Deep rolling tones that benefit from the rich mineral content of Bulang Mountain region.
Ban Pen has been transliterated in a few different ways in English but we’re sticking (for now) with Ban Pen.
It is both a village and a small zone nudged in amidst teas and villages that are far more well known. Lao Banzhang, He Kai, Lao Ma E, and Man Ngoi are all nearby and it is a testament to Bulang Mountains’ ideal offerings of soil, temperature and relative isolation that such teas can be produced from here. Hani people live amidst the Lahu, the Wa and the Bulang and Ban Pen’s excellent reputation locally is in part due to the consistency of the local production and the attention to detail that has to be observed. All teas that come from the region are subject to scrutiny because of the prices and reputation (and because of the so many fakes that carry the names of the famous region).
Teas from the older trees are rarely pristine or entirely ‘clean’ when on the stem. It is an indicator that sprays have not been used.
This present offering comes from trees that are around 100 years old from altitudes of around 1400 metres. Ban Pen, like many of the teas from Bulang Mountain, carries long, clear notes in the mouth and inevitably finish off smooth. Ban Pen is one of the teas that locals speak about having a second and even third wave of flavours that come through the mouth. Smooth but steady vegetal power stays within the mouth and upon the enamel if taken on a clean palate. For these reasons we’ve called this our “Zhǎng” which is a term sometimes used to describe a tea that stays or remains on the palate.
Tea flowers and seeds on a tea bush. In parts of Asia, oils, which are extracted from the Camellia Sinensis plants and trees to use in cooking.
Though lacking in astringency and any bitterness the strength of the tea lies in the softer longer notes and so this tea will reveal much more with some age. Minerals within will develop more complexity with time, if that is something one likes to play with, though this tea is entirely ready for consumption now.
Some of Bulang Mountains’ beautiful low storied soil cover. Mosses, orchids, and other plants run the gamut of life.
With much being touted about the ‘qi’ in certain foods, it should be said that teas from Bulang Mountain generally do carry this ‘qi’ element, in part because of the extremely good undisturbed soils and in part because only a minimum amount of manipulation occurs.
A potter spins clay in southern Yunnan where the soils have always been spectacular. Such high clay levels also play a role in the flavour of a tea.
Another characteristic (for some) generally of the teas from this area within the Bulang Mountain stronghold are the slight floral flavour notes that are woven into the innate strength of the brew. The region is known for a huge variety of wild parasitic orchids that fuse and latch onto tea trees and bushes. Sprays or chemicals have never been part of tea culture up here in the mountains, so tea trees and bushes are covered with critters.
Tea sessions come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of simplicity.
Enjoy this long lasting ‘Zhǎng’ Ban Pen from this, 2019’s Spring harvest and tinker, as always, with infusion times and strengths to find what works well with your palate.
Play and tinker with infusion times with our Ban Pen “Zhǎng” and play with the leaf amounts. This Sheng does not necessarily require a first rinse. Our procurer Jeff loves to take old tree Sheng’s first infusions down, particularly when he knows that the teas have been well produced. Smooth vegetal strength with some malty tones, this is a tea carrying a strong ‘qi’ component. This is a tea that carries long notes and that comes back in successive waves of flavour.
If this is your first tea cake, here is a step-by-step guide on how to break and prepare a tea cake.
We recommend not less than 6 grams per serving with 8-12 recommended. Shorter infusion times with more leaves are the way in southern Yunnan’s Puerh cultivating regions and we’re in agreement that philosophy. Use fully boiled water for infusing.
Don't be shy to ask me any questions about your tea leaves or anything related at firstname.lastname@example.org. You have my ears and I will get back in touch with you.