8 Ball 2020 Banpen Raw Puer

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Alcohol, Bitter, Dry Grass, Earth, Eucalyptus, Floral, Flowers, Grain, Hops, Mineral, Nutty, Plants, Sweet, Tobacco, Vegetal, Whiskey
Sold in
Bulk
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 oz / 110 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I haven’t had many Ban Pen teas, so I was happy to get an opportunity to taste a fresh one with BLT adding 8 Ball to their 2020 line-up. It’s quite a masculine tea and not really my absolute...” Read full tasting note
    86
  • “Gongfu! Last tasting note of the night – feels good to have Steepster back up and running, and to be clearing out some of this backlog of tasting notes. I think I’m about halfway through what I had...” Read full tasting note
    81

From Bitterleaf Teas

Often considered one of the two key ingredients in the “Laobanzhang recipe”, Banpen teas tend to lean more on body and fragrance, while Laomane brings the bitter and huigan.

Although less aggressive up front, this is still a gentle brute of a tea. Similar to nearby Banzhang teas, this high quality Banpen material exhibits a great lasting fragrance and strong chaqi/energy. While there is a gentle and not-too-overbearing kuwei (pleasant bitterness), it doesn’t mean that this tea’s energy won’t put you in the pocket.

Picking period: Pre-April 12

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2 Tasting Notes

86
793 tasting notes

I haven’t had many Ban Pen teas, so I was happy to get an opportunity to taste a fresh one with BLT adding 8 Ball to their 2020 line-up. It’s quite a masculine tea and not really my absolute favourite type of a profile. It is, however, distinct from most teas in my collection. Maybe the closest one would be Jiu Tai Po – a Jinggu tea with a similar bitter, grainy, and nutty character.

Objectively, this is undoubtedly a high quality tea. It is processed slightly on the greener side, as is quite common for Bu Lang sheng as far as I can tell. The huigan is very pronounced and the full-bodied liquor has a very soft and plump texture to it, coupled with a numbing and slightly abrasive sensation at the back of the mouth. The cha qi is creeping slowly, but ramps up to facilitate an all-encompassing peaceful state at its peak.

The dry leaf aroma is sweet and floral with a hint of gasoline and dry earth. After the rinse, the smell is more nutty and grainy. The dominant notes I pick up are musk and fenugreek leaves, but there are many others too.

First steep is already quite pungent with a lot of breadth. It is mineral, nutty, and bitter with an underlying sweetness to it. Floral and vegetal aspects arrive soon, as well as a nice sour tinge. In the first part of the session, there are flavours such as sunflowers, chard, alcohol, various seeds, and hops – the latter especially in the aftertaste.

Going towards steeps 6-8, I get more bassy impression with more of a typical punchy and granular Bu Lang profile carrying a hint of tobacco. Some floral and dry grass flavours with nutty undertones return subsequently, such as acorn or eucalyptus. Some fruitiness reminiscent of quince comes to the fore around the 12th infusion too. The crisp aftertaste has consistently floral character to it, mixed in with some bourbon too, interestingly.

I end the session after about 18 steeps which is just short of 300ml/g, a pretty good longevity for a young tea. I can definitely recommend the tea to anyone interested in getting a solid tea that showcases a village that’s maybe not as commonly found on the western market as a couple of neighboring ones. I can’t speak to how representative it is, but I think one gets their money’s worth, just about.

Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Dry Grass, Earth, Eucalyptus, Floral, Flowers, Grain, Hops, Mineral, Nutty, Plants, Sweet, Tobacco, Vegetal, Whiskey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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81
12944 tasting notes

Gongfu!

Last tasting note of the night – feels good to have Steepster back up and running, and to be clearing out some of this backlog of tasting notes. I think I’m about halfway through what I had built up during the freeze…

Between a bunch of new orders and teas sent for me to review, and the TTB I haven’t been having nearly as much straight tea as I used to – and even less of the new Spring pu’erh I’ve ordered. But early this week I found myself dipping into some of my Bitter Leaf Teas spring order with this “8 Ball” 2020 Banpen Dragon Ball while rereading Homestuck Act 1 and getting all those highschool nostalgia feels!!

To be honest, a tea named “8 Ball” is probably more appropriate for one of the later acts (fellow #homestucktrash will know) but regardless it’s a really interesting & pleasant sheng!! Good texture to the liquor, with a medium bodied notes of raw garden peas & bitter leafy greens that get rougher in the “meat” of the session. Really lovely huigan, though! Definitely not the type of sheng profile I normally gravitate towards, but I’m digging it!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CDZe24DgGQx/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOscjUHPY-o

Shanie O Maniac

#homestucktrash

Oh geez the tumblr flashbacks.

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