Tead Off wrote:
Teaism wrote:A very interesting tread. I am really curious how a real LBZ and Bingdao can be accessible. There are many small producer lining up at the mountain and buy directly from the minorities who harvest at the wild arbor. Real stuff is really hard to come by and mostly obtainable via direct contact with the producer who reside there, often smaller producer.
cheaper but in might be the blended stuff. So buyer beware..
The trees from Bingdao, not all of them, are reputedly 600+ years. These trees, according to Tea Urchin's blog, are all leased out to certain producers. They have name plaques hanging around the trees to show which producers are leasing the tree. The only way to know if your Bingdao is all old leaf is to know your producer and trust them. There is obviously a lot of mixing going on.
Prices for old leaf maocha is very high. The only 'deal' you can find is from old stock, not current leaf. I think this area produces very good Puerh and even mixed stuff will be quite good.
Something that I did not quite understand (perhaps due to my not being able to read Chinese characters) is why at the website of Bingdao Tea Refining Factory, the price for a 2011 cake was more than $700 yet I could buy a 2011 cake here in BKK for $250 or so. Today, I discovered that the $700 cake is made from a single tree, not a combination of other ancient trees, but just one. Evidently, the Chinese will pay a premium for these cakes. Will it be better than a cake made from 3 other trees standing right next to it and of the same age but sells for $250? Good marketing?
This Bingdao producer is the real deal, Teaism. The tea quality is exceptional. They also have a 70 year old Tea Master that oversees the production and each cake is hand-signed. Hopefully, that guy has some good students learning from him. From what I've heard, other producers pay him to process their teas which are not Bingdao Tea Refining Factory trees. A good master should make most teas better. Always good to start with the best leaves. As Shah said in another thread, you have to have trust in your vendor and producer, then let your taste guide you.