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2022 Bàkǎnān


Our favorite tea of this release.

坝卡囡 Bàkǎnān is a small Lahu ethnicity village of just 37 families in the Bulang mountain region in southern Menghai county of Xishuangbanna prefecture, resting at about 1650 meters above sea level. Only 10 kilometers west of Lao Banzhang and 8 kilometers north of Lao Mane, Bakanan is one of the 班章五寨 Bānzhāng wǔzhài or five villages of the Banzhang area and has in recent years gained a cult following as not just a more affordable LBZ imitation, but as a terroir drawing from the Banzhang archetypal flavor, yet distinct unto itself and worthy of exploration/attention.

For this reason, our partner Mr. Yang, of Akha (Hani) ethnicity from Lao Banzhang, has just recently finished building his own tea factory operations in Bakanan and has made proper in-roads to some of the best material from the village’s ancient garden growing area, sloping, shaded gardens occupying just less than 200 acres.

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Though second in line to the furthest away Banzhang village of Lao Mane, Bakanan is 450 meters higher up the landscape than Lao Mane. You may know of Lao Mane village’s famous bitter variety ancient trees, a classic addition in old menghai tea factory regional blends. Extraordinarily bitter for most of its life (yet thought to sweeten with age), a land-race sweet variety of tea trees like those of Lao Banzhang’s have recently been planted in Lao Mane, and are not yet of gushu age, despite many a claim offering ancient tree Lao Mane sweet variety tea.

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For those seeking Banzhang village ancient tree sweet variety tree tea outside of the hyped and exorbitantly priced Lao Banzhang, Bakanan is the premier option, as the area hosts many specimens of this sweeter subspecies between 100-200 years of age, planted by the Lahu ancestors of the current villagers. Think of Bakanan as a terroir between Lao Banzhang and Lao Mane, with sweet variety of tea trees lending to an experience closer to Lao Banzhang’s. Within Bakanan tea the classic, strapping flavor of this legendary region is undeniable and is framed perfectly by a mouthfeel experience that is delicate, impossibly smooth, thick, and lubricating. The mind and body feel of this tea taps the user into a deep and pleasant state. This tea is masterfully crafted by the most professional and cutting edge industry standards, and while it deals out sweet nectar of divinity when brewed now as a young sheng, it is designed with aging in mind and will do so gracefully. We are proud to offer tea of this caliber and acclaim at less than $1/gram.  Not suggested for those new to sheng pu'er.

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(2 customer reviews)

2 comments on “2022 Bàkǎnān”

  1. This is a pretty amazing tea, really does taste like it is between Lao Man E and LBZ, a nice addition to my collection, many thanks

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