kyarazen wrote:This will also allow for the formerly bitter, unpalatable gushu teas to become milder, more drinkable and having better aromatics than needing to age the tea.
Just a question.
Why do you assume that Gushu material is originally
if it isn't bitter, it isnt tea! i had surveyed information from several seasoned tea drinkers/importers of the past few decades together with some meagre personal experience
in reality, before the new processing methods, the only less bitter, more palatable gushu teas are the first buds of spring, i.e. first flush, but that is so little, and can be quite harmful to the tree to pick so the formerly responsible tribe people often picked carefully. late spring, summer, autumn seasons, no harvests were made.
due to the strong bitter and potential astringency of gushu materials, in 1985 xiaguan factory had requested government agencies to test if gushu materials were safe for consumption, this was to expand the possibility of incorporating gushu into pu-erh tea production as plantations were far from coping with the sudden surge in demands. it was deemed safe but it was apparent that they did not incorporate gushu into their production line and continued with their "average-rough" plantation teas.
towards the end 90s, there were increasing pressings of gushu teas made using "traditional" methods, when the first "Da Xue Shan" products hit the market in end 90s to early 2000s, the C. Taliensis product was horrid in taste! Merchants in south east asia had a hard time. in some way many of these cakes and bricks were marketed to consumers whom had only the intention of aging them and not for consumption immediately. for the past few years, Da Xue Shan teas started picking up fruity profiles, grapey, raisiny when new, the brew color was a stronger yellow, the bitterness went down, the tea was quite drinkable straight from production.
from my observation these are some of the lines of gushu products on the market
1) traditional methods (less popular)
2) pure modern method (strong fruity grapey aromatics that intensifies if stored sealed and reasonable humidity)
3) blend of some modern tea into traditional tea
4) blend of some modern tea into autumn harvest
5) pure autumn harvest (aromatic)
6) etc etc...
for long term potential, maybe types 1 and 3 are safer, the aged product has a reasonable tracked record.
for drinking now and watching how it will evolve, for the good or better, type 2 or type 4, 5 seems ok.