2015 Yunnan Sourcing "Huang Shan Gu Shu" Old Arbor Raw

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Cut grass, Floral, Green Bell Peppers, Mineral, Mud, Nutty, Pleasantly Sour, Rice, Spicy, Sweet, Thick, Jasmine, Stonefruits, Vegetal, Honey, Creamy, Honeysuckle, Bell Pepper
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Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Ubacat
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 oz / 94 ml

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10 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is another cake I bought from boychik. At first impression (after first few infusions), it appeared to me to be quite muted in its complexity. I thought I will probably not be drinking too...” Read full tasting note
  • “As others have noted, this is a nice counter point to YS’s lovely Da Qing Gu Shu. Beautiful leaf that smells nice but not as amazing and floral as the Da Qing. Wet leaf is really vegetal/skunky...” Read full tasting note
    85
  • “I can see why some people rave about this tea. I think “pure” is an excellent descriptor. Personally i’d rather have the sweetness of the YS 2015 Wu Liang or the oiliness and fruit flavours of...” Read full tasting note
  • “Others have described the taste in precise detail – I just want to add one thing: I feel VERY good after drinking this tea.” Read full tasting note
    90

From Yunnan Sourcing

“Huang Shan Gu Shu” (lit. Yellow Mountain Old Tree) is a mountain in Jinggu County of Simao where 100-300 year old tea trees are growing. Huang Shan tea trees are Assamica varietal growing wild without intervention. Tea is harvested only twice a year, not 4 times a year like in many places. This gives the tea more strength, body, aroma and cha qi!

The brewed tea is pungent, full-bodied and with layered bitterness and sweetness mingling together. It can be steeped many time without losing steam. This tea is certainly good for aging and will be noticeably more delicious and textured as times passes.

April 2015 harvest

80 kilograms in total

400 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo tong)

Stone-Pressed in the traditional manner

This tea has been tested in a certified laboratory and has passed the MRL limits for pesticide residues as established by the EU Food and Safety commission. For more information about MRL testing and the EU Food and Safety commission click on this link.

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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10 Tasting Notes

358 tasting notes

This is another cake I bought from boychik. At first impression (after first few infusions), it appeared to me to be quite muted in its complexity. I thought I will probably not be drinking too much of it in the near future. However, the leaves went steeping on and on for a long time and by the end of the session, the tea presented its multi-faceted nature that wasn’t obvious at first. I ended up really enjoying especially the aftertaste and the qi. 

I totally agree with Scott’s description of the tea having layered bitterness and sweetness. There are several different kinds of bitterness cropping up at various stages of the session, none of which is overpowering. Early on, the bitterness is short while later it takes over the finish and at the very last steeps I can detect some further bitter notes in the aftertaste as well. The sweetness is very strong, especially in the aftertaste, which lasts for a long time. I also agree that the tea has a sort of pure/clean character. Astringency is present throughout, but never gets too strong. The body is full and the mouthfeel very thick and smooth. In the middle of the session it gets somewhat numbing too. Interestingly, the mouthfeel stays nice until the end of what ended up being a long session, which is definitely not the standard.

At this stage of the development of this tea, the aroma seems light and ill defined with fleeting notes of marsh and decaying grass. Taste of the tea starts of mineral, spicy and nutty, fairly muted overall as I mentioned already. It is fairly sweet, one flavour that particularly stood out to me as interesting was that of rice paper. Aftertaste is floral and very sweet, late in the session gets spicy and buttery as well. 

After the end of the session, I was left with an enormous evolving aftertaste with a very unusual character especially with its returning mineral and sour notes in the mouth. There is much more to it though, and rather than trying to discern all its nuances, I let myself be absorbed by it. To say that the tea ends on a high note would be an understatement, especially when paired with the strong and relaxing cha qi. I am glad I have a cake of this intriguing tea, as it’s quite different from my other teas and I look forward to getting to know it better in the future.

Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8b4-6E8zjA

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Cut grass, Floral, Green Bell Peppers, Mineral, Mud, Nutty, Pleasantly Sour, Rice, Spicy, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85
28 tasting notes

As others have noted, this is a nice counter point to YS’s lovely Da Qing Gu Shu. Beautiful leaf that smells nice but not as amazing and floral as the Da Qing. Wet leaf is really vegetal/skunky smelling (nobody else uses this word…perhaps tobacco is a better term)

Taste – This ones notes are more vegetal (brussel sprouts) although it is mostly noticeable in the first few steeps. It quickly shifts to the jasmine flowers followed by stone fruit aftertaste. The taste gets going super fast with 10-15 sec steeps. Astringency and bitterness are there but just the perfect amount.

Qi – Puts me in a great mood, good energy and relaxation. Just a good all rounder although nothing sticks out particularly and it’s not super strong Qi

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Stonefruits, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

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15 tasting notes

I can see why some people rave about this tea. I think “pure” is an excellent descriptor. Personally i’d rather have the sweetness of the YS 2015 Wu Liang or the oiliness and fruit flavours of 2014 Gua Feng Zhai for the price, but it’s still excellent.
Initially it starts quite light, with mild sweetness and astringency in nice balance. A honeyed floral sweetness is noticeable by steep 3, and also the astringency builds without being overpowering. It is both VERY refreshing, but also with a thick mouthfeel and long, sappy aftertaste, with some umami. The parallel lines of sweetness and astringency continue towards the 8th steep, with some vegetal notes too. I felt it needed big brews after than to keep the flavour profile going, but it did.
8g 2 rinses 10min rest, steeps 10 , 10, 15, 10, 15, 20, 25, 40, 60, 180

Flavors: Floral, Honey

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Kirkoneill1988

nice review! i really don’t drink sheng younger than 3 yrs. (other than once for review), as it can cause acid reflux

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90
1 tasting notes

Others have described the taste in precise detail – I just want to add one thing:
I feel VERY good after drinking this tea.

Preparation
4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML
tanluwils

My favorite quality of this tea is how it makes my body feel. Very restorative.

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90
32 tasting notes

Fantastic tea! This one makes me run back to the gaiwan. Energy overflows out of every cup. My heart is pounding and I am starting to sweat after just 3 steeps, now that’s power.
It tastes of green hay accompanied by mild bitterness. The mouthfeel after each cup is a testament to the power of this tea, as it remains for several minutes.
Each brew gets sweeter and sweeter. The wet leaves have a slight musty scent to them.

Preparation
Boiling
tea123

Ah, one of them ;)

Kirkoneill1988

i don’t think i tried a gu shu yet

tanluwils

Yep, this so far my favorite of Scott’s. I’m loving it right now, but I think this one will develop more texture with age. I might get a 3rd cake…

Oddly, I seem to be somewhat immune to its power as it tends to spread more evenly in my body than, say, Mengku shengs.

mrmopar

I have another week of pumidoring before I break this one out.

kevdog19

That is going to be one long week

mrmopar

Indeed. Actually about 4 days. I been marking the calendar.

tanluwils

Yeah, it was definitely a countdown for me before the water hit the leaves. I put it aside again for 2 weeks and there are already obvious improvements in mouth feel, cooling/numding, and floral sweetness.

mrmopar

It was worth the wait wasn’t it.

Rasseru

I really like this one as well – I want a cake but money is an issue right now!

mrmopar

My new ones are coming out soon. The pumi time is almost over.

Rasseru

what process is that – airing or moisture? im interested how it affects the flavour as some of mine are quite dry, and I think I might have preferred them a while ago, not sure if thats just my taste changing or not

mrmopar

I just try to let them re-hydrate a bit in the pumidor. I found that most need a bit of time to wake up after the shipping process. I try to give at least one week to them. For things that take a couple of months to get here about 2 weeks.

Rasseru

does it affect taste or more to stop turning to dust?

mrmopar

I think both. They normally brew better and the aromas are much nicer as well. They go from dry and cold to warm and happy. The microbes on it are alive as we are.

Kirkoneill1988

@kevdog19, have you tried Yunnan sourcing’s monthly tea club yet?

kevdog19

Microbes! Kirk… I am subscribed to Scott’s tea club. Big fan because I get the chance to sample pretty much all his pressings. Love the quality:price ratio that Scott represents with the YS brand.

tanluwils

@Mrmopar, I recently created my own pumidor and started increasing the humidity levels in my room too. I noticed marked improvements in all the young sheng I’ve tried since then. Perhaps Im not exposed to enough puer lit, bur this certainly should be written about and articulated more thoroughly.

Kirkoneill1988

@Kevdog19, awesome

mrmopar

Having them in a pumidor does wonders for them.

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142 tasting notes

Lovely tea! Dried leaf: intact, attractive shapes, and are easily pried off the cake with a lovely floral fragrance. Wet leaves have a delicate wild flower aroma and are of a respectable olive green, nice and veiny. I normally taste the wash of teas I’ve been anticipating to try out.

The initial steeps have an upfront floral sweetness, cooling, tingly sensations, and almost spicy/nutty notes of raw/roasted brussel sprouts. Honestly, if there was a liquified form of honeysuckle it would taste like this. That kind of delicate but prominent floral note comes more to the fore as the tea soup thickens. The body on this is just wonderful and consistent through later steeps. It has a very pleasurable mouthfeel. There is strong cha qi that spreads to my core rather than to my head. Tea buzz sneaks in on the 3rd or so steep. Mid to later steeps are consistently honeysuckle-floral, wild flower honey, thick/velvety, and tingly/cooling, with that good kind of bitterness I look for in pu’er.

I’ve tried this with my gaiwan and yixing. The sweetness seems to be somewhat enhanced with the yixing, but not by much. The honeysuckle and vegetal notes are more obvious when using the gaiwan. The tea remains active in the mouth for a while after drinking. I can’t get enough of that mouthfeel and tingly sensation! I ended up purchasing two cakes.

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
jschergen

Nice. I like this one a lot too. One of the two 2015 teas I actually bought.

tanluwils

Yeah, it’s an active tea, and very comfortable to drink. I’m very curious how it will age. It has almost the same body-affect on me as the Qing Mei Shan, only this one really gets to my core. I suspect this is a trait unique to gu shu cha. Which 2015 tea did you purchase? I picked up a cake of the Da Hu Sai—now that’s a powerful tea!

jschergen

If I recall correctly, those two were a bit too strong for me to drink. The Huangshan had the best balance and offered the smoothest experience with my parameters of course.. I also like the Da Qing, but ended up going with this one.

I picked up this and a pair of Bosch. Also own a Little Walk, but that was more of a blind buy for immediate drinking.

tanluwils

Yes, I don’t blame you. The Da Hu Sai’s cha qi is on the edge of overwhelming for me, but I find it’s strength combined with those bitter/tobacco/nutty Mengku flavors a nice contrast to a lot of my teas. The Qing Mei Shan is also powerful, but in a more gentler way, I felt. I’ve read favorable reviews of Bosch and Little Walk, but they’re out of my budget. :( I’ll be on the look for your reviews on those two.

Tasting is such a subjective experience, yet it’s funny how much we care about others’ reviews. I’m certainly guilty of trolling for Steepster notes!

jschergen

Yeah. The Bosch is a really nice cake.. I think YS does a great job in that $0.15/g-$0.30/g range. 400g cakes is a good amoutn of tea.

Been gravitating more towards teas with 5-7 years of age these days. Many less options, but I have increasing doubts how well these teas will age into something I like in the future.

jschergen

I’ll also add that I tend to let my young cakes sit around.. A further reason for this trend.

tanluwils

Agreed. I’ve been looking for decent mid-aged teas to collect, as well. Something easy to drink that won’t empty my wallet (wishful thinking, I know). Have you tried the EoT 2006 Wild Peacock or any of YS’s semi-aged Shuangjiang Mengku band teas?

jschergen

Yep. I filmed an ep with the Wild Peacock a few weeks back. It’s a good tea for the value. Soft, smooth, everything I’d like in a daily drinker. If you’re interested in it you should hop on it soon. I think there’s only a few left.

Shuangjiang Mengku. Haven’t tried the YS ones but I can vouch for the 2005 Mushucha available on Houde. Very good value if you like Northern teas. Only three left there though.

From YS, my favorite semi-aged for the price is probably the 02 Ancient Spirit.

tanluwils

Speaking of EoT, there’s currently a 20% Jan-wide sale on selected items. I still haven’t tried any of their teas, but I’ve heard so many good things about their teas from people with reliable taste-buds that I think I might just take a chance. Unfortunately, and rightfully so, the 2006 Wild Peacock isn’t included.

jschergen

Yep. Mainly good stuff there. I’m not too familiar with any of the stuff on sale.. But the Green Peacock and Wild Peacock are very solid teas.

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90
279 tasting notes

I really enjoyed this one, it is among the best shengs I’ve tried from YS. I think it is almost like Lao ManE light. It has a classic flavor, and an underlying bitterness that is very apparent, but not too strong. Thick, strong flavored, and big cha qi. It is clearly a young one, very acidic and none too easy on the stomach. I consider it very well priced at $77 currently for a 400g cake. It crosses the threshold of a 90 score in my book, which I do not dole out readily. I hope it ages well, as I’m in for a cake on my next order!

mrmopar

I am waiting on mine to arrive…

Rich

Did you try your Green Miracle Christmas present yet?

mrmopar

Not yet. It is in the pumi for about another week. I sat in plastic over a month so I am giving it time.

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77
661 tasting notes

This tea started out with a bit of creamy feel to it and the remaining steeps it was less. This had a sweet honeysuckle taste to it along with an underlying bitterness. The bitterness wasn’t too strong and it still make an enjoyable cup.

Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Honeysuckle

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92
41 tasting notes

hooho boy this is crazy good. All Scott’s Jingu-area teas I’ve tried this year are really pretty dynamic and different, going again to show us how much variety there can be in a relatively small area. This one reminds me a lot of a Mengku/Bingdao area profile. That is, it is very pure, sweet and thick, with an icy-cool bite. It is also extremely subtle, but I’d say there are notes of musky wildflowers and honeysuckles, with a vegetal sweetness that seems closest to sweet bell-peppers. The bitterness is solid and gives it this tea a good structure while not being overpowering, and it brews very even across many infusions. I’d almost say this tea seems underpriced…

Flavors: Bell Pepper, Floral, Honeysuckle

jschergen

I found this one to be generally excellent as well.

BigDaddy

I passed over this one because of its descriptor and its photo on the YS site. Old arbor leads me to envision a solid tree 10-20 feet tall, but the photos show a small tree equal in stature to those picking. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it tastes good. Will add to wishlist

jschergen

Like @ginkosan I sampled through the majority of the Jinggu teas from this harvest and thought this was the standout. Definitely worth trying.

Ginkosan

From what I understand it’s a tree’s root-structure that matters most, that way the leaves absorb the most from the surrounding area (that’s what gives it terroir), so appearances can be deceiving…

boychik

i just got a cake with last sale based on your recs

Ginkosan

Did you get this one? It was my favorite so far of his 15 line. Not sure what your tastes are, I liked this one because it’s very pure and has a strong body-feeling.

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987 tasting notes

First note for this tea!

Ubacat sent me some of this. I used about 5g in my brand new celadon gaiwan from Yunnan Sourcing (more on this below).

I did about a half dozen steeps and the tea was mild, but somewhat juicy and bitter. Notes of grass and apricots. However, during my final steep, I dropped the lid of the teapot I was using to pour the water into the gaiwan, and the gaiwan got chipped on the edge.

This is only the second time I’ve used the gaiwan! I’m sad. It was pretty. Will it still work, or will the chipped edge make the whole thing fragile?

Ubacat

Oh no! That is frustrating when that happens. I think it would be okay as long as you don’t pour from the chipped edge.

boychik

so sorry! it is still functional.

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