What does Zheng Shan mean, btw? According to babelcarp Zheng Shan (正山) means (especially in the context of Pu'er) Truly From The Mountain, as opposed to from lowlands, or maybe only from the east side of the mountain where the crop gets direct sunlight only in the morning. On the Yunnan Sourcing website you can read that this stone-pressed little cake is composed entirely of Yi Wu area old plantation tea bushes. The area is just outside of Ma Hei village not far from Yi Wu town. It's entirely first flush of spring production and has that characteristic Yi Wu aroma and taste.
After reading this I was considering buying the whole cake but in the end I decided to try just a sample. I must say it was an intuitive choice. I do not like saying I feel disappointed about any particular kind of tea and it is for many reasons.
Firstly, I do not want to treat tea as something to fulfill my expectations. I prefer seeing tea as a gift from Mother Nature, something to be enjoyed, something that is enriched with energy (cha qi, if you want) and special characteristics which do not always have to be compatible with my daily needs. Secondly, I understand that tastes can differ from a day to day, depending on our physical condition, the food we just had or a mood we are in. It is simply too subjective to be taken too seriously. It might as well be my todays' frame of mind or the tea I drank in the morning that could have easily affected my privileged pre-tastes. This would probably be that case.
Well, these are the qualities I am not usually looking for when buying a sheng sample. Why do I buy samples from 2010 then? Good question. Having tried many samples from previous year I've found out the year is not always the most important factor when considering the potential taste. Even some very young sheng cakes can really surprise you. I would definitely say it about the above mentioned 2010 Yiwu Purple cake from YS. Yiwu Zheng Shan is, however, not the case.