Man Mai 2023 Sheng Mao Cha
Some people prefer to drink loose mao cha over pressed cakes, so we went ahead and set aside a small amount of the Hekai mao cha we bought to use for the pressing of our bardo 2.0. For simplicity, we are also using a slight edit of the description for the cake. Enjoy!
We're trying hard not to gush about this mao cha, for it is rare to see this quality of old tree tea material in the U.S. these days. Add to this an especially dry spring throughout most of Xishuanbanna, which drastically reduced the overall yield, and we are counting our blessings.
From fist sip, this sheng engages your sensory field, and depending upon your temperament, offers several rabbit holes you can tumble down, providing you with your very own choose-your-own-adventure.
For any flavor junkie, there is much to explore. Through multiple steeps, this tea provides a distinct experience from cup to cup, with a rotating cast of floral, sugar and spice notes each taking their turn as the lead. Tuberose, sugar snaps and vetiver shine brightest, coating the palate and leaving the drinker with a pleasant lingering finish. These fireworks are supported by a grounding bitterness which builds a deeper dimension to the tea and is a great starting point to lead one into further discovery.
Good sheng should always have a story to tell on the subtler side, so it's important to pay attention when drinking this cake and read between the lines. Whether one attributes a tea's dynamics to caffeine or other forms of energy, the sensations that this tea elicits are electric. The journey begins by following the tea's bitterness and astringency to discover what is behind; gently pulsating waves left in the flavor's wake, thrumming at a frequency the yogis believe to be the sound emanated by all creation.
Seek and you shall find. Choose wisely and you will be rewarded. Let the adventure begin.
Teamaker - Xiao Si.
Location - Man Mai, Menghai, Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan Province
Harvest Time - April 2023
- Gong Fu - This tea works great in both porcelain and semi porous vessels. Fill about a third to half 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 suggest doing a little research on equipment needed and overall brew philosophy before jumping in.