In early Spring 2017, before starting tea production in Jingmai, we headed to the South-West of Xishuangbanna, to visit our friend, Yang Hai Mei. She lives in Wei Dong, a village located in the South of Bulang Shan. The inhabitants of Wei Dong are from the Hani ethny, they lived in Lao Banzhang before moving to what currently makes Wei Dong: a plateau surrounded by hills. Rice is planted on the plateau while tea grows on the hills around.
Natural tea gardens were planted about 40 years ago and haven’t been sprayed with pesticides for over a decade. They look quite similar to the ones we have in Jingmai, they are pruned only once every couple of years and are not fertilized.
We spent a couple of days, processing the early batches of Spring with our friend to warm up and share tips. The earliest sprouts are rarely the best of the season, but the tea we had made tasted promising, so we ordered 30kg of tea from our friend, she would keep some of her best batches for us.
We received the tea in early May, and were delighted. We had in stone-pressed in Puer city: 100g and 357g cakes.
The tea is a good example of Bulang mountain productions. It starts on the lighter side and releases good bitterness and sweetness as the leaves open up. The fragrance is both floral and herbaceous, the mouthfeel is light despite the power of the tea. Astringency starts high and tones down as the session goes, bitterness is present from the middle to the end. This tea has a lot of caffeine and will surely give you a boost. The bitterness is medium to strong, but not punishing. A solid tea with good aging potential.
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