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Spring 2013 Naka

Ancient tea gardens from Naka, Mengsong, Menghai

Stored in Mengla, Xishuangbanna for ten years, slightly wet storage

Rich fragrance, syrupy soup and very heavy sweetness


We've been looking for more aged tea in the past couple of months. There is plenty of it on the market, but most of it is made of really bad material or has been poorly aged. Fortunately, good tea eventually makes it into your cup.

We sourced this tea from a friend in the Pu'er tea market. She has a storage house in Mengla, in the South of Xishuangbanna. The tea was stored slightly wet, but I would still call it dry storage.

The tea clearly shows its Naka origin. It probably had a rich flowery fragrance when young, and the ten years of aging have made it highly fruity. Naka has a good natural minerality, the feel of sucking on a rock. The aging process has reinforced this aspect, but the tea much more mellow than a young equivalent would be.

This is a great comfort tea, on the softer side of the Menghai spectrum: low bitterness, medium astringency, quite active on the gums. The main point is it keeps delivering a thick soup for over ten brews and can even go further with minute-long steepings.

We could only get twenty cakes of this one, it won't be restocked.