I’m having the Silver Peacock Bulang Mt Habitat 2012, which I got back in March. At first I didn’t know what to make of it, especially since it’s clear that they included lots of tea bits in the cake, so much so, I wondered if mites hadn’t gotten to it to make it that way. Then on reading, I found that it’s not an uncommon practice to make the outside of the cake all sparkly and then stuff the bits inside.
Well, I tried to live down my disappointment about the bits and placed a chunk in the zisha caddy, assuming that it would mellow some of the astringency/bitterness.
About a week later I found myself wanting to try it again. I decided that there wasn’t that much astringency, really but that there was bitter and understanding the flavour profile of Ban-zhang’s that this tea was aptly bitter.
It’s now had about two months in the caddy and a few days of uncharacteristic hot. I’ve had only one infusion so far of the stuff on the edge where there’s entirely all whole leaf, 10 sec at 185. The liquor is silvery pale. The taste is rich, smoky, mature, just an ever so slight hint of bitterness.
For my tastes, brewing most raw or green tea above 185 produces a poor brew. This is no exception. I generally like to let the tea cook for five minutes or when it’s really hot till it’s totally cooled off, as it can be more refreshing this way.
This cake has a dry finish, so the thirst-slaking attributes of a fruitier tea aren’t there, not in the first round. As I remember, as the bitter taste builds it possesses qualities reminiscent of ku-ding (bitter nail) tea, slippery an bitter, but not as bitter.