Saturday, October 23, 2010

2010 Essence of Tea Ban Pen

This tea is from an area just a few kilometres outside of Lao Ban Zhang and is composed of old growth leaves. Lets boil the kettle, get out the yixing, and have some tea.
As the water boils, one examines the dry leaf. It is the usual mix of green tinged leaves most of which still have the little white hairs covering them. The leaf is mediumish in size and smells of oh so fresh malty, tangy, sweet notes in a fresh newly picked depth.
The first infusion is prepared and bears light, dirty, cereal notes that attempt to turn creamy then retreat to a distinct flat sweetness. There is a subtle smokiness to it. It leaves a chalky, bland aftertaste in the mouth. The mouthfeel is a bit grainy then turns more chalky in feel. It numbs the lips.
The second infusion pours a pale, almost greeny, dirty -yellow soup. It's initial flavour is dirty earth. It finishes just a bit smoother with a slight creamy sweetness. These tastes flatten out into a turbid, dry, bland, chalky aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very full and pulls away the saliva making the tongue feel gritty like sand paper.
The chaqi is of the very relaxing type that puts one at ease on this lazy Saturday. One feels like floating on a cloud, it is a very peaceful chaqi that doesn't attack.

In the third and fourth infusions the gritty taste hints at something deeper in the flavour profile but doesn't quite get there. There is a slight rubbery creaminess that has a gamey milk taste. This taste turns into gritty and ends a flat sweet with a subtle earthy aftertaste that is a bit buttery. There is not that much of an aftertaste as the moutfeel evolves into a chalkiness.
The fifth infusion starts as a flat creaminess, turns to bitter, then dry, a leaves a gritty, gamey aftertaste in the mouth. Although there is more flavour in the aftertaste than in the initial taste, either way there still isn't much there.
In the sixth and seventh infusions, a sweet graininess develops with a long bitter finish. The aftertaste is dry and is almost fruity. The bitter, graininess, and slight fruit works simply and nicely.
The tea is taken for a few more infusions before it slips away into something like bitter, thin water. A few very soft floral notes add some interest before this teas flavour is all but taped.
Link to Hobbes' (The Half-Dipper) Tasting Notes
Link to Sebastian (Vacuithe) Tasting Notes


dimitris said...

Wonderful photos and presentation. Thank you.

Matt said...


Kind words stir more kindness. Thank you.