White 2 Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
Naka is in the Mengsong tea growing region. Generally I enjoy Mengsong teas and their elegant character. This particular cake has gently pressed leaves and picking the cake apart is very easy. Soft warm aroma comes from the wet leaves and the dark golden tea soup. Early brews are a bit light in taste with a slight hint of smoke but this changes in later cups. There is a light underlying bitterness in the early sips. Even with the first cups, there is a very pleasant aftertaste which continues throughout the tea session. The activity in the mouth is persistent and good. In later cups I discover a low, dark sweetness which is rather enjoyable. The qi is strong and obvious with this one. Lovely tea that works hard to put the mind at rest – in fact, silencing the mind allowing you to feel the peace of the moment. The price is high but the quality matches the price.
I drank a sample of this tea all morning yesterday. I was off work and baking quiche and wrapping Christmas presents so I had time for a proper gongfu session for once! It was really enjoyable. One of the cleaner and smoother aged shou I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. I think I am getting more accustomed to aged flavors in puerh. I’ve been quite fond of younger shou and sheng for a while now, but older stuff is definitely starting to grow on me :)
This tea certainly is easy to drink. I am fond of Yiwu teas since they tend to be mellow and smooth. This 1998 is the oldest Yiwu leaf I’ve had. Just as expected mellow and smooth with a prominent brown sugar sweetness. The nice full leaves produce a dark bronze soup which is very clear. A silk-like body is found in the sip. Nice aftertaste which lingers. I was left with a little mouth and throat dryness but this often happens when I drink tea. More important to note, the tea left me quite relaxed after the session. Great endurance yielding many, many flavorful resteeps – I steeped the same leaves eight times and I’m still doing 5 second steeps. Overall sweet, dense, and pleasant. The quality of these aged Yiwu leaves is something to admire – this is one amazing tea!
This is certainly an interesting shou puerh. I am not sure how much I like it. It started out with a strong taste of what I would describe as bamboo or aged flavor, not sure which is a better description. Some have described the taste as leather but bamboo is I think a better description. This is a dark and strong tea. Even after eight steeps it was still quite dark colored. I think this is a shou you could easily get fifteen steeps out of. The thing I think I disliked was that there wasn’t much sweet flavor to it, all leather and bamboo along with some earth. While I would not describe it as very earthy, there was still some earthy flavor there.
I steeped this eight times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 9.3g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, and 4 min. The bamboo taste strongly persisted for about the first four steeps and was noticeable through the first six steeps. I would describe this flavor as slightly off putting. It has been suggested that this tea needs to air out, this could be.
This is a very nice straightforward tea – clean, creamy and sweet. Moderate compression; very attractive dry leaves which offer light floral notes to please the nose. The tea soup is a lovely clear copper color (dark copper). This is a smooth tea with very little if any bitterness found underneath the dominant theme of sweetness. Little complexity, just an enjoyable sip with pleasant mouthfeel and aftertaste. For me the tea’s effect was quite calming and relaxing, in fact, it made me feel rather tired. Puerh from Jingmai has a reputation for being softer and lighter than Puerh from other tea growing regions and this tea lives up to that reputation.
Yesterday (and lots of days lately) have been hellish at work and left me with no time to write tasting notes! Anyway, this is another sample I got from ChaiVeck. It was nice and light and clean tasting. A little woody but not in a bad way. Not a type of tea I’ve explored much yet so that is always fun! It’s so different! A little like shou but not really…
After a week’s worth of exposure to air, this shu produces a very pleasant soup tasting of fresh-cut green beans and sugar snap peas. There is the usual leathery taste as well, but it is very much in the background. A delightful surprise!
I am really enjoying this tea.
It’s part of my November White 2 Tea subscription. So Yummy.
I picked a heart shaped piece. It was cute. Many infusions later, there is still a heart shaped piece left in my gaiwan.
It’s smooth and sweet and just really nice.
I wish I’d ordered it.
2 quick rinses and a 15sec steep. Ouch- heady flavours but a bit too full-on with a tannic aftertaste that I wasn’t expecting. Good balance though, and reducing the 2nd steep to 8secs gave a smoother experience. I took in the smell of the leaves – old paper strangely mixed with the tang of the sea (and of course, the smoke!)
I left the piao-I lidded for a few hours and re-steeped, again for 8secs. Flashes of camphor coming through the smoke. The lingering tannic feel in the mouth was now more palatable – I bought five bricks of the 002 Whale and although it’s enjoyable now I think I’ll wait a few more years before opening the rest in the hope that the tannins masking that lovely pu’er ‘earthiness’ mellow out over time.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Dark Wood, Earth, Smoke, Tannic
You’ve got to enjoy this wrapper! Also known as The Wild Elephant King cake, this is a blend of Naka and Bulang material. At the price I paid, it was a great bargain purchase given the high quality. The visual appeal of the cake is acceptable, not beautiful by any means, but pleasant looking. The level of compression makes it fairly easy to pick apart and produce a mixture of whole leaves and pieces. The dry leaf offers a pleasant smell which became sweeter as the leaves steeped. The liquor is dark brass in color. The sip conveys what I would term power with a definite sweetness – clean, strong and smooth with a very nice cooling effect. The activity in the mouth is strong and clean offering a swelling sensation with nice huigan. The leaf has good endurance and remained strong and flavorful through ten resteeps. At the end of the tea session I was left in a very thoughtful meditative state which persisted for about two hours.
Purchased from White2Tea in June for $34.50 (quite a bargain). Unfortunately the current price is $115 (a true indication of the escalating price of Naka tea products during the past 12-18 months).
Really enjoying this sheng this morning. It develops into a sweet honeyed tea with just a slight edge of bitterness. Really well balanced and smooth. The color is a nice amber and the tea gives for a quite a while. This is one of the more mellow shengs that I’ve had in a while. It is another enjoyable tea from White 2 Tea!
This is a tea with a roasted, earthy aroma and a mellow, creamy balanced taste. The dry leaves are very dark in appearance (even darker after being steeped) indicating the careful cooking process and twelve years of aging. The crystal clear tea soup looks like a fine burgundy. The sip offers a rounded sweetness with a light hint of vanilla. The quality of the leaf seems to offer power and durability – seven infusions and I’ve only used 5s or 10s steepings. I plan to continue tomorrow for another six or seven times. This tea has both age and beauty and deserves to be savored and enjoyed.
Breaking this out as the “chairman” indicated her desire for it.
I got 8 grams out for the Gaiwan and gave a very quick wash. The sample of this one I have is from the back circle/divet of the cake. it is probably tightly compressed so it may take a bit to unravel.
I let this one sit a while and then did 3 very quick cover it and pour it into the cup. Ended up about 10 oz. of tea brewed.
This one has a
light color that belies it’s age a bit. light golden and not as bronze as some other cakes
This one comes up with a little floral. citrusy. bitter and piney on the front third of the tongue. just for a second or two . It disappears quickly and goes slightly sweet on the back end of the tongue. This is light easy to drink albeit I like the kick some others give but in honesty I think as the compression loosens it will give a bit more.
A good tea for bringing someone into the field of puerh.
Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Floral, Pine, Sweet
This is a nice Shou with a little bit of age on it. It has a good, strong earthy flavor and definitely hits some of those nice dried fruit notes that can come through in some of these Shous. It is super duper smooth and a very pleasant tea.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Earth
Although this has the seemingly-obligatory smell / taste of dirty work pants, it has less of it than other shengs I have tried. There is also a touch of the sweet and floral here. A definate improvement over previous shengs I have tasted, but still pretty bad.
Puerh is a subjective experience. As such my review is personally from subjective thoughts, feelings and tastes. I have been itching to try out this puerh. It would appear that this puerh is like the spread “marmite”. Some people love it, some people not so. The deciding factor in purchasing a sample was basically because I needed a new yixing. I have a really decent lao zhuni yixing that I use for younger puerh, but have been on the lookout for a decent quality zini yixing for aged puerh. My eyes lit up when white2tea announced they had some lao zini yixings for sale…I ended up getting one of these teapots which I have decided to dedicate to aged puerh. Whilst ordering the yixing I thought this would be a good time to order some of the 90’s Hong Kong stored puerh as well, to perhaps get the yixing off to a good start. I ended up having two tea sessions yesterday…one before work and one after work. Here are my notes…
This is my first every wetter storage puerh, so I was a little apprehensive to begin with. Many thoughts were racing through my head “Would I even enjoy wetter storage?” was the main question. My parcel arrives and I immediately open it with much anticipation. Despite a healthy post office bump on the package, the yixing is fortunately fully intact and it looks like really good quality. Off to a good start. I ordered 25 grams, so according to my logic that would be 8 grams per two session, and then one 9 gram session. I smell the dry leaves in the foil bag…yes there is definitely humid storage as it smells musty compared to my other dry stored. aged puerhs. Two, quick three second rinses and already the liquid is becoming very dark in colour…reminds me of shou to be honest. I smell the wet leaves and I get a big whiff of earthy minerals, rich, balmy and spicy aromas. Wetter storage sure don’t smell that bad.
First proper steep at 7 seconds using boiled water. Liquid comes out looking almost a blood red, bordering on black. Again I think to myself “this reminds me of shou”. I take a nice long sip…earthy minerals, very smooth and clean yet rich, reasonable thickness, dense complexity, muskiness, some pleasant sourness, sweetness in the finish. My verdict=Yum!. I devour the rest of the steep.
I take a second and third steep and the results are very similar except the resulting liquid is almost black. Again I am reminded of shou..rather very good quality shou. Now the camphor notes are beginning to shine and come through, spicy notes are also prominent. Sour notes also kicking in a bit more, however not obtrusive in my opinion. Regarding QI I did not feel that much, however this puerh put me in a very positive mood before a long slog at work. I steeped this to roughly 8 times before I left for work…by this time I was getting more sweetness and camphor, spicy notes. I go to work…just to add the finish is so long….I still had the taste in my mouth 5 hours after beginning my shift.
I decide to have another 8 gram session with this puerh after work, just in case my first tasting was a fluke. Again I am hit with all the taste sensations from my earlier session…this certainly was not a fluke. My final thoughts are “This is really good, but it reminds me so much of a decent quality shou”.
So, overall in my humble opinion, this is a stellar example of aged, wetter storage puerh. If you are used to the taste of dry stored sheng, like me, you will immediately taste the difference. For me the perfect blend would be a mix of dry and humid stored. For example the one tea I reviewed, Big Green Tea Yiwu 2001, is a perfect example of drier storage. However after tasting this puerh I am thinking “Imagine how it would taste with a bit of wetter storage added to the mix?”. My conclusion after tasting wetter storage vs drier storage is that there is no winner. It would be impossible to calculate the odds…drier storage for me means more youth, sense of adventure and of more things to comes, wetter storage comes out more mature and complex initially but I ponder upon its future. I am tempted to purchase a couple of cakes from white2tea…one for immediate drinking, and one to sit down for a while. I live in a European climate which is drier than the likes of Hong Kong…perhaps with a bit of dry storage we can balance things out a bit? Perhaps come to some mutual understanding?
Having said the above all that is left to say is that this is an excellent puerh. I love the mineral earthiness, the wetter storage, the spicy camphor notes, the sweetness and the ultra long finish. Weird thing is I still think this would make an excellent shou…mainly because of how dark the texture of the soup becomes, and also because of its later steeps. If you are into wetter store puerh I would guess this one is a no brainer…if you like dry storage this will take you out of your comfort zone, which is never a bad thing. As I said in the beginning of the review puerh is subjective, and this would be a classic example of that statement. Many thanks to white2tea for the great yixing and great tea! I am left to ponder on these lyrics from one of my favourite bands..
“Words can never justify
That I have never spoken
I try to understand
My wordless, little language
Is all you’ll ever need
To reach the bottom of my basement
She’ll guide you through her midnight hall
And offer you a place on the
Perhaps you’ll hear ’bout our history
She quotes from texts on papyrus
You gladly follow when she takes
Your hand and lead you further down
You peeled the fruit but threw away
did it taste sweet?"
Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Sweet
Thank you Sarsonator for this sample. This tea was good. There was s slight bitterness in the early steeps and a slight sweetness. It was smooth throughout most of the steeps. I noticed a small, very small amount of sourness in the early steeps but then I was drinking it without sugar. Normally, a small amount of sugar will override such flavors. I did not notice a strong Qi in this one but it had a mild effect on me. There were a variety of flavor notes to this tea but I was not paying attention to the specifics.
I steeped this six times in a 150ml Gaiwan with 5.7g leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 15 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, and 2 min. There were more steeps to this tea but I am watching my caffeine tonight.
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