2021 Biyun Hao Longdui Guoyoulin (Strong Rounian)
In preparation for the 2021 season, and in collaboration with Mr. Chen Youquan of Biyun Hao, we commissioned two cakes made from the same early Spring (first week of April 2021) material from a single farm in Longdui, Yiwu, located on a mountain slope in a Gouyoulin state protected forest.
The difference between the two cakes is in the rounian, i.e. the rolling step in puerh processing. The standard version of the 2021 Longdui has the normal level of rolling used by Biyun Hao in their other productions such as the Lishan Gongcha 2015. The cake available on this page has significantly stronger rolling as was customary in earlier Yiwu productions, before the gushu craze of the 2000s.
Processing methods vary quite significantly among current small-scale producers of sheng puerh. The essential steps for traditional processing (manual wok-frying, rolling, sun-drying, and compression) must be present, of course, but the degree of frying, rolling and compression may be adjusted to the preference of the maker. There is a tendency, especially when dealing with expensive fresh leaves from old trees, or when targeting an easier drinking experience without the customary aging period, to adjust these parameters to reduce the bitterness and astringency as well as increase the aroma of the tea in the short term. The concern with these adjustments is that the overall depth and strength of the tea might suffer, and the long-term aging potential may be negatively affected.
Due to its small production and strong character, Mr. Chen normally uses Longdui to spearhead his gushu blends such as the 2015 Lishan Gongcha. This version of the 2021 Longdui, with stronger rounian, differs from the standard version in several ways. First, the leaves are slightly more broken down, with a small but significant percentage of leaf fragments. Second, it has a stronger and faster punch; it will show more bitterness more quickly than the standard version. Third, although the compression method was the same in both cases, this version seems to be more tightly bound together. We look forward to seeing how both versions develop with time.
Single 357g cake