This is the third year in a row that Tea Encounter has produced this xiaoshu, small bush, Gua Feng Zhai (the 2019 and 2020 were pressed from the same batch of 2019 Maocha). It was a good one especially for its price. This 2021 Tea Encounter Guafengzhai was given as a free sample for review but usually goes for a crazy cheap $68.69 for 250 g cake or $0.27/g.
The dry leaves smell of peppery sweet delicious fresh forest and barnyard odours… complex smelling…
The first infusion has a pungent/peppery onset with a creamy forest-barnyard with a faint cooling and subtle woody sweetness. The tastes gloss over a watery and mildly lubricating mouthfeeling. The aftertaste is mainly a foresty-barnyard- pungent that fades out in the mouth.
The second infusion has a robustly peppery pungent forest barnyard onset that has a subtle coolness then a woody almost dryness in the upper throat. The mouthfeel is mossy with a subtle upper throat simulation. The aftertaste is a more pungent peppery foresty fade out. The infusion has a bit of salty tastes and almost a faint pasty dryness to the mouth. The Qi congregates in the chest, races the heart a bit and provides an expansive mind feeling with a clear alertness.
The third infusion comes with pungent peppery force and an almost melon sweetness there is a woody taste, foresty-pungent-barnyard taste with a cooling upper throat and mouth. Very pungent tasting with layers of spicy coolness and warmer peppery spices. There is a melon sweetness that starts to emerge from more salty and a lot of spicy tastes. There is pasty mouthfeeling and upper-mid throat stimulating feeling. The Qi is mildly euphoric and expansive and races the Heart and brings a stern clarity. There is lots going on with this puerh… all good and complex thingys- mouthfeelings, Qi sensations, bodyfeelings, taste, aroma, … so good … tastes blended possibly or from a wide area of Guafengzhai or of layered processing… nicely complex for sure.
The fourth infusion has a spicy peppery pungent onset with forest barnyard and wood. The taste imparts a strong cooling then a classic returning melon sweetness under layers of spicy cool and warm spice which stays strong throughout. There is an upper throat stimulation thing happening with a very full pasty chalky mouthfeeling and gob of saliva producing. The Qi is euphoric with a strong alerting and Heart racing, slightly warming and some face tingling sensations. The concentrated aroma and taste and strong Qi and bodyfeeling- so good!
The fifth infusion has a woody pungent forest barnyard onset with a creamy melon finish. Over a chalky full mouthfeeling and simulating upper throat. There is a cooling then a returning creamy melon finish. Big chest Heart feeling, alerted mind racing, some face tingling, energetic. With no bitter or astringency this puerh also feels nice on the body.
The sixth infusion is left to cool and is quite sweet with a tropical fruity banana onset with notes of forest pungent coolness in the mid profile. A long cool melon and tropical fruits finishes. With a stronger chest and Heart feeling with strong alertness.
The seventh infusion has a condensed woody, banana, peppery, pungent coolness with a returning sweetness of woody and tropical fruits. There is a salty, spicy and sweet combination here which is quite complex and seems like it must be blended. I look into the pot and see lots of dark olive leaf mixed with lots of lime green clolours. Could be a blend of different processing as well? Its very satisfying to me. Strong Heart racing and face tingling are interesting and paired with the strong energy push this puerh packs a punch. The mouthfeeling is also quite thick chalky with some saliva returning and upper throat simulation.
The eighth infusion is left to cool and finishes really sweet with a tropical fruity full flavoured taste. Nice sweet pops of flavor with a returning mouthfeeling that pushes a saliva taste of creamy rich sweetness banana tropics. The mouthfeeling remains thick throughout- a chalky pasty sticky throughout. Nice energetic Qi. A bit of upper throat simulation.
Day got crazy and I’m headed back for the 9th infusion the next day…
The 9th has a thick melon onset over a lubricating mouthfeeling. There is a nice dense flavor to this puerh- a beefy Guafengzhi type of thing. The mouthfeeling is pasty chalky and full and the finish is slight cool with dense fruity oily finish in the mouth. The Qi is energetic and alerting.
The 10th infusion has a thick oily melon sweetness with slight bready onset there is some faint woody and foresty-pungent tastes in there as well. There is a thick pasty mouthfeeling and some upper throat simulation and mild saliva returning. The aftertaste is kind of pungent-barnyard forest and sort of melon sweet. There is a cool throat feelng minutes later. A strong alerting energy with some haziness and face tingling.
The 11th infusion has a woody profile throughout with melon sweet onset with a puckering woody forest and pungent underbelly. There is more puckering and astringency here in this infusion and it brings out the woody aspects of this puerh. Strong alerting and slightly hypnotic energy now with some face tingling.
The 12th infusion has a woody taste with some subtle sweeter melon edges along with a pungent foresty taste. There is a bit of cooing then a bit more melon sweetness under a puckering woody taste in the mouth. Mouthfeeling is more puckering slightly and the taste becomes woodier now.
The 13th infusion has a woody sweet becoming a bit puckering slight grainy but still pretty flavourful taste. The taste is thinning a bit now it’s pretty much just the polarities of melon and wood with still nice throat stimulation and coolness with some fading melon wood finish. Astringency builds a bit here.
The 14th is a creamy woody pungent foresty onset that is predominantly woody and with a puckering astringency to it now. Some cool throat exists as well as faint melon breath…
The mug steeping of spent leaves pushes out very deep foresty pungent salty tastes that have a thick chalky oily texture and a long deep throat pungent coolness.
This is probably going to be the best 2021 puerh I try for this price or less. It punches way above its weight. Strong stoning Qi. Recommend.