I loooooove me some Nan Nuo Shan pu-erhs. This marked the first time I was able to sample a maocha (i.e. “proto”-pu-erh). The leaves looked like Hawaii-grown green tea, but with an aroma akin to beef jerky. Taste-wise, however, they had the wine-y note of a pu-erh twice its age. Impressed? A smidge…
2010 Fall Nan Nuo - Ban Po Lao Zhai Mao Cha - Loose Pu-Erh Tea
Ban Po Lao Zhai (Shown as “Banpozhai” on this Nannuo Shan Google Map) is one of several tea producing Aini villages in Nannuo Shan. Ban Po Lao Zhai in English means “Old Village(Mountain Stronghold) Halfway up the Hill .”
This tea was harvested in the Fall of 2010 (mid to late October). It is composed of tea from trees that range from 40 to 200 years old which grow in the hills just outside of Ban Po Lao Zhai. The elevation of this part of Nannuo Shan is approximately 1450-1500 M (4,750-4,920 ft) above sea level, and the mineral rich soil and tropical mountain climate of the area produces some spectacular tea.
I was particularly taken with this tea because the processing was done so well. The liquor is crystal clear, the color is a perfect light amber honey color and the flavors are clean and crisp.
It is a typically assertive and very fresh tasting young Pu-Erh, and it is an excellent example of the very pleasant and accessible Nan Nuo varietals. The flavor is a bit more assertive than the Shi Tou Xin Zhai mao cha we got this Spring, and there is slight “Kǔwèi” (bitter taste/bitter feeling) in the aftertaste that I think balances quite nicely with some of the sweet & vegetal flavors that present themselves particularly in the aftertaste. It will be a pleasure to see how this tea matures over the next few months, and if it ages the way I think it will, this particular producer’s tea will be on our list of teas offered for many years to come. Yum.