Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Comparative Pictorial of Multi-Year EOT Bulang (2009-2012) - Part 1/2

The range of EOT Bulangs from 2009 to 2012. From left to right is a progression of the oldest to the youngest teacake.

Taking the opportunity to reconnect with a few Essence of Tea (EOT) teacakes in my collection, the popular range of EOT Bulang from 2009 to 2012 needs little introduction for the seasoned tea drinker. The annual pressing of EOT Bulang is perhaps the most discussed and reviewed tea on the Internet to come out from this premium vendor. A lot have been written about the EOT Bulang from multi years and for those looking to dig deeper I will leave you in the good hands of Google.

Below comprises of a series of pictorials on the range of EOT Bulangs during a 4 year period. Observing the teacakes from different years always make for an interesting comparison. Compare the darkened shades of age and see how each has been transformed by time under Thailand’s tropical climate.

Comparing EOT Bulangs from 2009 and 2010 (Front and Back)

Comparing EOT Bulangs from 2011 and 2012* (Front and Back)

The aromas of the teacakes are fragrant and very pleasant. After some investigative sniffing of the dried leaf it is evident that the teacakes from 2009 to 2011 are clearly similar whilst the 2012 production is noticeably different from the group. This perhaps is not surprising when reading the explanatory note below. The older Bulangs from 2009 to 2011 all possess a distinctive fragrance that displays a potent, deep and complex nose that is herbal and slightly woody in character.  The 2012 production (clearly the odd one out) displays a light and candy like fragrance of marshmallows and cotton candy that by comparison does not possess the same level of depth and complexity. Nevertheless it is clearly an interesting production and I am glad to own one for future observations.

In Part 2 I will be brewing and tasting each EOT Bulang from their respective year of production. I expect the comparative brewing will allow me to ride along the age journey of EOT’s Bulang and perhaps observe a pattern of change that allows a glimpse into the future of what can be expected from a fully matured EOT Bulang.

* The EOT Bulang 2012 despite being the newest appears the most worn and tattered. The reason for this is that as my only Bulang from 2012 it is my go to teacake for chipping away at. It is important to note that 2012 marks a year that EOT introduced new changes to their Bulang production that includes using a blend of 2 sources of maochas (as opposed to previously sourcing from a single estate). I recommend visiting the product page of EOT 2012 Bulang for a full description.

6 comments:

  1. i have a sample of the 2012 I will be brewing along with you.
    M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello M,

      It will be good to know what you think of the 2012 Bulang.

      Best, VP

      Delete
  2. I am considering the 2012 Baotang as well. I was pleased to see you drinking the Bulang as it was in a sampler order I got a while back.
    M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember the 2012 Baotang having an interesting sweet grassy note to it. The brew was thinner than the Bulang but more approachable for those who have a limited tolerance for bitterness. As I do not own a teacake, these reflections are from a while back. The 2012 offering that I enjoyed the most at this young age was the Bangwei 33.

      Best, VP

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the Bangwei will be included in the next order as well. Bitterness has never bothered me much. Mang Fei, Bu Lang and Lao Man'e are all fine in my taste profile.
    Now I just need my better half to authorize my purchase....
    M

    ReplyDelete