Duoyi Bama (多依寨巴馬生茶, Duō Yī Zhài Bā Mǎ Shēng Chá, "Duoyi Village Bama Sheng Tea") - The culture of specificity of Sheng Pu'er prizes leaves sourced from trees of increasingly narrow and distinct regions. For example, our Immortal Dew Gu Shu Cha is made of tea from three patches, each of which can be harvested and processed in their singularity to produce a more valuable and more rare tea. Sometimes these geographical regions can be defined by their proximity to a settlement, such as the Stone Village Patch on Nannuo Mountain. In other cases a particular geographical feature, such as which direction the slope is facing or the presence of a spring or stream, can contribute a particular character to the tea trees that grow around them. This is the case for the celebrated Nannuo teas known as Bama tea. Sourced from trees that grow along a seasonal creek or stream, also called Bama, that runs down the side of Nannuo Mountain, starting in the Duoyi Patch and cutting through the Yakou Patch. The stream has unusual properties: for example, white rice grown along the stream is said to produce red grains. This region used to be populated by a plethora of ancient tea trees, few of which survive to this day. However, these ancient trees and their seed-propagated descendents are known for having a distinctive sweet character, supposedly the result of nourishment gained from the waters of the Bama stream. Bama tea achieved fame in the 1960s when it was gifted to Chairman Mao while he was visiting the region. While this tea is not sourced from the original ancient trees of Bama, which are dwindlingly few in number, it carries the dì wèi 地味 ("earth taste") of both the high-altitude Duoyi Patch and the mystical Bama stream. This tea has a sweet, earthy-mushroom, and pungent aroma, with overtones that lie at the intersection of truffle and pencil-eraser. The mouthfeel is savory the way dried mushrooms are savory, with a musky afterfragrance. It has a very strong, almost imposing huí gān 回甘 ("returning sweetness"), with a showering Qi like the falling chandelier sparks of fireworks.
Two quick rinses before the leaves started to open up. Each additional steep was like passing through a dark train tunnel back into the sun light. Amazing.