Tonight I want to get myself positively tea drunk, and what better way to do this than to brew a big, fat 12 gram chunk of this amazing tea, courtesy of Paul from white2tea.

Unfortunately this is now long out of stock, but I was very fortunate to get a full cake of this last year. This was actually my first purchase from Paul, and ended up being the best young sheng puerhs I have had the pleasure of drinking. I really should have bought another cake…last year this cost just over $300 which sounds like a lot, however look at some of the prices of young, raw sheng today. Lao Ban Zhang has become ridiculously expensive. Anyway, enough talk, let’s get onto the tea.

If I had to describe this tea in two words this would be it: RAW POWER

I used my 130 ml yixing with this and as I mentioned earlier decided to use a big 12 gram chunk, which nearly ends up filling my whole yixing. The leaves are simply beautiful to look at, long and elegant. The dry leaves smell sweet, but there is something lurking there in the background that you can smell and sense: RAW POWER

After one very quick rinse I smell the wet leaves…already my mouth begins to salivate at the potent aroma the leaves eject. My first proper steep is literally 5 seconds. I can already see that the liquid is starting to become nice and thick. I draw a deep breath and take my first sip. Already the energy begins to enter my system. On first steep I get a a lovely sweet/savoury taste, and can sense that Lao Ban Zhang bitterness lurking there in the background like a fallen angel. It lurks but not for long. Vibrancy on my tongue begins to develop…not a tingling sensation but a numbing sensation. The RAW POWER is starting to take over.

Second steep at 10 seconds. The brew is starting to get even thicker and I can see by the change of the liquid that this is going to be a strong steep. I take another sip…my god…there is that powerful bitterness that I love so much. The QI is starting to become very pronounced, I can feel my heart starting to beat faster, sweat is beginning to develop on my forehead, and my whole body feels uplifted and positive.

Third steep, there is that powerful bitterness again, followed by some floral? notes hidden away behind the bitter textures. This stuff is simply amazing. My mouth starts to feel dry which accentuates the variety of different tastes and textures. On my fourth steep the bitterness is still there but now I am getting more sweetness in the mouth and at the back of the throat. By now my body is becoming really relaxed, and I begin to melt into my sofa. I take a break…wow what an experience.

This young puerh is quite simply the very best that I have ever had the good fortune of tasting. Not only is it the best, it is by far the most powerful from a QI perspective. It’s RAW POWER may be too much for some people, but if this is the sort of experience you enjoy from your sheng puerh I cannot think of a better example. It is robust, heavy, rich, thick, powerful and cannot be tamed.

Many thanks to Paul from white2tea for introducing me to this beast, and also for your honest, no frills service.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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I live and work in cold Aberdeen, Scotland at the moment. Main interests are music – Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, 70’s Psychedelic Rock etc.

Tea journey began with oolongs and within 6 months changed to pu-erh. I have not looked back since. Been drinking pu-erh solidly everyday for the last few years. Always on the lookout for good puerh bargains, so if you spot any message me.

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