Here, "chunqing" [Choon-ching] means "true feeling". My wife recoils in toe-curling horror at the name, saying that it sounds like something appallingly wet that a teenage girl would say. I'm still chuckling.
At $50, it's not inexpensive. The price of Banzhang maocha is always high (well, the highest, in fact) - but is this good Banzhang? Scott writes that it was selected after testing 15 different maocha, which sounds like a fun time in anyone's estimation.
Long leaves, large fragments, lots of tips, stone compression - pictured below. The aroma is a touch hesitant, but then I did try this one immediately after the uber-aromatics of the Guafengzhai.
As with all of these teas, excepting the orange Bulangshanyun, the soup is an encouraging yellow. This one has a hint of green about it, as did the Guafengzhai. It is clean and vegetal in flavour, and with a decent aftertaste that swells to make my mouth water.
The yunxiang [after-aroma] is a gentle sweet butter. In texture, I quite like its decent thickness and its overall sweetness. It is clean and decent - while not as complex as some of the qiaomu Laobanzhang maocha that I was fortunate enough to receive from Nada a while ago, it is nonetheless very enjoyable. I couldn't place this as a Banzhang leaf explicitly, but then again, it doesn't taste explicitly unlike Banzhang either.
It has no great vibrancy on the tongue, nor the cooling sensation that I've had from Nada's Lao- and Xinbanzhang samples, and these latter are a constant source of comparison for me in trying Banzhang teas. It's a good thing to have reliable benchmarks.
Overall, it is soothing and gradual, rather than being instantly energising.
Sweet, thick, with that buttery yunxiang, it is enjoyable. Is it $50 enjoyable? Perhaps not, but, then again, it is far better than most of the modern cakes that we see for sale from Western-oriented vendors. I think that the price reflects the expense associated with Banzhang leaves, rather than the quality of the tea itself, but it is very decent. It is, in my opinion, not able to sit next to the Guafengzhai at $50, for example.
With that, let us bid the Yunnan Sourcing tasting event adieu. I very much hope that you've enjoyed being along for the ride, and, if you were quick enough off the mark in getting into the event, I hope that you've enjoyed drinking these teas along with Lei and me. Thanks again to all those who have posted their notes while we've been going along.