Spring 2021 Lao Man E Gushu

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From Farmerleaf

Spring 2021 April harvest

Heavy sweetness, medium-high short lived bitterness, powerful Chaqi and extreme endurance.

Lao Man E is a prestigious village located South of Menghai. This cake is made of the sweet varietal of the ancient tea gardens.

Lao Man E has decent fragrance, it is a very understated kind of fragrance, the opposite of Lincang teas. It won’t burst in your nose, but will linger for a long time after drinking, stealthily coming back from your throat. The nature of this Lao Man E fragrance, which could be assimilated to Bulang area as a whole, is leathery, animal and herbaceous; don’t expect a festival of flowers here, we’re not in Jingmai here.

From the first cup, you can expect a good bitterness punch from a fine Lao Man E. Good bitterness should not linger for long, it should vanish within seconds, leaving sweetness in its trail.

There are two varietals of old-growth tea trees in Lao Man E: bitter and sweet. The bitter varietal has both long-lasting and short-lived bitterness, it is an intense experience that few people actually enjoy.

This is why we selected the sweet varietal, which displays a moderate to high bitterness, but only of a short-lived nature. This varietal is more expensive than the bitter one because it is the most enjoyed and sought-after.

Another characteristic of Lao Man E is to have a low level of astringency in relation to the bitterness. In Chinese, we tend to group the two tastes together in a single word, but Lao Man E is well known for being bitter but not that astringent.

Lao Man E will definitely give you a buzz if you’re sensitive. We recommend you eat a good meal before drinking that kind of tea. While Jingmai tea tends to give out its power straight away, you need to be more patient with Lao Man E (and all Bulang teas in general).

Cup after cup, sweetness will accumulate on your gums and creep down your throat, you’ll get plenty of that menthol effect that we like to call Hui Gan: a sweet and refreshing feel in the throat.

The tea is very long brewing, you can easily get 20 steeps out of a handle of leaves. This is partly due to the size of the leaves, they are among the largest you can find in Xishuangbanna. To give you an idea, we usually cook the leaves for 20 minutes in Jingmai, but in Lao Man E, they need at least 35 minutes.

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