2015 Chawangpu Bada Lao Yu Xiao Raw

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Pu-erh Tea
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  • “Shout out to Honza for including a sample of this in my last order. The other two Chawangpu cakes (Mengsong and Hekai) tasted a bit off due to shipping and the dry DC winter, but this sample...” Read full tasting note

From Chawangshop

2015 Chawangpu Bada Lao Yu Xiao Raw 200g
Lao Yu (老妪) : old woman
Material for this cake came from a small Bulang village in Bada mountain. This village have very small quantity of tea trees that grow in the forest. Trees are relative old, but farmers cut the branches when trees get too tall. Tea trees are kept at easy-picking height because the tea is picked and made by old women in this village. They follow ancient ways to produce tea. Many of them make tea only for themselves.

We selected and bought good materials from different families. They picked one bud and two leaves. This tea is nice example of old-time puer tea and traditions of the Bulang minority.

The taste of this tea is full, strong with bitterness, huigan is fast and sweet. Slightly smoky in the taste, like in 2013 and 2014, owners of 2013 version of Bada Lao Yu will know this slightly smoky taste will go away fast. Stone pressed in Menghai.
Production date : March, 2015

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1 Tasting Note

144 tasting notes

Shout out to Honza for including a sample of this in my last order. The other two Chawangpu cakes (Mengsong and Hekai) tasted a bit off due to shipping and the dry DC winter, but this sample doesn’t seem to be affected by its transcontinental trip or the environment.

The dry leaf came as one whole tightly compressed chunk and smelled like charred sandalwood with subtle hints of fruit. The wet leaf aroma is reminiscent of a smoky yesheng purple tea varietal without being overly so and with more sweet grass in the background. The leaves are mostly small and only somewhat broken due to my poor prying efforts.

Initial steeps are much brighter, lively, and savory than I expected. The smoke, though still there, moves to the background after the 3rd steep revealing classical pu’er flavors of camphor (some have interpreted as gasoline), dried fruit, sandalwood, sweet peas/grass, and other sharp savory/floral notes I associate with an unmanaged tea garden.

The tea soup is very pure, bright, nicely thick, and oily. Good Bulang energy that stays in my chest instead of my head which I like very much. Not much in the way of mouthfeel, but pleasant savory/borderline floral aftertaste.

It’s a comforting tea. Not impressive, yet it’s hard to explain why I this tea as much as I do. It’s certainly worthy of drinking now or aging. Here, the smoky hint is actually comforting and interesting. If the price stays this low, I may just add this to my next purchase from Chawangshop.

Addendum: 9 steeps later, the tea leaves are still flavorful with good strong energy. I’m only now noticing the mouthfeel and cooling/tingling sensation that accompanies the huigan. This is good base material.


As far as my sample went, the smoke taste never went away, no matter how many steep !
It’s a good tea only if you like smoky taste :)

But I do agree that the energy from this tea is in the right place.

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