Tuesday, 16 February 2010

2009 Zhi Ming Du Lao Ban Zhang (Chinese Kung Fu Tea Art)

Yes, another week and another Ban Zhang tea, it's been a re-occuring theme of mine recently and I'm not done yet. I purchased this tea following a rather glowing review by Adam on his Sip Tip blog and it sounded rather too good to miss out on. It has come at a cost though as it's the most expensive Ban Zhang I have I believe coming in at £23 ($36) per bing but the bing itself is only 100 grams.

I enjoy bludgening the cuteness out of the tiny bing and am left with two fascinating layers that really display the fine spindly nature of the leaf (no pictures I'm afraid he says cursing his Olympus).

The rinsed leaf has a somewhat vegetal aroma to it, shades of Japan. The first infusion is light and green with a good vibrancy on the tongue and is absent from any obvious bitterness. Nothing too captivating here yet.

The second infusion is more potent and thick which retains the vibrancy on the tongue tip and also has a curious numbing of the rear tongue as the huigan issues forth. It certainly fills the mouth with flavours and watering reactions, superbly complex!

By now I'm more relaxed and enjoying this tea's lingering, multi faceted huigan. I would compare it with Yunnan Sourcing's chun qing as both give similar experiences but, memory allowing, I'd give the edge to the zhi ming du as it's complex without going overboard with the perfumed sweetness. One must bear in mind though that it's almost double the price!

I'm glad I've tried this tea and that I've got 95 grams left over for future visits. Yes, it was expensive but I have spent a lot more on yancha in the past. I just wish it had a bit more bitter kick to it.


  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, and I feel like I should have mentioned it is the only young Puerh in that price range I have ever tried, getting close to it were samples of Nada's 2009 Pressings and I did get a cake of his Nannou Plantation ( The others were sold out already).

  2. I seem to remember having a similar mouth watering experience with one of Nada's 2009 pressings as well. Roll on the 2010 pressings is what I say!