Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Moonlight White from Jingmai

Moonlight White from Jingmai, from Bana Tea Company
2010 vintage, spring harvest
Type: raw loose-leaf pu'erh, premium grade
Production area: Jingmai Mountain, Simao Prefecture, Yunnan province

The write-up on this tea, from Bana's website:

This loose leaf Moonlight White was discovered at a roadside tea shop during our trip to the tea mountains of Yunnan. The tea master from this tea shop is meticulous in the processing of their teas and the quantity they have is extremely limited. Bana is very pleased to have procured a small supply of this tea for the Moonlight White followers.

Just finished a session with this tea and I can't get "Big Rock Candy Mountain" out of my head. This pu'erh is sweet-sweet-sweet! Just every kind of sweet. My tasting notes go from "sweet hay and fruit" to "malt and caramel" to "nectarine and butterscotch". If I was pressed to give a single descriptor to the aroma it would have to be "candied malted sweet hay." Even when the leaves cooled off in the gaiwan they continued to fill the air with major-big sweet.

This one's a loose-leaf pu'erh. My 8 gram sample pack filled the gaiwan to the brim. Like Bana's 2007 Moonlight White, this one had that distinctive creamy pale green and black coloring to the dry leaves. I noticed that almost all of the leaves were fully intact. Is this a leaf-and-bud pick? I'm afraid I'm not quite sure what a tea bud looks like, but as you can see above each piece included one leaf and one "bud-like leaf". By that I mean it was the very tip where a new leaf is curled up inside another leaf, on the verge of emerging. Is that a bud? I don't know :(
The liquor brewed up nicely yellow. First infusions were a pale lemon yellow but by the 3rd infusion it had deepened to gorgeous Indian yellow --

And the taste? Was a little different from the usual pu'erh tastes I've come to know. Certainly the sweetness was there. At times it struck me as a very mellowed green tea, which I guess would make sense since this was picked less than a year ago. At other times it was almost oolong-like with it's big fragrance. "Creamy" is a word I would associate with the taste. Can't really say it had the complexity of my favorite pu'erhs, but by no means was it unpleasant to drink. Just different. Delicate. And sooooo full of sweet (especially in the aroma). It did produce a faint tingle on my tongue and also a faint dryness that grabbed at the back of my throat. I guess the big question is, would I buy more of this? Maybe. It would be a nice sweet mellow counterpart to drink when I've had too much of the strong stuff. Very pleasant in a sweet and feminine way.

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