shah82 wrote:All of those reasons are probably not valid.
Lao Banzhang is simply a favorite kind of Bulang puerh, and quite fashionable these days. It's not really better or rarer than any of the other very elite areas, but it *is* probably more accessible to the public. I have the nasty suspicion that really good Yiwu is mostly unavailable, same with Jingmai, Lincang, and certain other famous places, because they've had such a famous name for so long. Lao Banzhang's particular popularity is a very recent thing.
It *is* nice, however, but it's just really expensive. There is also a whole lot of blendings of other Bulang teas into LBZ to make a bigger profit, which is why I got suspicious at the leaves. It could still be real, and your taste remarks make it sound real--mixed LBZ tends to be pretty funky about endurance, as the mixed in outside tea gives up and the LBZ keeps going. Also, most premium LBZ cakes use very pretty leaves in order to convince people that this is top stuff. Pretty leaves aren't a guarantee of quality, though, as ugly teas can taste great and beautiful teas can taste weak. I will certainly say that the one thing Hou De *is* cheap for is Lao Banzhang as they have a number of XZH '06 of superior quality for $145. Not much good to you in Malaysia, but...
I would agree. It is nice, but does not justify the price ratio. I mean the LBZ I bought is expensive about 10x more than dayi-7542 (901) but taste wise is not 10x better than it.
LBZ is indeed good but not super 'great', and for the price it is, I think I can get better non LBZ tea. Eg, the mengku I posted earlier is a also very good. I would prefer the mengku over lbz. Price wise mengku is 1/2 of the LBZ.
As for the tea leaves, it is indeed doesn't look great for the price. Initially I have doubts too. I even questioned the seller a few times, but after getting some justifications about the genuinity of the LBZ that I bought, I have only got to rely on my taste to determine it. After sampling it yesterday, I would say it should be ok and tasted above average for a young raw. But then, my experience in Pu is not that long... I would one day seek out some tea master that I've met recently for opinions. That would at least educate me better.
I think LBZ is in a way, supply and demand + hyped. That said, good to have bought it... and move on for next tea...