2012 Man Mai Gushu Tea Tasting (Xin An Chu)

  • Last edited: October 5, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

I received some samples from Xin An Chu and wanted to taste one of them right away. The one I picked for today’s tea session was the 2012 Man Mai Gushu. The description on the website looked promising so that is why this is the first one I tried.

2012 Man Mai Gushu

This 2012 Man Mai gushu comes from the Mengsong area in Xishuangbanna. There are several ancient tea gardens in this area and Man Mai is one of them.

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The leaves were harvested and pressed into 200g cakes in 2012. It says on the website that the cake is quite hard to break, so that means it’s heavily compressed.

Tea Tasting

  • Water 99°C
  • 5.2g for a 120ml dicaoqing teapot

Dark brown leaves that are rather small and are tightly compressed. It’s quite difficult to break chunks into smaller pieces. The aroma has notes of dry wood and old leather. Once the leaves get wet, smoke pops up and something fresh as well.

2012 Man Mai Gushu Xi An Chu Tea Adventures

Infusion 1 (20 sec): smelling the wet leaves after the first infusion was a good idea. It’s a captivating aroma with notes of incense. I’m getting a minerality at the start of the infusion. It’s mild and subtle, but it feels gentle and smooth. The finish has something sweet to it.

Infusion 2 (25 sec): the colour is a bit darker as it’s a dark kind of gold. It feels so smooth and it flows well. It’s as if the liquor swallows itself and just flows. Enjoyable experience, but the flavours are not that intense. There are some hints of citrus, but definitely not intense. Incense pops up in the aftertaste and lingers for a while. Not too intense, but just right.

Infusion 3 (30 sec): colour is similar to the previous infusion. This one has incense right from the start and there is also a slight bitterness present. I usually don’t like bitter, but this one feels good. Once the initial flavours fade, citrus fruits pop up in the finish and linger for a while in the aftertaste. It’s fruity with a bitter twist; almost like grapefruit. Now I’m also starting to get a warming feeling in my chest.

Infusion 4 (35 sec): this one feels less bitter at the start and is fruity in combination with subtle notes of incense. This is present throughout the infusion and is also noticeable in the aftertaste. Definitely a nice infusion because the incense is nicely-balanced. I have drunk sheng in which the incense was too overpowering so you could not taste the other flavours. That is not the case in this one.

Infusion 5 (45 sec): some bitter edge at the start of the infusion and it gradually gets sweeter and fruitier towards the end. The initial bitter edge pops up in the aftertaste and adds a bitter twist to the sweetness. It lingers for quite a while.

Infusion 6 (60 sec): no bitterness at the start in this one. Gentle fruits enter my mouth when taking a sip and they slowly disappear towards the finish. The finish of this infusion feels a bit astringent.


Drinking this 2012 Man Mai Gushu was an enjoyable experience. I usually don’t go for teas that are bitter, but went for this one anyway. The bitterness was nicely balanced and worked well in combination with the other flavours.

It was a rather subtle tea, but there were some fruity notes and incense in some infusions. It wasn’t straight-up fruity like summer, but it was more like grapefruit. I could taste citrus fruits with a bitter edge. The changes within each infusion were noticeable as well. Some infusions started out on a bitter note and slowly got more mellow towards the finish.

If you want to try this 2012 Man Mai Gushu, click here.

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