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First, thanks to TwoDog of White2Tea for a hefty sample of this.

The dry leaves have darkened and a soft fragrance of “pure tea” exudes from the chunks of cake, which are composed of a variety of leaf types. The first couple steeps are somewhat weak, but by the third infusion, things get going. Each sip opens simply and sweetly, with a light mouthfeel, soon developing into a a full, complex body that introduces slight kuwei (good bitterness) in the throat, a slight tartness, and a faint smokiness. The finish is cooling throughout the mouth and coupled with a subtle huigan (returning sweetness).

The aromas in the dry cup and gaiwan lid are deep, dark and slightly fruity with caramel-like undertones. Some aspects from the earthy spectrum as well. All this together with the textural profile and flavors present place this cake in what seems like an intermediate stage of aging. It seems mature, but there are still rougher dimensions of youth that haven’t quite transformed yet. I enjoy this, though. My sessions with this tea have so far been complex and interesting, and the leaves grant a little bit of everything I like in sheng pu’er. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite teas I have had this year. I only wish I would have learned of White2Tea sooner so I could have grabbed a cake of this before they ran out…

Preparation
Boiling

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Bio

I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Teaware
Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.

Location

Fort Myers, Florida

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