Monday, September 28, 2020

2018 Puerist Hua Zhu Liang Zi: High Mountain Qi

This area is gaining in popularity for its pure and wild taste as one of the highest pureh producing areas in Yunnan.  I’ve only had it once before and there are not too many reviews on this region but it has been offered before at as a gushu and xiaoshu and there are some reviews on that 2018 and small Bush 2015 (see here and here).  In many ways puerh this high has different characteristics similar to the way high mountain Mu Shu Cha puerh from Mengku has at least in my limited experience with the area.  This 2018 Puerist Hua Zhu Liang Zi was provided free with my order for review but goes for around $129.00 for 200g ($0.65/g) when I convert back from CND.  Let’s try it!

Dry smell of dense fruity sweet artificial bubble gum grape.

First infusion has a wild tea almost grape unrooted sweetness that is really long in the mouth but yet that integrates with a dry woody nuance.  The sweetness is really distinct and the brooth is really watery.  It’s as if a grape sweet note is dangling at the top with almost nothing to root it down but a thin dry wood bark taste.  The sweetness does beautiful things though by expanding into the aftertaste pretty much untouched over a mouthfeel that is soft and watery.  The sweetness does something deeper with a sour faint astringency at the end of the profile.

The second infusion is a little bit deeper but still very light but now almost velvety grape taste that almost tastes artificial.  It has a Canadian Ice wine like taste to it.  It strings along far into the breath expanding and becoming more candy like.  There is a faint almost tree bark almost decomposing wood almost caramel base that give the light grapey sweet layer some depth but itself being quite thin.  The mouthfeeling is very soft and throat feeling even softer- light a faint sandy silk in the mouth.  This is a very ethereal type of high mountain almost wild varietial puerh similar in a way to the puerh of Mu Sha Cha or Mother Teas of Mengku in many respects.  The Qi is very soft in the mind and body.  My mind feels expansive and creative.  I experience and unusual qi sensation of my hair standing on my arms like a soft tingle in the limbs.  Very interesting.

The third infusion has a richer more oily and velvet onset of woody foresty tastes being even with grape sweetness.  The taste is almost of dry dirt and forest floor.  There is a faint astringency building now along with a very oily viscus liquor and soft faint tongue coating gives interesting layers to a lighter taste profile.  There is some faint cooling on the breath.  The tongue develops a thin mud like texture to it.  The Qi is really soft and soothing in the body and there is a distinct feeling of limb and scalp tingling.

The fourth infusion has a richer, woodier, earthier, foresty onset with sweet grape become more syrupy in taste and now laying underneath.  There is a bit of pucker astringency which pushes the saliva into the mid- throat and stimulating the upper throat.  There is a pungent coolness that develops and with it a long fresh almost dirt grape sweetness.  All of a sudden there is lots of grounding depth in the taste.  There is still oily texture but now a much more stimulating mouth and throat feeling.  Very mellow Qi.  Has a very nice soothing bodyfeeling as if it is light.

The fifth infusion has an oily rich woody foresty dirt forest floor onset with grape syrupy sweetness underneath.  There is a building pucker and astringency with this puerh which has an almost drying effect in the mouth and stimulating effect on the throat.  The arms and face and scalp feel light and almost tingling.  The mind happy.  The aftertaste that comes after a significant coolness is dirt and grape much of the same as the initial tastes but more cooling and pungent which intermingles in there with the aftertastes.

The sixth has a woody almost rubber bitter foresty astringency with a thin stevia and grape sweetness underneath.  The long pungency in the mouth and throat is the key feature here.  The sweet grape is more developed in the aftertaste along with dirt woody forest floor in the aftertaste bolstered by the long pungency.  The bodyfeel is stable with limb, face, and scalp lightness and tingling.  There is a bit of mild Heart pounding.  This inufison is less oily but still noticeable.

The seventh has a splash of fruity sweetness and stevia sweetness with a supporting tree bark and dirt forest floor nuance.  The mouthfeel has become flatter now and the mouthfeeling is still a mild puckering due to a mild astringency almost faint bitterness.

The eighth has that same fruity splash with a faint stevia almost grape finish.  There is a dirt, rubbery, woody taste that overtakes the sweetness now.  The pungent finish brings a bit more focus to the sweeter tastes but is actually more rubbery, forest floor dirt.  A noticeable pucker and almost bitterness throughout.  Nice bodyfeeling and happy Qi continues to delight.

The ninth infusion has a very similar feel as the eighth through and through.

The 10th infusion has an almost dark berry and grape stevia sweetness that is even with a rubbery-woody- dirt forest floor taste.  There is a quick mild-moderate bitter astringency here.  The pungency is nice and keeps the sweet dirt taste there until it disappears.

The 11th is a fruity sweet punchy taste up front with much less bitter-astringency and rubbery forest tastes.  This leaves the sweetness to fade into the aftertaste quickly without much support.  The Qi continues to course nicely throughout the body.

The 12th has a fruity plum and grape taste with mild dirt woody finish.  The throat feeling and tongue coating as well as oily texture has faded now.  Nice Qi throughout. 

13th has a punchy fruity pep then a dirt woody rubbery forest mild base with a nice long pungency that carries these tastes a bit.  This infusion is more juicy fruity with a bit more mouthcoating.  Happy Qi and tingling bodyfeeling.

14th has a mild stevia taste with rubber and dry wood base.  The pungency is nice but lessening slowly.  The bitter-astringency drops off in these mid-late infusions.  I feel happy and energized.

15th has a woody slight woody bark astringency with faint sweetness hard to parse out from woody rubbery forest taste.  The cool pungency pushes out some nice flavours.

16th has a nice balance of unusual woody forest rubbery base notes and some faint stavia taste with plum and grape sort of.  Nice Qi continues.

17th has a nice balance of sweet and woody-foresty high mountain taste.  The sweetness is mild but part juicy fruity and part stevia grape-plum.  Flat, slight puckering mouthfeeling.  Dirt-forest and almost grape-plum finish.

This pureh has great stamina and I’m give no choice but to walk away from the table this afternoon with probably more decent infusions a head…

I go back the next day for a few flash steepings…

The 18th is very creamy and fruity with a creamy sweetness with grape and plum tastes some surgery sweetness.  The sweet tastes are very layered here over a soft mouthfeeling.

The 19th is much the same with a punchy fruity grape and plum with more stevia tastes and even a bit of bitter astringency.  The mouthfeel is soft with a bit of pucker.

20th has a creamy peachy, stevia sweet, grape, plum fruitiness to it.  There is some great sweet tastes still layered in here.  These last infusions have more tastes than some other puerh’s peak infusions.  There is a soft and mild pucker mouthfeeling with some astringency.

Overall, this puerh is a very nice Hua Zhu Liang Zi puerh.  It starts as predicted very sweet and ethereal but quickly moves to sweetness with a woody high mountain forest base taste with a long pungent finish.  The middle infusions get a bit astringent and bitter with mild mouth puckering sensation all the while staying true to that thin almost artificial sweet kind of fruity taste with the foresty rubbery woody taste sometimes overtaking the high noted sweetness.  In the later infusions, more sweetness takes over the balance and plum and fruitier notes can be seen still juxtaposed with foresty, rubbery, woody high mountain “Mother Tree” potentially ancient varietal tastes. 

The Qi is the best part of this puerh with a strong building happy Qi with a unique bodyfeeling that leaves the limbs light and tingling.  The Qi is strong in this unique sense.  Like the high mountain Mu Shu Cha “Mother Tree” varietal of Mengku, Hua Zhu Liang Zi is maybe somewhere on a spectrum going towards a wild tea than conventional ancient arbour puerh.  It might be more of an acquired taste like wild puerh but should also be evaluated on its own similar to Mu Shu Cha or maybe even compared to it.

Oh did I mention the stamina of the leaf… I like this puerh.  Maybe the taste I haven’t completely acquired yet but it feels wonderful in the body and mind!



Natethesnake said...

I have a single tree 2019 Hua Zhu that I don’t visit very often but am always glad when I do. Reading about this tea makes me want to revisit it tomorrow...

Alex said...

Ah very nice! Huazhu is over of my favorite regions, every one I had was very nice - sadly no one else then Peter had offered tea from there yet (at least not that I'm aware of). Too bad shipping from China to Germany (regarding tea) is currently harder then ever and basically a gamble :-(
Inspired by your post I'm drinking the 2015 Gushu version form right now - best part here is the Qi too!

twt_reddit said...

I've had a couple of those, and my impression of the one from Puerist was that it was high quality and compares well..
that region is not to my tastes though, as I'm not a fan of vegetal tasting puer..

Natethesnake said...

Drinking Peter’s 2019 single tree now. Alex, did you try his 2019 Pop Peek Huazhu? It was somewhere between white and black tea. Very interesting.