Friday, November 5, 2010

2008 - 0802 American Hao Nannuo "Ban Po Lao Zhai"

I spent a few days becoming acquainted with the new cakes I purchased, hence the small absence in posts.

Like I said in my previous post; these cakes changed my view on shengpu.

I had read on Bearsbearsbears that this was a very decent cake, and on the Half-Dipper I read that cakes made from Nannuo maocha are lighter, which I decided was a good starting point to my introduction to quality sheng puerh cakes.They both had wonderful suggestions.

This is a cake that was sourced and produced by Puerh Shop.

I wont go into depth about the tea's production information; read it on the label.

The American flag is a great touch. I feel like this was somewhat produced to fit the American specialty market, and they did a wonderful job.

The cake is very pretty! There are many full leaves and buds. The compression on the cake was enough to hold it together, but not enough to make me take a knife to it. I was able to pull out full leaves very easily with just my hands.

Right when the wrapper is opened, an army of aromas invaded my olfactory.
The most striking feature was the prominent sweetness and the floral attributes.
Along with that, there were distinct notes of honey, cherry and a woody earthiness.
For someone not so well versed in the ways of puerh, this is very inviting!
Usually I do not get this excited to drink a tea, but this was so different and I had the urge to dive right into it.

I tend to like to brew shengs with a little less than the recommended amount of leaves because I do not want to pull out too much of the bitterness that sometimes comes with shengpu.

The taste really presented a vast amount of flavors for me to keep track of. It is difficult to narrow it down so will list them all:
mellow sweetness, melons, floral notes and cocoa.
The texture was rich and creamy, but surprisingly light in body. A mild astringency followed that rounded out all the notes and pulled them together in harmony.
In some ways this tea reminds me of brie cheese; mellow, creamy, smooth, easygoing and a bit earthy.

With all puerh, there is a definite earthy quality that can be presented in different tastes. With this cake it was shown through deep wood flavors.
Another thing I notice is that the light bitterness plays an important roll to the flavor profile of this tea. Without the bitterness, the brew would be lacking in depth and complexity.

Some leafy greens emerge in the middle infusions but bring along sweet cherry notes with it. It is incredible how flavors can change throughout a session.

The tea lost complexity around the 7th infusion, but I pushed it to its limit none the less. I wanted to extract as much as I could out of this special tea.

This cake still has a youthful vigor to it, but it has matured to a wonderfully enjoyable stage. I would recommend this cake to anyone trying to get into the flavors of shengpu.

Wonderful session to say the least!



  1. Was looking at this one on Puerh Shop. I'm certainly tempted to order it. I'm still browsing the site at the moment, actually. So much pu'erh to choose from!

    You seem to be not so keen on the bitterness of sheng. I agree somewhat, as I was rather nonplussed when I first got my 2009 Nan Jian cake. I think I've moved past that for the most part.

    Plus, it's helped that the cake has mellowed out a bit. :3


  2. 7 infusions? This is quite a lot.
    As for the flag, I do wonder what is American about this cake/tea.

  3. Fox,

    This cake is definitely worth the money! I ordered the 200g cake, which seems to be quite enough!
    And yes, I think the overbearing bitterness of some cakes is what turns people off from drinking sheng.


    I took this tea for about 10 infusions total. The leaves of pu'erh last a long while!
    I wish I could tell you more information about the American side of this cake haha. =]

  4. That is one gorgeous-looking sheng. Nan Nuo is my favorite pu-erh region. You have my envious glare.

  5. Geoff,

    I would highly recommend this pu'erh. It is what helped me to appreciate quality sheng!
    Thank you for stopping by!