2005 Guoyan "Lao Ban Zhang" Raw Pu-erh tea * 357g TJ

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Apple, Drying, Leather, Tart, White Grapes, Apricot, Cream, Honey, Oak, Pear, Pleasantly Sour, Sugar, Sweet, Tobacco
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Edit tea info Last updated by Haveteawilltravel
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 oz / 100 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing US

100% Pure Ban Zhang tea! This cake is stone-compressed and was dried naturally, without being baked! The taste is strong and bitter but a little less than the pure Spring material. This cake is entirely fall harvest Ban Zhang mountain. This wrapper style has a “Te Ji” red hand-stamp and was produced for a Kunming dealer. The other wrapper style contains the red hand-stamp “Lao Ban Zhang” but the cakes are otherwise identical in every respect. This cake was never sold as Guoyan’s own production. An amazing cake with great “hui gan” and very infusable.

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3 Tasting Notes

56 tasting notes

This is my last session with this tea, about which I said someplace else that I don’t see myself spending $190/bing on it.

I had a single chunk of beenghole material that clocked in at exactly 8g, I was able to slip in the pick and separate it into a half-dozen or so flakes pretty easily. When I warmed these by putting them in a heated gaiwan, I didn’t get much smell. Sort of generic maturing raw puer, with a bit of sweet hay or grass. I rinsed with boiling water for about 20s while pressing the leaf flakes with the edge of a teaspoon.

The first five or so steeps are mostly a sort of light-fruit sweetness, like white grape or apple. There is a nice enough mouth feel but not a real coating effect for me. I’m steeping with 208F water like 5, 10, 15s… and it takes until the 6th one before the leaves are really unfolded/unstuck from one another. A little bit of aged (OK, partially matured) flavor starts to show up at this point.

My previous couple of sessions with this portend that it’ll last 10+ steeps of gradually downhill from here. It’s nice tea, but does not have any special power that I feel, or taste that knocks my socks off. If I hoped to find why people rave about LBZ by drinking this tea, it was not successful. Maybe a Spring pressing of the same material would be more impressive.

Flavors: Apple, Drying, Leather, Tart, White Grapes

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1113 tasting notes

The Trails of LBZ, Case 8 of 6
(Liquid Proust search for his favorite laser beam zensheng)

So… I got on Steepster and looked around to see if anyone owned some of this because the samples were and are sold out. Being that it is $190 a cake, it’d be a gamble that if good would be a steal for what it could cost but if not it would be a whole $190 out; or just saying an opportunity cost of possibly 2 Dong Ding cakes and a Jingmai cake.
So, I found someone and tempted them with the now sold out 2009 LBZ that YS had which was at $240 but I doubt that is what it would be sold for now. That tea set the bar for everything else period. As the best sheng I ever had, I’m still upset I cannot buy it as it’s the first cake I’d pay a few hundred for: http://steepster.com/Proust614/posts/335389

The leaf looks like nothing special and has a scent of old tobacco and whorish storage; it’s been places :P
The first few sips were odd because it was like a tea that was made from wood and then aged in a tobacco jar that wasn’t fully cleaned. With those thoughts aside, and being authentic on my experience, I found that the storage notes faded at around steep 3ish. Now it was time to play with this : )
So… this is darker than I would like it to be, which has something to do with being 11 years old and the storage that it has gone through, but I was able to push through multiple steepings of this because of those feels. Taste wise it stays with that grandpas old tobacco that grandma hid 30 years ago so he couldn’t have it and then someone stored some sheng in it not knowing that it needed to be cleaned.
So why are those feels what am I talking through keyboard? Yes, something as if that sentence you read correctly and now I recollect thyself.
Okay: This tea did a few things for me. Number one, my eyelids are heavy and I look like I fell asleep in a hotboxed car and just woke up. My arms are really light feelings so I can be one of those outdoor floats if I wanted to be right now. This is a calming tea for me, like a … relax and let time continue on slower than it really is passing by; I could talk about the perception of time and the time that Data encountered this complex issues in The Next Generation, but now is not the time.
So the taste of this is not what I prefer but this feeling of just floating on a cloud and letting the cotton candy caress me is quite enjoyable as well is the clarity of my imagination that I’m trying to hold back on while I write this up.

I hope that the same that I sent to my friend ends up being favored over this as well so I can find more confidence in myself in evaluating tea. As the world of evaluating tea is very scary when it comes to pu’erh, I want to establish myself as a laid back dude who knows taste accommodation with people who will vouch for me as I start to bring people in and make recommendations.
Wait did I begin blogging on this tasting note? Okay, so back to watching the end of The Flash and Arrow; wish these shows didn’t have to take a whole year to start watching again, I’ve really enjoyed the nightly discussions my dad and I have while watching them.


Thanks for reviewing this. I was a bit on the fence on it and that is clear now. I get the same effect with the good ones.

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526 tasting notes

This was fantastic! I’m going to go a little in depth; because, I feel that this tea deserves that.

The dry leaf have an enticing slight aged scent. It’s hard to describe. It’s alike other aged sheng with the common old parchment aroma, except there is a lingering sweetness like stone fruit. It’s unique and doesn’t seem to dissipate even after being left out for a little bit.

I took a bunch of leaves and placed them inside my warmed jianshui. I shook these guys up and let them sit there for a bit to waken up. The scent that arose from my pot was amazing. I took in a deep sweet grapes aroma. These grapes smelled like they were ripe on the vine. This vineyard scent was followed by a walk through a warm oak forest. The light wood tone in the background kept the aromas grounded and stable. They too did not dissipate, and they seemed to fill my room. I sat for some time just enjoying the warmed teapot.

I washed the leaves and prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves deepened tremendously and became quite complex. The scent begins with a rich tobacco tone, alike fresh pipe tobacco, and then continues unto spinach and fermented pear. The scent was very aromatic and filled the air extensively. As the session went on the scent became more rough and sharp. The sweet tobacco was replaced with a spice scent. The spinach and pear became a resinous sap scent. These leaves gave off some enticing aromas.

Now unto the best part, the taste. This was something special, that I’ve only tasted in a few sheng sessions. The sip beings with a pear and apricot flavor. This sweet tone slams into your taste buds and sends a prickling sensation throughout your body. The flavor progresses to a light sweet oak and a tangy creme. The huigan was phenomenal! The huigan was the special part. It completely filled the mouth and slowly moved down the throat. This was unbelievably sweet and succulent like warm sugared honey. The aftertaste is a sweet yet sour cream. This is a pleasant sour tone; it’s very light and keeps the taste buds alert. The brew carries a lubricating mouth-feel and fells good going down. The brew is incredibly smooth and silky. These flavors were deep and lasting; they made quite an impact on your taste buds. However, the huigan fades at about the sixth steeping. The liquor becomes drying and completely changes. The slight wood tone is still prominent except the sweet overripe fruit flavors are replaced with dry fruit, alike white grapes. The taste becomes slightly tannic at about the eleventh steeping and all sweetness has disappeared. The brew continues to be filled with dry, wood, and stonefruit tones for an incredible amount of time. I have no idea how many times I steeped this, but it took me most of the afternoon.

Now let’s talk about some power. The qi in this brew was commendable. The sensation begins at the heart center of the chest at about the second steeping. This feeling grows into a deep warming wave that spreads outwards in the body. The qi takes comfort behind the eyelids and at the top of the head. There it radiates forward and pushes you outward. It was a wonderful feeling, and it put me in an amazing mood. I was very productive afterwards, and the energy lasted well after the session. I was amazed at the endurance of this qi. It’s something to experience.

Now for a little critism. Is this authentic pure LBZ? I would very much doubt it. I could be mistaken, but this is too good of a deal for 10year aged LBZ. However, this is still a killer tea. I do believe it was blended with LBZ material. That goes to show how good just a little bit can be.

I loved this tea, and I will be enjoying for quite some time. I highly recommend trying this out :)


Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Drying, Honey, Oak, Pear, Pleasantly Sour, Sugar, Sweet, Tobacco, White Grapes

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

Nice comments. Thank you for posting detailed notes. I have wondered about this tea for quite some time.


It’s a nice experience :)

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