Wednesday, July 17, 2019
2016 Zheng Si Long Autumn Mang Zhi Dragon Balls Vs 2016 white2tea We Go High
It feels odd that I’ve never tired puerh in a dragon ball form ever. Back in the day, it just wasn’t a thing, it didn’t exist back then. I wonder who was the first to form puerh into a convenient ball size? It has the same idea as the coin or minis idea … a modern incarnation of a coin.
This one is from the Mang Zhi region, an autumnal production (see Zheng Si Long Spring 2016, 2017, and 2018). I recently mentioned that I am enjoying these productions of the famous Mang Zhi region. The dry ball of puerh smell like slight woods with a candy fruit cherry sweetness. I received it as a free gift when I placed my first order from Tea Encounter a few of these 2015 Zheng SiLong Wa Long.
I did a 30 second rinse and then put the lid on the pot for five minutes to break up these tight balls…
First infusion is still light and airy from the tight compression. Watery and woody water with light floral and sweet sugar nuances.
The second is still just starting to unravel with icing sugar taste, slight dry woods, almost wildflower florals. The mouthfeel is mossy and throat sensation starting to get stimulating.
The third infusion starts off with dry wood and icing sugar sweetness. The sweetness is trapped in the deeper throat feeling and has a mild strawberry nuance to it. The mouthfeel and throatfeeling are very soft but show signs of being quite full and deep. The Qi starts to pool in the head.
The fourth infusion starts off dry wood and with a nice fluffy cotton candy nuance. There is a fruity middle and nice throat stimulating and throatfeeling. The throatfeeling is deep and opening. It makes you want to clear your throat. The tastes are light and airy, sweet and woody. The Qi is reasonably strong and heady.
The fifth infusion starts off with an unpretentious sweet woodiness that turns into a sour taste then into a mellow vegetal sweetness.
The sixth infusion has a sour woody and barely sweet nuance that transforms to floral wildflower and dry woodiness. It is not very sweet but has a sour sweet edge to it. The wet leaves are predictably aromatic and have a menthol like odour. Qi has a mild but noticeably stuffy sensation in the head.
The seventh infusion starts with a plum fruitiness to it. There is a menthol woody undercurrent throughout which turns into a noticeable wildflower nuance. The throat feel is reasonably deep and mouthfeel sticky and mossy.
The eighth starts juicy almost sour like a mango like taste mixed with grapefruit. The mouthfeel is mossy and the throat feel is pretty deep. After the juicy sour fruit fades there is a woody dry nuance left in the mouth. The qi has a mild headiness to it.
The ninth infusion has a sour fruity onset with an astringent woody finish. The mouthfeel is mossy on the tongue and the top of the throat opens a bit. You can almost detect some wildflower nuances. There is a bubble gum nuance left on the breath minutes later.
The tenth infusion starts fruity and woody and sour. The mouthfeel is becoming sticky and there is a lingering cotton candy nuance in the breath.
The eleventh infusion is full and nuanced fruity layers of sweetness arrive with mango, and grapefruit being most obvious. The liquor starts to thicken up here and deliver a nice thick woody fruit with decent depth now. The aftertaste is lingering faint candy. The Qi is mild in the head.
The twelfth infusion delivers a dense liquor of nice thick fruity woody tastes. The flavours are sweet, barely bitter, and significantly sour. The woody taste is the deepest and the most ethereal is the lingering candy sweetness. My mind saunters in a nice place from the Qi.
13th is a dense licorice, fruity and woody presentation in a thicker liquor. They fade into a long candy like sweetness. Nice meandering mild spacy qi.
14th infusion has that nice dense onset with simple but thick flavours that fade easily into a candy-like faint finish. The 15th has that candy sweet taste in the initial now alongside fruits and slight wood. The bitterness and sourness continue to recede with each infusion.
15th has a nice dense fruity onset with dry wood underneath. A wave of sweet fruity tastes comes and goes and leaves a slight woody taste with the breath of candy.
16th is less sweet, more woody very interesting lingering sweetness. 17th is more sweet, dense liquor, fruit. The mouthfeel is mossy and sticky in these later infusions. Candy long fait aftertaste.
18th here we go into a woody apricot like sheng type of sweetness. Nice long candy finish. A creamy sweet finish.
It was coincidence that I had just drank another 2016 Autumnal production that was similar in some ways to this one, the 2016 white2tea We Go High. I found these 2016 Zheng Si Long Mang Zhi Dragon balls similar in tight compression, in its thick fruity and woody tastes and textures. 2016 white2tea We Go High has a bit broader profile and complexity. Although the Qi is actually quite similar, We Go High is a bit stronger. 2016 Zheng Si Long Autumn Mang Zhi has a more intense long candy aftertaste and deeper throat feeling. Each had good stamina and are both nice examples of autumn puerh. In my first sampling of 2016 white2tea We Go High I suspected that some Gua Fang Zhi or other Yiwu like material comprises a small amount of the blend. Maybe its closer to Mang Zhi than Gua Feng Zhi?
This was a fun session. I wonder if Tea Encounter will offer these?