2021 Longdui Guoyoulin Half-Cake Set
This tasting set of two half-cakes was designed in collaboration with Mr. Chen Youquan of Biyun Hao. Both halves consist of exactly 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 halves is in the rounian, i.e. the rolling step in puerh processing. One half has the normal level of rolling used by Biyun Hao in their other productions such as the Lishan Gongcha 2015. The other half has much stronger rolling as was customary in earlier Yiwu productions, before the gushu craze of the 2000s. We have included photos of the fresh leaves from Longdui together with the resulting maocha: the darker maocha has received the stronger rolling treatment. This half-cake set is a good opportunity to experience the effect that rolling (rounian) has on a high quality Yiwu gushu production.
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.
Two Half-Cakes, approximate total weight 350g