New Teas from Lincang: Raw Puer, Gushu, Blends, Pure Bud White, Minis

Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu
Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu
Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu
Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu
Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu
Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu
Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu
Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu

Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu

One River Tea

Regular price $75.00 Sale

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Tea: Tropics 2023 Dong Guo Gushu Raw Puer 
Type: Raw Puer (生普洱)
Harvest: April 2023
Press Date: April 2024
Region: Dong Guo Village, Mengku, Lincang, Yunnan
2024 Tasting Notes: Mango, Sweet Corn, Lemon Cake, Rock Salt, Fresh Mint

Dong Guo Village is a lesser known village in the Mengku region of western Lincang, situated between Xiao Hu Sai and Mo Lie, they have a large amount of qiaomu and gushu with a unique rich terroir.  While we didn't like the overly astringent qiaomu (our friend straight-up told us that Dongguo qiaomu isn't worth pressing, and a few tastes made us agree) the gushu was rich, velvety, and luxurious, so we decided to press an entire 200 gram cake of their gushu. 

As the name implies, the fragrance off the fresh leaves is juicy and fruity, reminding us of ripe mangos and something meatier.  As the leaves open up, the fruit-juice heavy aromas give way to something more lightly vegetal.  We say lightly vegetal here as in fresh mint and spring grasses, nothing as heavy as stewed greens.  With a year already under its belt, the fragrances are already in the throes of transformation.

The brew is a rich gold that coats every corner of the mouth.  While a lot of pure gushu we have had sneaks to the back of the throat, the Dong Guo takes its time in the front of the mouth, the top of the tongue and even leaves the lips a little sweet.  This tea has layers that are very enjoyable to unpack during the session, the breaks between infusions leave the mouth salivating and the throat pleasantly sweet.  There is a good deal of minerality in the brew, which makes since as 2023 was a serious drought year.  

This tea already has a year of age on it compared to our other puer 2024 offerings, so it is a pleasant relief to this fresh spring heavy release.  With a year of age, this tea is already settling into itself showing its true colors for the long haul, while we could have pressed some 2024 gushu, the colors this 2023 is already showing was too good to pass up or risk pressing a fresh batch.

This tea was made by the Ma brothers, a new connection as of 2024, and we are so happy to know these kind and smiling tea makers.  Their core production facility is at the base of the mountain ridge, while they have a smaller household up on the steep slopes of the Dong Guo Village.  The village is located very close to Xiao Hu Sai, and while it is a little easier to access, it still feels very remote, with a lot of attention going to its more popular neighbors, Mo Lie and Bingdao.  While Mo Lie has the name of little Bingdao, Dongguo is singing to a tune of its own: layered and complex, with a quick bitterness that can leave a lasting huigan. 

We offer this tea in 25 gram samples (chunks lovingly pried off the cake), whole 100 gram cakes, and a set of 5 cake tongs wrapped in bamboo leaves and totaling 500 grams.

If you're interested in sampling this year's full flight of puer pressings, check out the Yunnan Flight, a set of 6 dragon balls from different regions each pressed in 7 gram balls for convenient brewing.

We recommend brewing this tea gongfu style in a gaiwan or Chinese teapot.  We use 6 grams of tea in a 100ml brewing vessel with boiling water, steeping 5 second for the first few infusions and adding 5 seconds after ever subsequent infusion.  Most of these puer teas can be re-infused over 15 times, when brewing in this gongfu style.

Curious about these Chinese puer tea terms, check out our growing appendix of Chinese - pinyin - English translated terms here.

Never bought a cake before, learn how to break it up with a tea pick on our YouTube.