Mengsong seems to produce a lot of good tea. Plum Beauty sold by BLT is one of them, and at a very good price too. It has a complex bouquet, strong and well-integrated bitterness, and a long-lasting aftertaste, all being hallmarks of a quality tea in my opinion. It does, however, upset the stomach a little bit, make sure not to drink it on an empty stomach!
Before the session, the aroma is sweet, floral, and metallic and it explodes into a multitude of directions after the rinse. There are notes of popcorn, stewed beef, green peas, semolina, vanilla ice cream, cedar, and honeysuckle as well as other plants and flowers.
Already the rinse is very flavourful. It has a bitter and savoury profile with a peppery finish – a sign of things to come. The bitterness is continually present throughout the session, but it is well-integrated as I mentioned already and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Complementing it are various vegetal, floral and tart flavours. I can detect hints of apricot pits, stone fruit skins, jasmine and pine needles.
The tea has a medium to full body with a colloidal mouthfeel and a medium astringency. The aftertaste is crisp and cooling and shows a lot of sweetness alongside the persisting bitterness – the huigan is pretty strong. Despite being floral and sweet, it is not a honey-like aftertaste I’d often associate with teas from He Kai and some other nearby Menghai areas. Instead, there are also notes of malt, rosemary, and salt. Rounding out the experience is a fairly lively and energizing qi that is not overpowering in any way.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Cedar, Floral, Flowers, Herbs, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Malt, Meat, Metallic, Peas, Pepper, Pine, Plants, Popcorn, Salt, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal, Wheat