Official Pu of the day


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby MarshalN » Nov 18th, '12, 00:49

shah82 wrote:Well, then, who wants to play the paranoia game? I'm pretty sure that the Gan'en LBZ is not pure LBZ. Might be dubious about the Puersom. However, it's quite well beyond unreasonable to think that the '05 XZH LBZ or Nada's '08 aren't pure LBZ. They do taste and behave like one another, and most people think that's genuine LBZ. The Taiji? /me clownfrowns. They are not that standard, but I don't think they behave as a blend, and they really don't strike me as likely from any of the surrounding areas. It's much more likely in my opinion that they are from a distinct area of LBZ than not LBZ at all. But beyond all that--past a certain point, I have zero interest in playing No True Scotsman about what's any single estate (or aged recipe) tea's from. If someone sez it's from LBZ, and that person has credibility and experience, then I'm going to take them at their word unless they are obviously wrong. And I've already dismissed other authority, like that The Leaf's article on LBZ cakes, because their recs were bull. More than that, I will firmly contest the assertion that LBZ doesn't get mild, sweet, and subtle in flavor as it ages. Young, fresh LBZ? Wow! But they don't stay that way beyond about 3 years.


The really credible LBZs I've had, which have only been a handful, some aged past 10 years, are all wild, strong, pungent, and forceful. This is naturally stored stuff in HK climate. There's a strength of character that won't fit with your "mild, sweet, and subtle".

shah82 wrote:As for the second part, MarshalN, just listen to yourself. If a benchmark is unavailable, then can it really serve as a benchmark? Do you really think people can get a concrete idea from furtive samplings of $20-$50 pots of tea, or among a group of people who are preparing tea different than how they'd prepare it themselves? Don't you think the hobby will instead drift to what people can repeatedly experience for themselves? The rich and the folks who got in early can play the game, like fancy car owners and their stupid Mustangs. The rest of us have to go with Civics and just rice it up, man.


No no, I didn't say it's supposed to serve as a benchmark for regular drinkers. But their existence tells you what's possible. What you're saying is because you can't get it, you're going to pretend they don't exist, which isn't really fair.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby fdrx » Nov 18th, '12, 00:58

I tried some 2010 CSH LBZ and it's an extremely clean tea with a very feminine vanilla flavor. Class A. I understand the "thin body" and the "no low note" concepts of shah82, but if think that this very clean taste is also rather "thick"... well it's just vacabulary, we all agree that's it's very good :wink:


found on ZhiZhengTea website:
* There are essentially two areas in Lao Ban Zhang, each with a distinct type of tree; one quite bitter, the other softer. Most farmers have trees in both areas and their tea reflects the mix of trees they have, as they typically mix the two together. Also, Ban Zhang tea often has Lao Man E tea in it - bringing a stronger ku wei. Our Lao Ban Zhang Tea does not have this kind of profile. It is softer, less baqi.
Last edited by fdrx on Nov 18th, '12, 01:38, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Nov 18th, '12, 01:10

Well, what LBZ have those been? Virtually the only LBZ I've ever heard of being wild and strong in taste is the HLH '06, and I'm not inclined to think, given past HLH tea reviews, that it's a pure LBZ. Other teas that were once kinda thought of as LBZ, like the Bok Choy from '06, are dismissed today as being obviously part Lao Man'e. LBZ has always had wild and strong qi, and aftertaste/feel, but I've never thought the primary flavor to be all that complex or aggressive. If a moderately aged LBZ has had to compete entirely on actual taste, I don't think it could beat a good Bada, let alone Yiwu.

Again, read what you're actually saying, man. You're literally telling me to accept on faith the majesty of the Song Pin Hao! I don't have to pretend that a Red Mark doesn't exist for it to not have a material impact on my expectations in this hobby. I don't expect that others will do otherwise.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby sung8891 » Nov 18th, '12, 02:02

Fine Shah 82 , you keep on drinking all those new teas that makes you so very happy ! But I'm definitely not giving up my Song pin , or my 50s tiebing or my huang yin or any of my 80s or 90s cakes or my 7542-208 which has lbz in it's blend to drink the stuff you're drinking !!!
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Nov 18th, '12, 02:33

You have them, but I do not. Isn't that the problem?

If *I* could drink Song Pin, I would drink it and sip it and love for ever and ever! If *I* could drink 50s tiebing, I would drink it and sip it and love it for ever and ever! If *I* could go out and buy 80s and 90s samples and cake, and I mean, buy them at all, before I could even consider *affording* them, then I would buy some every once in a while. I had $18 fall in my lap recently. My first thought was to spend it all on one pot of aged tea from EoT! After checking the website, and seeing that most of the tea I really wanted to try costs way more than $18. The substitutes costs right at $18. For one pot of glorious tea! I cast my ambitions lower, begged off $3.50 and bought a hundred grams of XZH yiwu. By and large, any aged tea I get to drink, I get to drink by the grace of generous people, and I drink them gratefully.

I've had the 7542-208 with BearsBearsBears, and I agree, it's delicious! But I never even knew about that choice until it was impossible for me to buy it, from, say Skip4tea. And Skip4tea certainly will not sell me a pot of tea if I have some bucks burning holes in my pocket.

I'm someone who's had some reasonable exposure to at least a little bit of aged tea. I've got some idea of what tea I could affordably buy and just leave alone for 20 years and expect something really nice. Do you really think that I'm a typical puerh drinker in today's world? For most of those newer drinkers out there, their ambitions are typically to drink some ChenShenhao LBZ or some lame Bingdao or something else they can barely afford, mostly to show that they can afford some unreasonably expensive tea!
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby sung8891 » Nov 18th, '12, 02:40

So, all that was just "sour grapes" then ?
:)
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby fdrx » Nov 18th, '12, 02:53

mostly to show that they can afford some unreasonably expensive tea

CSH's LBZ brick was $65 at red lantern in 2010...
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Nov 18th, '12, 03:02

Actually, yes it is sour grapes.

I can't buy it. I'm lucky to have as much beautiful old tea (well, not *that* old) as I've had. I can buy lesser aged tea, however, people have been making much better shu recently, and there are plenty of soft and gentle 5 years old single mountain tea that I can afford, theoretically. There have been much less of that, as well, but if I search hard enough, they are there. But in the US, the cabinet is empty. If we want well made old yunnan tea, we now have to buy from outside of our country and cross a language barrier, for the most part.

And this is going to be an important driver in how people approach puerh when they discover it. When I started, I could buy recognizable 80s sheng without any problems. Just two years ago. Buying samples of famous teas was possible, if I wanted to spend the money. And if I was crazy enough to spend the money, I could technically afford it. Only a quarter of a week's worth of work for a powerhouse 60s Yellow Mark. *Two* sessions of that crazy tea. Now?

Ha! Edited to add that apparently I'm not the only one to reminisce!
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby yanom » Nov 18th, '12, 03:49

Don't you think there'll be loads of 25-year old tea in 20 years time? There's much more tea being produced now, right? Supply & demand, you know.

Of course, there's the question of what it'll taste like. But if it's been stored okay I imagine for most people it'll be fine. Because, most people like aged puerh over young puerh. And most people treat it as a drink rather than a vocation.

So all the guff about single estates and producers and terroir and other enthusiasms imported wholesale from the wine world will fade away, an historical blip of hobbyist angst and lust for the unobtainable. :D
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby JakubT » Nov 18th, '12, 05:50

Although it's possible that there will be a lot of 15-20 yrs tea in the future, I do not know what conclusions to draw. First, it may simply not happen (investors buying all the good stuff for future resale), second, what quality is it going to be? There is a lot of tea stored in Kunming - and I've heard some disturbing news of teas turning really bad in there in the long term. I think that the whole tea scene gets very fragmented - lots of areas, lots of producers, lots of storage places and all that - this means very little consistency. Thus, even though there may be a lot of tea offered in future, the hit/miss ratio may be even lower than today.

shah: The 2001 Gu Puer Banzhang is not really mild. Or, it is getting milder via aging, but compared to the rest of the set, it's the strongest I'd say. Also, did the Finepuer 2005 LBZ taste mild to you? It did not to me. Even the Gan En can be steeped to be quite brutal - however, I'd say that people will be more interested in its pleasant, milder aspects.

However I'd agree on the thickness - there are certainly thicker areas. It can be fixed with stove water though.

Agreed on the HLH LBZ - it does not really fit into my understanding of pure LBZ either. Or "mostly LBZ" if it comes to that.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Nov 19th, '12, 03:18

JakubT, just some quick notes, since we're derailing from the purpose of the thread...

I am not intending to argue that LBZ is weak. I've been witness to what it does to people when, say, one overbrews it. I'm saying that the flavor profile, without aggressive aftertastes in mind, is not particularly assertive.

Next, we're talking about LBZ. Banzhang gets dark plenty enough, the area includes Lao Man'E among others. So Gu'Puer's effort at a Banzhang can be dark and stern and understandably so. The Finepuer I accepted as mostly banzhang. It's a bit much like the '03 Bulang Jing Pin. It could be LBZ as stated, but yeah, it's somewhat more yang and has a more edgy taste than others.

The one try of the Gan'En I had had more grams than I'd normally use. I did not find it to be brutal. It was a bit astringent in that flavor storing way, but my chief problem was that it has a blended taste to me.

Yup, LBZ can be thin. Some of them, though can have sublime textures at higher dosages.

eek, not so quick. Resuming the Pu of the Day normal functions.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby TwoDog2 » Nov 19th, '12, 23:44

MarshalN wrote:Just because something is called LBZ by the vendor doesn't mean it's actually LBZ. LBZ these days that are sold as such are often filled with other stuff. You need to find the right ones, and honestly, the thin, mild ones need not apply.


Don't worry everybody, I know this guy, he knows a farmer and Their family has a plot of land on Banzhang mountain, which is considered to be the absolute top in terms of pu’er. They eventually got sick of selling the pu’er leaves they picked with care to the big factories for pressing because they felt that the pu’er was treated like too much of a commodity by the bigger companies...

No, but seriously.

Agree with Marshaln. The vast majority of things labeled LBZ are not even LBZ in the first place, or they are cut (heavily) with things from LME or Bulang or whatever nearby-ish area.

As for Shah's 8-15 years assertion, isn't that more or less the non-HK ethos now? I don't know many people outside of HK (and to a lesser extent, China and other parts of Asia) who are drinking 30 year pu. Only hardcore people will age their own for 30 years. Other people are planning on a curve - buy some 10 year tongs now for two decades from now.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby TwoDog2 » Nov 19th, '12, 23:47

shah82 wrote:eek, not so quick. Resuming the Pu of the Day normal functions.


Oh crap...this is pu of the day? I got lost in my own multiple tabs.

Pu of the day: I am drinking two really awful teas, side by side. One is a Xiaguan Shu tuo (No idea the year, it was opened) and the other is a 2001 CNNP Qingbing fake, which is really astringent. Hooray for unpleasant sessions.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby 135F2 » Nov 20th, '12, 02:24

2005 Jiangchen gushu chawang
From a 1oz sample bag. This is total crap. No body, no taste, no aftertaste, only metallic notes. I'm not sure what happened to it -- whether it's the tea or its storage.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby MarshalN » Nov 20th, '12, 02:26

135F2 wrote:2005 Jiangchen gushu chawang
From a 1oz sample bag. This is total crap. No body, no taste, no aftertaste, only metallic notes. I'm not sure what happened to it -- whether it's the tea or its storage.


Hou De?
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