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Recent Tasting Notes
Favorite shu ever
I purposely waited to review this until I ordered more selfishly that should hint at it’s quality. Paul has earned my respect (and much of my income as a result) for his no BS pricing, descriptions and curation. This description is spot on I almost feel silly adding anything because it is so accurate. It is a 2014 production so it’s pile smell is still apparent I suggest two super long rinses and/or breaking up the nuggets prior. Once you get past the funk it has the taste and consistency of hot cocoa literally. I was immediately taken back to childhood sipping on swiss miss hot cocoa. I wanted to throw some marshmallows in my gaiwan and pretend it was a snow day. Later steeps reveal a sweet molasses dark richness that was paired with a thick syrupy body.
This is my first tea head nugget shu so I am not sure if this sweetness/ flavor profile is common but it was a welcome change from watery woodsy generic shu I am used to. Added kicker is the energy this bulang gives off had me humming all night long.
Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Molasses
terri sent this one my way – i haven’t had any opportunity to try white2tea so i was happy to see this. I treated this like i do most puerh and brewed it gonfu style this morning since that’s what’s recommended on the website. I’m still working on it, though i can say that this is a lighter tea but not without flavour. i’m still waking up so i’ll try to write more later. but this is a win.
I decided to do a shou session with my new teapot, and picked this one out of the pile. It was the first shou I found.
Good beginner tea, but nothing outstanding. It didn’t last long.
The lapsang of puer
Tasted like a good Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong but unfortunately that was about it. It was a pleasant incense not to over powering that just faded with every brew. I don’t like the blanket descriptor of "smoke"for a group of people that a literal kaleidoscope of scents and flavors smoke seem fairly general anything that is combustible can produce smoke a few pleasant while most are not. This was actually a pleasant incense light silky type smoke. That was until I under poured the steeped it about 15 seconds too long then woooah it was like cheech and chongs van I immediately dumped the cup. Lesson learned do flash steepings and maybe even less leaf/water ratio than normal as this tea has quite the split personality. Sorry for the one dimensional review but I wasnt able to focus and enjoy this tea to discover the nuances of it. The leaf on the tail after the smoke had cleared tasted slightly bitter the kind you would get from a raw kale of other greeny or maybe a spice like fennel/anise/licorice.
This tea for me was too strong for me to enjoy casually by itself but I can see it pairing well with food as I have in the past drank lapsang after a meal with a creamy rich dessert and it really worked well. I enjoy whiskey and pipe tobacco but neither in the middle of the day so too this tea would be a maybe once or twice a year change of pace but I wont lose sleep over not buying a fangcha(as with some of pauls other teas).
Hate to be cliche but the similarities are too strong, if you like lapsang you will like this tea of not then don’t bother. I like a good mild lapsang from time to time but in a black tea not a puer and on very rare ocassions.
Flavors: Anise, Smoked
The cake is beautiful and full of pleasantly dark brown whole leaves which offer a nice sweet aged scent. The overall appearance of the cake is neat and uniform. Easy to pick off whole leaves for steeping. I had heard that Yi Bang tea was of the small leaf variety and that is found to be true in this particular cake.
The tea liquor begins with a deep gold color and with additional steepings providing more and more oxidation, the orange and red highlights emerge. The first two steepings had a light bitterness but the tea seems to really open up after this and becomes quite sweet. Very smooth and well balanced with pleasant fruit notes and a gentle honey taste. I experienced a pleasant aftertaste in the mouth and throat and this lingered for quite awhile after finishing the tea session.
Overall the tea is very easy to drink and it reminded me a bit of Jingmai and Yiwu teas. Nicely balanced flavor profile – bitterness and sweetness, fruit and honey with a bit of a nutty accent as well.
This morning I am enjoying this sample that I got from a Steepster friend, thank you friend!
At about 10 seconds of steeping time, the first two steeps are pretty strong. It is a potent tea with woodsy flavors, a nice fruitiness and quite a bit of bitterness in the finish. It has a bit of smoky aroma, but not too much smoke in the flavor.
I decided to lower the water temp for steeps #3 and #4 to about 200 f. I feel that the bitter and tobacco notes have taken over this one to the point where I don’t really feel like drinking it. Not sure if it’s just the mood I am in or the tea itself, but I think I will try this again on another day, it’s making my stomach hurt a bit even though I already ate breakfast. Such is the dilemma with sheng… but it seems that overall some of the other tasters enjoyed this more than I did.
Did too long rinses 30/piece then started steeping. Short and simple this is a typically woodsy puer with a hint of storage and a nice tail of extremely light roast coffee. Just to claify this tastes nothing like roasted coffee rather the grain/cereal quality coffee beans can have when green or very lightly roasted. Maybe a tickle of vanillin that I sometimes get from yan cha as well but if you blink all you taste is woodsy shupu.
Where this tea shines is in the body department, give it some longer than normal steepings times starting with 40 seconds and add 30-40 seconds per steep you will end up with some viscous pleasant tea. I don’t think I can tell it is X years old although in my experience ripened don’t really ever change that much especially if they are heavily fermented from the start. I can see this being awesome grandpa and/western style steeping (after two long rinses that is).
Solid tea with a nice body and a price to match don’t expect miracles and you will enjoy this one.
Flavors: Coffee, Grain, Wet Wood, Wood
As I mention in my full-length article of this tea: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/01/15/rougui-oolong-tea-from-white-two-tea/ – I don’t have as much experience with Rougui Oolong as I do with some other Oolong teas, but that wasn’t about to keep me from enjoying it!
This tea is lovely!
Delightfully fragrant, notes of flower and fruit. Because this is a ‘darker’ Oolong, I note more fruit notes than floral. It’s sweet with hints of smoke in the distance. Subsequent infusions proved to be even more delightful with stronger flavors and a smoother delivery and sweeter taste.
A really pleasant cuppa! I highly recommend this.
First steeps were very mild but i knew its deceiving. on a 3rd steep it hit me. it is strong bitter tea but i like it a lot. only few months ago i probably wouldnt be able to drink it. Besides being bitter its incredibly smooth, even creamy. and there is a sweetness comes in the end of the sip. very happy i was able to try this sample. its a swap from Instagram member. i need to ask him if he is on Steepster.
5g 95ml gaiwan 205 F
rinse/ pause/ flash steeps , then increased to 7-10-15 secs
The aroma of the cake is quite gentle. Actually, it has a hint of “old library” aroma but rather distant. Lots of nice whole leaves throughout the cake. A lovely clean and clear tea liquor with a distinct orange hue. Low and dark in its sweet aroma and taste – a little nutty and fruity mixed with mellow-earthiness. Good mouthfeel with a smooth texture. Nice full chaqi producing a very relaxed feeling. In about the 9th infusion the tea begins to fade. Interesting tea session which I quite enjoyed. I would not describe this as an “exciting” tea (in other words, it won’t knock your socks off) but I must say that I found it to be delicious and extremely comforting.
This was a free sample from Paul at white2tea and I am very grateful that he sent it to me. It has been lurking in the back of the cupboard, awaiting the time when I might be able to take a moment from my schedule to fully appreciate it. This morning is that time.
The dry leaf smells green and slightly composty with a note of warm horse. It promises much at first sniff. Looking at it, I see brown, green and silver leaf. It’s chopped but not excessively so. The cake is loose. That might be a result of taking the sample from the beeng.
When I pour the hot water onto it, the leaf immediately releases a thick floral aroma. It’s not cloying though. The liquor is a thick amber colour. The website describes the tea as ‘burly’. There is certainly nothing wishy washy about it so far. All of the elements of it are strong and bold. The taste is the same. There is strong astringency with sweet, floral and fruity notes, and strong spice in the aftertaste with perhaps a hint of pepper. There’s a lot going on there, and I am not sure that I am the best person to parse the range of flavours. I am aware of the range, but at a loss to differentiate all the elements. Perhaps I should lay that out as a challenge to others. I really like this tea. It has great body and good legs, both in the liquor and in the aftertaste.
Flavors: Astringent, Green, Pepper, Spices
A really smooth, lovely, mellow pu-erh. A sweetness that is somewhere between molasses and a buttery caramel. Only a very slight earthiness which I really appreciated.
Really very pleasant and sweet.
Read my full-length review with details about the many infusions here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/01/05/2007-white2tea-repave-pu-erh-tea-from-white-two-tea/
DROOL this tea was fantastic! Interestingly, this is from old arbor tree fermented puer made into black tea. The color is a dark orange and reminds me of a gold tipped yunnan black in flavor (creamy, malty) but with a berry fruityness to it. The steeped leaves smelled like raspberries to me. This tea also is a beast of a resteeper – finishing off with buttery flavor. Verry cool. Cry, I need more of this tea and it’s $35 full size and I just did a group order! cry.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/january-white2tea-club/ along with the other January White2Tea club teas!
A nice starter ripe pu’er! It had a nice clear tea with a comfort feel with flavors of malt and chocolate. The only thing I didn’t like about this one was I didn’t get that many infusions, it got light within 8 steeps for me.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/january-white2tea-club/ along with the other January White2Tea club teas!
I am going to be broke(Paul take all my money)
I am literally upset I did not find this site earlier. Paul has consistently good tea and honest descriptions with accurate tasting notes. Best of all you get what you pay for which leads me to this tea. I dare you to find a better tea at this price range, it is not the most complex, ethereal elixir of the gods but if you drink enough puer where you go through a few cakes-tong a year this can easily get my vote for staple. I don’t trust myself to store puer yet being in a very dry climate and my rather experimental 75% RH pack semi- sealed storage. Otherwise I would definitely purchase a bunch of this stuff and happily drink there the mountain of samples I have to keep me happy for the a long while.
A common theme of this tea seems to be me casually brewing this hungover sunday mornings so I don’t dare to claim to know it but I have picked up on a few consistent pleasant features. First off it steeps better with more leaf/water ratio (usually I go g/15mL of water as a starting point) but with this one closer to g/12-13 mL with good results. I consistently got a sweet taste and a nice slow pouring viscosity the oil present are hinted at the stained cake wrapper. Not as thick as a bu lang but much thicker than say most autumn harvests. The taste was not bitter at all but if you pushed the steeping time it got a little smokey which may or may not be your thing. Very versatile as the just nice sweetness and no smoke is not present if you flash brew. I was not able to taste any fruitiness as I have in the past but my taste buds are fried and it was more casual chug then a slow concentrated “gong fu” session.
A nice middle of the road versatile daily drinker that is priced perfectly and very approachable sweetness that is hard to offend most taste buds.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Sweet, warm grass
Went for more leaf this time around with great results. Smoothness that comes with age a decent body but a very brief sweetness was something I had not tasted prior. Even though it was faint and short lived, it was a darker fruity (date, currant, jam) sweetness with a preserve-like tartness that made for an interesting brew. Getting the hang of this tea…. of course right I tried to overbrew it to bring out some bitterness but ended up with a smokiness I had not tasted before. So still learning the ins/outs of this guy but happy with my blind buy of a cake for the right price.
Next time I will just KISS keep it simple stupid, g/10ml and
Flavors: Black Currant, Jam, Smooth
First session had a little bit of cold so wont comment of flavor.
According to the description this was “aged” maocha pressed into a cake and I am not sure if that has anything to do with the lack of longevity or not but I really only had colored infusion from maybe 5-6 steepings. Also more of a reminder to myself if seemed to be astringent on the first few brews quick quickly dropped off. I like my tea on the “strong” side especially pu erh so I will try to adding more leaf or extra time to each steeping.
Still to early to review but from the little that I did taste it was fairly unique and I am excited to take my time and master brewing this tea as I bought a whole cake.
Better but still not my bag
I let it air out in my cupboard for a week then threw it in my puer box with humidity packs for another two weeks and the flavor improved. I was able to taste more than just attic this time around. First steeping teased me with the flavor of dark berries/brandy/cherry wood and I had an ah hah moment as I started to get the appeal of aged tea. Unfortunately ever proceeding steep was way to strong no matter how short I seemed to make them. The attic/dusty taste was too over powering and for the second time I purposely dumped a session before the tea was “finished”.
I can’t remember any other teas that I purposely dumped and with this one has happened twice I will give it one more go in about a month with much less leaf and super short steeps. I maybe burnt alive for saying this but if I am not able to get over this dust taste this brick will most likely be used to season a new teapot.
Flavors: Black Currant, Brandy, Cherry Wood, Dark Wood, Dust
Temperature: Boiling (Subsequent infusions at 190oF)
Brewing Time: Fifteen seconds ( + five seconds for each subsequent infusion)
Flavor: Smoky, Malty, Toast, Tobacco and Damp Earth
Tasting Notes: I loved it. It has a nice staying power, according to my notes I got twenty-three infusions out it before I stopped taking notes. This is a tea that you shouldn’t drink if you have things to do, it just has so much to give. I didn’t finish this tea I had stuff to do and frankly it just lasts way to long for me. I have a little left over I might experiment brewing with for longer times. The Smoky tastes starts to disappear after the fifth infusion, but besides that it stays pretty constant. I didn’t notice the taste starting to thin out, which is ridiculous, generally I like to see teas change in later infusions, but I doubt I’d be able to distinguish the sixth infusion from the twentieth.
Definitely worth buying! $18 for 100g is nothing. I haven’t tried the other teas that TwoDog sent me yet, but I have a feeling this might be the one to beat. The bar is set pretty high with this Old Bear, while my only criticism of it is you might get bored since the tea doesn’t get better the more you drink. I am curious if this tea will age well, I generally like young Sheng Puerh, but I wonder if this is type of puerh you want to buy and forget about or the kind you drink immediately.