[American Shipping] 2021 Autumn Laos Gushu Sheng Puer
One River Tea
Tea: 2021 Laos Green Tea (Sheng Puer 生普洱)
Type: Raw Puer
Harvest: September 2021
Press Date: October 2021
Region: Bankomen, Phongsali, Laos
Producer: Keosuyaping Family
The leaves for this tea are beautifully large and wild looking. There are a lot of stems in this loosely sorted tea, which should add good flavor and sweetness to the cake as it ages. The stems are large and thick as is characteristic of Gushu Puer. While this tea is called Laos Green Tea, instead of Sheng Puer, it comes from a few hundred year old (plus) garden located about 30km from the Yunnan border, is grown of the same tea tree varietal as is present in neighboring Yiwu, and processed in a method nearly identical to the way puer is made in Yunnan. Thus, the distinction between this tea and an old growth Yiwu comes more down to n arbitrary drawing of borders and perhaps less sophisticated processing methods.
The aroma off the wet leaves is thick, vegetal and sweet right off the bat. While the liquor can be a little cloudy in the rinse and the first few steeps, the trychomes present from the tea buds are a delight to see. After a few infusions, the aroma opens up to be heavily honied with spicy floral notes in the bouquet. While the brew is heavy on the tongue, there is a modest amount of bitterness present in the infusions, but on a whole, when consciously brewed, the tea leans more toward the dry, soft sweetness common to Yiwu raw puer teas. There is a strong undercurrent of rose and other flowers that lingers on the tongue after each sip, which we are excited to see develop and strengthen overtime. The aroma on the leaves and the empty cup is wonderful to observe as it opens up and develops throughout the session.
This tea is still very fresh (only harvested in September 2021), and will change a lot in the upcoming months to a year. It is however a joy to drink in its tender age. This tea is comprised exclusively of tea picked from gushu trees (ancient trees between 200 - 400 years old). We can say this confidently as we personally visited the village and their garden to confirm the size of their trees, the history of their family/village production, and the quality of their processing in January of 2020.
While many people in the puer world will blend gushu with younger tree material (to complement flavors and save on cost), this tea cake provides a rare opportunity to taste a pure gushu puer tea at a rather affordable cost (much less expensive this side of the border compared to a 200 gram cake of true Gushu Yiwu). As a result, the taste palate is distinct, and can taste much more smooth than a blended cake or an exclusive young tree cake.
As with all our sheng puer, we brew 6 grams in a 100-120ml gaiwan with water right off the boil.You can experiment with different water temperatures, cooler temps give the tea a little more sweetness, while higher temps bring our more mouthfeel. . Never bought a tea cake before?Check out our video on how to break it apart! . Check out the other teas offered by the Keosuyaping Family here!