White 2 Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
My friend gave me a sample of this tea and told me to pay attention to its longevity. So I am going to write this note in terms of steeps in my gaiwan:
1st steep: Dark amber liquid. Robust and uniform grassy notes. By uniform I mean each sip reproduces the same strength in taste. I noticed an incredibly pleasant after taste while I waited for the second round to steep.
2nd steep: Pretty much the same dark amber liquid with more orangey hints. The taste has evolved and is now quite sharp in a sense. The tea still posses the grassy undertones, but masked by a reassuring bitterness. The last sip tasted extremely sweet.
3rd steep: Usually by this point, my tea begins to lose both color and taste. I steeped it for a tad bit longer and the leaves have really expanded at this point. The color has lifted considerably to more of a peachy orange. No more dark amber lingers in the cup and the color is more clear. This steep has brought back the uniformity in taste and has taken away the bitterness. Back to a pleasant almost indescribable taste.
I want to go enjoy the tea now, so I will hopefully come back and finish this.
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…
The cake has a tight compression and a light, sweet aroma. The first steep begins light to medium in strength, but the body feels full and seems to foreshadow the strength in the upcoming infusions of thick, dark orange soup. The flavors tend toward the fruity spectrum and are mostly simple in style, while the body is malty and full of “dark” sweetness, thick and ripe like prunes. Later, more smoky and woody notes climb in, and create a very balanced complexity.
The soup begins slowly and softly with a thick mouthfeel, introducing basic sweet and salty aspects. It develops into a long and waxing complexity across a second or two duration, where the flavors mentioned above begin to grow and amass one after the other. At this point, a throaty kuwei slowly emerges. It is, like the other aspects of this tea, deep. The bitterness isn’t sharp and is more “felt” than tasted. There are some drying effects towards the front of the mouth, but the throat remains moist. It reaches a medium to strong intensity as far as flavors go, before fading slowly to a stable finish that doubles as a long-lasting aftertaste. I found this to be a very interesting quality with this tea, as I usually find the sip’s finish fades before a complimentary, yet distinct aftertaste (with a slightly different flavor) emerges after the swallow. With this shengpu, the soup’s form descends to a stable and subtle intensity that simply “sticks,” lingering for quite some time. Finally, seconds after the swallow, a coolness begins to develop that intensifies as the session progresses. After the second steep, my body is calmed and warmed to the point of sweating, causing my neck and ears to become flushed.
Overall I am really pleased with this one and impatiently await the effects of a bit of age on it. The tea presents an interesting textural experience, but is not without intrigue in the flavor department. Plus, it has an elephant on the wrapper, which adds just a touch more awesomeness to it.
It’s a pretty scrappy looking cake, but the soup it produces is great. The leaves are ridiculously long and many have difficulty fitting into my gaiwan. The compression is so loose that enough leaves for a session can be gathered from the cake just by lifting it and prodding the sides a bit, causing dried leaves to fall onto the wrapper like raindrops. And it’s aroma is extremely pungent. The time spent bent over the cake collecting leaves caused my face to become flushed and my eyes slightly irritated. It smells very smoky and aggressive.
The strength of the aroma carries over to the wet leaves and soup, although the profile changes somewhat. The tobacco smoke remains to some extent, but a certain caramelized fruitiness and faint ginger quality emerges. The mouthfeel is as burly as the scent.
The opening is quick and somewhat dull, with rough, dark sweetness. It rapidly develops into something stronger with average complexity and great depth of character. It lingers expectedly, gradually evolving into a spicy-cool finish in the throat. The coolness is intense and lasts quite some time. The aftertaste is cool and moist, with a kind of sticky sweetness, but my body is warm. The tea is stimulating, but only slightly so. Further steeps add a nice throaty bitterness and more fruity flavors, treading farther from the initial smokiness found in the aroma.
The second time I tasted this I actually measured the amount of leaves I used (6 g/100 mL), but my results were less intense and lighter in depth than the first time. I had used more leaves from the edge of the cake, which are much longer than those closer to the center and those within the body of the cake, and are attached to even longer stems. I guess I’ll have to pay more attention to what parts of this eclectic blend I’m using for each session in the future.
My sample arrived two days ago and WOWEE was this some good tea. Out of the 5 sites i ordered from, this is without a doubt my favorite tea, and cheaper than some of the others i bought
I found the tea after reading this review
He says it better than i can – so read his notes!
The cake smells fresh and strong. Smells like flowers, candy also comes to mind. The tea has a long lasting sweetness after the bitterness leaves the mouth – maybe that is where the candy steps in. I put my steep times at the bottom of the rating, but i took some breaks in between some of the steeps. During the breaks there was a really sweet feeling in my mouth, one time for over 20 minutes. This pu has a thick texture, I almost can’t believe the price. I only ordered one cake, but i am going back to get more!
Using 150 ml gaiwan and 10 grams of tea
Steep times were: 5s, 10s, 15s, 30s, 30s, 30s, 40s, 40s, 1 minute