Nannou 2004 private edition, commissioned by Master Chan from The Best Tea House Hong Kong.
This is a classic example of an experienced tea master craftsmanship. Every steps of the way, from picking the trees, to harvesting, overseeing the processing and pressing. Mr. Chan had complete control of what he wants and what he expects it to be.
Nannou is the most fragrant and feminine of all Yunnan puerh (in my opinion). Pleases the senses with a delicate palate and carries one to a calm and scholastic journey.
This 2004 spring buds harvest holds some characteristics of a fine vintage should have:
1. Talcum 2. Orchid 3. Sweet dry plum
Hint of hay / camphor and mild sweetness aroma on rinsed leave. Smoothing but "blurt", offering multi-dimensional aroma, without heaviness in the first session. Layers upon layers in progressive quality, hint of Metallic and Talcum (granny face power) occurs in the 3rd brew on, numbing to the lips. Then it hits you with the orchid fragrant and aged plum's sweet after-taste that coats the throat. Usually, only fine harvest has Talcum characteristic, but not until 10-15 yrs of aging, like the 80's 8582. That is why this bing surprised me.
I prefer and collect commissioned bings. The extra thickness (almost doubled a reg.) provides more energy / chi to the aging process and it also gives extra cushion for micro-climate maturing. One could relate to fine vintage habanos, most comes in 50 / 100 cabinet, rather then 10 or 25s box.
With all these text book characters, giving another 5 yrs to age in a refine 70% humidity environment, could be an interesting experiment.