In an effort to find an interesting 2017 sheng puer to cake, I went to Yunnan Sourcing and searched through all the $60+ cakes and purchased samples of what sounded good. Buying random Yunnan Sourcing things is always fun!
The 2017 Yunnan Sourcing Da Zhong Shan sheng puer description caught my eye –
Our Da Zhong Shan tea cakes are pressed from wild growing tea leaves harvested in early spring from 50 to 150 year old tea trees growing at 1800 meters altitude! The high mountain feeling in the tea comes out during brewing, giving the tea an almost oolong-like aroma but with the strength and pungency of a raw pu-erh. It reminds me somewhat of a Dan Cong and a Pu-erh.
Dancong-like Jinggu puer? Sign me up.
Dry Leaf and Steeping Method
The Da Zhong Shan dry leaf has some pressed fuzzy silver leaves mixed with some golds and olives. It smells zesty, fruity, and milky.
I used 1 gram of leaf to 15ml of vessel size, steeped in boiling water gongfu style. After a rinse, the hot leaf smells pungent and floral.
Tasting of Yunnan Sourcing’s 2017 Da Zhong Shan Sheng Puer
First and Second Infusion: Right off the bat, I love the thickness of the Da Zhong Shan puer. The mouthfeel feels like pudding. It has a sweet pomelo note, leaving a fresh aftertaste that lasts. Just the first cup I can feel the building astringency as each sip gets a touch drier. The whole experience feels like failed childhood breakfast eating drinking whole milk and chasing it with some grapefruit.
Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Infusion: Da Zhong Shan puer got bright. It has this sharp fresh pomelo, sweet grassy, and tulip green taste over a dense creamy body. Each sip reminds me of spring, like dewy tulips. It does remind me of a modern tieguanyin due to the fresh grassy vegetal and fruity taste. Each infusion develops more bitter puer bitter pungency that glues the grassy notes in the mouth longer. astringency is drying on the front teeth, but still very drinkable.
As I do compare it to a green oolong, you would not get it mixed up with an oolong as Da Zhong Shan puer has a strong punchy bitter puer flavor.
Seventh and Eighth Infusion: The bitterness has taken over, no more citrus grassy aromatic tea. Da Zhong Shan puer is sharp, bitter, stewy savory spinach teeth squeaking, with a citrusy tulip greens aftertaste. Oddly more floral came out in the later infusions. The ninth infusion was just too bitter and stewed tasting to drink.
The spent leaf is gorgeous, featuring full, robust, non-broken or chewed leaves with some thick stem.
Yunnan Sourcing’s 2017 Da Zhong Shan sheng puer is a citrusy grassy tea with an awesome heavy body, but over time develops a bitter puer pungency with a moderate astringency. The aftertaste is fresh and citrus. Citrus notes go away with time, so it would be interesting to see what this tea turns to with a few years on it. Either way, Da Zhong Sheng sheng puer is a good mid-range tea for someone who prefers greener/low oxidized oolongs due to the fresh notes. As is, it is certainly different than other young puer out there due to similar notes of tieguanyin. I could see this tea cold brewing amazingly as is.
However, I personally did not like it mostly due to personal taste. My brain had brain farted a prototype of dancong as being peachy and woodsy, and Da Zhong Shan puer was neither of those things, which made sense. Either way, the quality of 2017 Da Zhong Shan sheng puer is excellent if you enjoy the profile.