Tuesday, May 11, 2021

2018 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai Selected Trees Dragonball: About Selected Trees Puerh

One of the areas of special interest of Puerist is its focus on Nannou, and specifically its most famous village Ban Po Lao Zhai.  11 of 42 offerings at Puerist (1/4 of their current offerings) come from Nannou.  Out of these 2 of their offerings are more specific offerings for those who want to dive into the world of selected tree or single tree productions.  The two are 2017 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai “Single Trees” and this 2018 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai “Selected Trees”.

For me Nannou has always been a favorite.  In my earliest of puerh drinking days Nannou was always known and it has a rich history with puerh production.  The price of Nannou puerh is also quite reasonable for the quality you receive, at least to me with a strong robust flavor and Qi with significant mouth and throatfeeling and a nice deep camphor coolness.  As a result Puerist can offer these more specific productions at a price that won’t completely kill the bank account and put you into years and years of debt… hahahah…

This complimentary dragonball was composed of the same material as this 2018 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai Selected Trees 200g cake thatgoes for approx. $178.00 for 200g cake or $0.90/g.  For those who don’t know, “selected trees” are usually considered both the oldest/ largest trees in a garden which usually have a noticeable difference in taste compared to the rest of the garden.  In my experience that difference is usually a softer and more ethereal Gushu puerh experience while still having lots of qualities of the garden it is located in.

Let’s see how this special treat goes down…

Dry leaves smell of faint creamy sweetness.

After a 30 second rinse and then wait period I flash steep the first infusion and get a watery creamy sweet infusion with an airy expanding sweetness.  There is a creamy fluffy chalky light mouthfeeling with a saliva producing effect in the mouth.

The second infusion has a creamy watery initial taste that has a nice expanding creamy sweetness over a still watery profile from the balls not unfurrowing.  A nice slippery chalky tongue and saliva producing throatfeeling.  This is a smooth creamy sheng.  Nice long creamy sweet sugary aftertaste.  A nice subtle Qi feeling puerh.

The third infusion is a very smooth in taste and feeling with a creamy airy surgery taste and slippery mouthfeeling with a mild saliva producing effect after a very faint cooling and then long subtle creamy sweetness.  Smooth in the mind as well- just calm focus with a bit of Heart beats.

The fourth infusion has a woody creamy taste initially over a slippery mouthcoating.  There is some almost vegetal sweetnotes that appear before a slow to evolve cooling which pushes out a freshmint and creamy sweet faint long finish.  The Qi is really smooth and with Heart beating slow-down bodyfeeling.  A faint astringency can be felt on the empty stomach.

The fifth infusion has a creamy sweet woody onset that has a bit of vegetable taste.  The low lying coolness triggers a long aftertaste of faint creamy and sugar tastes. The mouthfeeling is starting to become a mild puckering feeling that can be felt on the lips.  Qi is mellowing with slow Heart beat palpitating effects.

The sixth infusion has a creamy melon watery smooth taste that has a low building faint coolness in the throat that turns to a creamy surgery taste.  Some vegetal faintness, almost woodiness comes out in the aftertaste. Hear beats slow and mind feels very relaxed.

The seventh has a clear sugar creamy sweet initial taste over a fluffy chalky thin mouthfeeling.  There is a bit of a vegetal woody creamy taste that returns after a mild pungency but also a long sweet taste.  Cool calm feeling with slow strong Heart beats.

The eighth a mild pure clear orange creamsicle with woody onset with a sugary returning sweetness.  The sweet taste rides long into the aftertaste on a backbone of ethereal cool pungency.  The clam in the mind is juxtaposed with the beating of my Heart.

The ninth infusion has a creamy woody sugar pure taste.  There is an expansive and opening coolness deep in the throat that carries sugary pure tastes into the distance.  The mouthfeeling has a mild chalkiness to it, lips dry, throat opens faintly but deeply and slowly embraces a deep pungent taste. 

10th has a mild astringent bitterness to it with a woody almost orange taste upfront and an almost dirt taste underneath. 

11th has a mild watery creamy sugary taste to it.  A tight mouthfeeling is developing.   Kind of finishes a faint creamy pear taste. 

12th the taste is most definitely weakening here with a faint watery sugary woody taste and increasingly gripping mouthfeeling… I’m going to try to loosen that dragonball with a pick….  Very relaxing Qi… too relaxing this snowy spring day…

13TH has a buttery woody sugar-melon creamy upfront sweetness.  There is an interesting full creamy sugary melon condensed sweetness here and a slightly drying mouthfeeling.

14th I add 20 seconds to the flash to push something more interesting out… and it does a fuller flavor presentation of sugar, creamy sweetness, woody, vegetable, and slight dirt with an overall sweet taste over a thin sticky mouthfeeling. 

15th oops… left the water in the pot for a good 10 minutes… intensely floral fruity almost rose with a strong saliva producing effect.  Strong creamy fruity tangy taste almost like orange blossoms.  Not much bitterness at all really.  A bit of mouth puckering sensation and more invigorating energy when pushed this hard….

16th I push hard again and get a very floral orange blossom dirt clear fruity mainly sweet taste.  There is just a bit of bitterness here over a smooth chalky mouthfeeling.  Qi is stronger in the mind and in the Chest with these long steeps.

17th I push hard again the next morning with these leaves a get a strong candy like taste over a sugar backdrop with faint woody.  There is a nice orange blossom taste with a lingering floral sweetness.  The leaves sitting a day really allowed for nice candy-like tastes to develop.  Nice focusing Qi this morning with still noticeable slow calming Heart palpitations.

18th I do another long infusion… this is a great puerh considering the lack of bitterness and astringency.  It gives you a lot of diversity in a session.  The tastes are of a chalky woody almost fruity carrot like creamier sweetness.  The creamy sweetness lingers in the aftertaste and combines with subtle candy.

I mug steep out the rest… and it’s pretty delicious with the dragonball still unfurrowing… its sweet sugar with a bit of a dirt woody background and low cooling throat with long dirt sugary feeling.  Nice focusing relaxing Qi with slow Heart beats.

The gushu has a nice smoothness to it with a focus on sweetness.  The contrasting distinct slow heart pounding with a very very relaxing feeling is an interesting and more rare Qi experience for me.  Overall the effect is a very mindful and centering feeling.  These Qi sensations are what Gushu is all about.  This puerh also has the ability to be pushed really hard to get more intensity of Qi and flavor due to the low/lack of bitter/astringent taste.  This gives you a lot of flexibility.  Nice sugary creamy sweetness and low pungency with long pure aftertastes can be had or stronger orange blossoms and dirt woods if pushed harder.  Overall, very nice high quality gushu thing.  It’s refined in a way that I would have not guessed it as Nannou.  My experience with this region is long into the era of stronger older school factory Nannou.  This more refined Gushu has subtle suggestions of Nannou that can easily be pushed out at will or you can opt for more elegant things.  Very nice.


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