Our first release of a Lao Man E tea on Farmerleaf. Despite its low altitude of 1200m, this village produces one of the punchiest tea in Yunnan. It is known for its infamous bitterness, but this is misleading hype. There are two varietals of ancient trees identified by the farmers in Lao Man E: bitter tea and sweet tea.
This cake is made of sweet tea, which doesn't mean it's as smooth as an Yiwu cake. You'll get fairly strong bitterness, especially considering it's autumn tea, but it will vanish within seconds. With bitter tea, you'd carry this bitterness in your mouth for half a day, but with sweet tea, the bitterness is like a fighter jet passing overhead: as soon as you perceive it, it's already far away.
We could only get 5kg of this one because we visited at the very end of autumn, during when we could expect the best quality. The tea was made by Ai Xiang, who has a nice processing unit on the first floor of his house. Tea processing is very professional in the village due to the high demand of this tea by the factories in Menghai, this is where you get the really good stuff in the region, along with Lao Banzhang.
What really makes me happy with Lao Man E is the osmium-heavy sweetness. It takes a few cups to be felt but it won't leave you until you give up on the tea. Heavy Huigan, medium-strong bitterness, extremely long-brewing. You won't be disappointed with this one.