2006 Green Peacock Lao Man’e
5.5g in 90ml, SS kettle, Toronto filtered tap
Strong compression, good looking leaf material and colour. A fair amount of fines. The processing looks quite good, let’s see how the tea performs. I have a fair amount of this tea and have been drinking it regularly for a couple of years, so this represents my thoughts after a few dozen sessions.
From the wash it’s clear the storage has not been overly humid, but not too dry, and the tea is not over-oxidised; the liquor is a bright gold, and clear.
- Clean clear liquor, there is a slight storage aroma, like wooden furniture, on the liquor and only on the first steep. The storage has been dry and clean. The tea is brothy, with hay and wood, active on the tongue and with a bitter profile. Low sweetness. No black tea notes or much acidity.
- Solid orange and crystal clear, still no black tea notes, mild in taste and not sweet, but bitter. Not an intense pill bitterness but a broad relaxed bitterness. Quite thick now, and concentrated. Feeling increased focus of vision and thinking, and a full mouthfeel starting to form, with some tannins accumulating.
- Increasing but still controlled bitterness, now the tannins are accumulating more and it has a medium level of astringency. Low sweetness, but it has more of a juicy herbal character in the mid steeps. More focus, frisson starting
- More intense frisson and a clearer bitterness, and a bit of sweetness now in the finish. More alerting and exciting.
- Rich and medicinal now, and starting to heat up throughout body. Medium level of heat.
- Continues to be intense for several more steeps, with a wood bitters medicinal profile.
I like the processing and storage on this tea, as it seems to avoid the common problems of overoxidation and overfrying, and the storage notes are minimal while at the same time the tea is properly mid-aged, developing aged notes. I enjoy the energy from this tea — focusing, uplifting at first and heating later, without lethargy. With that in mind, there are two standout features of this tea for me. First, it seems to be more of a restricted blend or single origin production — it doesn’t have the full spectrum of tastes that a good widely blended factory tea would have. Even compared to Bulang specific factory blends, it seems to be narrower and more like a single-origin tea. Second, the profile is distinctly Bulang / LME, with a certain level of thickness as well as a complex bitter profile. It’s a great complement to the Yiwu teas that make up the bulk of my collection.