Taetea Legend : Dragonmark Dayi Puer
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.
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.
The pictures above show a mixed tippy cake with varying material and a bit of chop. Very menghai-y in fragrance.
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.