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2019 Bulang Gushu / Wuliangshan Wild Tree Raw Pu Erh Tuo (250g)

2019 Bulang Gushu / Wuliangshan Wild Tree Raw Pu Erh Tuo (250g)

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April 17th, 2020

I'm getting some unexpected smoke from the tuo I have stored at home for testing: there's no aroma of smoke from the dry tuo, but it is evident in the liquor. I believe the tuo is now 'awake' and offgassing smoke (which it may lose entirely over time). The cha qi and kuwei are both excellent and there is lovely fruity character here as well, but the smoke is rather dominant at this time. If you are smoke averse, I would not suggest purchasing these tuos at this time!

November 23rd, 2019

I purchased eight of these tuos a month ago, and they've been down in my warehouse in Hong Kong for a few weeks now. My initial session with these tuos was somewhat disappointing when they arrived from Kunming, but after rehydrating and coming back to life in the warehouse (and at my home, since I took one home to try), the aroma and flavor from these tuos have opened up tremendously.

These tuos are a special production run from a large-volume authorized dealer for one of Yunnan's largest pu erh factories. The dealer has enough guanxi for the factory to be willing to press these tuos for them with material the dealer sourced themself! I was fortunate to be offered these for sale, and demand for these tuos has been immense. Almost all of these tuos are now sold. Based on demand for these tuos in the next few weeks, I may take the rest (and there really aren't many left at all). These tuos are sold wrapperless, but the tuo will come in a cotton-linen/plastic bag for storage, either in your pumidor, with a Boveda pack or in natural storage conditions.

The aroma from the tuo is sweet gushu wildflower: very enticing. The rinse smells sweet with some smoke to it, but almost none of the residual smoke from the kill green stage makes it into the cup. The lid of the gaiwan (I used a 150ml Dayi gaiwan to test this tea) smells of sweet intense wildflower with background smoke. 

The first infusion gave me sweet fruity blueberry and grape notes that reminded me of bubblegum, with a hint of smoke in the liquor. The tea is lightly bitter (unless you incorporate a large amount of dust, which I later discovered!) and has lovely umami. The cha qi from this tea is really excellent, especially if you're well rested (if you aren't, the profound calming effect tea can have may not be detectable).

I was surprised to get almond, cashew, date and cantaloupe in the aftertaste with this tea. There is also Assamica green tea character evident from the leaf, so I wonder if at least some of the material in these tuos was oxidized a la oolong and/or heated a little too high. Regardless, this is an excellent drinker now, and I think there is enough punch here for this tea to age well.

Even when I overbrewed this tea during my third attempt (using lots of dust), I could not elicit astringency from this material, even if it was much more bitter (dust infuses out much quicker). This is a great tea now, and I expect it to age well in the next few years! 

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