1997 Heng Li Chang Bulang

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by the_skua
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “While the ’97 Menghai 8582 was heavy on the flavors imposed by the place of storage to the point that I felt they departed from the realm of natural tea flavors, this tea really holds onto the...” Read full tasting note
    80
    the_skua 207 tasting notes
  • “First try with this aged puerh. Using tap water, small porcelain gaiwan, 2 grams of tea, and 60-75mL water with each infusion. Water is just off the boil. Dry leaves smell of sweet rich soil. ...” Read full tasting note
    84
    teaddict 311 tasting notes
  • “his Henglichang Bulang tea has gotten some mention from other bloggers with widely varying opinions. Thanks to Apache, I had a chance to try a sample. Luckily, I had not read any other reviews...” Read full tasting note
    88
    TwoDog2 9 tasting notes
  • “Quite mature for its age, with slight wet-storage, which doesn't seem to manifest itself in the cup. Of course, as a person partial to wetter-storage, YMMV. The tea itself sits very firmly and...” Read full tasting note
    88
    Maitre_Tea 1 tasting notes

From The Essence of Tea

This high quality offering from Heng Li Chang tea factory is composed of a recipe featuring a heavy concentration of buds harvested from the Bulang mountain range. The processing is done by hand and the cakes are stone pressed. The Bulang taste is evident in the tea soup, with a hint of the bitterness that the region is renowned for present in the first few infusions.

The soup is oily and thick with the slight bitterness melting quickly in the mouth leaving a long, lasting sweetness and thick aged flavour.

The (Taiwan) storage has been good and this cake is well on the way to being aged.

The later infusions lack the hint of bitterness and become thick and woody with a pronounced camphor flavour.

An excellent tea & a useful indication of what more recent good quality Bulang teas may evolve into.

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6 Tasting Notes

80
207 tasting notes

While the ’97 Menghai 8582 was heavy on the flavors imposed by the place of storage to the point that I felt they departed from the realm of natural tea flavors, this tea really holds onto the essence of earth and decay. With more natural humus-like, decaying leaf matter and old pine needle flavors, I found this more attuned to my palate. The nuanced and gentle mushroom, moss, and tree bark characters of young sheng puerh have aged gracefully and have descended the flavor profile of this tea from the tree tops into the sub-leaf-litter level, highlighting the natural warm embrace of a forest floor. Some of the basement notes are there in the form of talc, medicine, and ointment, but they’re not overbearing to the point of disgust.

What I struggled with in this tea, in the first three or four steeps, was its texture. Leaving me with a sensation that greasy, damp lotion had been smeared across my tongue, I found the palate initially murky, slightly sour, and hard to get past. I did not drink much of the first three steeps. Fortunately, this clamminess departed and revealed a thick, sweetness that made it intensely pleasurable to drink from the fifth steep on.

If this tea is supposedly somewhere been wet and dry storage, than I guess I’m more of a dry storage fan. This flavor profile was much more to my liking, and I’ve learned that the first few steeps of a tea such as this are not as meaningful as the middle steeps. This was a bit of lore I found early on in my readings on puerh and something that I did not experience with young sheng puerh, but is something that makes sense in light of an aged tea such as this.

Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=392

teaddict

Reviewing my notes, looks like I had a similar response—the first couple of steeps had some bitterness, and the fruitiness that was especially delicious first is noted after 3 steeps.

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84
311 tasting notes

First try with this aged puerh. Using tap water, small porcelain gaiwan, 2 grams of tea, and 60-75mL water with each infusion. Water is just off the boil.

Dry leaves smell of sweet rich soil.

First a flash rinse, then 20 second first infusion: sweet, earthy, anise, a hint of herby/spicy but no bitterness. The liquor turns my golden shino cup to deep red-orange.

30 seconds 2nd: sweet, earthy, thick, liquor and a little bitter
30 seconds 3rd: sweet, earthy, little bitter
30 seconds 4th: still sweet, earthy, no bitter, bit of fruity
45 seconds 4th: sweet, earthy, little spiciness/resinous but not bitter
60", 60", 60", 90"—color lightening, still sweet, mellow, earthy, bits of caramel and raisin or plum
2’, 2’, 3’—starting to lose it, heading towards sweet water. Going to try one more at 5 minutes—and there is still something there, even earthy and sweet coming forward despite having just eaten a mint. It’s not strong, but not quite just sweet water yet. Nice pu!

The big question I was trying to answer with this order from Nada was how much better aged puerhs are than my current young shengs and shus. While this is a very smooth and pleasant tea, I can’t say that I love it 5 to 10 times more than some of the lovely but quite inexpensive young pus I’ve gotten from other sources. It’s definitely smooth and mellow in a way that has no parallel in my young shengs, but it is approached by the better of my young shus, and the young shengs have other attractions like smokiness and umami that are absent in teas like this.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Brian

Old shengs are good. I’ve only had one (an 80’s unnamed one), but it made me like sheng, while typically I only drink shu now. New sheng most of the time has that weird bite that I guess I’ve come to associate with young age.

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88
9 tasting notes

his Henglichang Bulang tea has gotten some mention from other bloggers with widely varying opinions. Thanks to Apache, I had a chance to try a sample. Luckily, I had not read any other reviews prior to sitting down for my session – so the scribbles in my little notebook were from an unbiased mind – relatively speaking…read more of my thoughts below

http://www.twodogteablog.com/2012/12/18/1997-henglichang-bulang-puer-te/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

I really like your blog!

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88
1 tasting notes

Quite mature for its age, with slight wet-storage, which doesn’t seem to manifest itself in the cup. Of course, as a person partial to wetter-storage, YMMV. The tea itself sits very firmly and thickly in the mouth, leaving an aftertaste that sticks around for a while. What’s most surprising about this particular tea is how much bitterness it has left. It’s definitely not astringency or sharpness, but a sort of herbal/medicinal bitterness, reminds me of a bitter herbal tea that my parents sometimes drink. In other words, bitterness in a good way and with an interesting flavor profile/“texture.”

Tasted better than all the other samples I got from Essence of Tea (except for his 80s Liu An which I haven’t tried yet), which is surprising since all the other teas I got were older than this one. Alas, I bought the last cake and it may not be re-stocked for a while. Currently hunting for it online as a back-up plan.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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79
15 tasting notes

A fine aged tea, nicely priced. It has still remains of youth in it, a lot of strength. More notes at: http://jakubtomek.blogspot.com/2012/02/1997-hen-li-chang-bulang.html

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