The Mighty Guoyan.
Their productions don't usually do it for me, but I did thoroughly love the 2005 Laobanzhang, which was decidedly chunky.
The classics are never out of fashion
The wrapper is of the Old School: slap a green character in the middle of a ring of red characters, Zhongcha-style. I think it rather becoming on this Guoyan cake.
The leaves are good quality, and quite small. Some hints of redness abound in the cake, which drop some heavy hints, given that this only has four years of age and thus probably won't have gained much colour on its own.
Looking down the barrel of the chahe
This is a clear, pure pu'er. Mengyang Guoyan usually do a very good job with their blends, making them appealing to a wide audience by curtailing the bitterness somewhat, yet leaving some fraction of the leaves unprocessed so as to give it some oomph.
So it is with this Banzhang. It cannot be gushu [ancient tree], but it is very pleasant and thick. I had a very enjoyable session with this one.
This is a warm, soothing tea - with tons of caffeine
Thanks to Keng, one of my Singaporean teachums, for so generously providing me with an entire cake. I look forward to coming back to this well-blended example for some "comfort sessions".