Spring 2020 Dong Guo

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Bitter Melon, Citrus Fruits, Citrus Zest, Fennel Seed, Grapefruit, Maple Syrup, Sugarcane
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by J-P
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 oz / 75 ml

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  • “This is the first tea I’ve tried from William ‘Famer-Leaf’ of Youtube fame. So I have some high hopes! The leaves come apart easily when I prod it with my pick from the edge. It’s simple to grab...” Read full tasting note
    80

From Farmerleaf

Spring 2020, picked from big trees

Intense high-pitched fragrance supported by robust sweetness

Dong Guo is located on the Western Mountain of Mengku, halfway between Xiao Hu Sai and Bingdao. The place is covered in tea gardens growing between 1500m and 2000m of altitude.

dong guo tea gardens

A first glance at the village shows large factories which process tea in big machines. It seems the area specialized in making cheap high altitude tea to supply the large tea companies of Mengku. Fortunately, we found a very special producer who was among the few not having machines. The processing is made in woks and the factory looked very professional, despite its small size.

Like in other villages of Mengku, some farmers decide to open their own small workshop and sell high quality tea to small buyers instead of selling their fresh leaves to the larger processing units. Here, they used the best leaves available from the few older gardens cultivated in Dong Guo.

dong guo village in mengku

We are happy to offer this tea which highlights the potential of this area. Unlike Bingdao and Xiao Hu Sai, Dong Guo has no prestige, you only pay for the tea here. Yet their good material won’t be on par with the famous places if it’s processed in a big machine.

Close to this large village is a small hamlet called Mo Lie. This one has become famous and expensive in the past years. Despite the close distance, the price difference is fourfold.

We decided to settle on the cheaper option with a good processing, and the result is very satisfying. You will find a lot of qualities to this tea. It is on the aggressive side, it’s a tea that will grab your palate and fill it with high-pitched fragrance, a moderate bitterness and plenty of sweetness. A tasting profile different from Bingdao and Xiao Hu Sai which show how diverse Mengku tea can be.

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1 Tasting Note

80
23 tasting notes

This is the first tea I’ve tried from William ‘Famer-Leaf’ of Youtube fame. So I have some high hopes!

The leaves come apart easily when I prod it with my pick from the edge. It’s simple to grab about 4 grams of whole leaves. I’m just sampling this right now, so I’m using a 75ml porcelain Gaiwan and boiling spring water.

Initially, it tastes very ‘green’. Kind of like a bitter sencha whack (which makes me a bit worried, I’m not expecting sencha flavours). It’s a rounded flavour note. Bitter without being astringent at the start.

It definitely makes you sweat and it has a bit of body to it. Not ‘thick’ or particularly ‘oily’. The soup is pale yellow with a slight green hint. Mouthfeel is pleasantly soft.

By the third steep I’m tasting the dry subtle tartness of asian Pomelo fruit and maybe grapefruit-seed oil. Bitterness is getting stronger and slight astringency. So I take a swig of fresh water.

The lid smells like citrus rind.

Boom. With the fresh water comes sweetness. Sweet like sugarcane syrup all the way down my throat moving to a more buttery/golden syrup. It has a nice ‘lasting’ flavour on the tongue.

Later steeps and I’m in pomelo territory again but milder and a little sweeter, a bit more floral (orange blossoms). It has that bitter edge I like in a nice marmalade. It’s definitely in the pomelo territory, less the orange.

Nice. I’m going to have to give this more of a shot and play around with brewing parameters. So I won’t mark it as ‘recommended’ for now (which is a bit pointless, I think his stock is all sold out). I’ll put another note up once I’ve given it a few more tries. But this is a very solid first impression.

I’m a bit stuck though, the leaf smell is like a citrus hinted green tea. Which I didn’t expect at all from a young sheng (then again, I don’t drink that much young sheng).

Energy is strong though and I probably shouldn’t have tried this at 11pm.

I’ll mark this as 80 for now and I’ll revisit it over the weekend.

Flavors: Bitter Melon, Citrus Fruits, Citrus Zest, Fennel Seed, Grapefruit, Maple Syrup, Sugarcane

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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