Nowadays, pu-erh lovers should not feel strange to the name “Bing Dao 冰島” … in the end, everybody is offering some Bing Dao pu-erhs. However, when I started Hou De in 2004, I had never heard of the name Bing Dao.
So what started the craze of Bing Dao? It is the success of this Meng Ku “Mother Tree’s Tea” in 2005. When I acquired this tea in 2006, I was not even told the name “Bing Dao” – not until in around 2015 did I learned this 2005 tea had become very sought-after as it started a new epoch – Bing Dao Pu-erh. People were amazed by the quality of this Meng Ku tea and started to dig out any information from it – and eventually unraveled Bing Dao as a prime pu-erh producing region. Things became so crazy that in 2018, the cost of dried mao cha to produce 1kg of pu-erh hit 50,000 RMB! (Note: Google Translate will call Bing Dao Tea an “Icelandic Tea” because Bing in Chinese means ice and Dao mean island).
The 1st -gen (2005) price in China now is almost catching up to that of the 1999 Green Big Tree – which to me is purely crazy. Our price is a more reasonable close to SE Asia price.
And have I said it is a 500g cake! Try to produce a pure Bing Dao 500g cake in 2020 …
How does it taste? It is indeed a very good pu-erh that has shown a tremendous amount of transformation and dynamics for future aging. I have always liked Meng Ku offerings – they are in general very rich in taste, complex floral-honey aroma, strong tannins and bitterness when young, And very reasonably priced (I mean, 15 years ago ^__^) Now I have aged them myself in Houston for 15 years, I am really pleased by how well they have developed over time. As the picture of the liquor has shown, bright brownish liquor with good clarity. Later I’ve learned to shorten the steeping time slightly, as it is still a strong-tasted pu-erh. You got such a warm, concentrated candied-fruitiness in the aroma. Starting in the 3rd cup, you could detect a unique whiff of mint. Never a bit of smokiness (even when it was young). You will notice that beneath the sweetness and elegant aroma, there is a strong structure with decent bitterness and tannis still. It really reminded me of a good aged Yi Wu for its sweetness and elegance, and reveal more departure in later steeping. Great for drinking now (again, don’t over-steeping), and with very promising aging potential ahead.