Sunday, July 8, 2012

2011 MGH Guafengzhai Big Leaf

This cake comes from Puerhshop. One of his own productions  As you can see it is double wrapped.
It is made with the big yellow leaves as described by the vendor. It is a nice looking cake to me.

I believe it has been stone pressed as I am able to get a good amount of leaves off of it without to much breakage. The dry leaves look decent enough for being of a lower quality and probably fall harvest. As Guafengzhai cakes are really hard on the wallet nowadays I went for this cake to compare against the more expensive samples I have had. It does have similar flavors.
I also tried samples of the other area big leaf cakes and this one is the only one with lasting flavor.
 He recommends using more leaf than usual so I stuff the leaves into my xishi pot. The first infusions give off a good sweet honeylike aroma. The liquor comes out a clear yellow, darkening a bit after a few infusions but not too much.

It gives a smooth mellow straw honey sweet flavor, with a good mouthfeel. Just a slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but no smokiness which I have encountered in other Guafengzhai. Comparing to other Guafengzhai  it is very one dimensional and not as strong, but has enough strength to last a good ten infusions, it is highly enjoyable and relaxing. Good for evening drinking. Even my wife likes it and she dosnt like much sheng. For the price its a decent cake that you can drink whenever. The spent leaves are mostly intact, nice and big leaves.
I know there has been some controversy with this vendor but I personally have had an overall good experience. I just try out samples and then get what I like.


  1. Emmett,

    I think the way to go with this vendor is his own MGH pressings instead of the dodgy aged stuff. Sometimes one needs some low-key sheng and I'm glad you found this one to be relaxing.

    How do you think this compares to the Dai Bamboo or other teas in the ~$15 category?


  2. Hster, thanks for the first comment on my blog. I personally think its just too different from the dai bamboo for comparison. If I was going to buy more I would get this one not the bamboo though. Yes its not that complex but it is very drinkable now. My other new shengs I taste a few times and then they just sit. Comparing it to other same price range shengs it is one of my favorites. Even better than some of the newer expensive cakes I have sampled. But how will it age? We shall see. I will post more of his MGH productions later as I get back around to brewing them.

  3. Emmett,

    There is something to be loved about sheng that one enjoys effortlessly.
    Do you think the big leaves as a whole are easier to drink now? I've found them to be more mellow and refreshing than finer grade cakes.


  4. From what I understand the larger, lower leaves on the tree are especially lower in caffeine and other compounds than the new growth at the tips of the branches. This in turn has to be the reason it is mellow, refreshing and relaxing, easy to drink now. The new growth is what everyone is going for because of high nutrients, giving more lasting complex flavors for the most part, but sometimes too strong to drink new. It has too many variables though, because of the conditions they are growing in at the time. As I mention some of the big leaf cakes I have sampled have been just empty of any flavor, as with some of the expensive high grade cakes. I just try to enjoy them, but sometimes I have to just dump the leaves out cuz they're just plain bad.