Gurgle snooze hiccup
It brings the gurgles, hiccups, and (yes) snores of my dear son to the tea-table, so that I can keep an eye on him, or even an ear on him, as he sleeps while I'm drinking.
Thankfully, the system requires me to push a button in order for him to hear me. This is an advantage when I am screaming in agony after drinking harsh plantation tea.
Such as today's Banzhang, from Changtai. It's their bottom-of-the-ladder production, "zhengpin", which is one grade below their "jingpin" that I wrote about recently.
Red leaves aplenty in this modern Changtai blend
The higher-grade jingpin opened with a very lovely introduction of actual Banzhang, before fading into plantation grimness. This cake skips the introduction and gets straight to the plantation.
Small leaves and fragments abound
You know that I love Changtai. This is one of the first times in memory that I can remember actually disliking one of their cakes. It has almost nothing to commend it, being a slog of plantation green-brown characteristics from beginning to end.
The soup is a solid orange, which justifies my raised eyebrows at the red leaves in the blend. There are the barest hints of Banzhang, with its hints of clean, sweet leather, but I get the impression that this tea session is simply man vs. bush.
It's a genuine education to compare the various grades of Changtai, keeping the region and the year the same - thanks to Kenny for providing this sample, as he so kindly did with the "jingpin" version.