2005 Doom Roy Sheng Pu'er Bing (當然陳生普洱餅, Dāng Rán Chén Shēng Pǔ'ěr Bǐng, "'That's Right!' Old Sheng Pu'er") - We first came across this bing in 2017, while visiting Li Shulin of Nannuo Mountain. Aside from its age (this bing was pressed in 2005, making it the oldest Sheng bing that we sell), this cake is remarkable for being made entirely from leaves of the Duoyi Patch, the highest and most sought-after patch on Nannuo Mountain. This is an excellent example of a high-altitude, dry-aged Sheng Pu'er. At the time that we first tasted it, there were only two jiàn 件 (a unit of tea consisting of 84 bings) of this tea left, and we liked it so much that we requested that Li save all of the remaining bings for us. Three years later, there are fewer than 100 cakes left.
Our entourage for this trip in 2017 included a Vietnamese-American friend, who taught us the Vietnamese word Đúng Rồi (pronounced in English like "Doom Roy"), which means "That's right!" This is a common, colloquial interjection in Vietnamese, and by the time we got to Nannuo Mountain, it had become the de facto catchphrase of our trip. One sip of this tea will make you want to say, "Doom Roy!"
The wet leaves exhibit notes of camphor, musk, and garden bed with a slight wintergreen finish. Scents of aged, resinous lumber covered in dew on the exhale. The effects of this tea's age can be observed in how the young Sheng bitterness has moved to the back of the throat and mellowed into a palate-cleansing smoothness. The liquor is a dark, burnt-orange. This tea is notable for its pronounced huí gān 回甘 ("returning sweetness"), which coats the inside of the mouth, leaving a lingering, mouth-watering sweetness. Being from the high-altitude Duoyi Patch, this bing has a high proportion of gǔ shù 古樹 ("ancient tree") leaves.
Little did I think that during the dragon boat sale that I would pick up a Sheng Pu'er. Even more surprising was the amazing taste and overall feel of this tea. I have a notoriously difficult time with Sheng Pu'ers making me nauseous but this one was the exception. If anyone is undecided on this tea I cannot tell you to try it enough with a mellow taste followed by a lingering fruity taste this tea is hands down one of my absolute favorites.