Ban Zhang Ancient Tree

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Recent Tasting Notes


Thanks to Yang-Chu for this sample.
Dry – Vegetal bittersweetness that resembles still green wood adn some sweetness.
Wet – More intense vegetal- ‘green-wood’ bitterness, faint smoke and mellow tobacco appears with gentle sweet and refreshing notes.

The initial steep is very mellow/subtly sweet front that seamlessly turns into a good brothy middle with vegetal notes and a good mouth feel that hints of thickness. The huigan is mellow and pleasant.

Following steeps (2-4) are a bit more robust by comparison, but still mellow in the Sheng spectrum. There is still a subtle sweetness up front that transition into a more savory and broth like character with the middle being more decisively tobaccoey and green-wood bittersweet and a mouthfeel that transitions from thick into a more puckery astringency. The huigan still develops a mellow sweetness and a refreshing sensation.

Later steeps don’t offer much in the ways of taste though you still find some of the initial traits of tobacco, green-wood and faint smoke playing around in a ghostly way. The thickness in the middle followed by a slight astringent sensation is still enduring well. Mellow Huigan.

Final Notes
This one is good I liked it for a mellow session, It didn’t offer much in complexity or in presence, at least in the flavor. However, it has a very good body that even is there even after most of the notes have dissipated. If you like mellow/subtle traditional notes with focus in body this might be something to look at.

Flavors: Bitter, Green Wood, Sweet, Tobacco

205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

This one is aging up quite nicely.

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I totally forgot about this sample! Yang-Chu included it with my portion of the group TeaUrchin order. Thanks again!

It has a mild but pleasant bitterness, and its flavor lingers in my throat. It has a nice flavor but isn’t very sweet. I like it, but I do prefer some other shengs in my collection :)

It is hitting the spot. I was definitely in the mood for sheng this morning!

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I’m having the Silver Peacock Bulang Mt Habitat 2012, which I got back in March. At first I didn’t know what to make of it, especially since it’s clear that they included lots of tea bits in the cake, so much so, I wondered if mites hadn’t gotten to it to make it that way. Then on reading, I found that it’s not an uncommon practice to make the outside of the cake all sparkly and then stuff the bits inside.
Well, I tried to live down my disappointment about the bits and placed a chunk in the zisha caddy, assuming that it would mellow some of the astringency/bitterness.
About a week later I found myself wanting to try it again. I decided that there wasn’t that much astringency, really but that there was bitter and understanding the flavour profile of Ban-zhang’s that this tea was aptly bitter.
It’s now had about two months in the caddy and a few days of uncharacteristic hot. I’ve had only one infusion so far of the stuff on the edge where there’s entirely all whole leaf, 10 sec at 185. The liquor is silvery pale. The taste is rich, smoky, mature, just an ever so slight hint of bitterness.
For my tastes, brewing most raw or green tea above 185 produces a poor brew. This is no exception. I generally like to let the tea cook for five minutes or when it’s really hot till it’s totally cooled off, as it can be more refreshing this way.
This cake has a dry finish, so the thirst-slaking attributes of a fruitier tea aren’t there, not in the first round. As I remember, as the bitter taste builds it possesses qualities reminiscent of ku-ding (bitter nail) tea, slippery an bitter, but not as bitter.



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Flavors: Tannin

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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