Thursday, April 7, 2011

2006 Gu Zhuang Loose Leaf Shu

My online tea buddy, John Jelly, gifted me this 50 gram pack of loose leaf shu puer (熟普洱) back in 2007. I'm not sure how he came by it.

The brand, Li Ji Gu Zhuang (李記谷庄) is based out of Jinggu (景谷) in Yunnan, China. They appear to me to be an upscale, though relatively new tea company. claims their owner is a descendant of the inventor of the Tuo Cha (沱茶) and that "they still use traditional processing methods that were passed down from one generation to another for more than a hundred years." That may just be marketing but it all sounds pretty good to me.

Here is the wrapper for my 50 gram bag:

Everything appears to be in order... so let's have a drink!

I filled Xiao Xiao about 1/3 full of dry leaf and gave the leaves a 5-second rinse. They had a warm, toasty aroma with delicate forest and soil notes.

The first infusion (about 25 seconds) poured a dark reddish-black color and had a milky texture with soft smokiness. My daughter took a little sip, and when I asked her opinion, she replied "it tastes funny, and it tastes like honey."

This is a shot of the second infusion.

I enjoyed four more dark, malty infusions and one weak, orange-colored fifth infusion. My tasting notes included: fat ripe blueberry, carob and sugar cookie. I found the Gu Zhuang to be a smooth and worthy shu puer.

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