Full set consists of 1/4 slice of:
- 2005 Gratetul Tea Factory BanZhang ZhengShan – current market price $600-800
- 2006 Xi Zi Hao Taiji Black Wrapper (Lao Ban Zhang) – current market price $1500-2000
- 2017 Puerh.uk Gold Mark Lao Ban Zhang – currently for sale at $1000
- 2018 Chen Sheng Hao Lao Ban Zhang – currently for sale at $1242
Or comparison of modern LBZ set:
- 7g of Puerh.uk Gold Mark LBZ + 7g of 2018 Chen Sheng Hao LBZ
There are a lot of incorrect and downright funny views about what LBZ should taste like. And given how expensive and hard to source it is, western shops have pretty much given up on providing it, so it’s quite normal the average puerh drinker has no idea about the real LBZ, and particularly the real old tree LBZ.
The first common level of misunderstanding is that “the taste should be so strong as to be unbearably bitter/astringent“, these are the common LBZ fakes and I’d expect most people reading this page to be able to easily see through this.
The second common level of misunderstanding is that “the taste will be thick, have sweetness but also strong astringency”. Actually, this is the taste of young tree LBZ, a somewhat more balanced but still very astringent (and potentially bitter) brew. This is most notably the case for modern (post 2012) Chen Sheng Hao LBZ.
In truth, real old tree LBZ (such as the gold mark) is smooth and the strength is only expressed as part of a very balanced and overall smooth brew. The Qi is extremely noticeable but totally comfortable.
Old tree LBZ will feel like all good aspects of puerh dialed up to the max, and not like a particularly bitter/astringent brew. Most intermediate drinkers would think it’s a Yiwu by its strong sweetness!
The full set has 2 solid examples of first generation of LBZ (well aged in Taiwan) and 2 iconic modern cakes (where the differences in leaves quality are much easier to compare).