right the 2004 and in the middle this 2005 Long Yuan Hao Bulang. The 2004
Bulang king is much more of an herbaceous type of Bulang and doesn’t exhibit
the classic Bulang taste profile as much, at least not yet in its aging. The 2005 Long Yuan is nicely Kunming dry stored and is much more fruity and sweet and is more obviously plantation material compared to the others but it has the right storage for what it has but really a different Bulang. The
2004 Nan Qiao has much more intense bitterness as well as much more intense Qi than the
2005 Nan Qiao. Overall the 2004 is in many ways
more powerful than this 2005 which surprised me (I wonder what Denny's reaction to the 2004 would be). The 2004’s weakness is that it lacks a more
substantial creamy sweetness or that much sweetness at all. However, the 2004 is more unique and complex in its tastes. From what I’ve read, it also seems like a
more typical, but perhaps best example of, house Bulang that Nan Qiao tends to
produce (which seems to be more herby and medicinal with less sweetness). This is all I can gather from what I read not
personal experience. The storage on the
2004 also tells some of the story- it’s really pretty dry stored for Bulang. However, a more floral sweet type of Bulang
would probably be better suited for this type of drier storage such as the 2005 Long Yuan Hao which really benefited from its Kunming storage.
I picked up a handful of cakes of this 2005 Nan Qiao Double L:ion Bulang which is close to
prefect classic Bulang for me, its weakest point is actually that it could be a
touch more powerful…. Can’t have it all…