Today I'm reviewing Essence of Tea's 250 gram 2010 Ban Pen (班盆) sheng puer cake. This cake was one of several fine teas I received during my recent tea trade with Tea Sleuth. More information about Ban Pen can be found on Essence of Tea's blog here.
I steeped the tea with freshly boiled water in a small gaiwan about 1/3 full of loosely compressed dry leaf. After a 3 second rinse, I inhaled an inviting herbaceous aroma. The first couple infusion were about 20 seconds long.
I was very impressed with this lively young tea and its complexities demanded my full attention. The liquor is a bright yellow color with subtle cloudy currents circling about lazily among stationary bubbles. In the mouth it's dry with notes of sweet hay, leather and clove. It had a clean, brisk, invigorating, throat-feel. Its finest moments, for me, were when it presented some delicate wild flower honey and Meyer lemon notes.