18 July, 2010

2004 Guyi - Yubang "Gushu"

From the cornucopia which is Keng's generous tea collection, this is a cake from a factory that is new to me. I'm delighted and impressed to read that the mighty Babelcarp already has information containing this factory (Guyi, meaning "ancient postal-road") and this brand (Yubang).  Many thanks to Keng for this delightful cake, and to LP for maintaining 'Carp, an essential ingredient of most of our tea-lives.

2004 Yubang Gushu
The Yubang "Gushu" reclining with some younger acquaintances

I used to be suspicious of brands that I've not heard of before, but, after encountering so many varied and wonderful cakes under all manner of labels, I have now come to be quite excited by new brands.  "You never know what you're gonna get", as I believe Dryden once penned.

2004 Yubang Gushu

This cake has it all: tips, whole leaves, stems, and huangpian [yellow flakes] - just the way I like it.  In its distant past, some wet storage - the shicang aroma is present, but very distant.

2004 Yubang Gushu
Dark, singular, well-kept

This tea doesn't really taste of very much.  But that's OK.  This cake is one of that curious subgenre of tea that I call "CDV"s - chaqi delivery vehicles.  It is a mobile platform for the conveyance of weird and wonderful sensations.  The cooling effect is perhaps the most pronounced that I have ever experienced in pu'ercha, being almost anaesthetic on the tongue.

"Is this fertiliser?"  I hear you wonder.  Unlikely - the body is thick, and there exists a huge potency about the brew that smacks of high-quality leaves.

2004 Yubang Gushu
There is more to this tea than meets the lens

If I had to gamble, I'd say that this was, in large part, actual "gushu" [ancient tree], just as its name claims. Such is its potency that it could be little else. 

I can also appreciate why some producers have faith in the blending of leaves: this anaesthetic effect is rather overpowering, and one could imagine that it could be used to provide an extra dimension of complexity when blended with leaves that deliver a strong flavour.

Its thin sandalwood character is highly enjoyable on its own, however.  Thanks to Keng for the opportunity to try it.


Spencer said...

Sounds absolutely delicious! That's awesome that you found something great like this.

Anonymous said...

I've tried some samples from this factory which were terrible, quite simply dead tea. But it sounds like you've struck gold...

Tuochatea has this label and qute a lot of it, even though it's 2008-10 cakes.


Anonymous said...

I belive this is the one you have - priced at 18 USD


Hobbes said...

Dear Kaimelar and Terje,

This one was really remarkable, among Guyi. That numbing quality was a real surprise!

Terje, the cake that Tuochatea.com stocks ($18) is the 2006 version, which I haven't tried.