A compelling aged sheng that exemplifies the hazelnut and tingling spice that makes Banzhang tea so great . . .
Farmer’s Coop is one of those teas you can never forget. The flavor, texture and aroma are singular, powerful and confident. Even when this tea was five years younger, the first time we tried it, it was love at first taste. Its signature numbing electrical sensation and deep hazelnut undertones were wild and untamed when the tea was young. Now, this tea has truly settled into itself, brewing up the lustrous, deep red color of truly mature sheng pu’er.
The aroma of this tea primes the senses for the taste to come. The smell is thick, deep and full like Tibetan musk incense wafting through the air and mingling with fire-roasted chestnuts.
The first flavor is spicy and numbing like Sichuan peppercorn and tart like Chinese schisandra berry. The aftertaste has the vaporous and crisp sweetness of a beautiful peated scotch like Ardbeg or Talisker. The tingling sensation on the tongue feels like electricity.
As the tea unfolds, it is most reminiscent of an IPA with a well balanced palate of hops tempered with deeper oatmeal notes. The aftertaste is resinous like pine sap.
As the tea continues to steep out, it settles into itself with oaky vanilla notes and the sweet flavor of honeycrisp apples. Taken together, this tea is a wild ride to steep from start to finish. Every time we taste it, we discover something new to fall in love with. We are releasing the rest of our reserve to celebrate Verdant’s 5th anniversary.
Date of Picking:Picked in 2001, pressed in 2003
Location of Picking:Old Banzhang Village, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
What Was Picked:No formal workshop was engaged to do the pressing on this wild-gathered Banzhang mountain leaf. The farmers pressed their own edition of one and two kilo balls
Quantity Acquired:We have 10 one kilo balls to release
Sourcing Agent(s):Wang Yanxin met the farmers of Banzhang on a sourcing trip to Xishuangbanna and has been able to secure the majority of the pressing for Verdant Tea.
Brewing Farmer’s Cooperative ’03 Sheng
Use 1tsp of tea per 8oz or water. Rinse leaves twice with 208 degree water. Steep for 2 minutes with 208 degree water. Enjoy at least 5 infusions. Note: Farmer’s Co-op is a formidable tea and needs to be steeped with care to avoid an overwhelming brew. Use filtered water if possible and give the leaves plenty of room to open.
Gongfu Style Brewing (Recommended)
Use 2-3g of tea for a 4-5oz gaiwan or yixing clay teapot. Pour boiling water into pot and immediately pour out into pitcher. Repeat this rinse a second time if you prefer a more tempered first steeping. Pour this rinse over the pot and cups used. Steep for 2-4 seconds each infusion, and enjoy at least 18 infusions. Increase steep time to taste and feel free to use more leaf after experimenting.