Wednesday, September 26, 2018
2014 Zheng Si Long Ding Jia Zhai and Warming Qi
I enjoyed the 2018 Zheng Si Long Ding Jia Zhai maocha for its nice Yiwu like base favor and warming qi. Very different from other tea of Zheng Si Long that I have sampled in this recent focus of Zheng Si Long that Tea Encounter is offering. I wondered how similar this 2014 Zheng Si Long Ding Jai Zhai ($168.36 for 400g cake or $0.42/g) would be…
Dry leaves smell of a distant malty and hay like sweetness. Deep darker odours.
First infusion has a nice warming spiciness to it with a brown sugar like sweetness to it. It has a mineral rock-like taste as well as woodiness to it. The returning sweetness is almost like a pear and potato taste.
The second infusion starts with a mildly sweet woodiness there is a short burst of warm spice sweetness that you would get from cinnamon that is very mild and quick moving here. Its liquor is a touch light still with sandy edges in the tongue and mouth.
The third infusion has the cinnamon almost brown sugar sweetness in a lighter broth. It moves to a mild woodiness before this same sweetness returns on the breath. It fades to an almost faint bubble gum sweetness barely recognizable in the distance.
The fourth infusion has a fruitier, almost candy-like mixed with cinnamon and spiced plumbs, kind of sweetness that shares the profile with a mild woodiness. There is a bread taste in there now as well an almost chicory, licorice taste too. The mouthfeel is becoming sticky now with sandy edges in the mouth. Not as much in the throat. The returning sweetness is higher noted than the main body of the profile that peaks minutes later.
The fifth infusion has a deep lighter molasses taste too in the returning sweetness is of spiced cinnamon and plumb. There are lighter fruity tastes almost bubble gum that are faint in the aftertaste that contrast the deeper tastes. The mouthfeel is a touch sticky and slightly grainy. The qi of this tea is warm and comforting in the core but the forehead feels cool and the head a touch light.
The sixth infusion has a dense foresty deeper chicory and licorice type of sweetness initially then returns as a lighter muted candy sweetness. The mouthfeel is becoming sandier and less sticky. A very mild lingering menthol is in the breath later.
The seventh infusion has a more pronounced leathery brown surgery like sweetness initially over a foresty taste then it returns as a higher, almost fruit, sweetness. A faint candy/bubble gum taste lingers on the breath.
The eighth I push a little harder with 5 seconds more than flash and receive woody sweet notes with a fruity plumb subte menthol finish. There is still that lingering high-noted candy taste on the breath. Even a cinnamon taste lingers minutes later in the mouth.
The ninth- I add 10 seconds to the flash and receive a woody base taste with strong mellow low fruity tastes that look similar to the eight. The qi can be felt in the chest and a bit heavy in the digestion.
The tenth- I add 20 seconds and get a robust woody, slightly warmer, spiced fruity plumb taste. It’s a nice classic Yiwu taste for me. There is that overly highnoted finish in here that I find appealing and gives this tea some interesting depth to it- not just deeper Yiwu tastes nor just fuffy Yiwu high notes.
The eleventh infusion I steep 40 seconds longer than flash and have a really beautiful infusion full of dense flavor fruity flavours- both high sweetness and low brown sugar sweetness. The bubble gum sweetness is more throughout but strong in the aftertaste the tongue coating is sticky and full.
The twelfth infusion, I’m steeping at about a minute and it gives off deeper tastes with a licorice/ woody taste overall. The higher notes are embedded almost overpowered by the deeper sweeter tones and woody even mushroom tastes now. The thirteenth is much the same licorice, almost medicinal, sweetness.
I push this tea into overnight steeps from here.
Overall this one is darker, deeper and warmer than any Zheng Si Long I’ve tried. It’s so familiar in many ways to the 2018 maocha that I’m confident enough that it came from the same family in Ding Jia Zhai. Nice warming feeling to this one.