Saturday, August 10, 2019
Highly Recommend This Bargain Bodyfeeler: 2018 Yunnan Sourcing Autumn Nan Po Zhai
I am writing up this post in haste in an attempt to get it out so readers can have a crack at getting this very good puerh at the lowest price possible…
It is in my opinion an extraordinary example of very clean single estate puerh with very powerful Qi sensation but particularly intense bodyfeel. This type of bodyfeel and Qi sensation is rarely, if at all, found in a puerh with such a low price. This 2018 Yunnan Sourcing Autumn Nan Po Zhai goes for $72.00 for 400g cake or $0.18/g. Scott is going to raise the price of this one another 15% in his annual price increase in about a month and this weekend (5 day sale) there is a 10% off Yunnan Sourcing Raw puerh sale with the checkout code RAW10 . Waiting till Black Friday isn't going to get you more of a deal on this one and as soon as the word gets out on this one it will be sold out even before the sale. This is an extraordinary chance for beginner or veteran to get something with the profile and bodyfeel that is often sold for 4X this price from other vendors without even being as intense…
Let’s see why I hit this one hard with a hammer…
The dry leaves smell of very very intense minty pungency with a deep foresty sweetness. It has an intense floral quality to it as well. The dry leaf smell is the one you keep going back to the sample back to huff- very deep and aromatic.
The first infusion delivers a strong unnami and saline burst right off the bat. I’m left distracted trying to think of a puerh that I’ve ever tried that was more savory…. There is a woody depth to this tea and strong minty pungent taste then long sweet with fresh cut floral smell. The aftertaste is long and candy like. The mouthfeeling is very quick thick and coating on the tongue and mouth.
The second infusion delivers more very salty and savory unnami. The onset tastes like salted yarrow chips. The mouthfeeling is very very thick and coating and the throatfeeling is deep. This is a very strong autumnal production. The Qi is starting to float the head and make me happy. A long floral sweetness follows. There is a calming and heavy body sensation that is immediately apparent.
The third infusion has an intense minty pungent and savory onset. The mouthfeeling is really strong and intense with a deep throat feeling. This is quite powerful. There is some strong underlying bitterness on the tongue and astringency in the throat. Long floral taste remains. This puerh has a strong presentation of all 5 flavours: Salty, Sour, bitter, Bland, and Pungent tastes. The most prominent being the Salty. Very interesting and powerful puerh. The body feeling is quite strong and I space out and float.
The four starts like a very dense salty saltine like sweetness with bitter and sour mixed in. The sweet taste comes after a cool returning sweetness and brings a distinct taste of flowers and long candy on the breath. The mouthfeel is very thick very strong and goes into the deepest to deep mid throat. The head floats and the body has almost a shiver to it.
The fifth infusion starts with a very thick liquor of moderate to strong bitterness, strong intense saline and salty yarrow chips and layers of woods underneath. The taste presentation is very dense and strong and thick. The body feel is intense, with an unusual heaviness with arms floating and dangling. The Qi pushes my mind far into a creatively opening spacy, very intense and wonderful.
The sixth infusion is smoother, almost finishes buttery and floral sweet. The thick minty and salty saline tastes emerge first. I let it sit a few minutes before drinking and it’s a bit less bitter. The bitterness here is never off putting but is moderately strong.
The seventh is sweeter throughout again but it starts more bitter which stretches throughout the infusion the mouthfeel is strong and a long buttery aftertaste is found that turns to candy on the breath. There is lots of nuance here. My body is outside itself right now. My mind is free and a bit spacy. My breath slows and thoughts are clear.
The eighth infusion starts with layered taste of bitterness with salty and minty tastes underneath. The long sweetness comes in like an undulating wave as the bitterness recedes. My mind and body is overpowered by the Qi.
The ninth infusion starts with a dense soup of salty unnami thick taste of woods and some sweetnesses underneath a pungent mint and a sweet rolling floral sweetness. Qi is very floating in the head and has a nice body floating sensation. The mind is free and relaxed.
The 10th starts with a thick sweeter woody briney onset. It has a soup and broth like taste here. The aftertaste is sweet with some florals. There is a minty nuance in there as well throughout the infusion.
The 11th has a thick onset. A brothy and dense taste that is thicker in the broth than it is on the tongue now. The tongue is slippery and almost sandy. The floral nuance lingers on the breath. Mind is super relaxed.
12th this tea I mellowing out here. It is quite sweet, buttery, floral tasting with a moderate-mild lingering bitter taste. The taste has a juicy sweet feeling to it, it’s a touch brothy but the saltiness is much reduced now. A lingering floral sweetness and mild coolness lingers. In the body the Qi feels strangely at home and not aggressive but in the mind, mouth, tastebuds, and throat it’s a different story.
13th has a bit more punchiness bitter initially but then a thick soupiness takes hold the taste evolves interestingly throughout the profile
The 14th has an incredibly clear orchid aroma and taste to it after the slight sour and bitter move quickly into a long rolling sweetness. The mouthfeeling is sticky and strong and the throat opens deeply.
The 15th and 16th deliver then soupy flavours of mainly sweet tastes, the thickness here is of note, the bitter is much less and there is more astringent and sour bitterness that moves quickly. I am pretty spaced out…
Overall, this has some really powerful Qi sensations. I don’t recall ever drinking a single estate puerh this cheap with such strong body sensations. This puerh really punches above its weight in this department. The taste is alright, a very nice taste actually a bit of a unique very savory taste mixed with some Mengku charms. This one is all about the intensity of the bodyfeeling and overpowering effect on the mind.
Just yesterday, I started to doubt that my experience was this positive so I used up the rest of the sample which was about 2/5 less leaf than I normally use. This session was very salty and savory tasting which is a very interesting taste profile- I don’t have in any puerh in my possession with this profile right now. But the Qi was almost more intense than I remembered it- It really ran me over. The power and strength of this puerh is such that I don’t even need to leaf it as much. This is really a great bargain for those who love intense body sensations and mind exploding Qi. This is the one. I would even say it’s close to but not quite as intense as the 2018 Zheng Si Long Gedeng I purchased a few months ago at almost 4x the price.
Scott only pressed 99 cakes of this puerh, it is extremely limited but why hasn’t it long sold out if it’s as amazing as I’m making it out to be?
I think it lacks the “cool factor”. It’s one of those crazy amazing puerh that is just sitting unnoticed because..
1- It’s autumn production. I used to also snub autumnal puerh so I don’t blame those who do this but, to be honest, you are overlooking some puerh that may be much better than spring productions. This one doesn’t have that vacuous taste profile which plague a lot of autumnal pureh. Tasted blind, I doubt even a highly educated pallet could identify this one as Autumn.
2- It’s not from Southern Xishuangbanna. If its not from Southern pureh producing regions then it won’t age well or is in some way inferior. I also can’t blame people for this one either because I also favor the South. But readers know I also love Menku area puerh and am pretty familiar with its awesomeness.
3- Its not from a famous puerh producing region. Where is Nan Po Zhai??? I’ve actually never heard of this region before until reading about it on the Yunnan Souring site. Why? Because its actually the closest region to the 3rd most famous puerh producing region, Bing Dao. Scott explains in the video tasting of this one that it almost always gets falsely sold as Bing Dao and no one really markets this stuff as Nan Po Zhai… but that’s great news because Bing Dao is famous…
4- Scott listing the KG of his productions rather than number of cakes pressed. The average person doesn’t probably do the calculation to see how many cakes are produced from the KG of raw material that Scott usually lists. I noticed that the 2019 productions now list how many cakes are produced which will clue some people in to how limited some of Yunnan Sourcing productions really are.
5- Wrapper. Ok this wrapper is pretty cool but not as cool as most of his other ripe or spring 2018 Lucy themed wrappers. In in the end if the wrapper isn’t cool and I can’t personally identify with the branding… then how could the puerh possibly be any good?
6- Scott presses way too much. I honestly should not be complaining about this but really I think it is a wonderful thing. But the average person just simply can’t navigate and sample that many productions in a year. Easy for some to fall through the cracks especially considering the above. I emailed Scott specifically to recommend me a very specific qualities of puerh irregardless of price or region and he supplied me a crazy long list of recommendations. I personally narrowed them down then sampled a bunch this one really stunned me (lots more reviews to come).
7- Anti- Yunnan Sourcing bias. There is something that some people find not cool about Yunnan Sourcing. IF you don’t identify with the branding you are restricting yourself for superficial reasons and will miss out.
8- Unusual taste profile. This puerh has a really unusual taste profile that has to be one of the most savory puerh I have sampled before. It almost tastes artificially salted at times. I think this unique taste profile as well as the heavy Qi could be overlooked in some people who are putting more weight into the taste of the puerh rather than the feel of it.
In the end, I purchased more of this than any other single estate production I have ever bought- over a tong of this stuff. After sampling this I watched the You Tube video of Scott drinking this puerh and he claimed that he had not tired it since pressing it. In that video he honestly seems a bit stunned as well at the power of this one. If this one stunned Scott and me, I can almost guarantee it will stun you too.