altitude - 2009 Lao Ban Zhang

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A rare elevating experience, our 2009 Lao Ban Zhang sheng pu-erh tea promises new heights to adventurers of this range.

100% spring harvested material from old trees in Lao Ban Zhang's vicinity, this tea packs a punch. Even more than it promises. Dry-aged all the way to preserve both strength and body, one steeping session of this bomb is enough to understand the fuss about such a famous terroir. Bold, aromatic and powerful, this tea is definitely not on the delicate side. Rustic fragrances like haystack combine in a bitter-at-first brew with fruitier notes (apricot and wild honey), quickly turning sweeter and sweeter as you steep. More impressive though is its intense body-effect (it'll make you forget to blink) and its never-ending aftertaste, trailing on forever in the mouth.

Teas made of 100% old Lao Ban Zhang material are very rare to come by as the prices are too steep. They are usually passed amongst collectors (investors) never really reaching the consumers' market, or are blended with other materials to spare your wallet. A true shame if you ask us because even amongst high elevation gardens lined-up with centuries-old tea trees (the likes of which can almost only be found in Yunnan), Lao Ban Zhang stands out as something unique, something unmistakably richer and wilder. As good as it gets, really.

The material here comes from half a millennium old trees that have been heavily cut in the '60s-'70s but have been growing wildly since. On the high-end pu-erh market, pollarded trees like these have lost a lot of their value. And honestly, it's not a bad thing. The price of their leaves (old wild Lao Ban Zhang tree leaves) sold at a fraction of what it would be if it wasn't for these pollarded trunks. And the material itself is still premium stuff, as the plants feed from its old root systems, running very deep through many layers of soil, not just the topsoil. Moreover, having once been quite tall, there is still ample space between each tree for a rich ecosystem to grow and feed the earth.

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*domestic orders only (CA).

altitude Lao Ban Zhang 2009 sheng pu-erh  puer tea Bulang