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Recent Tasting Notes
Been wanting to review this for a while now, but chose to delay so I could let one of the bricks air out a bit. I ended up getting 5 bricks before the price rise which only cost $75 (£45) for 500 grams of this. Already we are in “major bargain” territory, possibly underpriced in my opinion. Bricks are wrapped in a “tailor made” white2tea white wrapper with a rather charming portrait of Moby Dick on the front. I like the simplistic nature of this…usually a sign of good things ahead. I stick on a Mastodon album called Leviathan to get me into the right frame of mind. Leviathan is a progressive metal concept album all about…you guessed it, Moby Dick. Here are my tasting notes…
I break apart 7 grams of this which goes straight into my 130ml yixing. Two quick 3 second rinses and I smell the wet leaves. I am getting some woody smoke, with a dash of malt in the background. The smokiness reminds me of the aroma of a classic Scottish Malt whisky, like the amazing Lagavulin. Very nice indeed. However the wet leaves reveal a lot of chop stems, so visually this is not the most impressive puerh I have seen. I remind myself that appearances can be deceiving.
I take my first proper steep at 7 seconds. Liquid is already coming out dark amber in colour. I take my first sip…very smooth, clean, crisp and precise, hints of woody smokiness, nice balance of savoury and sweetness, reasonable thickness, and minty coolness already beginning to develop on the tongue.
Second steep and third steep are similar to my first steep. The malty aroma of the wet leaves is now much more apparent with the smokiness lingering more in the background. QI is beginning to develop, my body begins to calm. I would not classify this as a sweet puerh, but I am enjoying the subdued sweetness in the back of the throat. This puerh also has a tasty, long finish which I find really enjoyable between steeps.
Later steepings and I am getting some light camphor notes, adding another dimension to this bargain priced tea. I do prefer a stronger camphor taste in my aged puerh, but who knows maybe a brick or two needs to lie down for a few years to develop further. Maybe not…we will have to wait and see.
I am now at 11 steeps and this is still delivering on taste. I could possibly push this a lot further but decide to let the leaves rest until tomorrow. Really great durability. A really calm, relaxing 3 hour tea session. Overall, this an excellent semi aged puer, at an even more excellent price. Sure this is not the grandest aged puerh I have ever had, however those ones command a much higher price tag. Really good value in my opinion. I know the price has now gone up to $23 per brick but I still think even at this price this is still very good value for money.
I really enjoyed the subdued woody smokiness texture, however I can understand and appreciate that these sort of notes will not be to everyone’s liking. Keep an eye on your steep times…I did 7 seconds consistently for at least half a dozen steeps and was very satisfied with the results. So yeah this is another surprising puerh from white2tea that punches well above its price. It’s a puerh I could quite easily drink on a daily basis, however I really should keep a few bricks to age further. Many thanks to white2tea for another great bargain!
Flavors: Camphor, Malt, Smoke, Sweet
Woo woo woo
This tea is something else. It’s yummy, but I’m decidedly woozy and will have to wax eloquent on THAT later. I wanted to get an initial note down quick. This leaves me with a very distinct sinking feeling. It’s like you’re on vacay in a swank-ass hotel and you collapse back onto an ultra soft and fluffy bed, sinking away into a cloud. I’ve also had a similar feeling in savasana after a long ashtanga yoga session.
To sum up: Tea=good=happy=super feelings=wooooooooooo
This one isn’t cheap, but I believe samples are available, so get one. NOWZ.
Edit: I’m currently sitting on my couch, reading text message fails, and laughing like a hyena. Tears are, quite literally, streaming down my face. This stuff is the real deal. If I could, I’d buy it all.
What a nice tea surprise! This is White2Tea’s latest value-priced find for everyday enjoyment – definitely a great value given that it is quite nice material with a good amount of age. The expected dark leaves of a fine shou offer an aroma with clean notes (sweet and earthy with a slight hint of mustiness) and produce a dark orangish-brown tea soup which is very clear. No sign of fermentation remains and I detected absolutely no bitterness – a very pleasant sip. Overall impression: bold dark leaves of good size and integrity; thick but smooth body; hints of vanilla; dried fruit flavor (raisins or dates); the feeling in the mouth and throat is decent. I definitely want to have this shou on hand so I am quite sure I’ll purchase more very soon.
In my quest to find the “perfect” shu pu I have had an amazing opportunity to sample what I personally think is some of the best shu pu around. From the amazing 1995 9016 Tuo Cha, to the pristine 1980’s Ti Tian, both have left a distinct impression on me, and both have delivered ultra-tasty tea sessions. At £340 per 330 gram cake, to 99 euros per 250 gram Tuo Cha, there is one thing that is missing from my tasting lineup…a downright bargain. Cometh the hour, cometh White2Tea.
I recently noticed that they had some new ripe puerh for sale…the mysterious white wrapper immediately sparked my interest and beckoned me to make a purchase. White2Tea always tend to have a very keen eye for high quality puerh at bargain prices, and at only £55 ($87.50) for 500 grams of this stuff it is simply a no-brainer purchase. I trust Paul 100% and have never been disappointed, so with good faith I placed a rather large order. Here are my notes…
Carefully unwrapping the delicate white wrapper, I see a cute compressed 100 gram Tuo staring back at me. I give the tuo a quick sniff…aged aromas with a sprinkling of humidity comes forth. Breaking apart this cute Tuo is easy with a puerh pick…I chip away a nice 9 gram chunk. Two very quick rinses in my 140ml gaiwan and I smell the wet leaves…a hint of fermentation, lovely rich, bold and nicely aged aroma. I hope that this tastes as good as it smells.
First proper steep at about 2 minutes. I pour the liquid…black and syrupy…perfect. First sip and I am in shu heaven yet again…rich, thick, earthy, creamy taste, bold flavours, ultra-smooth and slick down the throat, sweet long finish. This is seriously good shu pu.
This is not just a one steep wonder…the same lovely taste progresses steep after steep. It does get a more amber colour at around 10 steeps, however it still delivers on taste. It never gets bitter, no matter how long I decide to steep it for. This lovely shu pu punches well above its price. In fact, I don’t think you will find a better shu than this at the same price.
I usually write longer reviews than this, but there is not that much more to say. It is a fantastic example at an awesome price. I would say it is just as good as the 9016 Tuo Cha, therefore I have given it the same score. Both are very tasty, however taste quite different, so it is good to have high quality variety depending on what mood I am in. Does it topple the 1980’s Zi Tian from its throne? I personally don’t think so but that does not matter to me. What does matter to me is getting excellent quality at good prices, and White2Tea has delivered this in spades. I highly recommend this shu to anyone that is into shu. Many thanks to White2Tea for the amazing shu pu!
I was also going to review EOT’s 1970’s Y562 Shu Puerh tonight however the 1970’s powerful QI has got the better of me. I will leave that for tomorrow…
Flavors: Earth, Thick
Aroma of wet leaves, after two rinses, is creamy, sweet and rich.
5s – It has a milk chocolate, sweetcorn likeness. This tea is moreish, similar to some Lattes (the coffee) I’ve had in the past. This is consistent with the seller’s description: ‘has a creamy body similar to that of warm milk’.
10s – Although this has had 12 years to air off, it still has a faint ‘fishy’ taste.
15s – The consistency is thin. The flavour is lingering, and the burst of flavour does not come until after the swallow.
Flavors: Chocolate, Milk
5s – Aroma is light herbal on top of earthiness. Flavour is mild. It has a syrupy consistency with a soft finish. Tasted lightly of sweet dark fruits (dried apricots) . Not complex.
10s – Stronger. Slightly punchy. The flavour comes, then it goes. It is pleasant, soft and has a raison like fruitiness. The flavour profile is linear but it does have a short burst of flavour, but this disappears promptly.
15s – Aroma is thick herbal dustiness. The high notes have arrived; however, they do not sit upon a particularly dark base so they do dominate and they do give it a much longer ‘ringing’, sweet finish.
20s – Aroma is steamy dust mainly; herbalness in the background. The high notes are still there, this time accompanied by drying and sweetness. Sweet fruits, plummy sweetness. This is a mellow, not complex, but pleasantly fruity tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Dust, Plums
This was one of the first cakes I bought over a year ago from Paul at White2Tea and it was his honest description that won me over. I quote “Intense kuwei [bitterness] and potency that will not disappoint lovers of brute strength. We promise”. I love puerhs that have brute strength and a big kick to them. I have about half a cake left of this (you can see where this review is going) and it has been sitting for over a year so decided to try it again for old times sake :) Here are my notes…
Tonight I decide to really push this puerh to the limit, so I use 9 grams in my 130 ml yixing. The dry leaves smell potent and strong with a hint of sweetness. A very quick rinse, literally 3 seconds, and I smell the wet leaves…hhhmmm potent with that buttery biscuit Bulang aroma…I already know this is going to be a great session. Before I tell you my tasting experience firstly a very quick note on brewing this monster…in order to tame it you MUST flash brew it. Literally 5-10 seconds is all you need. Anymore than that and the bitterness will destroy you.
I do my first proper steep at 5 seconds. The colour of the first steep is already golden. I slowly sip the first steep…lovely dense, thick mouthfeel that is actually surprisingly sweet. It tastes smooth and crisp. However the bitterness is there lurking in the background…it will reveal itself fully very soon.
Second steep at another 5 seconds. Liquid is even more thick and dense…the sweetness is still there but the bitterness is starting to come to the fore wanting to dominate procedings. I attempt to tame the bitterness with my 3rd steep at another 5 seconds. The liquid is now looking dark golden and I think to myself “this is going to be potent”. Indeed it is, the dense bitter liquid coats my tongue and throat without mercy initially, however after a few seconds I am getting a rather lovely sweetness. This puerh is not just all about bitterness and strength…there is a hidden complexity to it that can only be reached with successful brewing times.
I push this puerh more and more with several more steeps and now the liquid is becoming VERY rich and dense. I am starting to get a “dry mouth” effect which further enhances the contrasts of bitter and sweet. I am feeling positively energised. This is incredible stuff.
So, is this puerh as good as it was a year ago?…most definitely. I would say that after a year of storage it is even better. I definitely noticed more returning sweetness inbetween steeps that I didn’t really notice before. It is just as powerful and potent as I remember. I personally think this is a puerh you really need to push…for me more leaves yield the best results. But I will stress again, watch your steeping times for the best results.
This puerh may lack in the “elegance” department, however it more than makes up for it with it’s incredible character, richness and boldness of attack. I have thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this again…it brings back some great memories from last year. Many thanks again to Paul for unleashing this monster onto us mere mortals.
Flavors: Bitter, Butter
2011 Dashu Bulang White2Tea— Nothing short of very tasty. I see that it is no longer on the site but the 2013 is there. It’s a serious price performer. I found it to be sweeter than bitter, but with hints of smoke and a bitterness that builds. This was another sample from JC. Highly drinkable in oppressive heat, refreshing, what a Bulang should be.
Flash steeped. I’ve been experimenting with 195 degree water and flash steepings of around five seconds with good success. This one works well that way, no overwhelming bitterness and little astringency, a kind of slickness is evident as with other highly alkaline teas. Not as bitter as I would expect a Lao Man E tea to be.
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Smoke, Sweet
Very loose compression.
3s – Strong. Bright flavour on a dark base, which isn’t green. The bright flavour is interesting in that it lingers on with a honey sweetness. Fruity, plums, hints of fresh basil. Faint smoke.
5s – Stronger. High mountain Oolong (Dayuling) in the background. Bitterness, astringent. Green flavour sweetness has honey and high mountain Oolong flavour.
7s – Pleasant, warming.
?s – No notes.
12s – Lost most of the flavour, milky, going bland. Just bitter, strong high mountain Oolong now.
This tea has disappointed me in only lasting four – five brews; it has done this twice.
5s – Mellow, light flavour, something like oxo/bovril in the background.
5s – Getting stronger. There is a small amount of green amongst the mellow floral bit. All very faint. Pleasant: not too strong, floral and bit of green.
7s – This is not overly bitter like 2012 Ruiyan Nannuo. Tastes of stewed tea, after it’s gone cold. Not very interesting, unless it changes/open up :(
10s – Concentrated herbyness is there. It was there earlier, possibly as the green taste.
I could discount this tea tea as not very good because it is unlike a dry-stored raw pu-erh but then I decided to take some notes anyway.
7g used. Mid/tight compression.
The dry leaf aroma is raw beetroot; an earthy sweet smell. Liquid is deep red/brown, like a cooked pu-erh after a few steeps. The aroma of the liquid is earthy and not as sweet as the dry aroma.
5s – It is unlike a dry stored pu-erh: instead of being green and herby, and concentrated, it is purple (like a mellow taste of beetroot), sweet and open. It has a lingering soilyness which is not simple, unlike another wet-stored pu-erh I’ve had. To hope it to be like dry-stored pu-erh, you are disappointed. This has a different flavour profile.
12s – The soil taste is not unpleasant as it is accompanied by a warm, raw beetroot (or how I imagine the skin to taste) flavour. There is dust. The flavour does linger.
The dark wet leaves do not have the concentrated, complex aroma of raw pu-erh but instead is much simpler, being between raw beetroot and mustyness.
20s – The liquid is darker; the flavour is stronger. It has a sour taste when swallowing. The beetroot, earthy aroma sparkles on top of a dark earthy base.
22s – More sourness in the swallow. Flavour has dark fruits.
I bought a four-pack of these tuos, difficult to buy just one of these because they cost only $9.80 each. The age already on this tea enticed me, I prefer to buy something with some age on it. The other reviewer of this tea gave it a poor rating, but didn’t know to gong-fu this tea.
The positives are this is one Energizer Bunny of a tea, just goes on and on and on. Two days in and I’m wondering when it will end. The shiboridashi is stuffed to the gills and I’ve got more buds and leaves than sticks. Long huigan, thick and full, very bitter when pushed with boiling water and less so with cooler water. Mellows to sweet on the tongue.
Description includes tobacco notes, but this is more of a fresh pipe tobacco. There is no actual char from processing in this tea, so for me this doesn’t qualify as smoky. Not compared to a Menghai or Xiaguan raw tuo. The soup starts out caramel colored and yellows after the fourth steep or so.
One downside is the tea was dry stored and is still so green. It is definitely in second stage and hasn’t turned any corners yet into something I would consider aged. My tea fridge storage doesn’t penetrate the thick paper so well. I transferred the tuos to stoneware. Would love to ship them off to puerh boarding school for a year of humid storage. I like a bit of traditional storage on my tea, but not so much it obscures other flavors. This tea is very strong and could take a year of humidity without losing the other flavors. As it is now, the tuo tastes like a lot of other teas I’ve had, the dusky apricot with caramel notes.
Dunno if I’ll be around when this tea matures into a dark, red/brown love nest, still got so far to go. The material is what we want for aging, but I’m probably too far ahead of this tea myself.
Photos and blog post which is mostly unrelated to the tea itself, at http://deathbytea.blogspot.com
Flavors: Apricot, Caramel, Tobacco
Manzhuan + Spring + gushu. What’s not to like? This tea is even better than I expected (since it is a new 2014 tea, I figured I would try it just for fun and then wait a few years to enjoy it). The dry leaf looks very nice; the aroma of the brew is pleasantly fresh and sweet; the liquor is a clear yellow; the flavor of the sip is smooth, sweet, and slightly fruity. This tea is lovely and very easy to drink. What a lovely sheng to own (even though it is rather pricey)!! I rather doubt this particular cake gets much age because I am likely to pull it out frequently to pick off more leaf.
The dry leaf aroma promises a very welcoming drink, with fairly strong green, herbal notes.
5s – Lots of flavour! Green, herby. Long green herby finish. Hardly any bitterness.
10s – Getting stronger on the flavour, in a pleasant way. It has some complexity which makes it very interesting to drink.
Later notes: There is a likeness to honey and lemon sachet drinks I have had before, without any of the sugary sweetness of course.
This tea is really good. I find myself liking sheng more than ever before. It was a little fruity as the description says and there were slight notes of apricots. It was just a tiny bit bitter in the first steeping. This was gone by the second steeping. By the fourth steeping it was very smooth. It was slightly sweet too (not meaning sugar sweet). It was good.
I steeped this four times in a 140 ml yixing teapot with 5g leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. It had a very pale yellow color.
This is the most intense tea I’ve tried to date. That is, the stoner kind of tea. 8 grams per 125 ml of this and I become unbearably wonderful. And I can’t shut up. Also, I crave salty snacks and chocolate. After 8 steeps I turn into Spinoza and start writing mystical essays.
I can only attribute the effect this tea has to the small mountain tea leaves of the wild trees on Naka mountain, as opposed to the plantation or terrace type of teas produced in the same area. I compare two cheaper Nakas and even sent a sample of this to a friend to be sure I’m not crazy.
If the price of this tea scares you off, I can recommend the 2007 Spring Naka Qiao Mu Bamboo Raw from Chawangshop which also appears to be the small mountain leaf, and I got a bit of a buzz on that, nowhere near as intense as this tea. But an okay substitute, and I have reviewed that here too. This 2005 Naka has a slight humid storage which I prefer to the drier storage of the Chawangshop bamboo.
More comparisons on my tea blog, http://deathbytea.blogspot.com.
Flavors: Apricot, Wet wood
Dry – Sweet, fruity, refreshing, buttery?, bitter floral and slightly nutty.
Wet – Warm sugar sweetness with very apparent tobacco and some faint smoke, fruits, cream, floral and nutty.
Liquor – Light amber to Amber.
This notes is a summary of two separate sessions in porcelain gaiwan
The first steep in both sessions were sweet and mellow with a fast overtake of the tobacco notes up front. As it went down, the texture was thick/creamy while still wearing the tobacco notes, yet it feels sweeter with fruity and nutty notes.
Following steeps switch to a tobacco front with the sweetness coming in second together with bitter-tobacco and bittersweet floral notes and some nutty and herbaceous hints up front. As it goes down, it has a thick and almost creamy texture, but has some minor astringency to it. The fruity and floral notes a more apparent as the liquor washes down, yet will continue to hold the tobacco notes.
Final steeps are about the same in terms of the notes you find and the order, but much more mellowed down and a refreshing finish easier to detect.
I liked this one, It has strong tobacco notes, but is not overwhelming. I’d say this is definitely stronger than the Repave, but WAY gentler than a Xiaguan the same age would be and has a lasting Huigan.
Flavors: Creamy, Medicinal, Sweet, Tobacco
This pu’er doesn’t quit! I got 17 infusions!
2002 White2tea White Whale has plenty of camphor minty notes, some woodsy enoki mushroom and a hint of smoke. Later steepings the tea smooths out, gets sweeter but the refreshing notes remain (and don’t go away). A little bit of dryness, but still very easy to drink and forgiving to steep.
For $15 for a 100gram cake (price going up sooon!) this is a great deal for a cake with some age on it, especially if you are new to pu’er. Recommended!
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2002-white2tea-white-whale-raw-puer/
This is a pleasant enough shou. The predominant flavor is definitely wood with perhaps a little leather flavor. This tea really is very smooth. Almost too smooth for my liking as there is very little that really stands out in this tea, but maybe that should be expected for the low price, which is really exceptional at just $12 a cake. I have had better luck brewing western style which produces a more flavorful cup. Because of the low price I have also enjoyed messing around with cold brewing it after a couple quick rinses which resulted in a pretty interesting iced tea. To give you an idea of how hard it is to get flavor out of this I steeped 7 grams in 24 oz. water for 48 hours to produce a flavorful enough iced tea. It was a fun experiment.
In the end I don’t think I will buy this again, but I surely do not regret the purchase. As the website says, this may be a great starter tea for those new to puer but i feel I am perhaps past this point in my puer tasting journey.