Monday, December 26, 2011

Six Famous Tea Mountains - 2006 Bang Wei

I purchased this 2006 Bang Wei (邦崴) sheng puer tea cake (生普洱茶餅) back in 2006 for $10. It was pressed by a large operation called Six Famous Tea Mountain (六大茶山). I'm drinking it today for the very first time.

It looks nice and has a pleasant grassy, dried apricot aroma off the dry leaves.

Every pour of this tea has been very saponic. On some infusions the liquor almost looked like jelly with long lasting bubbles. I get excited when puer behaves this way as it often indicates a satisfying, nourishing and delicious tea.

Unfortunately this tea did not deliver for me. I did find a bit of complexity as the tea soup entered my mouth but it was mainly on the tip of my tongue and quickly faded out, leaving behind a flat, boring liquor and bitter aftertaste. Nice flavors such as citrus rind, vanilla and pine were overtaken by harsh flavors like tobacco smoke and an occasional mustiness that reminded me of a wet towel. I'm sure those undesirable flavors did not come from my storage because all of my puer tea is kept on the same bookshelf behind a curtain in my bedroom and none of my other cakes have those flavors.

I can't be too sure what the value of this cake is today and I'll bet there are some folks who would appreciate the tobacco notes but for me, I suppose, I got what I paid for. I've come a long way in my puer tea collecting since 2006 and if I had a time machine I'd go back to 2006 and tell myself to save my ten dollars.


Unknown said...

Perhaps give it another five years ...
I'm 66 years old, and find that my puer stash helps me look forward to being 76 ...

Rich said...

Hey Brett, Happy New Year! Good info in your post, I've been frantically adding stuff to my collection after a recent tea inventory revealed that I don't have as much tea as I thought. 6 mountains company was on my list of "to try" - glad you did a write up of it. From your notes, it doesn't sound like a good candidate for me when there are tons of other tried and true to keep adding in. Thanks for the rec!

hster said...

Dear Brett,

This cake is part of the Yinji series "spirit of"  which is their lower end offering and includes some minimal percentage of the mountain in question. Probably the positive aspects of this tea comes from what little Bang Wei is in there. 

I definitely have to agree with you, probably a Changtai cake around ten bucks would have been much more interesting buy. What do you plan to do with the duds  in your collection? I unfortunately have the entire 6FTM Yinji 2005 series my friend brought me from China because she said it only cost her $20. Beggars can't be choosers I suppose but I haven't actually tried any yet. I have a 2004 6FTM supposedly all Nannuo which is not bad but I have read that their earliest efforts were more interesting.


Brett said...

hster - Thanks for the illuminating comment! Luckily I have a relatively small sheng puer collection (no more than 50 cakes these days). Only a few of them are duds, but none are too vile. Most likely, I'll just hang on to those sub-par teas and limit my future purchases, only acquiring teas that truly excite me.