Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Ranked! Western Puerh Vendor’s 2020/2019 Yiwu GuoYouLin Productions

This year I had unprecedented access to my favorite western puerh vendors Yiwu area Guoyoulin productions.  Some of these I had purchased samples or sample cakes but most I was given a free sample for review.  An interesting point is that a lot are at the $1.20-$1.25/g price range so they are easy to compare.  However, the ranking is simply the productions I liked best and the ranking below is regardless of price.  So, some of the lesser priced items, if ranked for value, could be a bit higher ranking.

1-      2020 Essence of Tea Tian Men Shan GaoGan ($1.20/g) is all about the very interesting, unique, Qi experience as explained in my initial post, it also has solid and unique flavours and mouth- and throatfeeling.  There is both an evolution of taste within each slurp as well as a wider change throughout the session.  The mouthfeeling also changes in the mouth as you swallow which is not as common.  I think this overall packaged would be hard to come by at a cheaper price especially for fresh puerh. This will give you an idea of why TianMenShan is so famous these days.  This is also the only of the list which I re-ordered.

2-      2019 white2tea Is A Gift ($1.25/g) cake sampled this one and really liked it.  It has very insanely good leaf quality as evident from the small varietal, likely Yibang leaves.  It is processed very very green and has a powerfully bitter approach.  Its weak spots are not enough nuance of flavor althought the floral creamy buttery nuances are quite nice.  The aftertaste abd throatfeeling are also a bit weak.  It has some really powerful Qi in there and great stamina.  I really like this one because Qi and stamina are what I value most, but feel like it was not flawless and had a few issues that prevented me from re-ordering. Recommend trying it.

3-      2019 Essence of Tea Yao Zhu Di ($1.10/g) is the best pure and true Yiwu Gouyoulin out of list and has a very honest and straightforward Yiwu guoyoulin profile.  Flavours of a long pure uninterrupted and deeply expansive sweetness with a quick arriving but long arch of cool pungency.  It goes over very nicely.   It is also something that can be both pushed hard or enjoyed light- either experience is a very nice one. A happy and rejuvenating energy to it.  It’s also one of the cheapest on this list.  This yiwu guoyoulin is very full and satisfying to me just maybe not enough to re-order… maybe.

4-      2020 Tea Encounter Guafengzhai Gushu Chaping (not yet released) has a very solid Guafengzhai profile of complex and more than usual sweetness of typical guafengzhai tastes that we all love.  With a nice stimulating feeling at the back of the throat and tongue and a nice happy and deeply energizing then relaxing Qi profile.  This one has some great, unique bodyfeeling as well.  If it’s priced on the lower end of my price prediction on my post, I might be tempted to buy one.

5-      2020 Tea Encounter Wan Gong GuoYouLin ($1.21/g) is all about the big, mind stopping spaced out, contemplative Qi sensations!  Deep penetrating gushu menthol taste and throatfeeling with lots of subtle change of flavours as the session progresses.  Weakest point is the stamina.  Overall I really like this one!

6-      2020 white2tea Is A Gift ($1.25/g) is a solid above average Yibang which I quite enjoy.  It has some strength behind it and a very satisfying aftertaste.  The taste peaks slowly and has above average stamina.  Qi is warming and euphoric.  Seems more processed than the 2019 above and is a more balanced experience while still nicely standing out.  I like the contrast from the 2019 and cake sampled this one.

7-      2020 Essence of Tea Lao Jie Zi ($1.59/g) has a solid stereotypical unwavering mansa smoothness to it and preforms better at the end of the session.  Most aspects of this pureh are quite mellow.  Even when pushed hard it is steadfast in its soft smooth character.  It can be a bit hard on the stomach early in the session.

8-      2020 Tea Encounter Wa Long GuoYouLin ($0.65/g) is very stable throughout the session but engaging with flavours of bitter astringency and tart cherries and creamy sweetness.  There is an interesting but not push over smoothness to it.  Qi is low-moderate and has a hazy, relaxing, sleepy quality to it.

Overall, all of these Yiwu are good.  I can see some people who like something more smooth and elegant with less disruptive Qi to put some of the productions I listed at the bottom of my list at the top of theirs!  This speaks to the quality of all of these offerings.  Of note, is the solid showing by the Essence of Tea which leads me to believe that this might be their best year of production to date.  Also of note is that Tea Encounter has started pressing higher quality Guoyoulin productions that are competitive with the offerings from white2tea and The Essence of Tea.

*It should also be noted that Paul of white2tea doesn’t state weather his products are gushu or guoyoulin but I added white2tea Is A Gift productions in the list because they fit this price point and are likely gushu or potentially Guoyoulin Guoyoulin productions.  Besides, I just really like them.  It is widely understood that the sold out, but very expensive, white2tea Unicorn is yiwu gushu or guoyoulin.


2019 YS production (didn’t release Guoyoulin)



Peter Robertson said...


I think it would be "ranked" rather than "raked".

Just a thought!

Matt said...

Peter Robrtson,

Thanks. You are the first view- got it early!


Tuo Cha Tea said...

The Number 3 Yao Zhu Di has a newer production (2020) available and according to David it is better than the 2019 one.

Craig said...

I’m new to drinking puer, but I have sampled extensively (and I mean extensively!) over these past few months. Good to know we’re on the same page here, as your no. 1 and 2 ranked teas are the only teas that I have purchased multiple cakes of after all of my sampling.

Matt said...

Tuo Cha Tea,

Good to know. I will add to it to the “Omissions” until I try it, if the chance arises.

Someone with a lot of experience with them, What is your take on this years The Essence of Tea line up?

Nice to see you here as always!


Matt said...


I guess we have similar taste in puerh!

Your tummy must be getting quite the workout from the extensive sampling. Hahaha...

If you have anything to add to these notes feel free to share.


Natethesnake said...

Interestingly I found the Lao Jie Zi to have a similar but more deeply penetrating qi than the Tienmenshan. The early steeps were more foresty like a WanGong but after steep 4 resembled the TMS. Both excellent teas and I caked both.. May get a second TMS as the price is very reasonable for a tea of it’s caliber.

Matt said...


The Lao Jie Zi is a very good puerh and has a deeply penetrating and relaxing effect on the body and mind. I was doing some deep sighing while drinking this puerh as my mind unraveled. I really liked sampling it a lot. Not sure if I would spring for a cake for the price. I didn’t experience that forest Wan Gong at steep 4. At steep 4 mine was mainly bitter and astringent and hurt my stomach... I think my sample was a bit to roughed up maybe?

Compared to the Tian Men Shan which has more of an intense build then euphoric release. The end result of the build and release is more dramatic and had a longer effect on me throughout my day. I agree with you that the Tianmenshan is a better price for this experience.

These two are interesting to compare the qi experience for sure.

Thanks for your thoughts on these.


David (The Essence of Tea) said...

I'm a bit surprised at you finding the Lao Jie Zi bitter and astringent Matt. I'm on a similar page as Nate's tasting notes. For me it's the better tea for sure. Do you have enough for another tasting of it?

Glad you enjoyed the others though :) Thanks for the writeup

Matt said...


I seem to be offside with the tasting of Lao Jie Zi however I still enjoyed it a lot. You can see in my tasting notes that the bitter astringent was there in the early mid session. My notes seem to be the only I read with these harsher qualities.

In my notes and in the explanation I qualify it with the crushed sample pack. It look like Canada post might have had their way with these leaves. The package looked crumpled which is never the way your samples arrive to me and the leaf was loose and mainly broken. Unfortunately, I used the whole sample up. :(


David (The Essence of Tea) said...

Sorry to hear it arrived like that Matt. Remind me next time you order and I'll pop a little in for you :)