Nowadays, I tend to avoid young and fresher teas as much as possible and that’s why I’m on a shou puerh streak right now. It tastes better in this cold and rainy weather, so that’s what I’m drinking today: the 2001 XY Yiwu Gushu Shu Puerh from Lao Tea Shop. This was a free sample that I got a few weeks ago.
2001 XY Yiwu Gushu Shu Puerh
This tea was commissioned by Ye Bing Huai, who is the man behind the XY label. I had never heard of this man so I did some research and found out he is/was a Guangzhou tea collector and distributor. Apparently, he is specialised in blending Yiwu material into some pretty good cakes. There are a lot of other teas from the XY label (so Ye Bing Huai commissioned them) and some of them were produced by Xiaguan Tea Factory.
The 2001 XY Yiwu Gushu Shu Puerh is made from arbour trees that were harvested in 2001. After processing, the leaves were stored as maocha for 2 years and were pressed into cakes in 2003. The thing that struck me is that the material comes from arbor trees, while the name suggests that it’s gushu material… I might be wrong here, but I thought those were definitely not the same…
- Water 99°C
- 5g for a Factory 2 (late 90s) zini teapot
The leaves have a dark brown colour. I mainly see stems (quite a few stems actually) and tightly compressed medium-sized and smaller leaves. There is a camphor aroma that is deep and warming.
Infusion 1 (20 sec): the colour is an orange-brown, which resembles the colour of the leaves in autumn. It’s sweet, but that might be because of my tetsubin. I’m getting a slight hint of camphor and the liquor looks thick. It really coats my mouth and throat in particular. There is a pleasant camphor aftertaste.
Infusion 2 (25 sec): the colour is darker but not completely black. The sweetness in combination with camphor works well. Overall, the flavours are rather subtle, but the liquor is really thick.
Infusion 3 (30 sec): now it really looks like coffee. There are traces of sweet berries that flow through the infusion into the aftertaste. It’s sweet and this sweetness sticks to my throat. There are also some hints of camphor in the finish and aftertaste. To top it off, there are traces of bitter and dark chocolate.
Infusion 4 (40 sec): more of the same berry sweetness with a bitter touch of very dark chocolate. There is also a camphor undertone throughout the infusion and definitely in the aftertaste.
Infusion 5 (50 sec): it’s still really dark. The sweet berries have diminished a bit and I feel the dark chocolate has increased. The finish and aftertaste are a combination of camphor and a bitter edge.
Infusion 6 (long): the dark chocolate edge is gone and it’s sweet camphor right from the start. The finish and aftertaste are full of camphor and there is also a sweetness that grips my throat.
Infusion 7 (long): it’s losing a bit of its body, but the camphor is still going strong. Especially in the finish and aftertaste.
Infusion 8 (long): the flavours are starting to fade. I’m still getting a sweetness and camphor pops up in the aftertaste.
I was pleasantly surprised by the 2001 XY Yiwu Gushu Shu Puerh and by the longevity of it. It was so sweet and the sweetness really stuck to my throat. Camphor was always present but really showed itself in the finish and in the long-lasting aftertaste.
It had been a while since I tasted a shou puerh with such prominent camphor notes. Really good tea, especially to start a cold day.
If you want to buy this tea, click here.