2020 Lao Jie Zi GaoGan

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From The Essence of Tea

Lao Jie Zi (老街子)is a piece of land in the protected forest near Yiwu’s Zhang Jia Wan village. It’s not so well known, but in recent years it has become difficult to get these leaves and the price has risen accordingly. The demand has a reason – the tea from this land is very good. As good, or better than any of the teas from more famous pieces of land in Yiwu that we’ve tasted.

This tea is pure – very clean and clear in taste, made from the tall pole trees growing in this area of the forest. It is extremely elegant, merging comfortably with the body and with a pleasant cooling sensation on the breath. The comparison with the Tian Men Shan and Yao Zhu Di teas we pressed this year is interesting – they each have slight differences in character that make each of them special.

The energy is very comfortable and the feeling of the forest is apparent in the tea.

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So EOT is offering 3 new Guyolin teas. 2 from 2020 and one from 2019. They recommend comparing the 3 here which I will do here. I blind bought a cake of the 2020 Tianmenshan because one of my favorite teas from last year came from that village in the form of dragon balls sold (bc there wasn’t enough material to cake) by Yiwu Mountain Tea and cost $2g, $1.50 on sale. The tea from EOT from this village this year is $1.20g so I took a gamble hoping they would be similar. They are. Same big oily tropical fruit and coconut oil notes, penetrating qi and both steep forever. The other new Guyolin is the 2019 Yao Zhu Di which has a balanced bitterness, nice balance between herbaceous notes and the signature Guyolin fruit notes. It has active grounding qi but to its detriment drops off rapidly after 6 steeps which is disappointing bc you want the session to go on twice as long. That tea is $1.10g and I would recommend it if it steeped longer…but…now for this tea…

This tea is a shapeshifting monster and the most expensive at $300 for a 200g cake. The first 2 steeps remind me of WanGong area border tea with big, potent evergreen forest notes and coconut oil thickness. From the 3rd steep onward this tea is almost identical to the tianmenshan with its big tropical fruitiness (I want to call it Manzhuan’s big sister). The qi is similar to the Tianmenshan as well but goes deeper. I can feel it in my bone marrow and it lasted most of the day. Not saying I regret buying the Tianmenshan cake instead of this because it’s an amazing tea but this offers everything it does and a bit more. Oh yeah and I lost count of the steeps. Not sure if I’ll cake this or not as the price is close to that of Chawangshu or Tongqingue which are my favorite gardens and I’m waiting to see if anyone releases teas from them this year before exhausting my tea budget but I am tempted. If you are a fan of the more attitudinal Yiwu teas, this is a must try.

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