The month of January has been a real doozy, especially when you consider how the US president has sparked more women to get on their feet than Michelle Obama did (this joke has been used a lot, but it’s better to laugh than cry about our current situation). As we look to the future, we need to keep our heads held high and never lose our strength. When something horrifying comes into our life, it’s not the horrifying thing that defines us — it’s how we react to the horror and disgust that defines who we are. So how am I reacting to everything? Well, I’m going to start by having a gong-fu session of Bāng Pèn GuShu puer by Pu-Erh.Sk…
Before moving on, lets give a shout-out to James of T-Ching.com for adopting his brand new puppy! I wish you the best!
I was pleasantly surprised to discover, that when measuring out this tea for the session (6.5g to 100ml vessel), my lungs were filled with the sweet, sweet perfume of ripe grapefruit. Even after giving the aromatic lose leaf a rinse, it oozed the heavy odor of essential oils.
Steeps 1 - 4
With the first infusion, and after heating the kettle to 180ºf, I raised the cup to my nose the liquor radiated notes of freshly cut grass. Proceeding to the first sip of this tea, I was met with the light kiss of sweet grass, which spread across my tongue in a velvet like texture. It made its way down my throat, only leaving a bitter-sweet aftertaste. After a few more steeps, the sweetness slowly progressed into something more room-filling, mixing with the notes of grass. Towards the end of the fourth infusion, a luscious blanket of oil made itself known and was getting thicker and thicker.
Steeps 5 - 7
The fifth infusion caused this teas energy to vibrate throughout my veins, causing me to break out in a sweat. Bāng Pén’s texture grew thicker — along with the bitter undertone that showed up earlier. What also jumped out from the body of this tea was the pleasant notes of freshly picked sage, which brushed my tongue with an aftertaste of citrus tree flowers. Along with everything combined, it felt like a large party was being thrown in my cup — and was so loud that you could hear it on your tongue.
Steeps 8 - 12
So much has changed in the small amount of time it took to get from the seventh infusion to the eight. This was the point the tea dropped out and started to relax, which made this tea’s body very refreshing. I was high at this point, and my head felt twenty pounds heavier. Hell, I might as well of had a high blood-alcohol level. Anyways, up until the tenth infusion, the sweet sage and citrus flower notes turned calmer and calmer.
Bāng Pèn continued its decline as the sweetness it possessed earlier began to vanish. The fruity edge it held previously was also fading out, as it left behind the echoes of a broth and bitter base soup. On the last infusion, I gave it one last go before packing everything up. With one last sip, I took in everything that wad experienced over the past hour and was left perplexed by this tea session…
When drinking tea this tea in the later part of the afternoon, I still felt drunk for the entirety of the next day. Every aspect of this tea was astonishing such as its aroma, texture, body, sweetness, bitterness, and how trashed it made me feel. The quality of this tea was superb, and up to this point, never had anything like it before. It was also amazing how complex Bang Pèn was, especially considering that it’s a single origin tea and wasn’t blended with any other material. I’ve had my fair share of sheng over the past year, and can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything like Bang Pèn.
I tried this tea without any prior knowledge (primarily because it was already sold out), and was taken back by how incredible it was. As unexpected as this tea was, I’m surprised to announce this tea will hold my first 10/10 rating. So while this has been a scary time for many, and while many protests are still to come, I won’t be joining you in the fight against bad politics. Instead, I’ll be protesting that Pu-Erh.sk bring back this tea in 2017, and a larger amount of it, so more tea drinkers get the opportunity to experience one of the most incredible single origin Sheng Puer released by Pu-Erh.sk to date…
Rating - 10