Wednesday, September 23, 2020

2018 Puerist YiBang “Ancient Tree”: Best of the West?

After my very first experience with Puerist puerh turned out to be a very Yibangy like Yiwu and excellent experience, I was left no other option to compared to this 2018 Puerist Yibang “Ancient Tree”  ($196.00ish for 200g or $1.00/g).  This was the only sample that I actually purchased whereas the others were provided free for review for readers of this blog.  So how was it… pretty great!

Dry leaf has a rich velvety grape fruity sweetness with deep mild floralness to it.  The richness of the odour suggests a decently humid, likely Xishuangbanna storage.

First infusion has a pondy and floral and almost grape taste nuance initially to it that finishes a long sweet candy floral finish.  It feels very smooth in the mouth and deep and opening in the throat without being simulating or astringent.  The aftertaste is particularly long and smooth.  There is some significant Xishuangbanana storage on this one but very clean.  This Yibang has a very smooth puerh feeling.  A smooth euphoria already starts inching into my mind.

The second infusion has a spicy, grape, floral popping and full taste feeling upfront that is thick, fulfilling, and flavourful.  The taste elongates following a pungent coolness that brings a sweet bread, grape, and vibrant floral taste out.  The aftertaste is really long and flavorful too.  The liquor is decently oily and the mouthfeel soft and slightly sticky.  More importantly there is a deep throat feeling here.

The third infusion has a thick fruity dense taste upfront- grapes, slight sour, decent fruity sweetness with a nice returning very sweet grape, dense floral and subtle bread sweetness.  The aftertaste is long and the liquor has some oily thickness to it.  The mouthfeeling is soft slippery with just faint edges of barely astringency and deep opening throatfeeling.  This is some delicious Yibang.  The Qi is subtle and slight euphoric.

The fourth infusion has a thick dense taste of floral, grapes, and slight sour peach it crashes into a mild cooling pungent then stretches into a long floral bread like sweet taste with some honey sweetness developing minutes later.  The flavours are really full over a soft almost slippery and not really astringent mouthfeeling.  There is a open deep-mid throatiness now with still some oily liquor.  Nice euphoria Qi is building here slight alerting a nice energy on this sunny early Autumn morning…

The fifth infusion has a bready sweet, slight malty and even sour grape and fermenting dried peachy full taste onset.  The result is some nice salivation with a deep throat and long sweet finish.  The mouthfeeling is becoming less oily and stickier as it pulls more saliva from the throat.  A nice deep throat aftertaste here and subtle but powerful Qi with a nice euphoria.  There are some bodyfeelings developing over the last few infusions which feel like an opening in the chest and expanding Abdomen feeling.

The sixth infusion has a thick fruity peach and grape floral onset.  There is a soft mineral taste developing now as well.  The sweet and sour fruity bready taste is long and expands in the throat after the passing cool pungency.  The strength, depth, and length of the sweet taste is really nice complimented with a deep Qi experience that is both rejuvenating and expansive in the mind and body.

The seventh has a really condensed taste of florals, grapes, and peaches bready sweetnesses with an added mineral almost woody mid taste.   The cool pungency brings a candy like sweetness that moves quickly into a floral fruity sweetness.  The mouthfeeling is a bit astringent.  A spacy loosing track of time feeling is upon me.

The eighth has a salty, briny, sour, sweet grape and fruit taste with a mineral woody base developing.  There is a nice euphoria high developing.  Deep throat and long aftertaste.

The ninth infusion has a salty fruity almost nutty bitter chocolate sweetness here initially.  There is a pungent coolness that dives into the bitter coco taste.  The chocolate develops a chocolate cake finish in the mouth which is really tasty here.  The mouthfeeling is slightly sandier here and the throat retains its depth.  There is a chest and heart opening body feel.

The 10th infusion has a chocolate fruity bitter sweet rich taste which develops initially.  There is a peachy taste that seems to push through retuning with a chocolate cake taste in the aftertaste.  The mouthfeeling with the bitter chocolate taste over the last few infusions feels stronger and more sandy in the mouth but still with a deeper throat.  There are fruity tastes that manage to push past chocolate cake. 

11th infusion has a bitter chocolate onset with a fruity strong sweetness under the bitter-sweet coco.  There is some underlying pungency which seems to push more fruity sweet from out under layers of bitter sweet chocolate cake tastes.  There is a subtle woody mineral taste in there as well.  The Qi is more sedating in the mind now.

12th infusion has an even bitterer onset with chocolate taste being lost in the moderate bitterness and not much fruity sweetness making it out.  There is somewhat of a chocolate finish over a flat sandy sticky mouthcoating.  This infusion also lacks much pungency or deep throat.  A biter sweet coco taste throughout.  Sedating Qi.

13th infusion has an almost mineral not really woody taste layered into the bitterness and coco.  The pungency is quite mild now without much retuning sweetness but the bitter coco is satisfying enough although quite simple here.

14th I push for a 15 second beyond flash infusion now which pushes out more grape and fruity tastes over moderate bitter chocolate tastes.  The mouthfeel is now pretty flat and the aftertaste loses its fruitiness and pungency and is just a bitter chocolate taste.  Its actually quite nice in its simplicity.  Qi is really relaxing now.  I can feel my heart race as there is still noticeable effects on the body here.

15th I push a 20 second infusion out and it gives off a bitter fruity chocolate taste.  The fruitiness comes and goes quickly and there is some mineral and almost pond like taste somewhere in there before a bitter sweet chocolate comes and goes over a flat sandy tongue coating.  Nice relaxing Qi with Chesty sensations now.

16th 30 seconds has a coco almost foresty pondy taste which is not really sweet anymore over a flat fine sandy mouthcaoting and very little pungency.

17th is about a minute long steeping… it gives off a bitter barely coco, kind of foresty pondy taste. 

I dump the wet leaf into a mug and steep this over the next few days grandpa style and it still has some decent tastes.  It has great stamina going this far.

Overall, this is a pretty satisfying YiBang!  Great Euphoric Qi, some bodyfeeling. Great taste and engaging mouthfeeling, great stamina.  I like it a lot and wonder if I would have been better to blind buy this one over the Wa Long?  Don’t know yet because haven’t tried the Wa Long but this Yibang is pretty satisfying!  

I wonder if it’s the best Yibang on offer by a Western puerh vendor as well?  I hope to sample Essence of Tea’s 2018 Yibang Gushu (when I get around to an order) and compare the two.  This one is substantially cheaper though, cheaper than the White2Tea Is a Gift productions also.  I should do a comparison with the White2Tea Yibangs but I’ll have to pull them out of deep storage…. Hummm… anyways this Yibang is a real treat might be the best of the West- very nice.




  1. you're a brave man blind buying any expensive cake :)
    so far I've only blind bought a few cheapish cakes, and even though I wasn't disappointed in any of them, I'm also not really drinking them..
    (though one of them turned me on aged puer since it let me experiment with brewing parameters until I got it right.. it was the TM 2003 small private factory Menghai you recommended!)

    so for me sampling is paramount :)

    like I said before, I got 1 Yibang and 5 Walong, but I could easily see someone preferring the opposite.. it also depends on your current stock of puer, which taste profiles you already have enough of etc., though for me the WL really hits the spot so I'd get irrelevant of my current stock

    I tried the YB you're referring to, and they're all different..
    I didn't really vibe with the EoT, though maybe I just had 2 "bad" brews.. the 2019 W2T was more complex then the puerist, but the Puerist had the stronger "straight forward" taste..

    I had a couple more (and less) expensive Yibangs.. it's an area I drink on a regular basis, so I feel like I have my bearings..

    so I think this one is priced ok, and definitely worth getting on a sale, though I've only ever seen one sale from Mark

    1. twt_reddit,

      Would have rather blind purchased this 2018 Puerist Yibang than the 2020 white2tea Is A Gift so there you have it.... hahaha

      I like hearing your assessments of all these Yibang! To compare them I would say that the 2019 white2tea Is A Gift is more of a strongly bitter and Qi powerful unique type of Yibang where this one has a more typical Yibang character but in a strong and full way ( I think that’s what you mean by “strong straight forward taste”).

      Thanks again for pointing me at this one!


  2. Look forward to hearing how this YB compares to EOT's 2018 Yibang Gushu. I own a cake of the latter tea and love it. A beautiful naunced yet powerful tea, also seems to behave in an adaptogenic manner depending on what my endocrine issues du jour happen to be.

    Thanks for reviewing a new (to me) vendor. Will have to these teas out.


    1. Mary,

      A sure sign of Gushu character is that “adaptogenic manner” type of Qi. I have a few cakes with that Qi and I like them a lot Regardless of how I’m feeling.

      I must try it!


  3. Thanks for the review, looking forward for your comment on other teas of this vendor - never heared of them bevore your initial post.

    1. Alex,

      If you get a chance, I think you would like the 2018 Puerist Hua Zhu Liang Zi. Your style.


  4. Matt,
    How would you compare this with TU 2014 Yibang?

  5. Leonid,

    I have never tried the 2014 Tea Urchin Yibang although I did really like and cake the 2012 Tea Urchin Spring Yibang. I believe these were the same price per gram. The 2012 was a nice strong and typical Yibang character with nice dry storage on it. In many ways it is like this 2018 Puerist Yibang but had for much cheaper. I could have easily caked a few more but was still at a stage of accepting paying more a few years later… I am paying much more….

    Shah8 has recently been speaking about the 2001 Ding Xing Yibang that was once on offer at The Essence of Tea/ Taobao. I have a few of these cakes left and considered restocking some 2 years ago when the Chinese Tea Shop still had them for $120.00-$130.00 a cake. This is a real interesting, slightly harsh yet elegant, humid more traditionally stored and old school processed YiBang that they just don’t make these days. I decided against re-stocking because it simply doesn’t do as well as say Yang Qing Hao on the speed test at my house. Now it sells for $198.00 but some of the YQH is now priced much higher.