bardo 1.0 (overcoming)
Much has been said about the Jianghu when compared to Puer tea. Jianghu, which translates to "rivers and lakes", was the name for a fictionalized era set in early Chinese history where many of the 20th century wuxia (martial arts) movies took place, a place where good and evil battled and rulers and their laws came and went.
With this in mind the term Jianghu has been appropriately applied to describe the wild world of Puer, this fermented wonder where much remains a mystery and many have only begun to unearth fragments of this tea's story. Yet despite this limitation, Puer tea has exploded onto the global tea scene over the last few decades. It has arguably developed the strongest tea culture in the West and it is so popular in Russia, that pop stars even sing its praises.
For those seeking to avoid the hype and reset the clock on the puer arms race, bardo 1.0 harkens back to a time where the first question asked about any tea was, "Yes, but is it any good?".
Looking to answer this question in the affirmative, we set about to blend a maocha to our specifications. Using gushu and qiaomu material blended together from different parts of Nan Nuo Shan, we created a complex blend that highlights the best qualities of each.
The tea leans heavily on its Ban Po Lao Zhai gushu character in the first few cups, with full bodied notes of vanilla tobacco, edamame and daffodil, coating the mouth and leaving a finish that sits in the throat and nasal cavity for minutes after. The dynamics begin to show up prominently in later cups, along with the assertiveness of the younger material, with the tea sitting comfortably in the chest, radiating warmth outward, along with the bitterness and astringency that activates the salivary glands and transforms into a sharper sweetness. All this with a gentle dose of barnyard funk throughout.
At 200g per cake, this is the perfect size to drink and share with friends while it still young, or be set aside for a few years to be enjoyed down the road. Whatever path you choose, this cake will be there for you when you are ready.
Teamaker - Multiple. Pressed in Jinghong.
Location - Nan Nuo Shan, Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan Province
Harvest Time - Spring 2022
- Gong Fu - This tea works great in both porcelain and semi porous vessels. Since it is a cake, we recommend breaking off a piece and separating the leaf gently with your hands. Fill about a third of the vessel with dry leaf. Grandpa style is possible, but with the recommendation of less is more.
- Western - We strongly believe that this tea is best suited for Gong Fu style brewing. If you are not familiar, yet still interested in this tea, we highly suggest doing a little research on equipment needed and overall brew philosophy before jumping in.