2016 Yunnan Sourcing "Guo You Lin" Raw Pu-erh

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Pu Erh Tea Leaves
Flavors
Apricot, Bitter, Broth, Butter, Cherry, Cinnamon, Drying, Forest Floor, Herbs, Honey, Menthol, Metallic, Nutty, Osmanthus, Raisins, Round , Smoke, Smooth, Stonefruit, Tobacco, Umami, Violet, Walnut, Alcohol, Astringent, Char, Citrus, Cream, Fish Broth, Lemongrass, Milk, Mineral, Red Wine, Sand, Spinach, Sweet, Warm Grass, Tea, Toasted Rice, Vegetal, Wood, Almond, Custard, Roasted Nuts, Spicy, Tart, Floral, Sweet, Thick, Creamy, Roasted, Vanilla, Flowers, Green Wood, Herbaceous, Melon, Mushrooms, Peas, Pine
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Bulk
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 oz / 102 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Autumn harvest from a state protected forest in the Yiwu mountains. The sample I have is from just outside the beenghole and has a moderate to tight compression. It smells sweet and cool like an...” Read full tasting note
  • “After my third session with this tea, I can say that its cha qi is phenomenal. At first, we tend to enter into a dreamy realm, followed by a relaxed atmosphere and superb mind clarity. The profile...” Read full tasting note
    95
  • “Time for another Yiwu. Much like the Man Lin I reviewed a week ago, I actually have a cake of this, but it’s aging at the bottom of my pumidor and so I went ahead and ordered a ten gram sample just...” Read full tasting note
  • “After months of looking for part time work, today I landed a cashier job at my local Home Depot in the garden department. This calls for celebration tea! The obvious choice was to break into my...” Read full tasting note
    98

From Yunnan Sourcing

Guo You Lin 国有林 (lit. State Protected Forest) is a small area between Yi Wu town and Mengla town in the Yi Wu Mountains at an elevation of 1650 meters that is protected forest and is an animal reserve. In the early 1990’s there was a small village in the forest, but were made to leave by the government when they set up the protected forest resevere there. As part of the relocation deal the Mengla County government made a deal with local villagers allowing them to pick tea twice a year for 10 days each harvest. The rest of the year tea cannot be picked. No roads in or out of this area. Very biologically diverse with lots of plants and animals, not to mention old tea trees growing naturally.

Our offering is an Autumn Harvest pick, the spring tea of this year was very good but astronomically expensive. Don’t think for a second that this Autumn tea is lacking! It’s very powerful both in taste and cha qi. There is a deep and complex “yun wei” and the tea seems to take on a life of its own in the mouth and throat. This is an incredibly unique large leaf style assamica tea that will impress even the most discriminating sheng aficionado!

This tea was compressed in a small tea factory in Yi Wu town where unusually large 40 kilogram stone presses were used. Low temperature (35C) “baking” was used to dry these cakes after the compression process thus preserving their integrity! In total just 10 kilograms of this tea has been produced. We have delayed sales of this cake for more than 4 weeks to allow the water vapor from pressing to dissipate. Further ageing will only improve this wonderful tea!

Just 10 kilos in total produced!

250 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo tong)

This tea has been tested in a certified laboratory and has passed the MRL limits for pesticide residues as established by the EU Food and Safety commission.

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

Company description not available.

6 Tasting Notes

1105 tasting notes

Autumn harvest from a state protected forest in the Yiwu mountains.

The sample I have is from just outside the beenghole and has a moderate to tight compression. It smells sweet and cool like an alpine forest with a strong note of baked stonefruits and raisins. The warmed leaf is intensely sweet, same baked stonefruits and now I pick up cherry. A cool undercurrent lies beneath. I gave a rinse and let the leaf steam for several minutes to loosen the compression. Notes of apricot, forest floor, cinnnamon, menthol, pungent herbs and a hint of smoke present. The rinse color is a glowing harvest gold.

The taste is initially somewhat alkaline bitter, umami and nutty, buttery stonefruits with some restrained sweetness. It’s very smooth and round, heavy and light at the same time. Pure osmanthus aftertaste. A cooling sensation grows from a vague feeling in the chest upward along the whole throat and into the mouth. I sit. A wave of sleepiness washes over me. My note for the second steep says only ‘subdued strength.’ I lie down. I can feel the energy in my teeth, electric chatter. My senses are heightened and I’m picking up things I normally wouldn’t, unlike some sheng that seem to gently mute my perception. Can’t describe the feeling well but it feels like coming down from a day trip. I fall asleep mid-afternoon, a bit after the second steep.

The next day, the liquor is like broth, a tone of honeyed apricot juice mixed with walnuts and tobacco, slightly metallic. This character, along with a drying and strong violet aftertaste and returning sweetness, persists throughout the remaining infusions, fading gradually. The spent leaf reveals some of the fattest stems I’ve ever seen.

The tea speaks for itself and is more complex than I can convey. I hope to provide a more comprehensive note next time. Recommended to the experienced. I don’t think a person new to sheng would fully grasp what’s going on here, much like myself. However! that doesn’t mean that only experienced drinkers would gain great satisfaction from these leaves.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Broth, Butter, Cherry, Cinnamon, Drying, Forest Floor, Herbs, Honey, Menthol, Metallic, Nutty, Osmanthus, Raisins, Round , Smoke, Smooth, Stonefruit, Tobacco, Umami, Violet, Walnut

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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95
702 tasting notes

After my third session with this tea, I can say that its cha qi is phenomenal. At first, we tend to enter into a dreamy realm, followed by a relaxed atmosphere and superb mind clarity.

The profile hasn’t changed much in the last year, I find it a bit sweeter though. There is also a more pronounced apricot flavour.

Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQtW4BRLQro

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Honey, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
derk

I look forward to your future notes for this tea. I’d like to see how the ‘baking’ as YS calls it effects the transformation.

mrmopar

I can’t say I have heard good things about baking puerh. I think it is Oolong style and won’t age as puerh is supposed to do.I think it is a drink now type of tea process.

Togo

I am pretty sure the baking the description is referring to has little to do with roasting that oolongs can go through. It’s just an alternative term for drying that all cakes have to undertake after pressing due to the humidity they acquire through the steaming involved. As far as I know, this can be done at ambient temperature or slightly higher. The latter may be especially useful when a pressing factory needs to increase their output at the end of the spring harvest in particular. I am not exactly sure how big of a difference does it make to dry cakes at 25C vs 35C, but I would be surprised if it had significant effect on the aging prospects, those are not temperatures that ought to be harmful to the bacteria present.

mrmopar

Yeah that isn’t that high of a temp. I think a lot of this type drying has been done in the last few years. I guess a few years down the road we will know how this affects the tea.

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117 tasting notes

Time for another Yiwu. Much like the Man Lin I reviewed a week ago, I actually have a cake of this, but it’s aging at the bottom of my pumidor and so I went ahead and ordered a ten gram sample just for this session. The sample I received was pretty much just straight mao cha. The tin foil it came in was covered entirely in tiny hairs off of the leaves.

I brewed the entire sample in a 140ml gaiwan. After a brief sub-five second rinse, I tasted the wash while I let the moisture soak in for five minutes or so. The rinse was shockingly strong and astringent for just the briefest of washes. The tea was also very oily. The rinsed leaves had the smell of a seafood buffet. For the rest of the session this transformed into the scent of soured milk.

I followed the rinse with a total of ten steeps, the timing for these being 5s, 5s, 5s, 7s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s and 75s. The tea opened strong. The body was full and creamy and the taste also a bit creamy, but there was also an interesting sort of roasted note or something of that description. The steep that followed greeted you with a strong initial burst of astringency which however faded in a matter of seconds. The broth continued brewing up strong and oily.

I stuck to a flash brew for the third steep, which turned out to be the right call, because the strength was barely a notch lighter. It displayed the same fleeting astringency from before and coated your mouth and throat with its oiliness. In its wake, the tea left a sensation of softness in your mouth, accompanied by gentle sweetness. I could feel the tea in my throat and at its entrance there was a slight tingling sensation that made you want to keep drinking more.

The tea pushed on strong and oily in the fourth steep. There was now a perhaps more mineral taste that turned to sweetness. In addition there was a wonderful bitterness that titillated your palate in just the right way. The tea could be felt in your throat and chest, reaching all the way down to the end of the esophagus.

Steep five presented a really wonderful mixture of bitterness and astringency which rewarded you with some sweetness. The next infusion continued being really full and oily in the mouth. The tea was thick. Really, really thick. The taste was bright and astringent. In the aftertaste there was very clear vanilla note. I could feel the tea around my jaw and the saliva in my cheeks tasted really sweet.

The seventh steeping was soft and oily and wonderfully sweet. I’m not talking of this steep specifically, but this is the kind of tea you could just keep drinking forever. I could still feel the tea in my jaw. At this point a small heatwave washed over me, which is just par for the course. The steep that followed is where the tea finally started thinning out and simplifying for the first time. The strength was still good and the taste a mixture of sweetness and astringency which both went away within a few seconds.

Infusion nine is where the flavors began to fade while the astringency started creeping up. There were still some hints of oiliness left and the body was decent. Steep ten is the last one I did. The body was thinner and the taste a mixture of sweetness, astringency and bitterness. The tea wasn’t bad, but I wanted to end a good session on a high note so I decided to call it there just to be safe. It’s possible the tea had more left to give, but I didn’t wanna risk it.

In my notes for the 2016 Man Lin, I explained my rocky history with Yiwu teas. After the Man Lin turned out so great, I was sure my luck’d run out and didn’t dare to hold too high expectation for this one. I’m glad I was wrong, because this was flat out one of the best teas I’ve had, perhaps the best. While the first couple initial brews were interesting, at that point it was hard to gauge where the tea was going, but once it got going, it just kept getting better and better and I was sold. Whereas the Man Lin is an excellent tea in its own right and very yummy and approachable, the Guo You Lin is more demanding and challenging. I doubt people new to pu’er would be able to appreciate it to its fullest. While the Man Lin is very tasty, Guo You Lin is more of a complete experience that involves your body and other senses.

All that being said, I drank this tea together with my mother who, although not a tea connoisseur, has been drinking tea with me about once a week for over a year now, and she like me loved the tea and said she could drink this every day. She in particular loved the throat feel and the bitterness and astringency in this tea. You most certainly don’t have to be some sort of master to appreciate this tea, but you should definitely work your way up to teas of this caliber.

The astringency in this tea is interesting. I am familiar with bitterness that quickly transforms into something else, but astringency that does that is a new one for me. The astringency and bitterness in this tea are very enjoyable and never abrasive or persistent. They are also integral to the overall experience. Appreciation of these two things would be recommended before trying to tackle this tea. If you can enjoy teas like Mang Fei, you are golden.

Is this tea worth the price? At $0.52/g this tea is not only worth it but a bargain. In my experience, spring teas of roughly this vintage that offer this level of quality can easily cost close to twice as much. I’m not saying you can’t find really good spring teas around this price point, but if you are trying to match this tea, you are more likely to end up paying more.

So any cons? None that I can think of… I’m not sure if I got any qi, but with a tea this strong and this much body sensation, I’m not really looking for an additional layer of input. This tea is perfectly ready to be drunk and enjoyed now, but the aging potential is also intriguing. I can’t recommend this tea any more highly and the artwork is fantastic.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Creamy, Mineral, Roasted, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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98
318 tasting notes

After months of looking for part time work, today I landed a cashier job at my local Home Depot in the garden department. This calls for celebration tea! The obvious choice was to break into my sample of the pricey wild grown Guo You Lin Yiwu from YS.

The leaves in my sample are medium sized and fairly broken up. Using 5g in my 90mL jian shui pot, this tea brews a medium yellow and is quite potent. I’m immediately hit by the thickness and aroma of the broth. It’s super thick and coats the mouth and throat with bittersweetness and wildflower aroma. The flavor is shitake mushroom with honey, pine, green wood, wild flowers, and steamed vegetables. As I brew it out I begin to notice the qi, first in my head and then in my chest and arms. Nothing stonerific, but nice calming, tingly sensations. Five grams lasts my whole 1L kettle.

This is a very nice and potent young sheng. Worth the price tag? Maybe not for me; it’s really high quality, but just doesn’t have enough “special” to it for a tea with such a big price tag. Very glad to have tried it though, and happy to have had it for a celebration tea.

Flavors: Flowers, Green Wood, Herbaceous, Honey, Melon, Mushrooms, Peas, Pine, Umami

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
looseTman

Congrats!

apefuzz

Enjoy your celebration and your new job!

mrmopar

Congrats to you brother!

Fjellrev

Right on, congratulations!

tperez

Thanks guys!

tanluwils

Congrats on the new job! Now you can use all your income on tea just like me! :)

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