Wild, young, bold, and beautiful to look at, after drinking this, I felt like had been given a transfusion of blood from a sixteen year old (or V, for you True Blood fans). This tea is like an incredibly talented young left-handed pitcher who throws 100 mph and only sometimes gets it over the plate. There’s so much flavor and sharpness in this tea and I can’t wait to see how it ages and becomes more disciplined and focused. It will be hard not to chip away at this tea. Early infusions are surely on the bitter side, but that fades in later steepings.
2009 Lao Ban Zhang Premium Raw Pu-erh tea cake
Members of the Mengku Tea Factory made an expedition to remote areanear Banzhang mountain to obtain the leaves for these cakes. The leaves are from trees 400 to 500 years old that were heavily cut during the Cultural Revolution. The trunk is still intact and in the 35 years since the trees have continued to grow and produce excellent quality Pu-erh with that special Banzhang taste and penetrating perfume-likearoma. When brewed is golden yellow and takes 15 or more infusions, each infusion with it’s own taste and gradually less bitter and ineffably sweet.
The cakes are made from the highest grade Ban Zhang raw material andare entirely spring 2009 production. The price of premium Ban Zhang raw material has surpassed other tea mountains, because it is the most sought after. Many producers use just 10% to 20% Ban Zhang material to give their blended cakes enough “oomph” to make them taste good.