8 Ball 2020 Banpen Raw Puer



Often considered one of the two key ingredients in the “Laobanzhang recipe”, Banpen teas tend to lean more on body and fragrance, while Laomane brings the bitter and huigan.

Although less aggressive up front, this is still a gentle brute of a tea. Similar to nearby Banzhang teas, this high quality Banpen material exhibits a great lasting fragrance and strong chaqi/energy. While there is a gentle and not-too-overbearing kuwei (pleasant bitterness), it doesn’t mean that this tea’s energy won’t put you in the pocket.

Picking period: Pre-April 12


Please note: The dragon balls for this tea have been sold out, so samples will still be offered in the same size, but broken from the cake.

All of our samples for spring 2020 are in dragon ball form. While these balls will perform the same as the cake, they can be slightly trickier to brew. Here’s how we do it:

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions 16 × 16 × 1 cm

7 reviews for 8 Ball 2020 Banpen Raw Puer

  1. 5 out of 5


    I got this tea as a dragon ball in the 2020 Puer exploration jar and I was star struck by this tea. I am newer to Puer but have been drinking aged white tea for some time now. This tea has an extremely smooth viscosity and easy to drink quality. For me this tea was perfect as a pool side gong fu session. The flavor begins with a strong floral that isn’t bitter or overbearing in any way, it quickly transitions into a buttery sweet cream like flavor that is conjured up by the florals and velvety viscosity working together in tandem to trick your mind into tasting notes that may not be there, creating an all new sensation that is greater than the sum of the parts. For a finish I get a nice vegetal flavor that reminds me of a green tea at times without being controlling. As a gardener, it reminds me of zucchini starting to ripen on the vine. A lovely tea that is worth the price. Think nice summer flowers that meld into a sweet zucchini glazed in cream. I have no doubt these flavors would only intensify and sweeten over time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Verville-Paris (verified owner)

    //Eyes dry leaf
    Global leaves colour pretty dark, some warm stems and a tiny amount of silvery buds. The dragonball don’t seems tightly compressed

    //Nose dry leaf
    Herbaceous, hay under the sun, old leather

    //Nose wet leaf
    Wet clothes drying outside, humid hay, wet rock, cooked vegetables

    //Eyes liquor
    Rattan beige. Nice warmth

    //Mouth texture
    Creamy from the first sip. Thick texture — almost creamy. Generous mouth coating

    //Mouth taste
    Sweet, fresh vegetables deglazed in maple syrup, grass with dew, butter

    //Nose Empty Cup
    Roasted butter madeleines with almonds

    //Body sensation
    Dry to juicy cycles. A lot of salivation in the cheeks

    //Brewing notes
    Rinse: 30 seconds
    Brew 1 : 15 seconds
    Brew 2 : 10 seconds
    Brew 3 : +5 seconds

    //Overall impression
    Can develop a lot of astringency

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christopher (verified owner)

    I’m floored by this tea. If you’re a fan of really high quality lao man’e, naka, and other southern puer with that powerful “meaty” aroma, and thick and active mouthfeel, look no further.

  4. 5 out of 5

    dhfarber (verified owner)

    Wow, this a banger, in the parlance of our times. It’s an umami bomb, with significant seaweed/sencha-like sweetness especially in the initial infusions. Complex and mineral-y with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Thick mouthfeel. This is a luxurious tea, if I may be so bold. One of the best young shengs I’ve tried.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Togo (verified owner)

    It’s quite a masculine tea and not really my absolute favourite type of a profile. Objectively, this is undoubtedly a high quality tea. It is processed slightly on the greener side, as is quite common for Bu Lang sheng as far as I can tell. The huigan is very pronounced and the full-bodied liquor has a very soft and plump texture to it, coupled with a numbing and slightly abrasive sensation at the back of the mouth. The cha qi is creeping slowly, but ramps up to facilitate an all-encompassing peaceful state at its peak.

    The dry leaf aroma is sweet and floral with a hint of gasoline and dry earth. After the rinse, the smell is more nutty and grainy. The dominant notes I pick up are musk and fenugreek leaves, but there are many others too.

    First steep is already quite pungent with a lot of breadth. It is mineral, nutty, and bitter with an underlying sweetness to it. Floral and vegetal aspects arrive soon, as well as a nice sour tinge. In the first part of the session, there are flavours such as sunflowers, chard, alcohol, various seeds, and hops – the latter especially in the aftertaste.

    Going towards steeps 6-8, I get more bassy impression with more of a typical punchy and granular Bu Lang profile carrying a hint of tobacco. Some floral and dry grass flavours with nutty undertones return subsequently, such as acorn or eucalyptus. Some fruitiness reminiscent of quince comes to the fore around the 12th infusion too. The crisp aftertaste has consistently floral character to it, mixed in with some bourbon too, interestingly.

    I end the session after about 18 steeps which is just short of 300ml/g, a pretty good longevity for a young tea. I can definitely recommend the tea to anyone interested in getting a solid tea that showcases a village that’s maybe not as commonly found on the western market as a couple of neighboring ones. I can’t speak to how representative it is, but I think one gets their money’s worth, just about.

  6. 5 out of 5

    NM (verified owner)

    This is one of the best BLT teas I’ve tried.
    It’s absolutely delicious – thick mouthfeel, creamy, sweet aftertaste but not too sweet, very fragrant, strong but not annoying like LME or Hekai – the perfect balance between sweetness, fragrance, mouthfeel, aftertaste.
    It’s perfect… almost! The only issue which is actually not a big issue for me is that it feels very smokey which is strange for a 2020 sheng, but it’s not entirely bad – I learned to like this smokey note in less than 3 infusions, haha. Everything else is perfect.
    It’s on the more expensive end but it’s totally worth it for me at least. This is definitely “tongable” as it feels that it will age nicely and it is also amazing right now.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bunnyzilla (verified owner)

    This is simply a perfect sheng, a tea that I would define as archetypal for the Bulang area. It is the exact exemplification of what one would expect from this area in all its balance. Everything is in harmony, the thickness, the bitterness, the astringency, the great complexity and the incredible huigan that it manages to express. 3 years later, it remains one of the best and best priced young shengs I’ve tried. The aromatic part is very similar to that of a good Laobanzhang, with notes of peach and plum jam, cavendish tobacco and light botanical-alcoholic fragrance along with hints of wild flowers, caramelized citrus and subtle scent of violet candy.

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