It is interesting that just when I just about gave up on finding real bargains in the world of tea, one appeared after all. The Lao Yu cake is a small one (200g) and costs merely $14, however, it would be a pity to leave it unnoticed.
According to Honza the producer, this is basically a tea that Bulang people on Bada mountain make for themselves. As such, it does not have certain qualities that are desirable for immediate drinking, but on the other hand, it does not suffer from the flaws that some "drink now" puerhs unfortunately have.
The dry leaves are rather small actually and smell fruity and floral.
I still fail to understand why I like this tea so much, yet I obviously do. It is not like it's way different from any other young tea, but it does its job better than most; I guess I appreciate its honesty and cleanliness. I did not drink the "old style" puerh when it was young, but I would think it might be similar to this tea.
The taste is rich and good indeed - and it is a mixture of both Bada families I've encountered previously: On one hand, there is a good sweetness and fruitiness (peaches), young clay, along with "future honey" (dark sugary sweetness now, likely to become honey-like, in my opinion). On the other hand, there is also an element of the "other Bada" (piney needless and more citrusy fruit, especially pomelo). It is an interesting and, fortunately, not in the least conflicting. Along the "Bada part", I think there is a good "universal sheng" base which fills the "good mouthfeel" windows in taste, often left open by Bada teas...
Along the taste itself, the liquor is smooth, thick and pleasantly bitter and astringent - all is good (the bitterness is completely normal in a young tea and a) transforms well now, producing a pleasant aftertaste, b) should transform via aging).
The tea does not have aa "stoning" qi, but it always brought be the feeling of joy and positivity to me, which is an effect in itself.
The tea is delight to drink now and due to its rich and strong character, I suspect it should be a much better ager than most "1D" Badas which are quite good now, but tend to lack something in the longer run (they are still very good and tasty after 5-10 years, no doubt, but they are not a first league tea unfortunately).