I believe this is the same free sample that was recently sent to Shah8? I think its this 2016 Blue Mark Gua Feng Zhai that goes for $190 for 85g triangle or $2.24/g… crazy expensive… He said it was pressed from 2011 Gua Feng Zhai mao cha. I lost some of my more meticulous notes on this one. For some reason my PC couldn’t recover my detailed tasting notes on this one and I’m still drinking it on my tea table so I’ll provide a bit of a recap then go into the later steeps, I guess…
The dry leaves have a sweet forest like odour to them. The first handful of infusions show some nice signs of Gua Feng Zhai puerh with a melon-woody-bland initial even potato and bland wood taste. Deep throat opening with cooling. Sometimes its almost but not quite menthol. Soft mouthfeeling that is often a soft mossy but sometimes a faint touch sandy or sticky- but soft overall. There is sometimes a melon, sometimes a bit maple syrup, sometimes even a hints at caramel in the finish. Obvious single origin material- clear simple but enjoyable profile. Strong Qi so far with face tingles, heavy shoulders, Heart beats, a bit of warmth, Chest opening feeling and a euphoric feeling in the mind. I’m so far enjoying this experience. It’s very much Gua Feng Zhai!
I take it from the 9th infusion and the cup has cooled and it’s a nice refreshing melon taste. There is a lubricating mouthfeeling and cool deep throat. Some bland woody and melon left in the mouth. This puerh has passed its peak in taste now in the session. But still nice Qi with heavy shoulders, warming Qi and mild feel good.
10th has a woody melon pop in an oily texture. Nice woody creamy cooling deep throat sensation with sandy mossy mouthfeelng. There is some Heart beats and chest expanding feeling. Mild feel good energy now…
I mug steep out the rest…. Oh boy…. Some more technical issues… hahaha… lots my notes again… I remember it having nice woody mushroom foresty bitter coco notes in these long steepings with only edges of sweetness initially but a bit of melon taste in the finish. Nice deep throat cooling still. Still a stronger Qi presence. I had a really good day with this sample and really felt great afterwards. Some of the issues with lost data is probably due to me just feeling a bit of good old puerh euphoria. Overall, this is an enjoyable enough single estate Gua Feng Zhai!!!
Shah's opinion of pueruk....scathing!
Shah8 is direct "I don't like it"....Matt damns with faint praise "enjoyable enough".
Would be interesting to have Matt's view on price/quality.
CarlosHopontopofus & Peter,
Shah8 and I have a bit different opinions on this one but I think we would both agree that is not very good value.
My experience is a bit different to you the experts. Indeed, I doubt anyone is going argue this is good value. I bought a quarter because I was really curious and £160 wasn’t going to kill my finances. That was August. How things have changed in the space of a few weeks here in the banana republic of the United Kingdom. I’m still glad I did buy it. Kaleidoscopic aromatics encompassing beeswax, sweet wood and composting leaves. Refined depth of flavour, to my palate no bitterness, with a really nice point of intensity and persistent deep-throated cool breath.
I agree with your assessment on this puerh- I liked it a lot. didn’t get the negatives that Shah8 got. The small sample I reviewed was on quite a crazy day both with technical issues and just interruptions but it was a good experience for me despite this. Over $2.00 per gram is pretty heavy but it offers many characteristics of Guafengzhai I like. I won’t judge you for the purchase… but calling me an expert on the other hand… hahaha
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