Okay, I know Tiago and me are both strong believers of the benefits of full size puerh cakes. But, let’s be honest… there are also many advantages to offering Xiao Bings too. Maybe one of the biggest advantages is that a cake can be had at a much lower buy in price.
Okay, I know Tiago and me are both strong believers of the benefits of Spring cakes. But, let’s be honest… there are also many advantages to offering Autumn puerh too. Maybe one of the biggest advantages is that a cake can be had at a much lower buy in price.
Okay, I know I kind of just repeated myself there. But you can see where I am going with this right? The combo of xiao bing with Autumn production makes for a really affordable option for those who can’t afford or don’t want to spend the money on fresh puerh these days. Zheng Si Long offers a solid Yiwu single origin puerh experience for those who wish to explore single regions on the cheap all the while having your very own cake which is kind of fun.
Tiago sent me a complimentary sample for review of one of these autumnal 2019 Zheng Si Long- the 2019 Zheng Si Long Autumn Mang Zhi($46.47 for 200g cake or $0.23/g). I imaged he probably sent this one because he knows I really enjoy the Zheng SiLong Mang Zhi and also because I think the 2016 is a pretty solid Autunal puerhfor the price…
Dry leaves smell of creamy, woody, florally, fruity complex odour that is not particularly strong but complex.
First infusion starts with a pondy woody watery onset with hay notes underneath. There is a clear vegetal base to this first infusion almost rubbery woody and almost floral. Not that much sweetness. The mouthfeel starts to fill up with a rubbery squeaky kind of feeling.
The second infusion starts with a very present woody taste slight rubbery woody and almost a woody floral type of finish. The mouthfeel is full and squeaky. There is a puckering full sensation in the mouth with a very faint floral, not that much sweetness. The cooled cup is a floral orange creamy butter sweetness over a vegetal base. The Qi comes off pretty relaxing.
The third infusion has a lime fruit sour orange woody floral taste. There is some complexity coming out in the taste with sour, salty, and not quite sweet notes emerging here. The taste is both interesting and enjoyable and ends in a faint sugary woody floral cream woody. The mouthfeeling is a bit sandy and soft not too full with a vacuous throat. The Qi is relaxing to the point of zoning out chill.
The fourth has a jazzy fruity perfume woody strong condensed initial taste. The base is woody and vegetal there is a sugar sweetness in the finish with a fruity sweet layering. The mouthfeeling is chalky with sticky lips.
The fifth infusion has a woody slight bitter juicy condensed fruity perfume onset. The initial tastes kind of drops leaving a vegetal and woody base and some floral tastes with a faint sugar. The mouthfeeling is a thick chalky coating not much of anything really goes on in the throat.
The sixth infusion has a chalky floral orange fruit taste over a vegetal woody base flavor. The initial taste is a spark of tastes then it fades into a creamy sweet almost orange creamsicle flavor over woody vegetal taste. The mouthfeeling is thin chalky and the throat is empty.
The seventh infusion has a mild bitter wood with vegetal and faint orange floral underneath. The mouthfeeling is a chalky thin puckering with a cottony full finish. It finishes vegetal and almost creamy sweet. There is lots of flavor here for sure just not as much mouthfeeling and absent of much throatfeeeling. The Qi is quite mild and relaxing almost hazy in the mind.
The eighth infusion has a woody slight bitter onset with sour orange and floral finish. The dense flavor over stimulating mouthfeeling are enjoyable. There is also a metallic taste developing in the mouth over a flat sticky dry thin mouthfeeling. Hazy mild relaxing downer Qi on this overcast day- my mind feels overcast.
The ninth infusion has a bitter woody onset that quickly leaves an orange sour sweetness behind in the tight chalky thin mouthcoating. There is a vegetal bitter woodiness underneath. A cool cup is more creamy sweet woody slight orange sour savory taste. The taste is complex and interesting but has little to root on a thin tight chalky mouthfeeling and empty throatfeeling. Relaxing.
The 10th has a woody slight bitter orange not that creamy floral taste. It’s like all the interesting flavours come at the same time and don’t stick around much but that initial blast is really nice. Flat tight full coating.
The 11th infusion has a sour sweet orange woody vegetal taste. Tight slight chalky full mouthfeeling. Relaxing Qi. This puerh is very stable throughout the infusions. I like the interesting burst of flavours here- bitter, savory, and sour.
`12th has a watery, vegetal, slight bitter orange taste with some woody almost coco base woody profile. There is a grain/ hay subtle nuance that pops up in the aftertaste minutes later.
I mug steep out the rest and it gives off thick olive vegetal slight bitterness with a wood-floral nuance. The taste is still quite concentrated and give me a calm alert feeling inside.
I overnight steep it and it is actually quite complex in flavor the next day with chalky, woody, creamy sweet, fruity, bitter, lots of tastes in there over a thick full chalkiness. The fruitiness is quite long in the mouth and lingers for a long time. It’s interesting that the gongfu had not much aftertaste where the overnight steeping of the spent leaf had lots of aftertaste which tells me that it will grow into its aftertaste as it ages a bit more.
Overall, this Autumn Mang Zhi offers a dense complex burst of varied tastes initially that fade quickly but are quite satisfying and thick when they arrive all at once. Like a big blast of flavor and then quick fade. This aspect is nice and enjoyable. There isn’t much for either length of taste, aftertaste, nor is there much throatfeeling. The Qi is a relaxing hazy mind effect. In the end I liked the contrast between flavor bursts and relaxing haze. I still think a much better Autumal Mang Zhi is the 2016 Zheng Si Long Autumn Mang Zhi offered at Tea Encounter that was selected by Tiago after a wider sampling of Zheng Si Long Autumal productions over the years. Still this is a solid autumnal puerh single origin puerh for its 2020 price- if that is what you are looking for. I enjoyed it.