Wednesday, September 2, 2020
2018 Essence of Tea Spring Gedeng Guoyoulin: Strong!
Shah8 has only given me two recommendations/ pieces of advice here on the blog.
The first was to simply look to the Taiwanese Facebook auctions for standard factory drinkers. When I came back to restock my stash I quickly filled up my quota of these before getting to the auctions. There are problems with this approach when you don’t even have a personal Facebook page. Besides that, I think I have enough drinkers that I need not fuss with the Facebook auctions. Maybe one of these days…
The second was to sample this very puerh- the 2018 Essence of Tea Spring Gedeng Guoyoulin. After my enthusiastic review of the 2018 Zheng Si Long Gedeng Shah8 recommended it in the comments… it turns out that these are very opposite gedeng that sell for almost the same price… but maybe I even like this 2018 Essence of Tea Gedeng Guoyoulin ($250.00 for 400g cake or $0.63/g) better… maybe…
Dry leaves smell of dry woods and subtle sweet icing sugar candy.
First infusion has a strong presence of icing sugar cake, mild bitterness, slight evergreen forest, and evolving fruitiness with a long creamy floral finish. The mouthfeeling is very full and powdery and the throat opens deep with a lingering pungency. This is a very full first infusion!
The second infusion has a thick an engaging up front sour syrupy sweetness there is a mild bitterness then a thick fruity syrupy returning sweetness with a lingering almost candy taste over evergreen forest. The mouthfeel is thick and chalky. The aftertaste is very long and sweet syrup with a creamy almost cake candy nuance. The flavours are really dense and thick and deep propelled by a mild bitterness and a thick oily coating and deep throat sensation. Very thick full presentation. I feel a mild tight chest sensation in the body.
The third infusion has an intense moderate bitterness that pushes metallic like stone taste over a syrupy fruity taste. There is a strong chalky bitter bland presentation here with a chalky full mouthfeeling and deep throat. It starts to illicit a hazy and stoned feeling in the body.
The fourth infusion has a thick dense syrupy fruity presentation with less bitterness. There is a fresh evergreen forest base and some stone taste underneath but is mainly this thick syrupy sweetness. It then stretches into a long dense juicy fruity sweet deep aftertaste which hold nicely over the chalky somewhat oily mouthfeeling and deep throat sensation. There is a mild hypnotic feeling in the mind.
The fifth has a juicy peachy onset with a faint bitter and strong deep icing sugar returning sweetness. There is a slight evergreen forest base even slight stone. The aftertaste is long dense and sweet and does well over a thick mouthfeeling and deep throat which continues here. These infusions are much less bitter and have a long dense sweetness throughout. There is a chalky fruity taste in the mouth even minutes later. A mild and surprisingly comfortable feeling in the body. The Qi has a mild hypnotic feeling to it.
The sixth infusion has a strong dense juicy syrup onset. There is a bit of bitterness and woody forest taste underneath. The mouthfeeling is less chalky and the throatfeeling is less deep and the aftertaste has more woodiness to it overall. The aftertaste is less sweet and woodier. A moderate relaxation starts to take hold along with mild hypnotic feeling.
The seventh infusion has a fast bitter juicy fruity punch there is some floral notes that come and go throughout the session and are more noticeable in some infusions. The density of taste is really nice there is wood which is becoming more noticeable as the session progresses. There is less deep and cool pungent throat sensation which leaves the aftertaste much less than what it was at the beginning and more of a woody taste with some faint icing sugar notes. Qi is a moderate strong gushu relaxing, very comfortable in the body slight hypnotic yet energizing. A nice feeling. The mouthfeel is a bit sandy dry and not really chalky. This infusion looses a lot of pungent and evergreen forest nuance.
The eighth has that same dense syrupy onset with slight bitterness that pushes out very nice candy like sweetness now. The bitterness really merges with the chalky and powdery sweetness. This infusion has more of a powdery mouthfeeling and a bit deeper throat sensation than the last few infusions. There is a mild head stuffiness developing.
The ninth spent 30seconds in the pot by accident… and pushes out a chalky stone like bitter layered into a syrupy fruity taste. There is more evergreen forest layered in as well. The finish is deep in the throat and almost powdery chalky and icing sugar aftertaste is less than woody. A strong and dense tasting and feeling puerh with stronger relaxing but yet energizing Qi. Slight hypnotic feeling. Mild head feeling.
10th is a 10 second steeping and pushes out apricot fruitiness with not much bitter and astringency left. There is a bit of a sour bitter orange peeling bitterness here that is left in the aftertaste with slight woodiness. This infusion doesn’t have much sweetness.
11th at 20 sec is a sour bitter orange peeling taste slight woody base. There is a nice icing sugar finish in the mouth over a slight sticky not dry mouthfeeling that is thinning a bit. The throatfeel loses a bit of depth but still substantial enough to parlay icing surgery sweetness. Heavy brow and relaxing feeling. Heavy body sensation begins to take hold.
12th 30sec gives off real nice apricot notes juicy and almost syrup with some evergreen forest mintiness still found in the base taste. There is some flat bitterness but moves quickly to juicy fruity tastes that are a touch sour.
13th 40 sec infusion a thick almost creamy bitter very juicy syrupy fruity dense presentation.
I do a few longer overnight steepings…
Overall the dense, strong mainly sweet fruity syrupy taste of this Gedeng is really top notch. It almost resembles more like Yiwu generally than specifically Gedeng but it has some evergreen forest and stone and woody tastes in most of the infusions that are more typically Gedeng. The mouthfeeling and throat feeling are top notch as well when they present but wane a bit through the session. The Qi in the mind is very nice balance of energizing and relaxing also a bit hypnotic. The bodyfeeling is there but is not unusual or overwhelmeing. The feeling overall is of comfort but yet powerful, relaxing yet energizing.
Vs 2018 Zheng Si Long Gedeng. These Gedeng are really both quite good but are really opposite in most all respects except price which makes the comparison super interesting. I ended up consuming the 2018 Zheng Si Long the next day for comparison. The 2018 Zheng Si Long Gedeng is loaded with a bunch of subtle complex dense nuances of flavor where the Essence of Tea Guoyoulin really runs you over with strong thick syrupy flavours that are not as complex but delicious in their own. The Zheng Si Long has a deep arching full pungency and long nuanced aftertaste in a very present but not as standoffish mouth and throatfeeling. The Essence of Tea has a very strong present mouth and throatfeeling. The Zheng Si Long has a very unique and powerful bodyfeeling where the Essence of Tea is much weaker in this respect mainly offering a mindfeeling with less bodyfeeling. The strong body feeling of the Zheng Si Long is what puts it over the top (well also the depth of subtle complexity of flavors) but otherwise I prefer the overly strong presentation of this Essence of Tea.Shah8's Tasting Notes