Generally, I’m not the biggest fan of bud-heavy, super-tippy tea, preferring the complexity, roundedness, and vigor of large-leaf pu’er. The Mannuo is incredible bud-heavy and I love it. For me, this tea combines the fleeting, ephemeral lightness of say the ’11 Nannuo with the intense, alkaline power of the ’11 Bulang in a harmony that makes it both eminently drinkable and completely intriguing. And unlike my experience with the other ’11 EoTs, the qi on the Mannuo is upfront, quick, and deep in a way that’s pleasing, enveloping and enjoyable. I believe this tea lives up to both the cost and the early-sell-out hype that it garnered. And, I’m not just trying to suck up in hopes of snagging another cake.
Following my now-regular two session run, this morning I cranked up the leaf ratio to 7g in 80mL from the 5g I use when I try a new tea. What’s interesting about this is that from a potency perspective, there’s absolutely no reason to use more leaf with this tea. I spent yesterday afternoon in a jittery, over-caffeinated tizzy. Somehow, though, the flavors and textures significantly benefit from the extra leaf, amplifying the intense honey, apricot, and hazlenut flavors and deepening the balance between supple sweetness and gripping back-palate bite.