2009 Yunnan Sourcing Ban Zhang Chun Qing
This four out of six day blogging streak is about to come to an end. I’ll be on the road soon for a mix of business and pleasure. When I return, I look for to introducing and starting in on the 9th Official TeaChat TeaTasting Initiative (OTTI) – 90s sheng puerh! I certainly had not intended to produce such a spate of non-stop tea reviews, but good fortune fell in my lap and I really enjoy having a cross-section of teas to compare that share a common element.
Today is a departure from the past few days of sunshine, as a light winter drizzle brings calming grayness and humidity. Today also turned out to be a significant departure in tea character from the previous three Yunnan Sourcing cakes I’ve sampled. I must say how lucky I feel to have a good-sized sample of such a rare cake, made from highly demanded and expensive Ban Zhang leaf. The website for this tea indicates that only 84 cakes were pressed!
Opening the pouch and selecting five grams, a gentle sandalwood and citrus stem aroma rise. The first scent off the rinsed leaf is briny, green, and pushes towards delicate paler fruits: plum, apricot, pear, and pineapple. The first two steeps are rather light, but by the third, the excellent quality of this tea has revealed itself, mouthfeel. A silky, glossy, smooth coating texture runs over the tongue, holds in the back of the mouth, and then swells and steams a while longer. A slight ethereal hint of spearmint or wintergreen alights on the roof of the mouth. Lacking that raucous, dry parching sensation that both the Bu Lang and the You Le had, I revel in the delightful heaviness of this tea.
The flavors are solid and delightful in fresh, ripe, light fruit, but for me, this tea takes it home with a thick, coating, almost syrupy rich soup. The texture shows itself as a warm pleasing, gentle, and calm grip of theanine settles over me. I could linger on this sensation, the delicate flavor and the rich texture of this tea until all time has been lost.
The Half-Dipper – 2009 Yunzhiyuan/Ruicaoxiang “Banzhang Chunqing”
The 39 Steeps – Review Series Pu-erh 5: “Epsilon” by Yunnan Sourcing
5 Element Cloud – 2009 BanZhang Chun Qing (Yunnan Sourcing)
Black Dragon Tea Bar – Banzhang Chun Qing Puer
Tea Goober – 2009 Yunnan Sourcing Ban Zhang – Revisited