Wednesday, September 12, 2012

06 Douji Bada Qiaomu Wang

I know I should be getting ready for bed but I cannot resist cracking open the only Bada beeng I have in my collection- the 2006 Douji  巴达山 乔木 王.  I have many cakes yet that you have never seen deep deep inside my closet.

Unlike the Douji LBZ, I'm pretty sure this Douji is pure Menghai Bada since Bada teas weren't in hot demand back in 2006 - there was no reason to adulterate. Rather- Bada leaves are used for other Menghai blends. Besides the Hobbes driven anomaly,  Bada still is not a coveted mountain. You can easily get the fat 400 gram 2008 Menghai "Peacock of Bada" for $21 on YS and $22.95 on jas-etea while supplies last. Supplies have been holding I might add.

Is this Douji Bada Qiaomu Wang really plucked from the famous "Bada King of Tea Trees" - the 1700 year old wild tree on Bada's Dahei Mountain near Hesong Village? Photos from chawangpu show unsightly barbed wire fence around the Bada King. That is no way to treat a tree of kingly designation. I don't think even one or two ceremonial king leaves are thrown in this beeng for Douji to rightly plaster 王 on the wrapper.  My thoroughly commoner palate could not detect any particular kingly material and I think Douji is using 王 rather figuratively.

There's been some discussion on T as to how tea from Bada mountain will age.  I have two reference points. The first is a Hong Kong stored 2003 SunSing Bada that I liked more than the Hengli Chang as it was a little less muffy and much less bitter than a Bulang.  Due to my wet storage prejudice, I probably won't part my money with such an example. I guess if I was really invested in Bada, I might checkout the 1999 Bada sample from Bana.  Let us see how this second 2006 example performs.

Even before I even take a sip, I get a whiff of pure sugar from the steam.  Even as a six year old- this tea tastes quite lively and young. Translation- this tea still burns my insides as it goes down but I march on. After a few sips you get a pleasant sweetness on the tongue. The bitterness is entirely palatable.   Definitely a pleasant fruity sweet enjoyable tea judging from the first two brews. Then it hits me- what am I doing drinking sheng so late in the night. Crazy guy... I shake my head and prepare for bed disappointed in my lack of tea common sense.

You can see I've been quite liberal giving chunks of this Bada away as I thought it was something easy to enjoy. I don't have any other young bada examples yet to say how this compares but on first impression it's a likable fruity cake.  I'm not jumping up and down to get more though.  How I wish I can confidently buy a tong of something, anything...


  1. The 1999 Bada from Bana is wonderful (or at least, very good), but it's also ripe. I'm not entirely sure I got much mountain characteristic from it, or that it can really be used as a reference point.

    1. Dragoran,

      Oh- ripe. I guess I wasn't looking too carefully. I think I just saw the price tag and assumed it was sheng. I guess this Bada would be too steep a price for me. Can you compare it against any other high-end shu?


    2. My experience is pretty limited (I'm still fairly new at this), but it's the best shu I've had from Bana; better than any of their newer stuff, and better than any of their aged loose shu. I've not had any of their other aged cakes, so I can't say. Compared to the 80's Xiaguan Xiao Fa Tuocha, the flavor's more interesting, but the qi (however you want to define it) is not nearly as powerful, though it's more noticeable than on most shus. That's about all that I've had for comparison, as, being a grad student, I tend towards relatively cheaper stuff.

  2. I'd be happy to trade with you, if you're willing to pay shipping both ways.

    This is actually a notable, and expensive cake from Douji. It's one of the few well-known Bada cakes. Now that gushu from better places have gotten so expensive, places like Bada and Bangwei are stepping to the fore, and reviews of slightly aged Bada (that isn't wet-stored) are pretty welcome, for all of those who've been buying Bada recently.

    1. The 2007 version of Bada from Douji, Sanyuechun, was sweet and fragrant when I tried it fresh from the factory.