Entering into the Year of the Pig with another animal with characteristics that befit our January offering, the wolf. “狼” or “wolf” is the name we are going with for this first tea of 2019 because it shares some characteristics with that great animal of endurance and relentlessness. Our Bada Wolf is from one of our great favourite tea Mountains in southwestern Yunnan Province, Bada Mountain.
An ancient Stupa demarcates a pathway and ancient trade route in northern Nepal. It was through such valleys and within such corridors that commodities (including tea and salt moved).
Tea cakes sit drying in a tea factory in southern Yunnan. After being ‘formed’ into cakes, balls, or bricks, the tea sits drying for days in a clean environment to prevent any odours from permeating into the tea.
It is a tea that, like our wonderful wolf (pronounced Láng in Mandarin) doesn’t relent in the mouth, or in the serving vessel. Known for its ability to continue to offer up soft strength in successive infusions, this Bada raw Sheng is a classic that runs and runs and runs.
Tea leaves sit amidst Italian oregano, in a permaculture environment. The oregano forms a kind of barrier against certain pests. Tea isn’t always a mono crop, and more and more bio-dynamic models are being used in the cultivation of tea.
This Bada Wolf offering continues a new tradition with JalamTeas to offer up old tree teas from zones that our procurer Jeff has identified as carrying classic traits. We don’t blend geographic zones, nor do we blend leaves from radically different aged bushes and trees. The leaves come from a superb space and environment at almost 1700 metres with high humidity and steep slopes for ideal drainage. We feel that the best way to offer up ‘terroir’ in a cup is to offer ‘one-zone, one-tea, teas’ rather than mixed harvests. Harvested from 100-200 year old tea trees from the Bada region in Spring of 2018, by Hani cultivators and tea makers, we feel it is a great way to begin a new western New Year.
Tea tastings need leaves, cups, sippers…and the pourers. A tea sitting in Yunnan with a Spring harvest Puerh.
The leaves after a couple of infusions of water begin to reveal other things about a tea. The look, the smell, the taste and the continued studying of the leaves are all part of the ‘tasting and testing’ process.
While we encourage each drinker to tinker with infusion times and amounts of tea used according to taste, the below is a good base from which to begin the JalamTeas' Bada Wolf experience.
If this is your first tea cake, here is a step-by-step guide on how to break and prepare a tea cake.
This tea has soft strength and because it is from older tea trees it will continue to open up and develop after successive infusions. Use fully boiled water and try and sip from the very first infusion. It isn’t necessary to ‘rinse’ the first offering of water.
We recommend not less than 8 grams per serving; ideally 8 grams. Locals in southern Yunnan will use as much as 12 grams and wring out more than a dozen infusions, keeping the infusion times relatively short. Try different amounts or slightly longer infusion times if you find the flavors to be too mild.
Don't be shy to ask me any questions about your tea leaves or anything related at [email protected]. You have my ears and I will get back in touch with you.