2009 Lao Ban Zhang Premium Raw Pu-erh tea cake

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Floral, Fruity, Sweet, Tangy, Asparagus, Tobacco
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Doug F
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 23 oz / 669 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This tea cake has increased in price 2 and half times since I bought it which indicates how precious this little cake is. It’s a very deceptive, mercurial tea—the first 30 second...” Read full tasting note
    95
    triumph 130 tasting notes
  • “This is a very interesting selection from Yunnan Sourcing recommended by a few whose opinions I value. Reportedly a special production by the Mengku Tea Factory made with material from 400-500...” Read full tasting note
    Dignitea 255 tasting notes
  • “This is obviously top quality leaf. Very impressive. Dry tea is fragrant. moderately compressed. After rinse, a satisfyingly strong, very pleasant and elegant tangy-fruity floral aroma emerges....” Read full tasting note
    96
    AsafMazar 66 tasting notes
  • “Excuse the simile but this felt like the cadillac of raw Pu Er. I have not had very many raw and sadly this is my "oldest" raw pu er, sad I know but I am still learning. I was so used...” Read full tasting note
    83
    jiang-luo 127 tasting notes

From Yunnan Sourcing

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.

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

Company description not available.

6 Tasting Notes

95
130 tasting notes

This tea cake has increased in price 2 and half times since I bought it which indicates how precious this little cake is. It’s a very deceptive, mercurial tea—the first 30 second infusion is sweet and fruity with a touch of camphor and wheat. But then the gloves come off and the tea becomes a powerhouse of flavor (teakwood, grapefruit) and bitterness (in a good way). Even at six years of age, this is a very young and unruly tea that has legs. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an intensely flavorful sheng—now it’s just a matter of seeing how the components come into balance.

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255 tasting notes

This is a very interesting selection from Yunnan Sourcing recommended by a few whose opinions I value. Reportedly a special production by the Mengku Tea Factory made with material from 400-500 year old trees. According to YS, the tea is 100% Ban Zhang Wild Ancient Arbor. The leaves of the cake appear to be clean, thick and stout. These leaves yield a dark gold tea liquor which is bright and clear. There is an enticing floral-fruity scent on top of a smooth woody base which is long lasting and powerful. The sip is full and complex yet strongly sweet. There is a pleasant bitterness but this quickly dissipates then a full, delicious, sweet taste dominates and remains in the mouth for quite some time. Dominant presence in the mouth – the tongue and mouth tingle after just a few small sips. The Qi comes forward after just one cup and builds over several infusions. I find this to be a very enjoyable tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
JC

I like this one! I was apprehensive about buying it since I feel for the price tag it has, I would get low grade (since Ban Zhang is so legendarily expensive). But I was glad I did. The first time it did have a pinch of smoke to it, but no other steeps had it. Very good one.

DigniTea

Yes, I quite like it. Did not detect any smoke in mine. That on-going “authentic LBZ” discussion aside, I think it is made from very good material.

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96
66 tasting notes

This is obviously top quality leaf. Very impressive.
Dry tea is fragrant. moderately compressed. After rinse, a satisfyingly strong, very pleasant and elegant tangy-fruity floral aroma emerges. The elegance of the aroma is a common denominator of quality old tree material, from my limited experience.
Sweet, thick tea liquid with penetrating aroma and lots of vitality in the mouthfeel. Very satisfying. This one really hits the spot and leaves little to be wanted.
Little bitterness/astringency for a young sheng. Poweful qi. Strong caffeine kick and psychoactive effect. Pleasant at first, then a bit unsettling.
Now I understand what all the ban zhang hype is about.
Compared to other old tree premium shengsthat i’ve tried of the same vintage, this one might have the strongest flavor and aroma, second only perhpas to a sample I once received of a $300 cake from royalpuer.
Its qi reminds me of the 2011 nano mountain old tree tasting set from jk tea shop, though the flavor is much better.
The refined flavor and aroma is similar to the top quality teas you get from essence of tea.
$10 for 25 grams is a decent deal.
If you like raw powerful shengs, give this a try.
I probably wont reorder this because I like the calming effects and warmer nature of old sheng, though I might buy a newer (cheaper) vintage of this tea and age it for 12 years or so.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 80 OZ / 2365 ML
Cwyn

Fascinating review, might sample this one myself after reading about your experience. Though I prefer the older stuff too.

mrmopar

I wish Yunnan’s China site was working better. Every time I get on it to look at things it “locks” the page up.

Cwyn

I wish that would happen to me, the checkout page works all too well.

mrmopar

I can’t seem to get it right. I go to it and it is in Russian and Google translates it but when looking at the info for the tea, instant lockup. I really have a few things I want but the lock up issue really bugs me..

Asaf Mazar

I get some russian in some parts of the site as well. Try using a different browser/clearing your cache. disable browser add-ons perhpas.

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83
127 tasting notes

Excuse the simile but this felt like the cadillac of raw Pu Er. I have not had very many raw and sadly this is my “oldest” raw pu er, sad I know but I am still learning. I was so used to super young bitter, smoky, sharp petrol flavor, with a mouth drying after taste but this tea had a heavy mouth feel, it was quenching instead of throat drying, after taste was a little light but had a pleasant sweetness, also the slight smokiness disappeared after the first steeping. I was so cautious because I was used to the super bitter/smoky young sheng that after bracing myself and tasting this tame sheng I upped the steeping times to 30 seconds then a minute then two minutes at which point it of course it got a little bitter but I was stunned a sheng was drinkable with longer than flash steepings.

This is my first youngish sheng and I look forward to trying older and older through the years. This tea had a great qi and a very pleasant soothing brew, it was such a comfort after drinking the fast and hard super young shengs I was accustomed to that felt like a bare bones two seater fun to drive on certain occasions but you feel every bump from hard suspension and not suited for everyday practical driving, this felt like an old caddy boat with the numb suspension and cornering of a semi. An eye opening experience for me and it makes me excited for all like aged samples I have accrued recently.

Flavors: Asparagus, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Jiāng Luo

Forgot to mention very light on the stomach (did not give me the stomach gurgles nor did I rush to the bathroom after) and infusion was light honey color not orange but not yellow either

Terri HarpLady

I’ll have to try for a sample with my next yunnan sourcing order!

Jiāng Luo

Yeah I wish I had afford more than a sample unfortunately(expensive) I have have come to find bulang is my favorite mt of the few I have become accustom with for both shu and sheng.

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84
39 tasting notes

This morning I’ve decided to sample a 2009 Lao Ban Zhang Premium. I received this tea from a friend the other day and am very pleased to be able to sample it. I begin with approximately 4.2 grams in my gaiwan. I cannot say much as to the dry leaf appearance as it looks like your typical arbor leaf. What I can say is that it is mostly intact – very nice. A brief wash (my washes tend to be about 5 seconds) of the leaves bring out a unique nose. .. perhaps a slight smoky (not the smokiness found in Xiaguans) hayness? The nose isn’t very impressive – typical of the region. However, where the nose lacks, the soup makes up for! The soup is a beautiful light amber colour with a wonderful profile. Upon sipping, there is a kind bitterness which greets all the taste buds. In a fraction of a second, this bitterness transforms into a subtle sweetness. One can easily detect this transformation in the mouth… very dynamic. The tea is thick in the mouth and leaves a nice coating. The hui gan is a little light, but perhaps I under leafed? Perhaps the sender could comment on this. I do detect some cha qi, which, naturally, is very nice. In my opinion, this is an excellent tea. It’s dynamic, complex and tastes nice! I will give this tea an 84/100 =).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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