Thursday, August 16, 2018

2017 Zheng Si Long Yi Bang and Thoughts on the Yibang Producing Area


I never think of myself as a big fan of Yibang but I got enough Yibang area puerh in storage to suggest otherwise.  I think what I like most about this area is its strong, euphoric, theanine induced, relaxing head feeling type of Qi that is common from the typically smaller leaves of Yibang.  Also I feel Yi Bang area puerh has enough astringency to balance the plethora of high notes that usually present.

So today, after clogging my pot early with this 2017 Zhang Si Long Mang Zhi, I regroup to pack my pot way too full of this 2017 Zheng Si Long Yibang ($118.53 for 200g cake or $0.59/g).

The mix of small and larger dry leaves smell of a bouquet of flowers, distantly pungent, slight forest edge, faint icing suragry sweetness, slight deeper forest and less fresh odour.

The first infusion has a very delicate onset presenting with outstretched arms full of high notes.  Sugar, floral, slight woody, rice taste.  Very faint watery wood underpinning.  Soft floral finish.  Soft, sticky mouthfeel to edges of cheeks.  Spacious head feeling immediately felt here.

The second infusion initially presents with wild flowers, slight surgar sweetness over a thin veil of woody, rice like base.  The mouthfeel is very gentle and has patches of stickiness.  A sight astringent mid-profile holds the light tastes close.  Qi in the head is pretty expansive. My head floats like a balloon to the sky.

The third infusion presents with a slight sour astringency with fruity blackberry and cherry thick base.  The fruitiness sticks to the mouth.  The astringent sour is strong here so I remove some leaves.  Lots of power in here.

The fourth and fifth infusions deliver dense array of floral sweetness in a sour astringent base. The sticky rice taste appears briefly.  The sweetness returns with a faint cooling before hiding amongst wildflower nuances. Slight sticky, wildflower honey aftertaste.  A soft chalky mouthfeel and opening deep throat nuance hold the high notes for minutes.

The sixth infusion initially starts with a chalky floral honey sweet initial taste.  There are distinct grape, muscatel notes in there as well.  This infusion tastes very grapey and floral.  The seventh is more rounded, and tastes of bamboo, rice paper, slightly more drying but mainly soft and chalky in mouth.  Some citrus in the aftertaste.  Very relaxing head feeling.

The seventh infusion starts to display a sweet hay like initial taste with longer wildflower middle.  This infusion is fruitier and the fruit taste intermingles with floral in the aftertaste.  The mouthfeel is slightly puckery.  The fruity floral taste is long.

The eighth infusion is back to a more muscatel base taste with florals and hay.  It seems like the infusions with increased astringency seem to push more of the grapey tastes out.  Head is too floating now.  The ninth has more bamboo, hay, astringency.  The mouthfeel becomes drier now.

The tenth infusion has more of a floral juicier fruity vibe.  It is interesting to me how varied this tea is from infusion to infusion.  More interesting than most Yibang I’ve tired because of that.  The eleventh has more of a floral, fruity but also light wildflower honey taste.  The astringency here keeps the flavors really tight.

Twelfth is turning into a fruity brew that still carries a subtle cool returning sweetness.  These later steeps are full of lighter notes still held nicely by a slight sticky mouthfeel and decent astringency.  I steep a few more times yielding some similar tastes.  I’m still keeping these infusions at a flash infusion and yield a durable flavor.  When I push it any more than a flash, I get too much astringency for my liking.  So is the nature of steeping with teapot really stuffed full of leaf.

A nice Yibang.

Peace

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