Let me preface this post with the following; I highly recommend NOT getting the flu.
That said, what a thrill today to finally be able to properly taste again after two weeks of nothing but nasty flu residue in the mouth. It was actually difficult to decide which tea to re-acquaint my taste buds with the concept of pleasing, as there were several on my mind.
In the end, I seem to have chosen wisely with this Bo Yi (搏易) Mengku Silver Buds cake.
From the product page: This cake was produced by our talented Lincang friend Mr. Chao, who produces cakes under his own label – “Bo Yi” 搏易. He showed us around Mengku in Spring 2012 and made this cake at his family’s factory. The maocha was hand picked from 100+ year old Mengku tea trees, hand processed, and stone pressed.
Composed of a nice balance of stems, broken leaf, full leaf and bud sets, the cake smells fresh, vivid. Traces of rice powder, meadow and a distant spice complement this base. Compression is medium-firm, easily allowing leaf removal with the deft use of the trusty puerh pick.
Moistened leaves give off a heightened fragrance of roasted rice powder in the gaiwan.
Entering the mouth, its youthful effervescent nature hits the back of the tongue, and engages the hard palate. The tea sits quickly in the throat, and at the front of tongue and hard palate during the beginning of the session before expanding fully into the cavity.
Notes of fir, powdered rice, meadow, and latent delicate flowers mingle with peripheral minor notes that radiate and fade the length of the 12+ steeps. The full profile of this Silver Buds tea has a gentle incense-like quality that I have noted in a few other Mengku area teas, and of which I am rather fond.
The mouth feel becomes increasingly full, rounded, and possessive of a humid stickiness.
The ku moves in distinct stages, touching first on the hard palate and entrance of the throat, then pushes out from back to front along the sides of the tongue.
Brown sugar sweetness develops in accent to the main body of the tea. Rising from the trenches of the mouth, it never becomes sickly or flatly sweet. It floods the excess salivation.
The lingering ability of the tea between cups increases across the length of the session. As of the thirteenth steep, the mouth is fully coated with aromatics that are pushing out from the throat. It stays at length after the last cup.
The qi sinks gracefully into the chest, building in expanse from the base of the neck to below the rib cage. It is not heavy. The energy is pleasing and calming, feeling natural and elegant.
By the end, the chest is fully warmed, the throat feels fresh, and the sinuses are clear.
It was a pleasing return after a little over two weeks off from drinking tea.
This 357g cake sells for $52 US at Tea Urchin, which seems a good price for a very solid cake.