Friday, August 13, 2021

2012 Essence of Tea Cloud Watching: Nice Dry Storage Gushu

I purchased a sample of this 2012 Essence of Tea CloudWatching ($298.00 for 357g cake or $0.83/g).  The dry leaves just looked too good to not try.  This find of David and Yingxi was released at the same time as their 2021 Spring release.

Dry leaves smell of faint dry leaves and cardboard.  Not too much here but an obvious clean dryness.

The first infusion has a watery paper, and dry wood bark initial taste with a faint taste of spice and faint cooling on the lips that comes with a faint white sugar edge.

The second infusion has a watery clear warm spicy peppery note initially that drifts into a faint cooling open throat with a retuning faint white sugar not that sweet taste.  The mouthfeeling has a bit of lip drying and very very mild light sandy coating.  Nice relaxing feeling as I sigh.

The third infusion has a viscus mushroom warm spice watery and clear onset with a deep faint cool open throat with some icing sugar finish.  There is a bit of mushroom and forest taste and spice left in the mouth.  The mouthfeeling is a very very faint dry sticky with dry lips- a very soft mouthfeeling.  The taste sort of lingers along.  Relaxing smoothness.

The fourth infusion has a honey mushroom forest taste initially with a bit of background warm spice.  It turns into a mild cooling open throat and a bit of faint sugar.  There is some forest mushroom in the aftertaste.  The mouthfeel is full but thin, slight drying lips, slight sticky tongue.  Relaxing and tranquil feeling… a bit spacy.

The fifth infusion has a chalky woody dry leaf mushroomy taste.  There is a cool throat with a woody dry with a bit of sugar almost camphor aftertaste.  Nice thin full mouthfeeling with a mushroom woody aftertaste.  Deep contemplative relaxing.

The 6th has a woody mushroom cooling camphor with thin sugar taste.  There is a subtle foresty complexity in the dry leaf, dry woody, mushroomy, forest thing.  Nice full mouthfeeling. 

7th is left to cool and gives off a camphor cool woody dry leaf mushroom taste that turns into a not that sweet honey-sugar sweetness on the breath.  Thin full moufeeling without any throat involvement.  An open throat with some subtle coolness and brings a returning sweetness of mushrooms and honey and white sugar.  The tastes are really crisp and clean.

8th infusion is left to cool and has a woody cooling camphor with some faint honey mushroom sugar mild sweetness returning.  There are some bread tastes in there as well.  The mouthfeeling is really full sticky taste.  Nice relaxing Qi.  Strongly puts me at ease.

9th has a creamy bready woody mushroom forest onset with faint cooling throat and returning sugary mild sweetness, forest-mushroom.  Nice thin full sticky mouthcoating that is a bit dry and grainy and dry lips.  Nice relaxing calm.

10th has a mushroom almost faint bitter sweet fruit dry wood.  There is a dry woody-mushroom bread creamy very faint sweet taste in the aftertaste.  This infusion starts to get a touch bitter but the others so far had no bitter or astringency.  The mouthfeeling also becomes more gripping here.  Nice spacy relaxed feeling.

11th is cooled down and has a mushroomy-forest almost fruity-honey sweetness.  There is just edges of bitterness and coolness and wood.  Full dry-sticky mouthfeeling.  Relaxing vibes.

12th has a bitter mushroom woody taste to it with some throat cooling and faint sweet honey.  The mouthfeeling has become quite gripping with the increase of bitterness honey tastes has also increased but lots of sutlites of taste are lost.

I run out of time in my day and mug steep out the rest but these leaves could easily be steeped at least a few more times.  The mug infusions reveal lots of flavor and complexity over a bitter backbone.  I like the flavours and feeling of what is left in the mug.

Overall, this is a really nicely dry stored Gushu type production.  The Jinghong dry storage really preserves the subtleties nicely. I like the interesting and tasty complex tastes which are at first subtle then dynamic especially the mushroom-honey taste create an interesting balance.  The session slowly builds in intensity as it goes.  In the end the bitterness and the mouthfeeling become stronger but the Qi reminds us that we are, in fact, quite relaxed.

I like this one a lot, maybe not enough to cake for this price, but my assessment is much closer to Alex’s than Shah8’s assessment of this puerh.

Alex’s (Teanotes) Tasting Notes

Shah8’s (B&B) Tasting Notes



  1. I wouldn't disagree with either of the two of you's reviews. We all just touched on different things.

    1. Shah8,

      I agree with your assessment also- three great tasting notes on this nice offering!

      Interesting that we all implied that it might be a bit overpriced for what it is.


  2. It's a tea well worth having, though. I would be happy to have it and drink it. You just have lots of similar choices for less. For some, it's not such a big deal to overpay.

  3. What similar choices for less would you recommend?