Lao Ban Zhang Ripe Puer Tea ( 2004 ) 16 Years Old Spring Harvest
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This very rare 2004 Spring Harvest Lao Ban Zhang ripe Puer tea comes from Lao Ban Zhang tea mountain in the Menghai tea district of southern Yunnan Province. That area's tea is so renowned in China that tea professionals call it the 'King of Puer Tea.' Famous for it's assertive Cha Qi, you can steep it more than 20 times in a gaiwan and then boil it in a pot for 30-60 seconds yielding a thicker texture with realigned flavors. Boiling draws out much larger and more complex molecules that otherwise would be held firmly in place by the water insoluble, chemically sticky cellulose and lignin molecules inside the tea leaf. Thankfully though, the sustained high temperature and continued agitation liberates those big molecules right into your tea liquid.
Ripe La Ban Zhang tea is really hard to find as nearly all of the tea is now hand processed into raw tea instead of ripe. The price of the raw tea leaves keeps going up every year, and thus precious little is ever fermented into ripe tea anymore. Kind of a shame though, since this ripe tea carries the sought after flavor of camphor, which ripe Puer tea drinkers know is extraordinarily unique and wonderfully delicious.
To ensure the highest quality drinking experience and maximum nutritional value, we keep all of our white and Puer teas in proper temperature and humidity controlled professional storage.
Storage: Store unused portions away from light in a moderately humid area between 70-80F/21-27C.
Brewing water: Earth2O brand mineral water produces the finest results. Soft water, distilled water and hard water will ruin this tea. Tap water varies wildly and is best avoided as well. If you don't have Earth2O water available please see good substitutions on our water page.
Brewing method: 3-6g tea leaves, 60-100ml (~1/4-1/3 cup) water each time with 2-3 second infusions in a Chinese gaiwan or a small pot. After 5-6 infusions increase the time as desired.