2008 Lao Ban Zhang -- a hole where the flavor should be?


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

2008 Lao Ban Zhang -- a hole where the flavor should be?

Postby Drax » Jan 27th, '09, 19:36

This one's a little hard to explain.

I am tasting this tea (2008 Lao Ban Zhang Wild Arbor), and it's like there's a hole where the flavor should be. I feel the warmth, I can taste astringency, and I get an echo of sheng-ness, but I feel like I'm just tasting *around* the tea, and can't directly taste it.

It's like Heisenberg's UncertainTEA.

I thought maybe I had/have a cold coming on, but I can't taste other things just fine. It's really almost like the tea itself has numbed my palette.

Anybody tried this tea? Anybody had an experience like this before? Yeesh... I might have to break out some shu just to do a recalibration...!
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Re: 2008 Lao Ban Zhang -- a hole where the flavor should be?

Postby TIM » Jan 27th, '09, 21:37

Drax wrote:This one's a little hard to explain.

I am tasting this tea (2008 Lao Ban Zhang Wild Arbor), and it's like there's a hole where the flavor should be. I feel the warmth, I can taste astringency, and I get an echo of sheng-ness, but I feel like I'm just tasting *around* the tea, and can't directly taste it.

It's like Heisenberg's UncertainTEA.

I thought maybe I had/have a cold coming on, but I can't taste other things just fine. It's really almost like the tea itself has numbed my palette.

Anybody tried this tea? Anybody had an experience like this before? Yeesh... I might have to break out some shu just to do a recalibration...!


Could be the weather? Seriously!! My tea/smoke have been missing something since New Year's day!!!
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Re: 2008 Lao Ban Zhang -- a hole where the flavor should be?

Postby expatCanuck » Jan 28th, '09, 13:25

Drax wrote:It's like Heisenberg's UncertainTEA.
Outstanding! :mrgreen:

I've not tried that tea (tho' I've tried what may be a relative, the '08 HLH LBZ/Man'E Ancient Arbor), but I'm familiar with the phenomenon.

It's hot. It's wet. Has many attributes of tea, and yet ...

I think it's noteworthy/instructive that nowhere in your description do you mention the word 'flavor'. Or flavour. :wink:
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Postby shogun89 » Jan 28th, '09, 14:34

I have seemed to notice that during the dry cold winter my puerh really looses alot of umph. Has anyone else noticed this or is it just me?
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Postby Salsero » Jan 28th, '09, 15:46

I have certainly had the "hole in the tea" experience, but haven't come to a conclusion yet about how much is the tea and how much is the context. Is it THIS LBZ?
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Postby Drax » Jan 28th, '09, 19:35

Salsero wrote:I have certainly had the "hole in the tea" experience, but haven't come to a conclusion yet about how much is the tea and how much is the context. Is it THIS LBZ?


Yes, that's the one!

Hrm, I'll definitely be trying it again. But I guess I'll give it time.

I'd hate to think I've entered a dead-zone when it comes to tea. That's kinda frightening!
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Postby Salsero » Jan 28th, '09, 21:47

My own notes from the one session I have had with it, say "Next time: try a little more leaf." :lol:

I usually find Mengku Shuangjiang products very light in their flavor profile, and I seriously wonder if they will age at all well, but I did go 13 infusions before quitting the session.
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Postby Geospearit » Feb 2nd, '09, 18:29

How was the chaqi? Did it get you tea drunk?
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Postby joyfulwoogie » Feb 3rd, '09, 00:26

I enjoyed 08 a fair bit. This is certainly one of the better cakes of 08, I thought. The floral note was clearly noticeable. Huigan and aftertaste were complex and enjoyable.

Perhaps because it is 08 fresh tea, it may be lacking some depth and its full complexity hasn't blossom yet. 06 LBZ is thicker, meatier with more backbone. 08 is more on the higher note. I tend to think 08 is a bit better in terms of the tea's aging potential.

With regard to the banzhang power trip I must be really not sensitive. I want to understand/feel the renowned LBZ chachi. Hmm...

I've read about it from Imen's blog and got LBZ teas but I just thought LBZs are just good teas, well made from good solid leaves.

I do wonder though if what we come to know as LBZ is perhaps just really well made tea from somewhere near BZ mt. or something. What is certain is that the LBZs from YNS are of really good quality. If one has the cash for it, it is worth a try. I did and I am happy that I tried. In terms of the quality of the leaves and product quality, I think 08 & 06 LBZ teas are YNS's best available cakes disregarding the price tag.
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Postby Salsero » Feb 3rd, '09, 00:39

Welcome, Joyfulwoogie, good to see you over here!

Is the 2006 100 gr mini brick LBZ made from the same material as the cake? You are referring to the cake, I assume.
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Postby joyfulwoogie » Feb 3rd, '09, 15:43

Yeah, 06 mini LBZ brick. Also the cake as well. Some say the mini brick is more potent than the cake but for me the difference is minimal. Perhaps the bricks are earlier batch?
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