Monday, September 7, 2020

2020 Zheng Si Long Ma Hei: Very Ma Hei-y

I really enjoyed the thick presentation of the 2019 Zheng Si Long Ma Hei and wondered how this 2020 Zheng Si Long Ma Hei ($202.03 for 400gcake or $0.51/g) would compare?

Dry leaves smell of very salty savory and distinct wildflower sweetness.

The first infusion has a mellow watery woody with a faint bitter astringency and finishes with distinct sweet candy icing sugar finish.  There is a mineral almost mossy or pondy base taste that reminds me of Sencha.  There is a mossy aftertaste.

The second infusion has a thick vegetal grassy pondy woody onset that ends in distinct cake icing sugar like sweetness.  It pushes some saliva out of the throat with a mossy soft mouth and throat feeling and mild bitter astringency.  Overall there is a mild oily viscosity in the mouth.  Minutes later there is a nice floral finish. 

Third has a nice thicker floral onset with a bit of depth in a faint woody/ pondy taste that turns quickly to cake icing sugar sweet notes and minutes long florals.  The mouthfeeling is this thicker moss feeling in the mouth and throat.  There is a mild oily feeling to the puerh.  There is a sneaky hypnotic Qi to this puerh that comes on slow, deep, and a bit strong.

Fourth infusion has a pear with almost woody onset that has a bit of juiciness and descends into an icing sugar and pear peel type of taste.  The floral nuances appear on the breath later.  There is a nice mossy mouthfeeling and subtle throatfeeling.  The very mild bitter astringency is gone here.  The Qi is relaxing.

The fifth has a pear and creamy subtle tropical fruit onset with hints of mild bitter.  There is some fresh spearmint bursts in here that are kind of forest/ evergreen menthol but have a strong sweetness to them.  Like a toothpaste taste or mint candy.  However, the sweetness Is not really candy sweet its more fruity and floral sweet.  Soft gentle relaxing Qi.

The sixth infusion has a creamy fruity pear and floral onset with a faint woody almost mineral base.  There is a returning sweet spearmint taste then a not as strong icing sugar with a notable floral finish.  The Qi is relaxing and mellow. 

The seventh has a pondy Sencha grassy woody onset with a blandy woody middle which finishes slightly icing sugar sweet and mainly floral woody.  Nice mild mossy full coating in mouth and a soft mossy stimulation of the upper throat. 

The eighth is left to cool in the cup before imbibing… the result is a pear fruity kind of bitter woody onset with a moderately sweet and more floral finish.   There is a mild fresh pungency and longer bland floral taste now.  The mossy tongue coating holds.

The ninth has a woody, dirt-mineral, and mainly flat fruitiness.  The aftertaste is juicy peach and pear fruits which fades out into the aftertaste.  This infusion is juicy fruity and less floral.  The mossy mouthfeeling is lessening here.  The Qi is relaxing in the body and has a nice smoothness to it.

The tenth has a woody smooth apricot sweet fruity onset that expands in the mouth.  The sweet fruity apricot taste is nice and long with not much interruption over a mossy soft coating.  The relaxing vibe is nice the body feels a bit light.  There is almost a creamy icing sugar cookie like taste in the returning sweetness that overlaps briefly with apricot sweetness.

The 11th infusion has a creamy woody subtle fruity sweetness. The sweet fruitiness stays for a while over a weakening mossy mouthfeeling. 

The 12th is still at flash infusion and tastes woody, almost bitter, mineral, faintly floral, and mainly fruity apricot.

The 13th I add 30seconds to the flash infusions and pull out much creamier and sweeter fruit apricot tastes with woody base.  The mouthfeeling becomes mossier.  Qi still mellow and relaxing. 

14th is another 30second steeping and gives off watery creamy sweet fruity tastes over wood on a mossy mouthfeeling and empty throatfeeling.  Still nice delicious summertime puerh tastes here.

15th is a long steeping and mainly just pushes out bitterness with a faint fruity and chalky creamy not that sweet edge.

I put the rest into overnight steeping.

Vs 2019 Zheng Si Long Ma Hei-  The 2020 is much more typical Ma Hei woody fruity sweet tasting comfortable in the body.  This one has a touch of bitterness that can be pushed out under longer infusions to give it some bredth.  Overall a nice smooth relaxing Qi.  There is a reason why Ma Hei puerh is so popular… it’s just really nice to drink.  This 2020 Ma Hei also kind of reminds me a bit of Gedeng in its presentation of some mineral then floral nuance.  Blind guessing this puerh I might have guessed it Gedeng.  Comparing it to the very favorable 2019, the 2019 has a very dense thick coating mouthfeel which makes it really engaging and takes the nice flavours of Ma Hei and really cranks them up.  The 2019 was my favorite of the Zheng Si Long offerings at Tea Encounter last year for this reason.


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