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Gu Shu Pu’Erh Tea: What is it & Why is it Special?

Gushu PuErh Tea is one of the most expensive teas in the world.

It is a unique variant of Pu’Erh Tea, a distinct aged and fermented tea noted for its health benefits and unique, earthy taste.

So what makes Gu Shu puer tea exceptional and coveted by tea connoisseurs worldwide?

Gu Shu: the “Ancient Tree”

When translated into English, “Gu Shu” means “Ancient Tree.”

Pu Erh tea trees are mainly found in Yunnan province in Southwestern China. Hundreds of tea farms dot the landscape with thousands of tea trees awaiting harvest. Pu Erh Tea is only harvested twice a year in Spring and Autumn from the Assamica variant of the Camellia Sinensis tree.

There are different types of trees as well; Gu Shu or the 200-year-old and more trees, Da Shu or the large, 50-year-old and more trees and the smaller and younger Qiao Mu and Xiao Shu trees that are only 20 to 40 years old.

Gu Shu Pu’erh tea then is Pu’erh tea made from the leaves of these ancient tea trees.

Why is Gu Shu special?

Gu Shu Pu’Erh Tea is unique because it comes from very old and ancient trees. To understand why the age of tea trees make a difference, remember that your favourite tea is a combination of its leaves, the nutrients in the soil as well as any drying, pressing and the fermentation processes it goes through.
All these elements contribute to a great cup of tea.

Gu Shu is special because the older the tea tree, the deeper its roots and the more nutrients it can soak up from the earth. Gu Shu Puer Tea contains a slightly higher amount of antioxidants than other kinds of Pu’erh tea. The quality of the leaf is also ensuring a richer cup of tea.

It is interesting to note that an older tree does not guarantee a better tasting tea. You still need to consider the terroir, farming methods and the entire fermentation process. However, at the end of the day, as Gu Shu Pu’erh Tea aficionados will say, you are drinking a little bit of history, something that has stood the test of time.

The Rarity of Gu Shu Pu’er Tea

Over the years, Gu Shu Pu’ehr Tea has been in the middle of some controversy, mainly stemming from a growing number of fakes and dubious claims that their tea came from authentic old trees.

Gu Shu Pu Erh Tea is easily the most expensive tea variant in the world, with one barrel from the 1920s selling at auction in 2019 for 3.3 million dollars.

The prices can go sky high partly because of its age and the decreasing number of ancient trees every year.

These astronomical prices are what tempt many to try and cash in on its benefits even through improper methods, including farmers who lie about the real age of their trees and try to make them look older than they actually are.

If you are in the market for Gu Shu Pu’Ehr Tea, make sure you know where your tea is coming from. Try to inspect the tree as well – the larger the trunk and branches, the older the tree. You can also try to discover the history of the land and the farm as well.

Gu Shu Pu’Ehr Tea is an exceptional tea that continues to be popular in the East and the rest of the world. We recommend you share a cup of Gu Shu Pu’Erh tea with a friend and sit back and enjoy its taste.

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