Why does the Western puerh scene not value Youle area puerh compared to other Six Famous Mountain puerh? After blind sampling this 2010 Youle Gushu from TeasWeLike last Summer and really appreciating its complexities- I started to ponder this.
I guess some of the reason that Youle doesn’t get the respect it deserves in the West is because it was widely written off of as an area of “drink now puerh” by many Western puerh drinkers in the early days. I am as guilty of this as the rest! Some of my first exposures to Youle were examples from Douji that had a complex new style factory nuance to them but many more early Western puerh drinkers were influenced by Scott’s real delicious light Youle puerh. Even Scott seems to concede that he enjoys his Youle puerh when young. David of Essence of Tea seems to imply that this is simply due to a lack of old trees of high quality in the area. Maybe there isn’t enough interesting complex examples of Youle out there?
Another reason why Youle doesn’t seem to get the same respect in the West is because it isn’t commonly offered by Western puerh vendors. Not sure if this is a chicken-egg thing happening here ? but it seems to be true. The common idea that Youle puerh is better young than aged is perpetuated by fact that there have been so few Youle semi aged or aged puerh for sale by Western vendors over the years.
Anyways, it’s good to see more Western vendors selling Youle and even semi-aged and aged Youle. There is that one at TeasWeLike, Scott and Xiao Yao have 5 on their site- some more humid aged examples, a Gushu from Hailanghao, and the three of his own brand which I have tried. I look forward to sampling that 2021 from the Essence of Tea which is on its way. Also, Puerist has a few interesting Youle as well. I really do like to appreciate the qualities of a nice Youle even though I still have not cracked for a cake yet.
Expect to see some interesting young Youle in the next week or so on the blog as well as some samples from the Essence of Tea.