What does astronomy and iconic tea like Lao Banzhang, 老班章 , has in common? Both has something to do with the sky, one is sky gazing and the other is sky-high price.
I really couldn’t understand how the price of new high quality Puer tea shot up so high and fast over the last few years.
In the year 2007-2009, I tasted the Lao Banzhang tea and like the tea very much. It was very powerful tea, complex in a nice way, full of flavors, high aroma and full- bodied. After 2009, I thought the quality has dropped and stopped buying those later tea. I probably have enough of those 2007 to 2009 Lao Banzhang to last for a long time. I brewed the tea quite frequently to appreciate its changes throughout the years.
After that, the big publicity came and the tea industry focus on this tea and the price went up steadily until recently (April 2014), I was really shocked to discover that this same piece of 2007 Lao Banzhang I bought is currently selling at US$4670 (29,000RMB) for a 375gm piece. Gosh! This price insanity really cause some distraction to the joy of enjoying tea humbly. Currently, a lot of other high quality teas are also going through the same price launching pad. Wow! A new form of astronomy.
Nevertheless, to me a tea is still a tea and I will continue to brew this tea for enjoyment and also to share with my tea friends. It is good to cut off all the noises and focus on the joy of appreciating a nice and enjoyable tea.
Care to join me for some tea astronomy ? i.e. enjoying good tea whilst gazing the sky. 🙂
I started this blog at the request of many friends who wanted to learn about tea. So I thought it would be even better to share the knowledge with the world. I was really lucky to be able to travel so much to explore tea and learn from many teamasters. But I am still humbled by the vast knowledge of tea, tea culture and the art of tea. I am still learning and hope to learn more by sharing.
This is my first blog on tea after a few decades of dedication to tea. Tea was just a pastime to me and it made me really curious. So my journey started with the fascination on tea and my thirst for tea knowledge. I drink all types of tea that I can possibly get access to i.e. Darjeeling, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Taiwan and Chinese tea. My current dedication is for Puer and Yancha tea which I religiously spent hours every day on them.
So for the first blog post, I will write about something iconic. Currently, the most talk about Puer tea is the Lao Banzhang. I chanced upon Lao Banzhang in 2007 when it was pretty unknown and was said to be a crazy undrinkable tea. Nevertheless, it became famous. Personally I love this tea from day one and I was impressed by its strength, rounded bitterness, sweetness but mostly by the hint of kombu seaweed when it was young. I brewed this tea every few months since 2007 and it never fail to impress me every time I drink it. I often served this tea to novices, oldtimers, teamaster without mentioning about it and most of them said it was a great tea. I always belief that a great tea should always taste great to everyone from novices to seasoned tea drinkers.
Here is a photo of the 2007 Lao Banzhang, an iconic tea now, insanely priced, vastly imitated and fiercely speculated. To me, it is simply just tea and a really great tea that often make a great day greater.