Chenshi Chinatee: Mengku Daxueshan 2006

Before we get to the English version: 
Einen deutschsprachigen Bericht zu diesem Tee habe ich im Forum www.teetalk.de hier veröffentlicht.

There are days which are great, cause you've got good tea. And there are days on which you need TGT (Truly Good Tea) to ballance out all the rest. Thanks to the new compensation policy of Deutsche Bahn (our national railway service), I could afford to buy a TGT right when it hit the (virtual) shelves at Chenshi Chinatee (link to procuct in shop).

Here it is:
Truth be told: this is in the Himalayas, not THE Daxueshan in Lincang, Yunnan
"Daxueshan" - "Big Snowmountain" is a name which feels like home to me. The first Sheng I ever tasted from a reliable source of young Sheng Puer was William's Daxueshan of 2010 vintage. That tea instantly won me over for Lincang teas.

What is it like to revisit that mountain of fond memories with a tea from a different producer (Shuangjiang Mengku) and another vintage? I have thoroughly tested this one in different sessions and I will publish my notes from a session at which I took some photographs. But to make this clear from the start: whether I brew it in a gaiwan while watching TV or I do a blog-worthy session with my zisha teapot ... this is TGT which always stays true to its character.

Let's get started with my notes from the recorded session.
Dry leaves look biggish, darkbrown with some coppery-golden tips, a few stalks and even some of the yellow flakes (huang pian). The preheated pot gets filled with a fragrance of ... well ... storage! That delightful aroma of antique furniture, ancient libraries(and some dark basement) is paired nicely with the fragrance of brown sugar. Basement and sugar remind me of caramelised potatoes - a wonderful side dish in wintertime I remember from my youth in Denmark.

When sniffing the rinsed leaves my nose barely detects a fruity note, but that is far too fleeting for me to pin down. Predominantly I get impressions of basement furniture, sugar and butter.

Infusion #1 yields a cup of purest orange colour. The first few sips surprise me by their concise and refreshing acidity (pleasant!). As the tea cools in my cup, the taste turns to the Gunpowder-like character which I can not describe by any other expression than 'camellia flavour'. Through all of this there shines the clear freshness which I have come to attribute to Daxueshan. Instead of an aftertaste there is an 'afterfeeling': a lively pulsing in the mouth.

Infusion #2puts more emphasis on the taste of storage. But beneath the storage there is a clear impression of camellia with some slightly sour freshness. But that sour impression is soon washed away by the sweetness of brown sugar. After the tea is swallowed, sweet and sour tastes are replaced by a minty fresh aftertaste. As an afterfeeling, a minty cooling sensation pulses up and down my throat.

At infusion #5 I get the feeling that someone hase merged a Gunpowder green tea with Darjeeling Second Flush, smoothed off all edges and poured such a harmonious and rounded tea into my cup, delivering a good body and pronounced aftertaste.

From infusion #6 onward the tea's sweetness dominates the taste, ballanced by a good helping of that Daxueshan freshness. Along with that character of good storage it made me note "One of my best tea moments in 2013!"

Infusion #11 got 6 minutes of steeping time (by accident). Yet there was no astringency. The taste has become thin and watery but the mouthfeeling is wonderfully silken.

Infusion #13tastes like a rather bland white tea. But the aftertaste! Sweet mint with a good helping of antique furniture.

The spent leaves are far from spectacular. They show no sign of their grandeur.

Conclusion: this is T*G*T!
Storage in Guangzhou has given that cozy coat of mellowness to lend sweetness and an air of mystery to the clear, minty freshness of the Big Snow Mountain. I should have posted this review earlier, so you might have had a chance to order this tea for christmas, as it is just the right treat for the holidays.

Hope you have all got delicious teas to celebrate the season!

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