2015 vs 2016 DTH Yiwu Gushu

// Published October 6, 2022 by mgualt

3.8g/60ml gaiwans, Toronto filtered tap.

In preparation for the DTH pre-order I was asked to compare the two youngest (and therefore cheapest) DTH Yiwu Gushu teas, as these are still quite affordable and suitable for building a collection for the future.

The dry leaf is somewhat darker and browner on the 2015, and a touch tippier on the 2016. The 2015 smells more aged and sweeter, whereas the 2016 has a more tomato vine pungent smell. But they are very close.

Surprisingly, the wash is significantly darker on the 2015. The wet leaf is interestingly smoky in a nice way on the 2015, whereas it is more viney/vinegary on the 2016. Both have a very pleasant aroma.

2016:

thick arrival, sweet aftertaste, great after-effects and throatfeel. Empty cup aroma is pungent honey. The vinegary vine notes subside after one or two steeps, the thickness grows, quite dense and concentrated. Oily, thick, some high resin floral notes, very pure and goes down very deep.

2015:

This has a subtle smokiness, and initially some noticeable astringency. Also has very good throatfeel. Empty cup aroma is sweet smoky honey. As steeps progress, it maintains a nice oily thickness as well as a slight smoke note, a woody resinous sweet smoke- something like a wisp of Xiaguan smoke. Very enjoyable and tasty and gives a long aftertaste with a bit of sweet incense afteraroma.

These teas are very similar, material looks very similar, quite beefy leaves and with good longevity. They both have a dense oily profile which is felt on the throat. The 2015 has a clear woodsmoke note, resinous incense, something I really like at this low level. Among the DTH teas, only 2004, 2006 and 2015 have this level of smoke. I find it gives the tea some additional character and I suspect it will serve it well as it ages. Also it is interesting that 2015 has a slightly higher level of oxidation than the 2016. My choice would definitely be the 2015. On the other hand, if smoke at any level is off-putting, the 2016 is a very good gushu Yiwu with better processing than most young Yiwus I’ve tried.

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