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Recent Tasting Notes
I don’t get plums or bubblegum either . I don’t get much huigan. I do get cedar minty smooth bitterness that I associate with Banzhang tea though I doubt this is the real deal. It is clearly a clean stored Menghai area tea, judging from stem size likely a blend of terrace and younger forest tea. It is very pleasant and I get about a dozen steeps. Going by memory it reminds me a little of Hai Lang Hao 2005 Nannuo only a bit sweeter and milder in the qi department. For someone looking for a reasonably priced semi aged Menghai sheng for their collection this is a decent choice. Clean, pleasant, relaxing but subtle qi. Personally I don’t think I’ll buy a cake because I feel that there are similarly priced and aged Lincang teas that perform better for the price.
I ordered a sample of this to try. It’s a clean semi-aged raw. I found it to be very straightforward. There is some Qi in the tea. I felt it in my head and especially around my temples, but for me, it wasn’t all that pleasant. This isn’t a knock on the tea. It could have been me. I have been drinking tea all day, so maybe I just hit my limit. The tea does not contain a lot of complex tastes that I can detect. I get some woody tannin bitterness, but also some sweetness. There is also some of the leatheriness you get with a lot of raws. I did not experience much hui gan. There was some lingering bitterness but not any returning sweetness that I could detect. I did not have any aftertaste. After writing my notes, I went looking for reviews and found Matt’s (Mattcha blog) notes about bubble gum, and I was like say whaaa? So, I went back and practically gargled the tea warm and cool to try to find some bubble gum. I might have found what he describes. It brought back an old memory of Bazooka bubble gum and how it was sort of chalky and sweet when first chewed. I needed his suggestion and a lot of searching to detect it, though. This is named Ban Zhang, but even Tea Encounter throws in a disclaimer, so it probably (almost certainly?) isn’t. I’m going to pass on this one even though other reviewers rated it highly.