Ancient Bulang Tea Proverb
"If we leave the gold, you will spend it.If we leave the ox, it may die.We must leave the tea trees so they can grow and provide.You should not let others take the tea trees.You should protect the tea trees like you do your life, and never let them out of your control." - Author Unknown
The Star of Bulang is a mid-range pu-erh cake by MengYang Guoyan. It is the sister cake to the "Dragon of Bulang" which one of the company's premium Bulang offering. Although both are made of Bulang Mountain material, Guoyan claims that the Dragon is entirely made of wild arbor leaves, while the material of the Star is a composite of both plantation and wild arbor. Nonetheless, the Star of Bulang is made of first-flush spring material which undoubtedly should make this tea cake special.
I'm sure many of you are well versed on Bulang Mountain pu-erh, however, for those of you who are not, Bulang Mountain is another important pu-erh producing area located in MengHai county, Yunnan. Although it is not part of the original Six Famous Tea Mountains, it is no less important. If fact, Bulang offers pu-erh drinkers a fantastic selection of tantalizing teas that no doubt are part of many tea collections, including mine.
Bulang sits on the border of China and Burma. Its has an
elevation of 1,700 meters ASL, which makes this mountain one of the highest. Bulang Mountain contains roughly 9,500 acres of ancient tea gardens that are maintained and cared for by the BuLang Chinese minority, which have populated the mountain for more than 1,000 year.
The mao cha appears to be spring material. It had a very floral aroma which lingers in the nostrils when inhaled. There was only the faintest smoke. The mao cha is not very compacted which should facilitate its aging. From first glance it appears to be of good quality tea.
Source - Dragon Tea House (Ebay Vendor)
Water-Bottled spring water. Source of water - Frontier Springs, PA
Amount – 5.6g
Water Temp - Boil then cooled for 3 breaths
Brewing Method - Gongfu
Brewing Vessel - Yixing Teapot 150ml
Aroma - Profound honey and floral notes. A wonderfully thick and lingering aroma.
Taste - The floral and honey notes are carried well into the liquor. Slight hints of raw sugar and grapefruit. Intriguing aftertaste that seems to linger for awhile. Great acidity and viscosity.
Aroma - The floral and honey aroma is still very consistent however this time they are laced in the slightest hint of natural rubber.
Taste - More bitterness and a very active palate from the nice acidity. The liquor is now very sweet which is marrying well with the playful bitterness. There seems to be more raw sugar which lingers in the throat and nostrils after the swallow.
Aroma - Again, the floral and honey remains consistent. The natural rubber that was in the second infusion seems to be present in the third. The liquor has become ultra sweet and smooth. The acidity is still keeping the palate alive exciting the sides of my tongue. The viscosity and thickness is still very present. The grapefruit is lingering in the finish. Nice!
Liquor Color - 4th Infusion
As you can see the liquor is still very bright even after the 4th infusion.
Although the claim is that it is made partly of wild arbor leaf, I could not extract an example as I really couldn't identify any. However, I am assuming that the whole leaves that I did extract are plantation which appear to be of the spring season.
As you may already know, I am becoming quite partial to Guoyan, and this example keeps me a fan. They offer a wide selection of pu-erh which are both descent in quality and reasonably priced; the Star of Bulang is no exception.
Before I evaluate this beeng, I decided to drink the 2006 Chang Tai Hao Bulang in order to have a fresh reference point of a similar quality beeng. The Chang Tai Hao became flimsy and hollow with no complexity. However, the Star of Bulang's flavors and acidity were nice and strong and active, making this beeng a good candidate for aging.
Map source: Global Mapping Intl / Joshua Project