Dayi Longyin Puer Tea Blog

2012 Dayi Longyin – Menghai Dragonmark

Taetea Legend : Dragonmark Dayi Puer

2012 Dragonmark
The wrapped cake

For the longest time I thought the wrapper above read “Taste a legend”. Finally, I realized it said “Taetea Legend”, Taetea being the English name for Dayi. Legend is a word that shouldn’t be tossed around lightly, unless your tea is Michael Jordan good. If you are more of a Toni Kukoc player, that’s fine. Kukoc was a great player, but he’s not really a legend. Kukoc is a decent comparison for a basketball player skill versus Longyin tea goodness. Not good, not bad. A bit overhyped because he is on a good team.  Croatian. 6ft 11 inches tall. Ok, not that last two. Whatever, enough half-baked basketball/tea analogies.

Dayi Longyin 2012 Puer Tea
The cake in all its glory

The Longyin [Dragon mark] cake is named as such because of the Chinese zodiac “year of the dragon”,  which will quickly be passing us by into the year of the snake. Not to fear, Dayi does not waste time waiting for such trivial things such as the actual passing of the lunar year. The American equivalent must be Christmas trees in stores before Thanksgiving.

Menghai Dragonmark Taetea Puerh
Close up on some of the leaves

The pictures above show a mixed tippy cake with varying material and a bit of chop. Very menghai-y in fragrance.

Longyin Puerh
Young soup

So, when I purchased this cake I think it was 2X0 RMB, (can’t remember), it is currently 390 RMB, or thereabouts. The price rising in tandem with the Jin Dayi. This is a legendary price increase for a tea this young. Perhaps part of the rise in price is due to the good mojo of the Dragon year? I found the cake to be much less interesting than the Jin Dayi. My first sessions with the Longyin were particularly astringent, which is to be expected from a young tea. It was brash, coming out of the gate like a bull. Lots of kuwei [ bitterness ] and astringency, but with a lack of body to back them up. This is a common complaint I have about Dayi raw puer, the lack of body.

The current price of 390 RMB  (caution: one more bad basketball analogy) is a Gilbert Arenas contract. You are paying well over $50 million for a player who is going to sit on the bench and cause trouble by bringing guns (allegedly) into the locker room. For the same price, you could hire Chris Paul, Lebron James, or Kevin Durant. So, why are you hiring Gilbert Arenas? You probably shouldn’t. Nor would I recommend buying the Dragonmark. This is just my humble opinion, however. I have seen much praise floating around the HK tea forums for this tea.

I will be interested to see how this cake ages and whether any of its brash characteristics fill out into more pleasant sensations. For now, it is going on the bench. Luckily teas, unlike basketball players, get better with age.

Steeped Dayi tea
Spent leaves
  • Drew

    Hey, I saw on jakub’s T blog you said you were going to review the yunnan sourcing xin ban zhang. I’m thinking about purchasing this but wanted to see what you thought first. Do you know when you will put that review up

    • TwoDog2

      Hi Drew,

      It might be a little while (a week or two) before I get around to writing a review. I will bump it ahead in the queue though

    • TwoDog2

      Drew, I have misplaced my Xin Ban Zhang sample…this might be even further delayed. I need to to get some more from Scott, of find where I stashed it

  • Hobbes

    I feel strange, as if I have come to comprehend something about basketball. There is a consequent feeling of unease.

    I rather fancy trying the Longyin, despite the warnings of locker-room guns!
    P.s. Surely it’s OK to release a dragon-year cake when the leaves were picked in the year of the dragon? 🙂

    • TwoDog2

      Maybe it is the youth. Locker room fights will probably decline with age. My biggest bone to pick is the price tag. For 390 RMB, I can think of other cakes I’d rather snag.

      I will ship off a sample next year, if you still haven’t gotten any. I left my dragon marks in the land of lax gun laws.

  • Nick H

    Man, I enjoy your writing, good stuff. I can still remember when Shaq played for the Magic, and Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin were flying high in NBA Jam..etc.
    I tried a sample of 2003 Purple Dayi from YS the other day, which is the first Dayi I’ve ever tried, as far as I remember. I’m still a relative novice to the puer world, so I was able to approach it without any social-influenced hype, simply based on other puers and teas I’ve tried.
    It was nice, very nice, smooth and deep–but not a good value. I think there’s many other cakes and other teas I’d buy before it, unless I was making a lot more money than I currently do.

    • Thanks – I remember spending many a weekend with NBA Jam, eating little caesar’s pizza with friends and playing until our thumbs were blistered.

      The ’03 Purple Dayi is a good tea, but I don’t know many people who would call it a good value. The problem with a lot of the older Dayi teas is that their price often exceeds their quality because they are well known. A lot of the older Dayi and menghai factory teas are very good, but for people who are buying on an average budget, they price is a little prohibitive.

      The dragonmark is not bad tea, but with a price tag of $60 and climbing, most people would prefer to buy different cakes.