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Gua Feng Zhai 2012 Spring

Made from 300-500 year old tea trees, growing in the forest, three hours walk from the village of Gua Feng Zhai, this is a feisty, full flavored, early Spring cake that will power through 10+ infusions and keep on giving. This tea has a highly energising chaqi with a sweet huigan top note. Stone pressed in Yiwu and double wrapped, only 42 cakes were produced. Read about our visit to Gua Feng Zhai to find out why this cake is named "One Thousand Butterflies" 千叶蝶. Buy together with our 2013 Spring Gua Feng Zhai, or our 2011 Autumn Gua Feng Zhai for a vertical tasting.
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Steeping Instructions:
We recommend 6g of tea leaves in a 100ml brewing vessel. Use boiling hot water. This tea can be re-infused at least 10 times.

Gua Feng Zhai 2012 Spring

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This cake has been reviewed by Eric from Disciple Of The Leaf, and Nick from Psychanaut

Double wrapped

Customer Reviews

Holy Shit.

Review by Liquid Proust (from Steepster)
Holy Shit.
That should be two words though if when it comes to this tea. Absolutely amazing. Brewing this at work with no expectations and it brews at 7, 30, or even 60 seconds producing a wonderfully light and great tasting liquid. Aromoa might not be there, but when a tea taste this good and doesn’t give up after 15 steeps… you have a winner. This is a bit darker than how I classify CLT sheng being light but has the same integrity with zero bitterness; even at a minute and yes I tried it.

Why oh why do I keep trying TU stuff? It keeps making me look past others and looking for more TU. Stuff is just really really good. (Posted on 5/1/16)

Love this Sheng

Review by Doug F (from Steepster)
My mouth is numb and I can hardy speak, much less type. Love this Sheng—not too sweet, moderately fruity and a tad bitter, with a pleasant smokiness emerging in the mid-steeps. And teak.

Very little viscosity. A little bit of vanilla custard sneaking in. (Posted on 9/5/15)

Like biting into a peach

Review by Phi (from Steepster)
I used to have a bath oil that was suppose to be “Butterfly Nectar” but was a bit sweet and cloying and artificial. This tea is what I bought that hoping it would smell like. A little floral, a little spicey, a little bitter, a little fruit… but all together light and ethereal! You need to pay full attention to the tea to really get all of the notes, and I wasn’t prepared for that on the first steeping. I had to have a lil bit of a heavy hand brewing this, but it is totally worth it.

Wow… and the second time brewing it… (I should note I had a cold for part of it, but was sharing with my sister) I was super surprised how much it blossomed after I would have thought it was long dead. In the late teens early 20s steeps… I am getting serious dark peach notes. And the taste lingers forever. This is the magic of GFZ and why people pay crazy prices… its after taste and steepings that get better and better and longer and longer…

I had to edit this and up my rating. I drank it again and it’s having a super good tea day… I upped the steeping time and leaf ratio… and the fruit is a lot more aggressive in a delicious way! it’s like biting into a peach, and lingers forever.

Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Flowers, Peach, Spices (Posted on 8/3/15)

Another insanely good TeaUrchin sheng! Woo!

Review by Stephanie (from Steepster)
This is the last un-tasted TeaUrchin sample from my birthday gift from my husband. This is definitely not one I would have picked out for myself just for the cost alone. (30g for $17.50)

But yes, it is indeed something special. Delicious floral sweetness, nice balance with the tangy “bitter” spice notes, and amazing cha qi. I am tea drunk at work :) “One Thousand Butterflies” FTW

I’m super impressed with TeaUrchin in general and would recommend them to all fans of raw puerh! (Posted on 8/3/15)

A stone giant is eating a moss-covered rock with thousand of butterflys and it never tasted that good.

Review by Freddy
The 2012 Gua Feng Zhai, is a very interesting tea and seems to combine the legacy of Yiwu and Laos both at once. Typical for Yiwu is some smooth and mellow character without any astringency and typical for Laos is the hint of wildflower and at the same time not astringent at all. But what makes that tea different: Yiwu sweetness is very minor and the Huigan is minor too. However, the bitterness is the most powerful ever seen on any cake coming from Yiwu or Laos, that factor is resulting into the most pungent Yiwu I've ever tasted. To be fair, yes it's a Yiwu but its not the typical Yiwu, its some hard tempered wild Yiwu growing not that far from the border to Laos. Some may say it's the king of Yiwu but not regarding its authenticity, nor the typical sweetness, it's the king because it's the master of all classes. Growing rather close to the boarder of Laos and inheriting the characteristics of all the other teas in that particular area all at once, it's no wonder Gua Feng Zhai has been hyped by the market and resulting into one of the most expensive Yiwu today. I was trying to explain those location related stuff first in order to understand my view regarding my tasting notes. Of course i was trying to find a good explanation and the location was meaningful to me in order to get some understanding.

The taste is with pretty clear bitterness, so the tea will have the required base in order for heavy aging, very good! There is no astringency at all, im pretty much certain this is 100% real Gushu. Now many inexperienced people may think it's nothing special at all... because there is so many "Gushus" sold on the market. The truth I'm certain about is: A real Gushu tea made with pure Gushu material is the difference between real gold and gold plated. Most of the stuff may be gold plated and sold as "Gushu" but just a very few is real gold without any alloy and I'm pretty sure this tea is one of them (!).

When the tea was in my cup the taste was somehow comparable to Rheum rhabarbarum, the smell I get from a freshly baked pie made from "pie plant", with a very slight but apparent sourness. The other flavors I noticed too is the herbal and spicy and slightly sweet flavor of Manuka honey and a hint of algae. In term I was eating Manuka honey and some pie with pie plant and a few algae... I would probably hardly smell any difference when it comes to the aftertaste, thats high quality stuff in my mind. The last flavor I also noticed is a hint of wildflower smell... thats clearly a legacy of Laos, even some Yiwu may have it.

The cha-qi is outstanding, although I think this tea may be underrated by many inexperienced customers because of its subtle but at the same time pungent (due to its bitterness) character with a hidden complexity covered by a bitter body trying to hide its true nature. The tea got some unique soul and is not willing to be reavealed unless someone is truly accepted in order to reveal its true quality,... those who are accepted are pretty lucky in my mind. Rather big review but this is a tea that can not be described by a few words, the cake is simply beyond simple words, the only other option would be "speechless". (Posted on 9/9/14)

Highly recommended!

Review by Charles Thomas Draper
Quite frankly I knew I was in for a special tea. The dried leaves are the longest I have ever seen. The initial steepings presented an intense mouth feel and flavors that I can never describe. The later steepings became more subdued but still beyond interesting nonetheless. I have totally fallen for the world of Sheng. Beyond the flavor and aroma profiles you are dealing with teas which are mind blowing. Teas that take your mind and body to places you have never been before. To say I highly recommend this tea would be an understatement. (Posted on 7/27/14)

A first for a puer newbie

Review by Richard
As an oolong devotee trying to develop a palate for the younger puer, I'm not typically eager to evaluate such teas. For this one I will make an exception. After the first steep I was eyeing my sample pouch, thinking it will not last long. Even with my crude brewing ability at work the results were soon prompting a note to the Urchin asking about a whole cake...... (Posted on 6/4/14)

Very nice pressing of GFZ from Tea Urchin - Très belle galette de GFZ

Review by AL
Les longues feuilles ininterrompues se séparent aisément, démontrant une galette soigneusement pressée, et elles portent un parfum doux et agréable. La liqueur est jaune et claire. Des soupçons de vanille et de tabac à pipe au rhum accompagnent la première infusion. Un huigan léger et sucré hante le palais. Les infusions ultérieures révèlent le centre du thé ... il ya quelque chose de bien apaisant ici, en harmonie totale avec cet air chaud estival, les enfants jouant dans le parc voisin, une mouche virevoltant à travers la pièce...


The long unbroken leaves separate easily, demonstrating a carefully-pressed cake, and they carry a pleasant sweet scent. Liquor is clean yellow. Vanilla and sweet rhum-soaked pipe tobacco notes accompany the first infusion. A light sugary huigan haunts the finish. Subsequent infusions reveal the centre of the tea...there is something very soothing here, that is in complete harmony with the warm summer air, as children play in the park nearby, and a fly angles across the room... (Posted on 7/16/13)

vick's vaporub

Review by Brandon
When the energy started swirling around in my chest, I came to visit this page to see what the proprietors had written. Turns out Mr. Benoit already noted the same unique surprise! To my tastebuds the processing has improved very much from the 2011 Autumn edition, Urchin Yiwu is becoming quite impeccable. (Posted on 1/4/13)

Gorgeous tea - packs a punch!

Review by Hannah
This tea was definitely an experience!
Have never had a cup before this with such a lasting pleasant taste.
If you like a little tang with flowery sweetness following it, this is for you!

Also worth nothing the leaf quality - sometimes pu leaf quality and structure can be a bit ordinary but this not only takes the cake (pardon the pun) for leaf quality amongst the pu-erh I've had so far, but pretty much any tea! Fantastic :) (Posted on 12/24/12)

nice body energy on this tea

Review by ehbenoit
I greatly enjoyed this tea, which is no surprise given Eugene and Belle's passion for their sourcings. The body energy on this Gua Feng Zhai, however, is of particular note. It dominates the crown and brow before sinking into the chest and expanding. I have not previously had a tea that occupied the chest in the manner that this one did late in my session. It was a rather special moment of realization when it presented. (Posted on 7/19/12)

Tea of such a quality is hard to find.

Review by Serg
I tried a mao cha sample of this tea that Eugene generously provided with my order. I am really pleased with it's qualities. The tea is rich in every aspect. I particulary like how bitter note has spicy quality and is in balance with sweetness and floral scents. A special tea. (Posted on 6/12/12)

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