Pu-Erh.Sk has been around for long enough to know what they’re doing. One of my favorite tea purchases came from them in the form of 2016 NaKa. Since that purchase, I’ve tried sample after sample from them, however, not anything from 2017 to today. Well today, that’ll change. After opening a box of samples from them, two teas caught my eye. They were 2019 GuShu Lao Mansa and 2019 GuShu Mansa — two sheng puer teas that come from two different villages in, well, Mansa. So how do these two compare? Does one hold up over the other? Let’s find out!
2019 GuShu Lao Mansa — 3.3g of tea for a 50ml Shibo
2019 Gushu Mansa — 4.3 g of tea for a 65ml Gaiwan
Water Temp — Boil for each tea
Number of Steeps — 14 for each tea
2019 GuShu Lao Mansa — $31.50 USD per 25g sample
2019 GuShu Mansa — $17.75 USD per 25g sample
Music Pairing —
Dedicated by Carly Rae Jepsen (2019):
Dedicated is an alternative-pop album that possesses tracks that lean more towards based off of creating a mood, rather than creating a beat. With the highs and lows with this album, including the groovy beats that keep transforming until the very last track, this album suits both of these teas best. With how loose and high you’ll get off of The Mansa’s, this album was easy to throw myself at, which created a flexible experience with my emotions that allowed me to go down whatever the 'Call Me Maybe' girl wanted me to…
Steeps 1 — 7
GuShu Lao Mansa started out with faint notes of sweet green grass which left a savory-like mouth-watering sensation in the mouth. With a few more infusions, a creamy humid-like mouth feel expanded into the sides of the cheeks with an underlying bitter at the base of the tongue. A creamy, yet biting broth kept opening up as the notes of grass grew heavy of hay. By the seventh infusion, this tea was so strong that I repeated the seventh infusion for a second time to help mellow it out. Even with that, it still carried a noticeable aggressive-like bitter punch.
Gushu non-Lao Mansa’s first infusion quickly gave off an oily texture with a faint green grass note that seemed to leave a light sugarcane echo on the tip of the tongue. As this tea opened up, the notes of grass quickly expanded into the notes of a freshly-raked autumn leaf pile with a stevia-like sweet backbone, and the more it faded in the back of the throat, the more it left a bite on the tongue that was just noticeable enough that warranted a mention. By the seventh infusion, this tea’s texture was full on oil.
Steeps 8 — 14
GuShu Lao Mansa continued on with a heavy bite that seemed to try and punch through the tongue. Despite the aggressiveness, it left a velvet/cotton-like texture in the mouth that kept growing more and more thick. With the tenth infusion, this tea’s savory notes of hay finally came to a halt and seemed to settle for another infusion as it transitioned into a lighter version of this tea's body. As its notes and body began to fade into the distance, the bitterness lightened up and the creamy texture made a final curtain call. Even though this tea could have kept going, my head-drunkenness stopped me from going forward. However, in the fourteenth infusion, an almost tangible sweetness seemed like it was trying to make itself known. But maybe it was only an echo…
GuShu non-Lao Mansa’s notes appeared to reach peak-balance with the eighth infusion. The notes of a freshly-raked autumn leaf pile began to regress back to the notes of a summer yard’s grass. It’s sweetness kept sailing under the radar — just noticeable enough to help compliment the overpowering bitter and oily texture. However, by this tea’s tenth infusion, the bliss point seemed to disappear altogether as this tea’s structure began to disassemble and leave the palate one by one. By the fourteenth infusion, and three liters of tea, GuShu non-Lao Mansa decided it was time to go, but not without taking the last bit of sobriety I had with it.
Pu-Erh.Sk sent over a box of teas for examination, and some of those teas included 2019 GuShu Lao Mansa and 2019 GuShu Mansa. Both teas had a lot of similarities, especially since they both came from the same region (but two different villages). Lao Mansa kicked off the tastings by providing more of an aggressive punch that was filled with a bitter note that seemed to drive the tea. Even when repeating the strongest infusion, this tea’s strength didn’t seem to be affected at all. Meanwhile, the non-Lao Mansa was much more smooth and despite having a bitter note, this tea seemed to have a sweetness that mixed well with its texture.
Overall, Lao Mansa seemed to be the most concentrated and most powerful out of the two teas, while non-Lao Mansa was smoother and more temperamental. Despite that, both teas are excellent for the price and both will knock you on your ass alone. For me, I drank both in one sitting and was slurring my words and stumbling all over the place. For the first two teas that I’ve tasted from Pu-Erh.Sk since 2017, these seemed to be a great way to kick things off….