Bai Cha Tang Puer
Bai Cha Tang (百茶堂) is a brand that I had yet to delve into, until a suggestion from Shah (of teachat fame). From what I have read, this cake is a middle of the road entry point to their productions – not old or precious, but still quite good. This cakes proper name is sandai [third generation] tiebing [iron cake] , which boasts gushu [old arbor] material. As you can see from the leaves below, they are typical of an tiebing (see: pressed into oblivion).
Sweet aged smell coming off of the leaves. The friend who sent me this puer was in Guangzhou, but I think this cake spent some of its life in Kunming. The Guangzhou storage shows, as its age is more apparent than say, this 7542 i recently reviewed, with twice its age.
As one would expect with a tiebing, it takes a little while to gear up. The aged flavor is accompanied by balanced kuwei [pleasant bitterness] and a thick coating in the throat and mouth. The tea also had a noticeable qi [mystical voodoo magic or body calm].
As you can see, the gaiwan was stuffed. The tea carried on for an impressive 20 steeps, which was partly due to the 10g-12g in the gaiwan and partly due to the puer itself. Midway through this marathon session there was a vibrancy on my lips and huigan [sweet aftertaste], both of which were pleasant. This tea just marked its fifth birthday and seems to have plenty of potential for further aging.
The tea is not exactly pretty, but when the tea is good, I tend not to care about such superficial things. I will keep an eye out for some Baichatang cakes to add to my own coffers, they are fairly reasonably priced and well made.