Review of Bu Lang Mountain Black Tea from Menghai

9 of 105 of 55 of 594 of 100

A mellow and balanced, easy-to-brew tea that had a lot of aromatic complexity, and an overall character somewhat intermediate between large-leaf Assam and Yunnan teas.

The dry leaf, which looks a little darker than in the picture from Yunnan Sourcing's website, has a wiry and kinda dusty appearance, and consists of large, almost entirely unbroken leaves. It is fragrant, but not quite explosively so: you really need to stick your nose in the bag, but when you do, there is a lot there. There is a lot going on in the aroma, a strong malty smell, with notes of caraway, other spice, and overripe or fermented fruit.

The brewed cup is rich, deep, balanced, and rather complex. I find the fermented fruit tones come out more strongly than in the dry leaf, and there are also some notes of smoke that I didn't notice in the dry leaf. The malty notes are still there but less pronounced, and the spice is there too. Busy, and a bit "dirty" smelling, but in a good way. The flavor is fairly strong, with a balance of bitter, sour, and savory flavors, and a slight sweetness, although overall this tea is a bit more bitter and less sweet than some.

The overall character of this tea struck me as somewhere between that of a more typical Yunnan Tea (like Traditional Process Dian Hong Black Tea of Feng Qing, or perhaps Big Snow Mountain, from Yunnan Sourcing) and that of a large-leaf Assam tea actually produced in Assam. Softer than a typical Assam but more like some of the big-leaf teas I've tried, particularly from TeaOrb. It was also quite similar to the Mengku Wild Arbor Assamica Black Tea, which I just reviewed; that tea had less sourness and more cinnamon notes in the aroma, and varied more in brewing.

This tea was really consistent across different brewings too. I find the leaf infuses pretty slowly and it's easy to get it to exactly the strength that you'd like. It resteeps well, but doesn't change much with each steep. No fuss, and you know what you're gonna get.

I also like how I felt after drinking this tea. To me it only felt moderately caffeinated relative to the strength of favor, and it was rather relaxing. It was also mellow and easy on my stomach, kind of soft in the way oolongs are.

Really great price. I know I keep saying that over and over again with pretty much everything from Yunnan Sourcing, but it's how I feel, these teas all offer great value.

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