This single-origin tea from Bang Dong carries a hefty price tag for a Lincang tea that’s neither Xigui nor Bing Dao. Although, Bang Dong is pretty close to the former of course. As one would expect from a production made from a small number of trees, it is an extremely clean tasting tea that isn’t as complex as some other gu shu in this price range. The profile is vegetal with some umami and mild sweetness. Mouthfeel is thick and oily, but also quite airy in the beginning. It is not among the most full-bodied ones, but there is an interesting bite to the texture. I wouldn’t call the cha qi overly strong or aggressive either. However, its calming and uplifting effect lasts for hours.
I didn’t get a whole lot of notes as far as aromas are concerned. The dry leaf scent is quite unusual though and it reminds me of peach and apricot pits.
The taste is grassy, vegetal and cooling initially. Bitterness appears around steep 4, but it never becomes abrasive. Overall, I found the bitterness here to be particularly interesting. It is very much in the background and yet very present in the way that it round up the profile.
With infusions 5 – 12 one gets the most pungent and full-bodied brews. Throughout the session, however, both the texture and the taste remain extremely smooth. Flavours of butter, alpine meadow and clean smoke appear in the middle. Then, around steep 9, the profile moves into a more floral and nutty territory. Notes of coffee and various seeds and oils are to be found here. The tea remains floral until the end, complemented by a sort of medicinal character.
The aftertaste is very expansive, fresh and cooling initially. It is neither too sweet nor flowery. There are notes of garden peas, sunflower oil, plant roots and sugarcane that arise beside the ones mentioned already.
All in all, a very nice tea to experience, but not one I am likely to seek in the future given its price.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Butter, Floral, Garden Peas, Grass, Peach, Plants, Smoke, Smooth, Sugarcane, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal