Saturday, September 5, 2020

2020 Zheng Si Long Gedeng: Delicious!

 Ok.... this review is one that you’ve been waiting for!

Yes the good man that he is and proprietor of Tea Encounter, Tiago (aka Curigane), kindly gifted me most of the 2020 Zheng Si Long line he is offering!  Expect reviews of these in the next week or so.   At the end of this review we are going to compare this 2020 Zheng Si Long Gedeng ($262.64 for 400g cake or $0.66/g) to the 2019-2017 Zheng Si Long Gedeng as well as the 2018 Essence of Tea.  You can see the evolution of sample package marketing at Tea Encounter above- beauty!  Sample marking is a big deal in the Western puerh scene but that’s probably a topic for a different post.... on to this delicious Gedeng...

Dry leaves have a smooth creamy tropical fruity sweetness.

First infusion has a creamy clear soft moss and slight wood taste.  The taste is really pure and the mouthfeel is tingling on the tongue.  There is a really active numbing tongue sensation.  Tropical fruits come out nicely on the aftertaste after a mild sticky stone and almost mint taste almost woody. The mouthfeeling is very sticky and active.

The second infusion has a quick tropical fruity sweet taste with a strong menthol onset that turns into a stone, almost woody, almost seaweed taste.  The taste is mainly this delicious creamy tropical fruit in a very active and full feeling mouthfeeling that is a bit tingling.  The aftertaste is someone woody but mainly an active creamy tropical banana fruitiness.  There is a very mild astringency and bitter that kind of tugs at the tongue. The tongue feels sticky from the effect.  I am starting to feel floaty and a bit high even this early in the session.

The third infusion has a strong stone with mild bitter astringency vegetal and tropical tastes.  There is some woody, almost minty-seaweed, and tropical fruit.  The mouthfeel and tongue coating is stimulating at first sticky then almost drying.  It has a pretty engaging feeling.  The thoat feeling is open with a saliva producing effect in the upper throat. There is a tropical fruity nuance then a chalky powdery aftertaste.  You can see the deeper yellow liquor of a less green, longer processed?, maocha in the picture.

The fourth infusion has a juicy creamy almost tropical and banana fruit taste with a mild bitter astringency over chalky powdery taste and feeling in the mouth.  The mouthfeel is sticky then turns a bit dry and pushes some saliva into the back of the mouth and the throat has a faint mint nuance.  There is an overall chalky stone and powdery feel and taste to this puerh which is interesting.  The finish is almost tropical fruits then turns to a chalky taste.  The stimulation of the mouth, throat and tongue are quite dynamic and changing.  The Qi has a stoned effect.  The body feels light and floaty.

The fifth has a slight caramel, and tropical banana sweetness onset with a mild quick moving bitterness that leaves a flat stone, some candy and tropical banana in the mouth.  There is a chalky and powdery finish along with the banana- it tastes slightly like banana flavoured Penicillin but not bitter.  This infusion is really powdery and stone tasting.  The tongue coating is sticky and the throat has a subtle stimulating in the top throat that almost hold saliva but not quite.  The aftertaste is more stone and banana taste.  Qi is relaxing and has a bit of shoulder release.

The sixth infusion has a thicker fruitier banana and Thai dragon fruit kind of taste to it.  There is a quick moving flat stone bitterness.  The nice part here is that there are more candy nuances that come out here.  An initial candy taste comes out, then it returns stronger on the breath as classic Juicy Fruit brand bubble gum.  The fruity and candy sweetness in this infusion explode and are the dominant tastes with some bitter stone in the base.  The mouthfeeling is a thicker chalkiness that is mainly on the back of the tongue.  The Qi is really relaxing and even has a relaxing effect on the body.  I sigh…

The seventh infusion has a sweet, rich, almost caramel, sweetness to it with some tropical sweetness underneath.  There is a mild stone flat bitterness underneath.  The mouthfeeling has a sticky thickness on the tongue and back of the mouth.  The Qi has a happy feeling to it.  Its relaxing on the body and mind and has a mild uplifting feeling.  Makes me sigh.

The eighth infusion has a watery caramel, creamy sweet almost tropical banana taste that is over a flat mild stone bitterness.  The mouthfeeling is chalky and full and the throat has an empty opening with more stimulation at the back of the mouth and top throat.  The sweet aftertaste is never that long however there is a chalky powdery taste that lingers minutes later and compliments the stone taste.  This infusion is still mainly sweet.  There is an obvious caramel sweetness that starts to develop in the last few infusions here and compliment the separate but less strong now tropical fruity nuances.

The ninth infusion has a mild flat stone bitterness with tropical fruits onset.  The tropical fruitiness is not as strong as the stone bitterness.  The mouthfeeling is more dry and tight chalky and the throat is more tugged from this.  The aftertaste is a powdery chalky not that sweet taste.  The Qi is mellow and relaxing on the body and mind.

The tenth infusion has a watery creamy sweet tropical nuance.  It kind of expands in the mouth.  It has a really nice sweet taste with almost no bitterness here.  Still a nice full chalky mouthfeeling and stimulation at the back of the tongue/mouth.  Relaxing, tension relieving Qi.  Feels good in the body.

11th has a very sweet taste of expanding tropical nuance over a base of mineral stone.  The sweet tropical taste expands in the mouth and over the tongue.  It releases lots of saliva here and leads to a very creamy sweet tropical aftertaste.  The Qi is really relaxing and mellow and happy.  My body feels a mild floating.  The taste is real nice here.

12th is a bland almost woody stone taste with a bit of fruity taste.  The mouthfeeling is chalky on the tongue.  The finish is bland stone.

13th infusion I steep for 20 seconds… It gives off a fruity but bitter bland tasting infusion.  The mouthfeel remains unwaveringly chalky full on the tongue. 

The 14th I do a 30 second steeping… and it gives off a bland bitter taste with edges of faint fruit…

I mug steep this one out..

And it gives off some stone, creamy sweet, tropical sweet, flat bitter taste.  The taste is still complex here and highlights most of the flavor profile throughout the session.  It also induces a nice deep focused calm.

Vs The 2019 Zheng Si Long Gedeng is more green processed than this 2020 and pours out more pale/greenish yellow than the 2020.  The 2019 has more woody notes and a bit more complexity to the taste and more bodyfeeling and Qi overall.  However, the 2020 has just the most brilliant sweetness and layering of sweet tastes and a fuller more juicy presentation.  The 2020 is the sweetest and maybe the best tasting of all the Zheng Si Long Gedeng offered at Tea Encounter.  The 2020 has an interesting mouthfeeling at the back of the throat and a bit of bitterness up front where the 2019 has more astringency and less bitter but less mouthfeeling presence.  The Qi… the Qi of the 2019 is noticeably stronger and is of different nature as the 2020.  The 2019 gives a much stronger high with a strong hypnotic feeling in the mind and has a stronger levitating bodyfeeling.  The 2020 on the other hand doesn’t offer much bodyfeeling and is more of a noticeable happy and tension and relaxing energy to it.  The Qi is still stronger than average and I quite liked it.  In this way the 2020 is very very different than the 2019.

Vs The 2018 Zheng Si Long Gedeng.  The 2018 Gedeng has a much denser and engaging fullness compared to both the 2019 and 2020.  The very full mouthfeeling has a way of presenting a condense and complicated and long taste that is somewhere between and a little bit the best of the overly sweet 2020 and the more woody and savory 2019.  The 2018 has a very distinct bodyfeeling and Qi sensation which pushes it definitely over the top of the 2020 and 2019.  The 2018 also has a deeper aftertaste and throat sensation.  However, the taste of the 2020 is sweeter and just tastier than the 2018.

Vs The 2017 Zheng Si Long Gedeng.  The 2017 has a very similar vibrant delicious taste as this 2020 but the 2017 lack a larger Qi experience.  This makes the 2017 Zheng Si Long Gedeng maybe the most similar to this 2020 in taste.   However, the 2017 lacks a bigger Qi feeling overall which this 2020 has much more of.  In Qi and feeling it is closer to the 2019.

PuerhBlog's Tasting Notes

Edit: Vs The 2018 Essence of Tea Gedeng Guoyoulin.  This one is just powerful Gedeng that lacks some of the nuances that some of the better the Zheng Si Long have.  The power is this one’s beauty which makes it quite nice at a category of the 2018 Zheng Si Long Gedeng.


Alex said...

Very nice comparison, thanks a lot for your work! One thing about the 2017 version is it's dense and heavy texture, which I really like.

And thanks for the link - I would never have thought that what started as a personal experiment would pop up on a blog I've been reading for years! :-)

Natethesnake said...

I’ve had all 4 of these and agree with the summary. I have a sample of the 2016 I intend to try soon. Yesterday I drank a hotbox stored 2014 Gedeng from that was phenomenal but sadly sold out. His Gedeng and BaKaNan teas sell out in weeks.

Matt said...


Thanks for your note on the 2017- it’s definitely good value as it is the cheapest but looks like it’s sold out.

I need to link your reviews more often! I like your reviewing style even though our tastes are often quite different. For some reason blogger won’t let me add your blog to my blog roll :(

Matt said...


Peter runs a tight ship over there. You have me looking to see if he got to sourcing any 2020 puerh...


Alex said...

Thanks for your praise, glad you like my notes!
Yeah sorry, that's because I'm not using blogger but an site made and hosted by my own. Maybe importing a RSS feed ( or Atom feed ( might work.

Yeah, Peter has the best Gedeng shengs for sure!

Matt said...


It worked! Finally on the blog roll. No more binge review reading your reviews... hahaha


Alex said...

Haha, super cool thanks :-)

Curigane said...

Looking at your photo, I really feel ashamed of those initial sample packaging. :) eheheh

Matt said...

Curigane (Tiago),

Hahahaha... I knew you would chime in about that. “The Evolution of Puerh Sample Marketing”. Hahaha