Saturday, October 3, 2020

2018 Puerist Wa Long GuoYouLin: Ethereal… yet strong!

Alright this is the one that started it all… I have had my eyes on this one for a while and after a recommendation here I blind caked a few…

This 2018 Puerist Wa Long GuoYouLin goes for $178.00 for200g cake or $0.89/g which is a bit more expensive than the 2020 Tea Encounter WaLong GuoYouLin which really got the conversation going on this one.  I do like the Tea Encounter Wa Long and, in a general sense most Wa Long I have tried so how could this one be any different…

Dry leaves smell of a deep woody, slightly spicy sweetness.

First infusion has a smooth long candy taste from start to finish.  There is a long deep soft pungent coolness.  Overall a very pure candy like start.  With a bit of a juicy and viscus body.  There is a fruity taste in the mouth minutes later that emerges with an icing sugar sweetness.  This breath taste lasts minutes later.

The second infusion has a medicinal woody onset that is almost licorice it pushes a sweetness into the mouth and deeper into the throat of a candy like taste.  The mouthfeeling is full stickiness going on with a deep pungent throat feeling and long candy breath.  The Qi is really nice in the mind making it feel really still and contemplative.  It makes my thoughts run clear on a particularly crazy day at work. 

The third infusion has a big candy onset with a long finish.  There is some mild pungency in there, deep throat opening over a soft sticky full mouthfeeling.  There are some juicy fruity notes that appear in the aftertaste alongside candy.  There is a long sweet onset and finish with a nice alternating fruitier returning sweetness and almost woody base.  This is very nice stereotypical Yiwu GouYouLin that is pure long candy.  Qi has a calming and focusing with an open chest feeling.

The fourth infusion has a honey layered, fruity, and candy like triple sweet presentation.  There is a low pungency but basically just long layered sweetness that extends on the breath.  There is a tinny nudge of sour and wood kind of foresty taste underneath and a full feeling sticky sand mouthfeeling that stimulates the throat.  The Qi is really easy on the body and makes the chest feel softly opening.  The mouthfeel is really full and engaging and pushes the long sweet layered taste really far throughtout the taste profile and on the breath.  This Wa Long tastes much more like a Man Zhuan Gushu much sweeter and more elegant than my experience with Wa Long thus far and closer to my experience with some other Man Zhuan Gushu.  It would top what I’ve tired from Man Zhuan in the past.

The fifth infusion has a quick moving woody medicinal almost licorice onset with layers of honey, icing sugar and generic fruitiness.  There is a woody forest base and long sweet taste over a stimulating throatfeeling and full mouthcoating.  The long candy extends into the breath.  The Qi is focusing the mind and calming it making it still.  It kind of trances me out like in a meditation.

The sixth infusion is long candy like tastes with a bit of light honey as well.  Long sweet tastes with some woody notes. 

The seventh is again long unimpeded candy finishes which is long in the mouth and breath.  The mouthfeeling is a sticky almost tightness that stimulates the deep throat.  The effect is that saliva pools in the throat.  There is a slight mouth puckering feeling and minutes long candy and icing sugar taste.  It has a deep relaxing effect on the mind and body.

The eighth infusion has a bit of a bitterness and coco developing which pushes out fruity tastes.  The mouthfeel is slightly tight sticky and stimulates the throat and candy and coco breath finish is in the works here.  It’s long and sweet and almost woody.  Minutes later a honey taste fills the mouth penetrating the saliva.

The ninth infusion has a honey like onset taste with mild coco bitter and almost fruit developing. There is a long mild coco that doesn’t out due the candy, honey, but kind of mingles with the woody tastes of this puerh.  The profile feels more Wa Long now in the mid-profile with a bit of mild bitter coco in there.  Qi is nicely focusing.

The 10th infusion has a woody bitter coco onset with some honey and fruit underneath.  The sweet taste is less than the bitter coco woody forest taste.  The mouthfeeling has changed to a chalky slight tight feeling.  The pungent coolness is also stronger here.

The 11th infusion has a sunny bitter coco onset with nice smooth pungent coolness with hints of honey and fruit.  The candy finish is much less but still quite long.  The mouthfeeling is a stimulating but light tight chalky.  The aftertaste is developing a coco almost floral edge.  There is lots of depth and complexity here in the mid-session.

Things get terribly busy and I left to leave the tea table and step back in tomorrow…

The next day I do anther steeping and the overnight leaves give off a very fruity taste of grape with faint underlying coco.

I throw the rest into a mug and grandpa steep it for a while…

It gives off an oily vegetal icing sugar sweetness with moderate bitterness but less coco taste and a foresty pungent bitter sweetness.  The throat feeling is deep where a deep pungency lies but there is an overarching icing surgar very sweetness.  There is still a lot of stamina and depth left in these leaves that were mugged at the 13th steeping.

Overall, this is a really nice GuoyouLin for Wa Long.  I think it is priced really nice for what you get.  It changes quite a bit through the session which keeps you engaged.  It starts off as a very typical very high quality Yiwu type of GuoYouLin- very long candy sweetness uninterrupted in its long elegance with a slightly mood altering very calming and still feeling Qi.  I initially thought this was going to be one of those really typical expensive tasting pure long sweet elegant GuoYouLins.  Then it starts to slowly transform into a deeper and bitterer taste profile without fulling losing its long sweet elegance.  It gradually reveals its power while remaining very relaxing and calm.  Overall, this has a distinct Man Zhuan taste and feel and is a type of puerh I have very little of.  The price is quite good being that it kind of preforms a lot like a more expensive Yiwu GouYouLin initially then starts to reveal its power later.  In this way I think it might be nice to age as oppose to some other more one dementional GuoYouLin.  I still have not tapped into what this puerh does in the late sessions.

Vs 2020 Tea Encounter WaLong GuoYouLin.  The Tea Encounter has a more hazey feeling and downer Qi sensation.  It also has more stability over the infusions as well as more up front cherry sweet and bitterness.  In some ways it is stronger than the 2018 Puerist and more obviously WaLong.  The Puerist has much more elegance and evolves nicely throughout the session.  It also has more going on with the mouth and throat feeling is sweeter Man Zhuan through and through.



  1. Dementional? You or the tea Matt?

  2. I refer to this tea as a high quality Yiwu.. the differences I find in this tea are saline and bitterness compared to a "standard" Yiwu, and I really like these qualities.. (for example if you compare it to W2T's Queen of Clubs)

    I wouldn't know how to compare this to a Man Zhuan though, as I don't think I've had high quality examples of that area (the ones I tried were sweet and boring).
    I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    I hope Mark does more top grade puer in the near future :)

    1. twt_reddit,

      Thanks for both your recommendation as well as your honest assessment of this puerh.

      I kind of put this puerh as somewhere between These three ideas- High quality Man Zhuan gushu, my idea of Wa Long, and Yiwu Guoyoulin. I would agree with you that this is mostly of the higher quality Yiwu Guoyoulin which makes it of good value.

      I had a rather hasty session with this one and will look for the salinity next time.

      I am looking forward to more high quality but also am wondering what the bottom of the brand can offer for budget choices as well?


    2. I think he's a pretty solid choice for budget tea, at least the ones I've had from him were..

    3. twt_reddit,

      It turns out that the blind tasting of the dragon ball in the next review turned out to be his budget offering- the 2019 Puerist Naka. It is pretty good value considering how cheap it is. Definitely worth checking out for the budget minded out there.