The Yunnan tour has made it to a pretty hip pit-stop…
Region 3/4: Yiwu / Mengla county. Location 1/2: Ge Deng mountain (Mengla county)
Well… a few disclaimers first: 1) my sample was the bing-hole. A challenge to brew – what I could break off had many broken leaves that got bitter very quickly, and what I couldn’t break off led to an ultra-compressed chunk of tea that very slowly gave up its flavors. 2) It’s seven years old. Could be suffering from those awkward puerh adolescent years where it has lost its bright, youthful flavors but hasn’t developed its rich, mature flavors.
OK. That said, the flavors, from arrival to aftertaste, were all fairly muted and short-lived. That’s about all I can say. Nothing unpleasant, but nothing that grabbed my attention. Also, although this fit in my price parameters for my little Yunnan tour experiment (~$50-$60/cake), it is worth noting that these Yiwu cakes are only 250g rather than 400g like the other regions. For what should be a substantial jump in quality given the price differential, I just didn’t see it.
Frankly, it does remind me of a couple of other (granted, cheap) Yiwu teas I have had, but I will save my review of the Yiwu region until after I have my second sample from the area.
Anyway, I have just enough leaf left for a quick session in a 60ml gaiwan rather than the yixing pot I have been using. I will update the review if something develops out of this.
Dry leaf: straw, sweet herb (faint spearmint), dark honey, baking spices. In preheated vessel – dark wild honey, green leaf, chocolate notes.
Smell: ashy, bitter green herb, hints of floral (lily), dried parsley
Taste: straw; old, cheap chocolate; dried date, dried herb (parsley again), some hints of ashiness that come and go. Aftertaste has short-lived honeysuckle and light dried fruit sweetness. Hints of artificial grape and bitter cherry. All of the flavors are fairly muted.