4 Tasting Notes
The Yi Wu Zheng Shan cake is produced yearly with the earliest I’ve seen being 2001. The cheapest quoted price for a 2003 cake is MYR 2000 (about USD 500 today). In this regard, the price appreciation for CYH YWZS is on par at least with mass-produced factory puerh.
After about a month of acclimatisation in Malaysia, I finally get to review it. In terms tea fragrance, it has strong sun-dried smell; sweet sugar cane. The tea soup seems to be darker than I remembered YWZS cake from 2014.
The tea soup is thick. Only truly early spring tea with tender tea buds and thick stems will have this quality. The soup coats the mouth smoothly like a thin layer of oil. There is no noticeable bitterness but a tinge of astringency is felt. Once the tea soup leaves the throat, it will return with a sweet huigan. I’ve drank more than 1.5 liters of this tea from a 180ml pot and it’s still going strong. In the later brews, it’s sweet water.
Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Sugarcane
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Fine, smooth and bold.
Dry leaves smell very sweet and without smokiness.
The first brew is light yellow although later brews are darker. The soup itself smells like sweet peas and savoury. The soup taste fine and absolutely no harshness expected of new tea. It returns honey sweetness after it slides into your throat with “oily” smoothness and ends up warming your chest. It’s bold and strong and packs much cha qi (茶气 ). On the 6th brew, as always, it’s subjected to torture brew by leaving it in 90°C water for over 2 minutes. The abusive brew results were remarkable. No obvious astringency or bitterness and it was as smooth, fine and thicker in mouthfeel.
Flavors: Nectar, Peas
This tea has residual smokiness that should be gone by end 2015. The tea soup is medium in thickness. As it’s a blended tea from arbor leaves of several mountains, you get much activities in your mouth. It is also very fragrant like fresh sugar cane. There is sweetness from Yiwu, fruity freshness from Youle and some other mountain that forms the base of this tea. As it’s still less than a year old, it has some roughness on tongue but minimal astringency or bitterness. It’s really good to drink now and would improve by ageing a year or two.