- Understand what “King of Puerh” really means
- Pure (100%) Ancient banzhang+lao banzhang trees
- Taiwan natural storage has started transforming it
Immediate mind-stopping Qi and brutal strength (bitterness, intensity) that will transform into strong-but-gentle tea with enough time and humidity, if there’s a tea that really displays the best LBZ/banzhang has to offer for long term aging, it’s probably this brick.
If you’re not sure you ever had real old tree banzhang, this tea will put your mind to rest.
Just try 3-4g in your normal sized pot and you will see what I mean immediately, it’s overwhelming in a good way.
Chen Sheng Hao (CSH) knows about and is the most reliable source for Lao Ban Zhang (LBZ), since they had exclusive contracts for all LBZ tea from 2008.
This tea contains a significant % of ancient tree LBZ (the old village is where most of the older tree are located), with some wider area Banzhang (seems like Lao Man E would be part of it given the bitterness). This is also obvious on tasting, there’s a lot of typical LBZ bittersweetness that wider area Banzhang doesn’t have on its own.
I strongly prefer this “pure ancient tree only” blending LBZ with wider banzhang area. The alternative is a “LBZ only” but blended with much younger trees as most CSH LBZ productions are (including the yearly 357g LBZ, which sells at $1000).
In my opinion, the only better new BZ/LBZ cake from CSH are the single ancient tree cakes, but those are very expensive.
The brick shape and compression is to facilitate aging. It will age just fine in the west in mylar (humidity about 65-69% with a boveda pack), but adding a bit of heat would be ideal.
This is my choice for new BZ/LBZ with as-good-as-you-can-get-quality for aging (or enjoy now, if you’re so inclined).
By “as good as you can get” quality I mean without spending a lot more. I tried a few excellent recent cakes from smaller producers with LBZ… there are indeed a couple that are more refined than this brick, but they all come at $750-$1500 minimum, which per gram is still twice as much as this tea. I personally think that’s too much, the increase of quality is maybe 10-20%, but the price is 2 or 3 times as much.
Priced below its original release price, I managed to buy a few bricks from a collector selling them at a loss, I’ll age quite a lot of these myself.
T4- at the moment because it’s young, but aging potential all the way into T5/T5- territory.
See also In search of real Lao Ban Zhang
200 grams bricks, sample size sold in 3g and 7g increments because this tea is very powerful (people generally use about half of their normal sample size)