Lao Banzhang Sheng Puer Cake:
One of the most famous tea mountains in Yunnan is Banzhang, located in the autonomous prefecture of Xishuangbanna. Our high regard for this tea area began when we visited it for the first time in 2005. It takes a few hours to get to the tea forest by way of a mountainous dirt road. A small community of around 140 families are native residents of the area.
The Hani people of Lao “old” Banzhang and Xin “new” Banzhang villages are descendants from a branch of the ancient Qiang people, a nomadic tribe from the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. They are famous in Xishuangbanna for their abilities in harvesting and producing tea. The tea forest is largely wild growing with large old growth tea trees and an assortment of wild, medicinal herbs and plants that grow around the base of the trees. Because of the high elevation and the age of the plants, the tea from here is considered quite flavorful and commands some of the highest prices for leaf in Yunnan.
This 2018 Lao Banzhang tea cake is a sheng style puer, also known as raw puer. To produce sheng puer, the leaves are lightly steamed and, in this case, pressed into a round cake or bing cha. The tea is then allowed to age over a period of years, preferably in environments with a bit of fresh air flowing through, moderate to warm temperatures, and some humidity, which allows the tea to ferment over time.
Ingredients: Puer Tea Leaves.
Effervescent with hints of cedar and grape leaf. Several infusions will bring out a sweeter note of honeysuckle.
Every tea is different and can be brewed in different ways. The chart below is not a hard-and-fast guide for brewing this tea, but rather a place to get started. Steeping time may vary based on your personal taste or on how many infusions have already been done. Experiment with the brewing of your tea to discover its unique character.
|Water Temp °F (°C)||Steep Time (minutes)||Number of Infusions||Quantity of Leaf (tsp / 8oz water)|