$11.50 – $92.00
Dá É’s grade school era friend Nán Hé farms old tea tree arbors in 曼迈 Manmai, a Bulang village with just over 100 households on the southern side of Bada Mountain, about 10 kilometers from 章朗 Zhanglang. Bada Mountain is the most westerly of the famous tea mountains in Xishuangbanna, straddling the border of Burma.
While Bada contains some of the most impressive looking ancient tree gardens, the character of Bada Mountain tea isn't famous for being distinct or showy and therefore isn't subject to hype pricing. In fact, if Bada was famous for anything (besides its recently deceased tea king tree), it would be this very quality of being inoffensive that was sought after as a base in old factory blends, providing balance when more sharper charactered teas needed counterbalancing, like teas from Lao Man'e or Mengsong areas.
Well-structured Menghai fragrances bloom as the leaves unfurl and expand into the middle of the session, exciting the senses. Enlivening bitterness quickly subdues into a milky-textured tonic, coating the mouth and throat, eventually transforming into a sweet and gentle afterbreath. For a hearty Menghai tea, there is a notable absence of strong astringency. While the character of this tea admittedly isn't flashy, its sessionable and agreeable nature with long endurance gives it soft power, making this bing a strong contender for a daily gushu.
original wrapper artwork by Arulu Gallagher