Hey this is fun- a Dragon Ball! I have no idea of providence nor age so this one is a mystery to me- a blind sampling. It is the only suggestion of some marketing something, marketing anything really, from Mark Turner of Puerist! OR maybe it is just simply a form of kindness? We all need more kindness these days….
Dry leaves smell of faint dry woody barely sweet almost honey.
After a 30 second long rinse the wet leaves smell of a creamy sweet, floral woody bittery green fresh odour. The material is likely from the last year.
The first infusion I do a 30 second steeping again with a woody candy floss long candy onset that evolves into a candy finish. Did anyone say candy? This tastes and feels like Yiwu to me. There is a watery slippery mouthfeeling and long candy over dry wood flavor with expansive sweet candy in the aftertaste after low pungent.
The second infusion is another 30 second steeping is a woody creamy sweetness with a dry woody base taste which starts sweet candy and ends in the mouth more candy. There is a carrot/ raspberry almost woody vegetal edge that comes out in this infusion. The mouthfeel is a bit slippery and slight gripping. Not too much sensation in the mouth. This infusion tastes more like Nannou to me. There is also the faintest smoke that is almost unrecognizable and very faint astringency. There is a long faint peachy almost woody taste even many minutes later.
The third infusion I go 25 seconds and it gives off… a thicker brothy soupy grassy type of sweetness that is thick and dense and overlapping with a moderate oily viscosity. There is a floral and sweet peach that emerges from the dense soupy grassy woody tastes. The mouthfeel is a moderately thick sandy sticky. The Qi is felt a bit in the chest and makes the mind feel clear. This infusion reminds me of Bada.
The fourth infusion is a 20 second infusion and delivers woody slight dirt grassy taste with sweet candy which expands in the mouth. The grassy pondy soupy woody with candy. There are nuances of dirt tastes almost coco with carrot like nuance. The mouthfeeling is an almost tight sticky with a mild throat feeling and increasingly sticky lips. The Qi is really mild and focusing with some Heart beats.
The fifth was a 10 second steep and has a buttery grassy woody taste with a underlying creamy candy sweetness that is highlighted more in the aftertaste. The sweet candy and almost peach aftertaste has a slight woody almost astringent base. There is a long peachy creamy woody sweetness minutes later. The mouthfeel has a bit of pucker chalkiness even on the tongue and this sensation reaches deeper into the throat this infusion.
The sixth is a flash infusion for a while here and delivers very floral sweet highnoted melon and peachy floral sweetness. This infusion has a really nice uninterrupted honeydew melon sweetness throughout, which is almost sugary at times. The taste is draped over a soft but almost sandy not really puckering mouthfeeling and very mildly stimulates the top throat. There is a mild fresh melon coolness at the finish.
The seventh infusion has a woody onset with distinct candy like sweetness. There is a creamy fluffiness to the sweetness and long candy like taste that is definitely tasting very Yiwu. The mouthfeeling has developed very nicely in to a fluffy sticky full feeling thing. Qi is very mild and focuses the mind a bit.
The eighth infusion has a woody dirt carrot and candy taste to it. There is a long sweet candy melon aftertaste over a woody base. The mouthfeeling is nicely thickening with a sticky pucker and stimulating the throat to hold the candy aftertaste for a long time afterwards. The Qi is mild and focusing.
The ninth infusion has a mild woody chalky woody not as sweet now kind of icing surgery sweetness. There is a slight woody brackishness in the taste now and less elegance. The mouthfeeling is sandier and almost dry with not much going on with throatfeeling, Qi or aftertaste now.
The 10th is still at flash but the liquor was left to cool and it gives off a simple woody almost maple syrup with expanding sweet taste. The mouthfeel is sticky with slight sandy pucker fullness. Mild alerting Qi.
11th has a woody buttery floral aspect to it the sweetness has a caramel edge to it now not the fruity sugary quality it had at the start of the session. Soft chalky and slight sticky drying full mouthfeeling. It still has a brown sugar finish now and a nice moderately oily texture. Relaxing and focusing Qi.
12th has an orange peel creamy sweet almost caramel sweetness to it. It ends in a caramel and fresh honeydew melon sweet finish. There is a deeper mid throat opening here with longer nuanced sweet melon and caramel aftertaste. The mouthfeeling is more of a moderate-mild chalkiness with a relaxing mild Qi.
13th has an orange peeling almost orange coco chocolate taste with an emerging creamy almost floral orange blossom sweetness with a longer caramel finish. The throat is opening deeper here with a nice chalky mouthcaoting. Almost floral orange caramel finish in the mouth. These last infusions have been really smooth and enjoyable.
14th This infusion has more coco orange peel slight bitterness with a more gripping mouth and throat feeling. There is less sweetness here and more of a dirt woody coco.
15th infusion has a pondy grassy soupy woodiness almost a grassy sweetness. There is only faint sweet edges left over a sandy sticky mouthfeeling. Mild relaxing qi.
16th infusion has a bitter woody taste that is almost coco and not really peachy floral. I leave the session here only to come back a mug steep out the leaves tomorrow during the work day…
The grandpa steeping of the spent leaves should be quite powerful because the leaf hasn’t completely unraveled from the small tight compact ball shape completely.
The leaves are a bitter woody almost coco and a bit of spice peppery pungency. There is a coolness in the throat but not that much fruity sweet left - just some on the edges. As the mug cools more of a floral bitter dirt almost sweet pear and orange taste almost jasmine taste develops.
Conclusion, this production is likely 2018/ 2019 and has some qualities from Yiwu, Bada, and Nannou. I am left wondering if it is a blend of different regions? I enjoyed this easy drinker. What goes ‘round comes ‘round.
Thanks again Mark!
Edit: I was informed by Mark Turner of Puerist that these Dragon Balls are of the same material as the 2019 Puerist Naka “Middle Aged” (Zhong Shu) which goes for approximately$38.00 for 200g cake or $0.19/g when converting back from Canadian currency. Which makes it a really solid budget single area puerh. This Naka isn’t as powerful in Qi as more expensive Naka but its flavor is complex enough that I thought this one might be a blend so that says a bit about its quality for the price. Another interesting thing about this puerh is that it is the first that I know of that is marketed as “Zhong Shu” or middle aged trees (between Xiao Shu and Gu Shu). I wonder if other vendors will use this marketing in the future?