Lao Ban Zhang

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Astringent, Bitter, Grass, Smoke, Vegetables, Vegetal
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Haveteawilltravel
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 6 oz / 163 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I quite like this tea, but can also understand some of the negative reviews here. The amber liquor smells of strong sweet hay, while the wet leaves smell of sweet hay, a hint of tobacco, and...” Read full tasting note
  • “4.5g in 100mL jian shui teapot. the vendor basically says dry storage in Toronto, but I think its more like dehydrated storage. When I opened the bag to smell the dry leaves, there’s that distinct...” Read full tasting note
  • “About a month ago I tried Tao’s Banzhang and last week I tried the Lao Ban Zhang. Taking some time apart from reviewing it because I really felt something off of this and I wanted to make sure it...” Read full tasting note
  • “I decided to finally break this out. The dry leaf is super compressed. I was reminded of a XG iron cake. The cake gives a dry vegetal aroma with some faint sweetness. I placed a bunch in my warmed...” Read full tasting note
    65

From Tao Tea Leaf

For pu-er tea lovers, Lao Ban Zhang (老班章) is famously known as the king of raw pu-er tea. Its flavor is uniquely strong with a bold, complex taste. Tea lovers often describe the taste and the body feeling of Lao Ban Zhang as “霸气” (superiorly dominant). This is why they crowned Lao Ban Zhang as “The King”.

Ban Zhang is a very famous village in Yunnan Province, China. The village is located on a 1500-1900m-high mountain. Within Ban Zhang village, there are “Xin Ban Zhang” (New Ban Zhang) and “Lao Ban Zhang” (Old Ban Zhang). The distance between “Xin Ban Zhang” and “Lao Ban Zhang” is about a 12-minute drive. When the population of the Lao Ban Zhang area (Old Village) grew, many people decided to move to a new flatter, larger area that is more convenient for living. The taste of tea from Xin Ban Zhang and Lao Ban Zhang are different. Generally speaking, Lao Ban Zhang pu-er tea is stronger than Xin Ban Zhang, which is why Lao Ban Zhang pu-er tea is awarded as the best of the best pu-er tea.

This Lao Ban Zhang tea was a special order from the spring of 2008 for Tao’s personal pu-er collection and it has been stored in Toronto since it was received. 2007 and 2008 were the worst two years for the pu-er tea market in the last 15 years. The pu-er tea bubble in the Chinese tea market was broken in 2007. The price dropped to the bottom in the summer of 2007. In the spring of 2008, the price remained on the bottom and few people sought teas, especially for the famous mountain tea. As the price shows, it is impossible to find a good 2008 Lao Ban Zhang raw pu-er.

Here are the tasting notes from Tao Wu:

Tea: 2008 Lao Ban Zhang Raw Pu-er (Wild, ancient tree)

About Tao Tea Leaf View company

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4 Tasting Notes

6 tasting notes

I quite like this tea, but can also understand some of the negative reviews here. The amber liquor smells of strong sweet hay, while the wet leaves smell of sweet hay, a hint of tobacco, and another strange sweetness that I can’t really place. I brewed with about 225ml of water, and poured the water slowly from some height to help the tightly compressed leaves open up. That worked really well. The liquor is smooth in the mouth, with just a bit of astringency and the hay flavour is strong. I found the qi to be substantial and enjoyable.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 225 ML

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55 tasting notes

4.5g in 100mL jian shui teapot. the vendor basically says dry storage in Toronto, but I think its more like dehydrated storage. When I opened the bag to smell the dry leaves, there’s that distinct dehydrated storage aroma…lifeless is the only way to describe it if you’re not sure what I’m talking about. perhaps the storage is where this tea went wrong? maybe with better storage it may have been a better experience?

Haveteawilltravel’s review of this tea is very close to my experience, so I’ll just say what wasn’t already said. Very loosely packed, large whole leaves but also lots of pieces, thick center vein.

Vegetables, smokey, slight huigans after 3rd/4th cups but that went away.

The only redeeming quality of this tea was the oily full mouthfeel, but that may have been a increased or caused by my well seasoned jian shui teapot. I am not motivated to brew with a gaiwan just to figure that out. I’m not motivated to even finish the sample. If someone wants it, message me and I’ll pass it along if you want to try it.

Chi was mostly lower back, kidneys, and uncomfortable. I could feel a little movement in the head but it wasn’t very strong. I was underwhelmed…

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1112 tasting notes

About a month ago I tried Tao’s Banzhang and last week I tried the Lao Ban Zhang. Taking some time apart from reviewing it because I really felt something off of this and I wanted to make sure it was the tea and not just my overall upbeat mood that day.

Turns out, either I’m really susceptible to tea giving me awesome feelings or this is some serious ‘feels’ tea. It doesn’t have a good taste; something like a factory cake from 2007 to 2009 ’ish, but the feels got me.

That’s about all I can say for this one.

kevdog19

I’ll take this over a tasty tea with no feeling any day

andresito

I drank this today coincidentally…then saw your comment when I logged in to post my review.

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65
506 tasting notes

I decided to finally break this out. The dry leaf is super compressed. I was reminded of a XG iron cake. The cake gives a dry vegetal aroma with some faint sweetness. I placed a bunch in my warmed yixing and waited a little bit. The yixing gave a smoke and roasted vegetables aroma. I washed the leaves once and began brewing. This was not a great tea session. The cake took about four rounds of steeping to finally open up, and it didn’t give off any great flavors. This tea has no complexity, and it sticks with some basic tones. For instance, each steeping yielded the slightly yellowed liquor with tastes of roasted veggies, smoke, astringency, and bitterness. I did flash steeping this whole session, and the bitterness would not fade. I experienced a little bit of huigan in one sip, but it quickly faded away. The whole session gives a drying feeling in the mouth. The leaves consist of mostly chop and don’t yield any great experience. However, the qi is present, and is of decent strength. The feeling is somewhat uncomfortable and is centered at the head and back of the neck. I didn’t really enjoy this session. I might be spoiled with my regular offerings. This tea may interest others who have a palette for these sort of things.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grass, Smoke, Vegetables, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
jschergen

I also got nothing good out of this.

Haveteawilltravel

I gave it a shot, but my expectations were very low. I’m glad I’m not alone in the outcome.

andresito

your review closely sums up the session I had with this tea just now

Haveteawilltravel

It’s oddly strong, but the qi is bad. It doesn’t make me feel good.

Candana

Ok…on Cwyn’s Death by Tea there is a picture of the wrappr. Hang on I thought!!! this is the same cake that is on sale in Malaysia for 20 dollars ( can provide evidence). Slight price difference with Canada.
This is nasty tea, I feel like I’m having a heart attack.

jschergen

I’d be curious to see the evidence. What brand is this cake?

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