Theasophie Lao Ban Zhang 2017
The leaves certainly have the appearance of LBZ tea, a mix of white tips and silvery gray, with tons of hair. I bought a sample of this in 2017, and found it too green, in the sense of a Japanese sencha, and too roasty. This seems to have toned down quite a bit:
Loose compression and medium-large looking leaves. Strong vinegary tomato vine aroma on the dry leaf. Pungent. Roasty aroma.
- Mild and viscous
- Roasty. Mouth buzzing, starting to feel energetic. Not sweet, and not too bitter. Strong. Roasty hay. Not as green as it was. Rich empty cup aroma and not too high-pitched.
- Face heat is quite strong, spreading to shoulders. This steep has some oil now. Somewhat more concentrated. Sensation of visual clarity. Green. Quite green, but not so aggressively so.
- Thicker now. The roasty aspect does show up as a negative but the substance of the tea is more clear now. Lingering aftertaste, kind of oily strength, but not really sweet. Strong heating now. Astringency is medium and does eventually subsist
- Long steep. Resinous content, darker perfume. Quite strongly bitter now. Not overly astringent however. Much more resinous content. Bittersweet.
- Shorter steep, more identifiably sweet. Resin, heating still available.
- Settling down into oily, bitter, heating
The later steeps were quite substantial, simpler, and smoother, with little astringency. Only in the late steeps could I detect a kind of incense or aged taste, which was interesting. This is a strong bitter-resinous tea with good longevity made from what looks like very good material. It has very little sweetness, both in the taste and aftertaste. I thought it was overly green two years ago, but it seems to be developing and improving. I wasn’t wowed by the energy or aftertaste of this tea, but I appreciate its elegant bitter strength.