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.
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.
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.
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.