BonBon wrote:So here are a couple dumb question for everyone.
What makes these cakes special? Is it worth actually buying one?
Not a dumb question at all. As a matter of fact, it's a far deeper question than you possibly originally intended as it's indicative of a much larger problem regarding the purchase of tea in general, especially as it pertains to the notions of provenance and the lack of a systematic delineation of the myriad growing regions, mountains, varietals, factories, and processes.
Question: Which bottle contains chardonnay?
A) 2007 Joe's Vineyard Chardonnay, Napa Valley
B) 2004 Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets
The faithful husband who thinks to himself "my wife asked for a bottle of chardonnay and I'd better damn well return with a bottle of chardonnay" would probably choose "A", but that bottle only has to contain 75% chardonnay to qualify to be labelled as such. The remainder can be anything. If you chose "B", the French AOC system (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) guarantees that your bottle contains 100% chardonnay despite the fact that the word chardonnay does not appear on the label.
Bottle "B" tells you when it was made, who made it, where it was made, and (indirectly) what it is made from. Even a cursory understanding of the system is enough to allow you to navigate the stupefyingly obfuscatory waters of Burgundy and buy with confidence.
No such system is in place for tea. Adjectives have no meaning- one man's supreme is another's select. Words such as superfine, imperial, reserve, premium, nonpareil, and the like may have some bearing within
the confines of a single retailer, but can't be relied upon to judge teas from one seller to the next. Buzzwords that are inducements for the potential buyer- yiwu, arbor, high mountain, old tree- are bandied about with impunity, and do nothing to substantiate the legitimacy of the product-
Goldberg Tea Factory Pterodactyl Picked Precambrian Original Wild Arbor Giant Tree From Famous Sacred Yiwu Mountain of Canarsie, Brooklyn.
In the world of puerh, there may be no greater buzzword than Lao Banzhang
, so it shoudn't come as any surprise that as one of the holy grails of the hobby, the word will surely be abused.
So to answer your original question of whether you should acquire these cakes:
Short answer- Yes. It's LBZ for goodness' sake.
Long answer- Maybe. Maybe not.