Sharing excellence


  • Bitter turns immediately into sweetness + immediate Qi
  • True aged LBZ: Bold taste, deep aftertaste, thick and complex
  • Dry/natural taiwanese storage, clean and already comfortable to drink
  • Really well priced old LBZ

(scroll down for video review)

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 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.

Feb 2024 note: this is even more true now. Perhaps the storage of this new source we found is better, but I’m definitely enjoying this tea even more than I remember. The depth and sweetness in the last cups is excellent. Serious T5 potential after aging for this one.

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

The storage on this cake is somewhere between dry and 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.


The leaf magazine article

This tea ranked second (among thirty, I believe) in an early article about LBZ cakes, only the legendary 2002 Menghai LBZ (the price of this cake is extremely high, I’ve never tried it) was better.

An excerpt from “The Leaf” article (found online on the magazine archived website):

The 2005 Gan En Tea Factory Lao Banzhang was an amazing cake and up until that point grabbed the spotlight of the tea gathering. It was smooth and bright, clean and pure. […] It was deeper in the throat and the huigan was stronger in this tea than in all the others so far, lasting so long we had to take a break.


And it’s priced extremely well.

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.

As this tea is from an era before LBZ was as famous as today, the quality of leaves is much higher than what the LBZ you can get today for this price. This 05 Banzhang Zhengshan is the kind of tea that a normal tea shop would easily sell for more than $1000 (and actually does).

For quality and quality/price ratio, this is my choice for older LBZ, among many productions in the market I’ve tried. The 2017 Gold Mark Lao Ban Zhang is a much higher quality cake still, but the price is also higher.


Unless you’re experienced with real LBZ, a 25g sample may not be enough to “get” how good this tea is. This is a pretty safe one to buy a cake of and be confident that, as you understand it more over the years, you’ll be happy you bought it when it was available at this price (it won’t last).

Big 357g cakes.


25 grams, 100 grams, full cake

2 reviews for 2005 Lao Ban Zhang – Grateful tea factory (Gan En) Banzhang Zhengshan (T4/T4+)

  1. Dani Zoltán (verified owner)

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

  2. Guillaume C. (verified owner)

    Really excellent storage. Extreme patience (i always lose count of the steepings with this tea). Unique sweetness, and of course you won’t find easily an almost 20yo BZ/LBZ in this price range. It’s more than satisfying, it’s great. The remaining hints of “youth” are extremely enjoyable, but I don’t doubt it will get even better with time.

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