I have already written about Xin An Chu’s 2008 Bang Wei Sheng, but I still had several samples of the Bang Wei chronicle. These teas have been on my to-drink list for a long time so I decided to do a double tea session to compare the teas. I compared their 2008 Bang Wei to their 2011 Bang Wei.
Bang Wei Chronicle
This package includes three versions of ‘the same’ tea (2008 – 2011 – 2016). The tea was harvested in the same garden and was processed in the same factory. There are differences between years due to weather conditions, but the other factors are fairly similar.
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The only difference is that the 2008 version is made using a mix of gushu and qiaomu material, while the material in the 2011 version is supposed to be gushu. I assume that the material used in the 2008 Bang Wei is of lower quality than the 2011 and 2016 versions.
The goal of the Bang Wei Chronicle is to taste and feel the effect of age. Aging puerh tea is a complex but interesting topic to explore and these teas offer a good starting point. All teas were stored in Kunming, meaning they went through dry storage.
I used 4g of each tea for an 80ml gaiwan and 99°C water. I tried keeping the brewing parameters as similar as possible for these teas. One major difference between these teas is the fact that the 2008 Bang Wei was a tightly-compressed chunk, while the 2011 Bang Wei was easier to pick apart. This means that it took a while for the 2008 one to fully open.
2008 Bang Wei Chronicle
The leaves are rather small and the compression is fairly tight. The leaves have more beige tints and it’s not as dark as the 2011 Bang Wei.
Leather is dominant when smelling the dry leaves. The aroma of the wet leaves also has leather to it, but it’s deeper without any fruitiness.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): the color is a lot lighter because the chunk hasn’t fully opened. It’s subtle and I’m getting a slight minerality with some leather in the undertone.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the color difference between this one and the 2011 Bang Wei is less obvious now. I’m starting to get a subtle fruitiness, but I have to look for it. Leather is coming through as well. These flavors remind me of a Xianguan sheng tuo.
Infusion 3 (30 sec): the third infusion has more grounding and earthy flavors to it. The aftertaste has changed compared to the previous infusions as I’m getting red fruits now.
Infusion 4 (40 sec): it feels more aged and the flavors are deeper and less fruity. It’s more about leather and even a slight hint of wet wood.
Infusion 5 (50 sec): the color is darker and I’m getting the same aged notes as before. There is leather and wood and there is a slight astringency towards the end. I feel that this one is starting to show what it’s all about.
2011 Bang Wei Chronicle
The leaves of the 2011 Bang Wei are relatively big and medium-sized and the compression is fairly loose. The color of the leaves is mostly brown and I also see some stems in the mix.
The aroma has notes of dry wood to it and a little bit of leather. The wet leaves are different as they have a fruity aroma to them in combination with incense and fruit tobacco. These leaves feel as if I’m smelling summer.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): this one is slightly fruity from the start and it lingers into the aftertaste. The aftertaste is intense and lasts quite a while, especially for a first infusion. It feels thick and juicy and it coats my whole mouth. There is also a slight hint of incense.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): it’s more intense than the previous infusion, but it feels similar flavor-wise. The finish and aftertaste are more noticeable than in the 2008 Bang Wei. I’m also getting some hints of fruit tobacco.
Infusion 3 (30 sec): this one just flows. It’s so flavorful and I’m getting similar flavors as before. There is a slight astringency and an intense aftertaste.
Infusion 4 (40 sec): it feels fruitier again and it reminds me of strawberry jam. The aftertaste just keeps on going.
Infusion 5 (50 sec): similar to the previous infusions and everything is more at the surface. Some astringency pops up towards the end.
This has to be one of the most interesting tea sessions in a long time. The 2008 Bang Wei Chronicle started out slowly because it took a while for the leaves to open. Once they had opened, it felt more aged and it was more about the grounding/deeper flavors.
The 2011 Bang Wei had a juicy fruitiness to it and is ideal to drink and explore in spring. It offered a completely different experience so it’s obvious that time has a big effect on puerh tea. I recommend trying these teas if you want to taste the effect of time yourself. Don’t forget to use the code ‘TEAADVENTURES’ for an 8% discount.