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Highlights:

  • Intense bitter-sweetness + immediate Qi
  • True aged LBZ: Bold flavour, deep aftertaste, thick and complex
  • Natural taiwanese storage, fully comfortable to drink
  • Really well priced LBZ

Like all LBZ, it’s easy to see why it’s good but it takes a while to see why it’s great.

It certainly took me over 10-12 sessions to really start to understand the depth of this tea and how impressive it really is. I keep on coming back to it endlessly fascinated by just how much depth is there to discover in this tea.

Qi impacts immediately, aftertaste and sweetness are very prominent, and the tea’s very robust, goes on and on while subtly changing.

As this tea is from an era before LBZ was as famous as today, the quality of trees (old) is very high. It’s called “Banzhang zhengshan” (meaning “middle of the Banzhang mountain”) because in those days the marketing for LBZ wasn’t as developed, but LBZ is where the old trees are, and this tea is indeed LBZ.

The storage on this cake is natural, it has matured to the point where it’s comfortable to drink but retains very nice hints of bitterness before turning into sweetness. The tea will settle and taste slightly better after a few months in your storage, but it’s already ready to drink now to start to appreciate.

 

And it’s priced extremely well.

In my opinion, this tea is about the same quality with the various Xi Zi Hao 2005-2006 LBZ (including taji black and white wrappers), it may lack a bit of their refinement, but it more than makes up for it in strength and depth. Those XZH tea sell now for $2000 (about $1000 last year).

This 05 Banzhang Zhengshan is the kind of tea that a famous shop would easily sell for more than $1000.

And indeed, one of the ‘big players’ is selling this at $1100, and even the Taiwanese shop that produced this cake now is selling it at 18.000-20.000 TWD ($640-$715) to Taiwanese customers. And these prices are good value compares to newer LBZ!

I managed to buy 4 tongs of this tea from a collector that needed money and was selling at a loss, hence the much more moderate pricing here. About 2 tongs went to friends, I have about one more tong for sale.

Chen Sheng Hao 2008 and Chen Yuan Hao 2007 (250g) could rival this tea, but even those are way north of $1000, and closer to $2000.

 

For quality and quality/price ratio, this is my choice for old LBZ, among many productions in the market I’ve tried.

Unless you’re experienced with real LBZ, a 25g sample may not be enough to “get” how good this tea is, so we’re offering 1/4 slices as well.

Approx. 357g cakes, available as 1/4 slice (approx. 85g) and 25g samples too.

Please excuse the poor quality pictures, the leaves are quite a bit more beautiful when seen in real life.

 

size

25 grams, 1/4 slice, full cake

1 review for 2005 Lao Ban Zhang – Grateful tea factory (Gan En) Banzhang Zhengshan (T4)

  1. Dani Zoltán (verified owner)

    At this stage, perfect balance between natural and dry aging notes, that facilitates the expressiveness of this region.

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