This tea comes from Bang Dong in Lincang, which is not as reputable as Pu’erh Xishuangbanna. This does not necessarily mean that the tea from there is inferior. I had some pu-erhs and black tea from Lincang, which were outstanding. Suppose you can establish dedicated channels for sourcing. In that case, I think it is likely that you will get decent tea at a reasonable price. I tasted this tea without any prior info (it was sent to me as a sample gift when I bought other teas) and I guessed that it would be an excellent young sheng from a right area.
Unsurprisingly, I then found out that there are already several tea traders who promote this tea as ‘good value for money’. If this becomes a trend, forget about the reasonable prices.
A seller suggests that Sheng Pu-erh from Bang Dong has the typical Mengku area (which is another town in Lincang with a more prominent name) characteristics which are clean aroma, strong cha qi and a thick, nutty, sweet after-taste. I agree with this description except for the nutty element, which I could not taste. While the aroma was clean and refreshing, it was at the same time somewhat astringent. I think this makes the tea very unique but for some difficult to drink. That’s why ageing pu-erh is a thing! However, I have to say I do find astringency in young shengs playful, and I try to adjust the steeping time to see if I can navigate with it. I also found that the more you steep this tea, the rounder it becomes.
I also have some tea friends from Insta tea community, who (can) drink young sheng pu-erh only and they like it. Maybe I am wrong, but my perception is that young pu-erh from Gushu (old trees) are mellower. Perhaps this can become a new ‘trend’?
Origin: Bangdong, Lincang, Yunnan
Harvest time: Spring 2020
Leaf colour: Tones of green with some visible silvery fuzz
Liquor colour: Vibrant yellow
Tea aroma: Vegetal and floral
Tea taste: Refreshing with astringent and floral and vegetal tones and slightly sweet finish
Steeping/brewing: Place the dragon ball of this tea in a teapot or gaiwan and add about 100-120 ml water at around 100°C. Rinse after 15 sec. You may need to do another rinse if the ball has not opened. Once, rinsing is over steep the leaves for 15 seconds and increase the consecutive steeping time by 5 seconds each time. You can steep this tea several times.
Shelf life: Can be aged