The Trails of LBZ, Case 7 of 6
(Liquid Proust search for his favorite laser beam zensheng)
Yesterday I had the best raw pu’erh to day so whatever comes next will just… yeah.
I ended up convincing Awazon to sell me 100g of this which I split with a few people; hoping to see if it makes it to the 2017 Sheng Olympics. Not sure if I wanted to consider this a LBZ or regard it as Awazon’s most expensive tea; either way, I’m going for the taste and feel over 16 steeps.
Leaf, 6g. Temp, 90c. Steep time, 6 to 10 seconds.
Prior to steeping I will say the leaf is full and beautiful. I haven’t had anything quite order worthy from Awazon because it’s’ all basic factory tasting stuff to me thus far.
Steep 1, the tea had a spark of tang towards the end making it a bit mouth puckering. Did not like this, but I’ve been told that this leaf (if it is) starts off rough and then sweetens within a few steeps.
Steep 2, initial production and storage smells fades which is nice because I was hoping it didn’t stick around. Steep 2 and 3 I did back to back: upfront in the astringency as if it is coming forward, hopefully not to stay but going from the back to the front as a way of exiting backwards (please please please)
Steep 4, seeming like the astringency is fading but I think it’ll be a bumpy road to find out what is on the other side of this hill I am going up; is it a dry flat land of dust and hay or is it going to be a secret rainforest of fruit I have yet to taste?
Took a bit of a break to see if this mild sensation was from the tea, seems that a little head feel is going on; somewhat of a lifting feeling.
Steep 5, still pretty astringent with hidden notes of tarty fruit.
Steep 6, hue of the liquid is beginning to lighten up at this point which should mean the taste should start transitioning to something different. Still a rather upfront biting of an astringency, but at this point there is heat that runs through my neck onto the end of my fingertips with a high point at my shoulders. Kind of interesting feeling, a warmth that spikes when I sip.
Steeps 7 & 8, the astringency is mild at this point allowing me to notice that there is a gently taste to this tea underneath but it took far too long to get to this point. The feeling is still lifting, calming for sure.
Steep 10, here we are… some mild notes of apricot and honeysuckle inbetween that took forever to actually become noticeable as the astringency masked and covered the other notes that were there earlier. At this point the head in my upper body is also occurring in my back which is pleasant.
Steep 11, yeah at this point I am pretty sure I will enjoy every steep until it dies. The brew has become lighter with more clarity in what I am sipping at, add on the warmth and mild calming sensation and this is something really nice.
Comparing this to the other LBZ Trails, it is somewhat hard to do. The taste of this tea took much longer to lose its astringency which was unexpected because it is a few years older than the others that I was drinking. Yesterday I had the best one which had a sharp change in the color and taste which was great, for this I am unsure how much I like waiting for the change to happen. Telling someone that a tea will be wonderfully light with hints of fruit and sweetness of higher quality pu’erh would be appealing, but if you tell them that it takes almost 11 steeps to get there… I’m not sure if I would want to go through the journey of some mouth pucker for that long.
At about 70 cents per gram, I would say this would be a great tea to age for anyone who wants a quality leaf to use for a project. The sample I got was just like the pictures which make it seems quite nice, to which I can say it is. Personally I would go the route of getting the 2007 Mengku from YS first for 100g brick at $62 while they are still in stock and then invest in the larger purchase such as this later on. This has no humidity noticed throughout the steeps so I’m pretty confident in saying that the taste can change quite a bit within just a year of being stored differently; pu’erh eating a new diet always changes.
While this is 7 of 6, I always go overboard, I still have about four more to go and someone is sending me some from Bana tea which I hear is the best one around on the market; we shall see.
p.s. I have 14g I’m willing to trade for another LBZ I have yet to try, please PM me if this interest you