2017 Hai Lang Hao "Lao Ban Zhang" Ripe Pu-erh Tea Brick
In 2016 Hai Lang started a kind of crazy undertaking. Collecting 200 kilograms of spring 2016 harvested mao cha from Lao Ban Zhang village and having it painstakingly small-batch wet piled to perfection. After 43 days of wet piling this light fermentation ripe pu-erh tea was stored for many months before being pressed (in 2017) into 500 gram bricks.
I have seen many productions of ripe Lao Ban Zhang teas over the last decade, but this is the first one that is really worthy of being called "Lao Ban Zhang Ripe". Hai Lang is a pu-erh dealer and producer who has been around for 20 years. He's unapologetically direct and cares more about quality and one upmanship than he does about anything else. This is a good quality in a pu-erh producer, and it's that very quality that allowed him to undertake the expense and the risk to wet pile such a tea as Lao Ban Zhang. For him, this tea represents authentic "Lao Ban Zhang Ripe", often sold, and rarely, if ever (until now) actually produced.
There is also a 2019 pressing available here!