Jeez! Has it been a year since these teas were all the talk? Ummm.......just about! After having a hearty breakfast this morning I was contemplating what tea to wash it all down with and decided to dig into this one, Ban Zhang "Chun Qing" which translates as "Precious Feeling" or something equally silly. I remember loving this tea upon the very first sip, rich beany flavors and aromas sit side by side with nutty notes. Now that the teas had a year to settle in and find it's groove let's see what we have here. This Ban Zhang is one in a series of cakes released by Scott last year. There are also cakes from Yiwu, Bulang, You Le and a Wu Liang mountains in the 2009 line up.
The cakes surface leaf is definitely a shade darker than it was last September. The smell is just a tad woodsier than it once was. The compression has relaxed just a wee bit and it's very easy to separate into a nice pile of unbroken leaf. Keeping the leaves whole makes all the difference in the world, it allows for proper extraction without unnecessary bitterness. Which, speaking of bitterness, I remember when this tea was initially reviewed most people thought this tea lacking in bitterness. Considering that this is a Ban Zhang tea and one of Ban Zhangs traits is that infamous bitterness, a lot of people were left scratching their heads wondering where it was. Well, it's there now. Not obnoxious by any means but there is no denying it now.