A completely different beast than Bada, the Peacock of Bulang is a very thick and robust creature. Immediately, smoke comes through. A hint of the pine-scented Lapsang shows up in the first steep, and unlike the often coarse cigarette-like smokiness of the Xiaguan teas, this is cleaner, richer, and more enjoyable. As someone who appreciates the hearty Bambergian rauchbiers, I find the rustic hill quality of this tea enjoyable. As the leaf opens up, it yields a really dark orange soup, a bit murky. Normally, an associated strong oxidized hongchaesque tannic bitterness would dominate, but it’s subtle and not unbearable. Otherwise the tea is clean, complex, hearty, and satisfying. The chaqi is smooth, settling, and warm.
2008 Menghai "Peacock of Bulang" Raw
Menghai tea factory has released this Peacock series of single-estate tea mountains since 2001. They represent some of Menghai Tea Factory’s most sought after teas and are produced in very limited quantities. Bulang Mountain Bulang Mountain is the only ethnic Bulang township in China. The Bulang people are descended from the Pu, a minority group of ancient China. They were the first people to cultivate, process, and drink tea. The tea growing area is located in Menghai county of Yunnan province’s Xishuangbanna prefecture and lies at an average altitude of 1700 meters above sea level. The Bulang Mountain area is one of the most prominent ancient tea growing areas in Xishuangbanna. It contains the much-celebrated Banzhang Tea Mountain and has upwards of 10,000mu (1mu=1/6acre) of ancient cultivated tea gardens. The tea trees grow among lush virgin tropical rainforest with year-round fog and mist. The leaves from these trees have a very distinctive quality. Bulang Peacock tea is a 400g fresh Pu-erh cake. Its leaves and buds are extremely plump and fleshy and are covered in fine white hair. They are a blackish green color with a rich glossiness. The leaves have a thick, but soft, character and possess a high degree of tenderness. The brewed tea is a transparent golden yellow color. This Bulang Peacock tea is distinguished by its flavor, which is concentrated, strong, and aggressive. It is filled with chaqi, but bitterness and astringency are balanced. It quickly dissolves in the mouth leaving a rich huigan and a long, pleasant aftertaste.