2011 Yunnan Sourcing "Autumn Ban Po" Raw Pu-erh tea from Nan Nuo Mountain

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Pu'erh Tea
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Apricot, Bitter, Peat, Sweet, Warm Grass
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Edit tea info Last updated by Ginkosan
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  • “Well this is awkward. I got this cake on a whim in the spring because it was still pretty cheap and I was willing to buy blind. I proceeded to kind of poo-poo it on Scott’s site as lacking in...” Read full tasting note

From Yunnan Sourcing

Ban Po Lao Zhai is one of many Nan Nuo area villages. It lies just to the south of the Jinghong to Menghai road at an altitude of about 1500 meters. Old tea trees and younger wild arbor tea trees grow on the steep hills surrounding the village. Our production is entirely first flush of Autumn 2011 material from tea trees between 60 and 200 years old. The brewed leaves are stout and deep green in color. The tea brews up a thick golden tea soup with strong pungent aroma and abundant cha qi. If you enjoyed our 2010 Nan Nuo Ya Kou production I think you will find this is a nice contrast to that.

In total just 50 kilograms produced. Stone-Pressed in the traditional method and wrapped in durable hand-made paper.

400 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)

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1 Tasting Note

41 tasting notes

Well this is awkward. I got this cake on a whim in the spring because it was still pretty cheap and I was willing to buy blind. I proceeded to kind of poo-poo it on Scott’s site as lacking in taste even though it did have huigan and qi. Busted it back out this afternoon to see if anything had changed and hohooo booyy it was nothing like my initial sessions with it. I noted only a very light watery-ness, and otherwise it was brimming with flavors, from tangy apricots, to smokey moss, and even some hints of leather hanging out in the background. No idea what happened to this one over the last ten or so months, but at least it makes me hopeful that Colorado-dry storage isn’t killing my cakes.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Peat, Sweet, Warm Grass


I’ve noticed a similar progression with some of my cakes where they started out “meh” and blossomed into something quite nice over the course of a year or two.

Just out of curiosity, do you know the approximate humidity and temperature of your storage location?

Mine is 60-75% RH and 65-80F, depending upon the time of year (I’m in Florida near the ocean with the air conditioner running most of the time).


Mine is a bit drier and cooler. Generally seems to be around 50-65% RH at around 65F… I guess warmer in the summer. Don’t have air conditioning in Colorado so it can get toasty, maybe the tea likes that too.


I also run a humidifier in the winter. I’m envious though, Florida is probably really good for puer.


I’m still in the discovery phase regarding Florida storage, having acquired my first cakes in December 2013. I’m storing them in a spare bedroom away from direct sunlight in plastic storage bins with lids that are not completely airtight, opening them about once a week to air them further. The bins were previously washed and left sitting open for a few months until they had no discernible smell.

I’ve been following other people’s storage journeys in their blogs and on Steepster, trying to decide if I’m “doing it correctly”, mainly basing my conclusion on the results I’m getting vs. what others are reporting.

I’m in a position similar to Cwyn where I won’t be around to taste a cake in 30 years, so my storage is focused on keeping it drinkable in the short term vs. creating a climate for aging.

So when I read results like what you’re experiencing, and have had similar success myself, it gives me hope that my storage is not detrimental. Your storage climate is not radically different than mine, just a little bit drier and cooler.


Now we all three need to find something we have all been storing and swap and compare. I would be interested to see how my storage is progressing. I go 70-71% rh and 69-74F temps in Virginia.


I’ve only been collecting since around Dec 13 myself, and only been doing careful monitoring for the past three to four months… I’d be happy to swap something at some point though, I will, God willing, live another 30 years so maybe I should designate something.


I guess the flip side of being a bit younger is I’m probably not settled forever either… storage will change at some point in all likelihood.


I’ve been contemplating a tong of 11 San He Zhai for the very long term…


This sounds like a great idea.
mrmopar: How long do you think something should have been in storage for the purposes of this swap?

My ripes have been in Florida storage for up to 2 years, which is where I’m noticing positive changes.

I only started collecting sheng in earnest a couple of months ago, but I have had the following for a while:
2013 Master Han’s (Verdant) @ 22 months of storage.
2008 Mengku Purple Buds Green and
2009 Small Banzhang Green (PuerhShop) @ 24 months.


I would say a couple of years or so. I think sheng would have experienced more change than shou but we will let Ginkosan look at this and see.

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