Friday, 3 September 2010

2010 Nannuo (Essence of Tea)

Even the Emperor can wear simple clothes
It's no secret that I have the complete selection of pu erhs from Essence of Tea this year after my visit to Falmouth. I didn't realise that they had picked a Nannuo this year and correspondingly didn't put it on my list until Nada mentioned it.

"No harm in having another cake!"

I poured out some spring water that was a full five litres the day before but was now two thirds gone! Have I really been drinking so much? Like the other cakes from Nada a chunk of leaf was prized off without much of a fight and the individual parts easily spread, "There seems to be a few extra streaks of silver." I noticed. A strong fragrance from the bing emerged.

Forgive my rather naff pictures taken off my iPhone, I tried my best to capture the light yellow colour of the soup. Using very quick steeps the soup was indeed fruity, very melon like, sweet as sugar with a strong presence of green apples. I thought it was a little bit astringent, which again made me think of apples, as my mouth was left a little dry, the huigan was candy sweet too around the sides of my tongue.
Light clear soup
After several infusions it started to settle down and level out with straw and butter, I feared the most that I had finished my journey when up pops the huigan again filling out the back of my mouth. A few more infusions and the job was done.


  1. Are there any other Nannuo cakes that you would recommend? I am intrigued by the characteristics that the region's teas have.

  2. Hmm.. for some reason this cake got me really thinking about concentrating on non blended pu erh that really represents a certain area. By becoming familiar with each region's qualities through the process of inputting the taste data into the computer bank repeatedly then one should surely become a more knowledgeable drinker much sooner than by drinking multi area blends.

    The process falls down when you drink a cake like Nada's Bulang that is uber-bitter and you then buy random low quality cake with the word Bulang in the name thinking it will also be bitter as well, only to find that it was tobacco and impotent. So yes, examples of another cake that says 'Nannuo' and embodies the area's essence.

    I had a look about and I quickly buzzed through Hobbes' taste musings and I came up with the following :

    Namby pamby, floral and sweet. Without throwing an insult to Nada's Nannuo, it is also that sort of a tea I think. So perhaps the fengmingyuan would be a good cake to try? Hard to source though I think.

    Perhaps a Menghai Peacock Nannuo? ..

  3. Further searching reveals a Douji Nannuo priced at £20 from Dragon Tea House (same price on Taobao) or a 75g brick of the same tea for £7 available on Taobao.

    £20 for 357g isnt really far off Nada's price though...

  4. Does Nada still have any Nannuo cakes in stock? I did not see them on his site

  5. I presume so though I am not so sure why he isn't listing the Nannuo.

  6. The Douji Nannou is a great example of "the Nannou taste". Its the best one I've had that isn't from a tiny producer (such as a Essence of Tea).