hster wrote:Could you kindly post a wrapper picture of this Bulang?
Yes. I have neither camera nor smart-phone, but the picture should be clear enough from my dumb-phone to give an idea.
As you can see, no resemblance.
hster wrote:How does this Bulang compare to other Bulangs or other sheng?
As I mentioned, I am very pleased to have this brick in my collection. Other bulangs I've tried of this age have generally landed in the fruit/golden-raisin section for young flavors. Metallic, tangy and bright, with some of the more interesting ones having cooling/camphor qualities as they open up.
It's been many months since I last sampled this tea, but since I don't have my original notes, I will just tell you what struck me about it. When I first sampled this brick, I was quite pleasantly surprised with it's sweet, almost positively oolong-like flavors. With many sheng, you'll get apple skin or raisin fruit. This one seems to me more like berries or even banana, oranges, candied lime. The comparison to a tangy.mellow Dancong like a Huangzhixiang seems right on target to me.. also woody, but with no puckering cottonmouth on the tongue or teeth or back of the throat. Wood more like a sweet Japanese incense rather than an old spice-drawer or woodchips. It plays out dynamically out as it steeps, switching up with each pour, generally leaving me on the edge of my seat to see what will come next. During one tasting with friends, we declared the tea a shape-shifter, since it presented new tastes and textures with every cup, all through the 25 or so steepings we did together (past a certain point, I stop counting). Aftertastes like sweetgrasses, peach skin, and even some pine cooling at the top. Others have noted camphor flavors, but I'm notoriously bad at detecting zhang.
Compared to other shengs I'd sampled and purchased while living in China and visiting the tea markets for about a year, this one was striking, stood out as one of the most many-layered bricks I've tasted in quite awhile, especially compared to what I'd tried that was around the same age. I came across only a few bricks of this quality, and those were going for around $100 in China... and this was the price from friends in the market. Admittedly, these weren't really for sale, and were mostly sampled to further my tea education. I was not on a US salary at the time, but I was lucky enough to have friends willing to part with portions of the bricks. Of those, I now only have tiny jars left, and I regret every time I open the jars that I didn't just tighten my belt, eat rice for a month, and ask to buy the whole thing.
Given the above, I had no qualms about paying for the quality of this brick, apparent in every cup I've brewed since then. I am pleased to have something so unique in my collection, whose qualities I've yet to find in other bricks. I am trying to forget about the brick so that I can try it in ten years to see where it's gone.
I think this was definitely worth what I paid. I'm not sure what else I can say.