2006 Fall Lao Ban Zhang Raw – 5.08g in 200mL at 208 C with a 10s rinse 10 min rest.
Dry leaves smell fruity as of apricot or preaches. Wet leaves smell of raisins, apricots and tobacco. The aroma of the wet leaves is heavenly!
This tea is produced by Members of Mengku Shuangjiang Tea Factory, but I purchased it from Yunnan Sourcing.
1/15s: The very first thing I notice is the mouthfeel. From the very first sip it has a sort of numbing/tingling sensation on the tongue. A little vegetal, very mild like water from steamed or boiled broccoli with a note of honey. A prominant bit of sweetness that really blossoms at the back of the throat. No bitterness detected.
2/15s: Sweet, vegetal with a really smooth finish. Just enough astringency to make it crisp to the tongue. No bitterness. Detecting a little bit of something fruity already. Very good. May be feeling the first hints of cha qi, though it could be wishful thinking.
3/20s: Same as previous though the cha qi still hasn’t come on stronger.
4/30s: This is a lovely tea as far as taste goes, but the cha qi is of the mellow sort.
5/45s: A bit more bite and more fruit in this cup. Much more astringency, but it’s perfect! I should have been giving longer steeps from the start maybe. Ride that edge of astringence and bitterness to get some really amazing taste. Big apricot and date notes here.
6/60s: Cha qi leaves a light tingling feel throughout the body now, but I’m wondering if I’m not feeling as much since I’m running on very little sleep at the moment. Still geting the tingling sensation on the tongue.
7/60s: Much sweeter with notes of dates, currants and apricot.
8/90s: This is a very good tea, I just wish it had more punch in the cha qi department.
9/120s: Sweet grass and apricot with the tingling mouthfeel. Interesting bitter note just as you swallow that melts into more sweetness.
10/180: Actually got a bit of bitterness in this cup. Pushed the leaves too much on this one. Still good.
I really have to try this tea again when I’m better rested. Right now I don’t really feel tired though I should, but I can’t say one way or another if that has an affect feeling the cha qi.