Friday, September 20, 2019
2019 Zheng Si Long Yi Shan Mo vs 2018 Zheng Si Long Yi Shan Mo
I was kindly gifted a box of 2019 Tea Encounter puerh goodies for review (many thanks again to Tiago aka Curigane). I think its quite smart that you can obtain the same sampling set for 12% off the normal sample price. I’m excited to compare some of these 2019 Zheng Si Long to previous years and hope to focus my reviews of these 2019 on comparison sampling. I’m also excited that Tea Encounter has started purchasing maocha and pressing them into their own Tea Encounter brand puerh cakes (a proper 357g of course). I hope to also review these here on the blog in the coming weeks…
The following notes are for the 2019 Zheng Si Long Yi ShanMo (400g cake goes for $161.63 or $0.40/g). I quite enjoyed the solid mouth and throat feeling and solid Qi sensation of the 2018 Zheng Si Long Yi Shan Mo ($167.01 for 400g cake or$0.42/g) and wonder if the 2019 has any of these qualities…
Dry leaves smell of sweet short pops of sugar and fruit. A light airy sweetness, a creamy sweetness to these over an almost cardboard almost faint barnyard odour maybe distant woody too. Lots of subtle depth in these dry leaves.
The first has a mild milky onset with a mild tart sharpness. Almost no flavour comes out here maybe just a distant floral and wood. The initial taste is like licking a stone then there is a bit of vacuous space than a mild custard finish. The mouthfeel is slippery and the throat feeling is immediately deep in a vacuous sense. Opening deeply. There is a faint coolness deep in the throat.
The second infusion carries a mild sour and almost yogurt taste with stone taste then a peachy and floral build up with some subtle cinnamon nuance. The floral sweet peach really builds nicely as the tea is swallowed and continues to expand in the aftertaste and in the throat minutes later. The mouthfeel is slippery and the throat has a deep vacuous opening feeling. Very nice.
The third infusion starts a touch sour, then cinnamon spice, but drops quickly into a long expansive floral and fruit with long and deep throaty pear and peach and apple nuances to in in the aftertaste. The throatfeelig is nice and deep here. Creamy sweetness are in there as well. The Qi is really mild and soft in these first few infusions. I can feel my forehead get a touch heavy. The mouthfeeling is slippery with slight faint edges of astringency.
The fourth has a sour fruity almost orange taste now initially, then the throat opens deeply with a very subtle cooling and gives off creamy sweetness, some astringency and wildflower. The qi is mild and relaxing. Throatfeeling is deep and hold a long aftertaste of fruity tastes of dragon fruit and pear minutes later.
The fifth infusion is thick and strong from the initial taste where there is slight sour but more sweet dense peachy almost orange like taste. The mouthfeel is full with a slippery almost chalky and astringent fullness. The fruit taste is really expansive and very long throughout the session. The Qi is mild and builds into a relaxing feeling. The body feels a touch light. Very long thick deep sweet taste of pear, dragonfruit, wildflower… the tastes is deep and delicious.
The sixth infusion has a very fresh peach and pear like onset with a touch of spice in the distance. There is a nice long fruity taste now. The mouthfeel is slippery and a stone taste is there as well. The fruity taste is very vibrant and long and rests deep in the throat. The Qi is mild and relaxing.
The seventh comes off very thick and fruity initially nice deep fruity taste with a very mild touch of astringency. This is a delicious puerh. The mouthfeel remains sticky and slippery with a deep throat which holds and expands the fruit, floral, honey now, and creamy sweetness. Qi heavy in the head.
The eighth has a milder pear and licking a stone type taste initially then there is a blank stone taste throughout with only mild edges of wild flower and distant sweetness. The mouthfeel becomes a bit sandy.
The ninth has much the same stone like tastes that are almost metallic then transition to a blank almost pear and almost wildflower nuance. The mouthfeel and throat feel are slippery and sandy but thinner now.
The tenth starts a bit tart/bitter with a stone like taste the fruitiness comes out as pear, apple, peach in the aftertaste and especially floral. The mouthfeel is sticky, slight astringent, and sandy now. The Qi makes the head and brow feel heavy. The body feels a bit groggy, like moving in syrup.
The 11th has a bit of a fruity bitter to it like pear peeling, and orange peeling. The bitterness has an astringency to it which overtakes the aftertaste which just has mild suggestions left in it.
The 12th infusion starts almost floral with a bitter and stone like taste to it. There is not much as far as sweetness left in this puerh.
The 13th has a quick mild drop of pear peeling and wood and stone. The faint fruit is out muscled by and stone taste and even slight woody taste the aftertaste shows glimpses of pear and wood but is mainly bitter. The throatfeeling her is more upper throat now and lack the long aftertaste. The Qi remains heavy in the head and body.
The 14th is becoming more watery, stone tastes, faint tastes and mouthfeeling slippery.
The 15th and 16th a bit more fruity but mainly stone, mineral tasting almost but not quite floral. These infusions lack a strong flavor this late in the session. There is a bit of a bitterness to it and the thoatfeeling is superficial here.
I steep it into a minutes long infusion now… it gives off a strong mineral, wet stone in the mouth taste with a slight dry wood, bitterness, and a subtle floral taste, but no sweetness really.
I had a chance to sample what was left of the 2018 Zheng Si Long Yi Shan Mo yesterday to compare, but these two Yi Shan Mo have really nothing in common. So no point in that really. However, they each have their charms...
Pictured below is the 2018 wet leaves on the left and the 2019 wet leaves on the right. Note how the 2018 has just slightly shorter but maybe longer stem leaves where the 2018 has slightly smaller leaves and slightly more buds, slightly... They are actually quite similar although everything else is quite a different experience.