06 July, 2012

2009 Puerh.sk "Guafengzhai"

Samples from Pu-erh.sk abound!  Copious uberthanks to Peter of this Slovakian teashop, which has already given us the impressive Mannuo cake, described previously.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I got rather excited at the prospect of tasting a hand-selected Guafengzhai, the popular and acclaimed region on the far border in Yiwu region.  I don't believe that this cake is for sale at the web-shop, and it may be one of Peter's first productions.

2009 Puerh.sk Guafengzhai

The long-running battle between me and my camera's colour-correction has been documented at length in the images shown on this humble web-site.  Pictured below, another shockingly-processed photograph gives the general impression of this cake's small leaves; in actual light, however, they are not particularly red (unlike the impression given by the photograph below).  Similarly unobtainable from the photograph is the strong, potent aroma of sweetness which is most encouraging.

2009 Puerh.sk Guafengzhai

However, the photograph below is, in this case, an accurate reflection of the colour of the soup, which is a solid orange.  The scent in the wenxiangbei is hand-made cakes at their finest: fat butter, heavy sweetness, clean and long-lasting.

The activity in the mouth is instant and obvious, covering the lips and tongue in a tingling sensation.  It sounds dreadful, but it feels entirely natural and is something that I have come to associate with better-quality, lively leaves, being an indication that they contain a good quantity of stuff.  This contrasts with emptier, tired leaves making up lesser productions.

2009 Puerh.sk Guafengzhai

The chaqi / caffeine / theanine / whodovoodoowhatyoudontdaredo is an absolute knock-out.  After several small cups, I perspire and feel rather dizzy.  The soup cheerfully delivers cooling, vibrant sensations for a good number of infusions, and I am left feeling rather exercised after a full session.

Nicely made, Peter - many thanks for the substantially challenging Guafengzhai that must have taken some time to select.


Anonymous said...

Only now I realize it's the 2009. Wasn't impossible to get good Yiwu teas in 2009. It's about time you retried the Yunnan Sourcing 2009 GFZ...

I'd also suggest the 2006 Taipei expo xiao tie bing. Recent sessions with my jingcha version have been more or less the best a blended plantation tea meant for storage could be (though it's really a 20 year thing as it's quite astringent). Wonder if it holds true for you...


p.s., yep definitely looking forward to the Clouds Formula reviews as well. Another high end blended tea for storage...

ezorro said...

Thank you for your review. Ive never sold this tea. At the time of 2009 it was too expensive for the close-by slovakian consumers and I regarded too good to sell at all. Maybe once I sell the cakes back to China.

The tea is made by a guy who's little production is sold within a few weeks after coming back from the mountains. The last two years he's not been able to produce even enough tea for his customers. I never was his 'potentional' customer so no tea was left for me. Actually I had not got an intention to buy any more than a few cakes as I dont think there are many customers in western part of the globe willing to buy cake for about 200 euro/400g.

The tea is I believe pretty much 100% gushu and developes well even so far in my middle-european climate. Let's see and maybe in a few years I break-up one cake for tasting purposes.

Currently I have no more tea for samples, the last grams were sent to Hobbes and I am reluctant to touch a further 'saint' cakes :-). Some of the cakes (8x400grams) are rested in a ceramic jar made by Petr Novak, so I hope they are all well there and giving them from time to time a bit of rainy, humid air.