Every year we try to source a loose and young raw Gushu PuErh for our clients to enjoy fresh. The criteria for Young Gushu is to find a tea made from genuinely ancient tea tree pickings which is delicious from day one instead of having to age the tea to round out any excessive harshness.
Our Young Gushu 2015 and 2016 were a smash and we have been hunting for 3 months to find a worthy successor. This is our yearly challenge and every year I wonder if we will find a tea good enough to be called Young Gushu.
We tasted countless samples of PuErh this year and we have turned away all of the candidates. At one point in May I thought we would not find one until we found some samples from Bingdao.
Aah Bingdao to the rescue. We love this area of Yunnan and it is famous for producing tea which is sweet and cooling and lacking excessive bite that requires softening with age. Sometimes with Bingdao, the crtiticism is that the tea is too gentle and so our farmers chose to blend the tea. From the East side of the mountain the tea produces a rich and full sweet taste. From the West side the tea has a bit more punch and length. In this Young Gushu we have a blend of East and West to create a gorgeous balance. The age of the tea trees are estimated to be between 500-600 years old based on all available evidence.
The result is a golden liquor which is rich, smooth and sweet with a minty cooling hui gan. The fruity notes of the Young Gushu range is expressed in more tropical sweet fruits like mangosteen and this pairs perfectly with a light herbaceous spiciness. The smell of the empty cup is pure buttery apple indulgence.
This Gushu is a creeper in terms of drunkeness. At first it seems to be quite a gentle Gushu but that chaqi will rise and it will get you to that Gushu high that we all enjoy! This is a classic Friday night tipple.
So, for all those Young Gushu fans out there, here is our choice pickings for 2017. If you have not tried the Young Gushu range before then get involved! Your love affair with fresh PuErh is about to begin.