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Recent Tasting Notes
So I got this tea right when it came out. The wrapper design and the contents of the cake really grabbed my attention.
When I got it I tried it. I remember that it was bitter so I stored it away. Now 2 months later I got it back out to give it another round!
I was very pleasantly surprised. Once I gave this tea a chance to air out from shipping, the flavors nearly knocked me down.
The first thing I noticed was the sweet/sugary punch. I’m only exaggerating a little bit when I say this, but Thought it was sweetened with sugar! The following steeps came with heavy floral note along with a dark/brown sugar aftertaste. There was less bitterness this time around from the first time I tried it.
Overall, I ended up picking up a 2nd cake of 2015 Pin. It was so sweet and floral that it made me thirsty for more. I would highly recommend this to a friend, and might even pick up a 3rd one before its all said and done.
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Flowers, Green, Sugar, Sugarcane
I’m not sure if this is one of the W2T shengs I’m supposed to review for the pu ttb, or if it was from a swap. Anyway, 4g into my 75ml yixing. Water just off boil. It starts out incredibly light, bordering on weak, but then the bitter, gut busting florals crash the party and by steep seven I am done. I did try water at a full boil to see if it would make a difference, and it didn’t seem to… the tea just got more bitter and mouth-puckering with each successive steep. I’ll take Little Walk over MCA for an easy drinking, affordable everyday young sheng any day. This one is just not my cuppa.
I brewed this one up in the traditional two rinse format with about 6-7g of leaf in a 100ml gaiwan. I steeped this at about 205f. This is a pretty good tea. The wet leaf had a nice peachy and hay quality with a bit of slight tobacco. I did detect a slight smokiness but I wouldn’t say this is a smokey tea by any means. It had a nice aged taste but to me still seemed young. Mainly in the mouthfeel. It had some action going on. I felt a tingling numbness quality, but really hard to describe. Let’s just call it action. The liquor was a nice orange color showing a bit of its age. There were flavors of hay, tobacco and a bit of a peach fruitiness tucked away in there as well. Much like the smell. It had a nice qi as well. Calming but aware. I feel like this tea could still use some more age as there was some astringency that was ever present. Like I said it seemed a bit younger than it is but not in a bad way. It was definitely active in the mouth though I may use a bit more leaf next time as it was ever so light. I am sure if I mess with the brewing parameters a bit I will get more out of this tea but this was my first go at it. A decent price for a nice sheng with a bit of age on it already. Can’t beat that. I would recommend for sure. Play with the parameters and I’ll bet this one will shine even more.
Flavors: Apricot, Camphor, Hay, Peach, Smoke, Tobacco
I’m super stoked that I’m the first to review!
I got this as my gift in the White2Tea Black Friday sale; because, I have no self control, haha. I’m so glad I got this freebie. First off, it’s really pretty and unique. I love how it looks, and it has a light yet sharp pipe tobacco scent. The “leaves” are incredibly compressed and require some heavy picking. I try my best to not obliterate the tuo into dust, but Pu happens. I break a chunk and fit it into the warmed Jianshui and give it a shake. The warmed leaf smells fantastic. The scent reminds me of that classic tobacco in a tin can that feels soft like moss. I can’t remember the name; it sounds like shag or something. It smells so freaking good! The tea carries that note, and it is lifted with some potent dark fruits. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves become heavier with notes of mahogany, leather, resin, and a sweet woody tobacco. The brew is a thick dark orange. The taste begins as a sugarcane sweet, and it moves into soft oak tones. The session progresses into a smooth dry brew with a sweet aftertaste. The later steeps become slightly astringent and thicker in the mouth. The brew is full bodied and rich with leather and drying mouth action. This is a fairly good tea, but the best characteristic is it’s qi. This small tuo gives some of my favorite sensations. The feeling begins as a spark ignites at heart center. This tea doesn’t have that slurred overheating feeling, but rather, it’s a pulsating electric vibration. The stimulation slowly overtakes the body and drives the spirit upwards. This brew gives you so much clean energy, it’s amazing. I love the nice clear headiness, the smooth blood flow, and the pulsating heart. I don’t experience slurred speech, sweats, heart throbs, or any other overwhelming qi. I just enjoy the intense focused atmosphere. It’s perfect to cleanse the mind.
My only complaint is due to the small broken leaves the teapot clogs very easily, but a small pick fixes that right quick. That’s my rant for this tea, and I’ll be trying my best to not drink the whole thing.
Flavors: Leather, Oak wood, Raisins, Red Fruits, Resin, Sugarcane, Sweet, Tobacco, Wet Wood, Wood
This is excellent puerh tea with a fair amount of fermentation flavor. It is not for those with an extreme aversion to fermentation. That being said the fermentation was not as unpleasant as some ripes. It was sweet with little bitterness. It was thick and rich in the early infusions, and there were some chocolate notes too. It developed a nice sweetness in later steeps. I only gave this eight steeps when it would certainly go a lot more but I am at my caffeine limit for the day.
I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 10.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 seconds rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. Overall this was excellent tea that needs another year or two to age in order to be a truly great tea.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Sweet
Surprise review from someone in hiding for months…
Based on a true story
Why is Pretty Girls a motherfucker? Is it just because of the wrapper (https://www.instagram.com/p/BBAQWzIl_lQ/?taken-by=paxl13)? Let me tell you why.
Take a chunk off of your cake. Don’t even measure it, just eyeball it to about 10g or whatever suits you. Okay, yeah, it’s pricier than your “average” shou, but what is average when you’re only spending $2 for a session of tea? Anyway. it’s not too compressed, so just a quick rinse – or even drink it if you don’t like wasting tea.
Here we go, steeps 1-6 come on strong like a pretty girl. Taste all the rich depth of flavor from the gongting and highest grade leaves. So smooth and creamy at first – notes of earthy wood and hints of chocolate tips. Keep going to later steeps, transitioning to sweetness for the long haul. You think this relationship is meant to last forever, the taste lingering on your tongue.
And then it hits you.
The lower grade leaves try to carry the flavor for a little bit longer. Reminiscent of what once was.. you find yourself on steep 15, struggling to feel the same warmth of your first few steeps of exciting energy. It’s gone. Time to move on to another tea.
And that is why Pretty Girls is a motherfucker.
Another tea unlike anything I’ve had. The dry leaf smells like an aged raw with a little fresh gushu. The tea tastes like a ripe puer (nothing special, at first) then the huigan of a young gushu creeps up and thows me for a loop. I continue drinking, then the cha qi of a young gushu hits and I am floored. I have to take a break. Never have I had a tea with this qi be so drinkable. I would recommend anyone to try this that hasn’t drank a ripe gushu. For me it tastes too much like ripe for me to drop gushu money on a ripe cake. But that’s just what my budget allows me. I would still recommend anyone to at least sample it to see if it would be worth it to you.
Finishing up my sample from teaclub. This tea has a very forward peachy/ sweet note on the dry leaves. The brew is classic rougui, thick with notes of cinnamon bark spice and sweetness. Nice floral notes here and there with a good dry minerally finish. The best part about this tea is its long lasting saliva-inducing aftertaste. sweet and full. When I need to restock on oolongs this is going to be on my order list.
Beware – this is not an apple tea! Named for a George Harrison song, “apple scruffs” refers to a group of serious Beatles fans in the late 1960s. As for this puer cake, it is made with leaf from XiGui in the eastern Lincang Region. In my experience, XiGui tea is rather gentle and sometimes a bit finicky – this one is no exception. Note: over-brew or over-leaf this tea and you produce a less appealing bitter and astringent cup. Floral scent comes from the dry leaf of the cake which has lots of whole leaves. Bright clear yellow tea soup results from the leaf infusion – floral and sweet are the best taste descriptors for this tea liquor. Lingering mouth- and throat-feel. More fruity with sugarcane sweetness after the 4th infusions. I must say this really was a refreshing break from the older shengs I’ve been enjoying lately. Not terribly complex but a very nice tea if you do not care for the earthier puer so many of us drink regularly.
Pulling this out tonight. I just remembered how hard these little tuos are compressed. I unwrapped it and put it in the breaking tray and attacked it with the big needle.
I managed to get 11 grams out, a little more than I usually brew , and got the gaiwan out.
I gave the tea a rinse that actually showed some color to it and went brewing.
I steeped about 5 seconds 3 times and went in a big cup.
The tea brews up with some hints of smoke and some greeness in the aroma. The brew is a nice surprise in the color department. It is a nice amber like a dark style honey. There may be a touch of cloudy in the brew but sometimes the tea has to settle a bit after pressing.
Sips on this give some smoke and some of the tobacco that many young shengs have.
The tea is active and getting to a thick state. It hits mainly the front tip and middle if the tongue. It has a full hit of the bitter that causes a minutes pucker and goes softer and making you salivate a bit.
Over all this is a good example of a well aged middle year sheng. Not being wet as some are with the mustiness but not super sharp like a dry stored product. Looking on the store site and this was stored loose which I am sure has helped it age a bit quicker than teas from this year.
Flavors: Bitter, Green, Smoke, Tobacco
This is a good but not in any way spectacular shou. It has no fermentation taste. It has a moderate amount of wet storage or wet wood taste. This was noticeable for the first four steeps and present to some degree in all eight steeps I gave this tea. This is a tea I will store for six months then try again. I suspect the wet storage taste will dissipate with six months of New York dry storage. This is exactly what happened with my 1998 White Tuo. The first time I drank it I got wet storage taste. Six months later virtually none.
I steeped this tea eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 11.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Flavors: Wet Wood
This is an excellent tea. There was very little bitterness to this, just a little. While I won’t say it wasn’t sweet, the sweetness was subtle. It didn’t rush at you like some apricoty sheng. This is a tea I was supposed to get for free with my black Friday order. It was left out of that order along with a gaiwan. Paul sent the missing items and gave me three of this tea instead of one. It seems to have some qi, but not tea drunk kind of qi. This is a tea I wish I had picked up more of with my last order with White2Tea which is still inbound from China. This is the second rolled puer I have tried. And I have to say I like it as much or more than the Misty Peaks version. It is hard to say which is better from one session, but this is good. This has a strong, slightly bitter aftertaste.
I brewed this ten times in a 100ml gaiwan with one puer ball or 8g leaf and 200 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. Didn’t give this one a rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min.
So I broke out the jack hammer and managed to break off a 6g chunk with only destroying four hammer bits. Man this was compressed. I was a bit worried as it created lots of small particles, which for me, make for an unpleasant bitter sheng experience. This wasn’t the case luckily. So I gave two rinses and began the journey. This is my first taste of the much hyped white whale. The first couple of steeps were super light and it took a bit for the compression to let up on the leaves. This is an interesting tea. I love the wet leaf smell. Piney, hay, wood and a slight musty medicinal quality. It definitely has the aged flavor that I usually don’t have the money to partake in. There was a slight smokiness that I found pleasant on the nose but none really in the mouth. It is a very creamy mouthfeel tea. I do think that I should up the leaf to water to maybe 7 or 8g as I felt it was a little light. It has a nice old antique wood flavor with a lot of piney/menthol notes. I didn’t get a lot of sweetness on this one but like I said I think more leaf may be the answer to more flavor. It had a bit of astringency on the 3rd through 5th steeps though nothing that I would call unpleasant for me but I was trying to push the tea a bit to make up for less leaf. That could have brought out more of the bitterness. It gave many steeps. It gave maybe 10-15. I’m not sure as I usually don’t count. I ran out of water before it died off completely. I tend to like a nice returning sweetness in my sheng that this one didn’t have. But I feel this is a different kind of tea. A more woody/piney one which made it enjoyable in a different way. This one had a very mentholated cooling feel in the mouth which I liked. Overall it was a very enjoyable session but a bit hyped. This is a good tea but not an awe inspiring tea. Nonetheless I would recommend. I wish I would have gotten hold of this one when it was $15 as I feel $34 plus $15 in shipping is a bit overpriced for this tea, at least for me (Though its not too bad considering the age). That being said I am glad I picked a brick up and got to try it. I’ll try more leaf next time and see what I think.
Flavors: Hay, Menthol, Oak wood, Pine, Smoke, Tart
Nice gold-orange liquer. Bitter with tobacco, piney, and apricot notes, camphor and sugarcane. I enjoy this one a lot and may have to pick up a cake! I could use some more aged/semi aged sheng in my collection and this is a pretty nice one
Flavors: Apricot, Camphor, Pine, Sugarcane, Tobacco
The infamous White Whale! Sadly, I didn’t jump on this when the price was low, for I nabbed it once it rose to 30$+. I was hesitant; because, I read that smokey notes were common in this brew. I do not care for smoky tastes.
I opened the wrapper and took in Moby Dick. The brick is superbly compressed and has an array of golden threads. The condensed tea carries a slight spice, pine resin, tobacco, and the all too familiar aged scent. This darkened mass did look appeasing, and I was curious as to the experience ahead of me. I took my puerh harpoon in hand and pierced the whale. Regrettably, I did stab myself a few times due to how compressed the brick was. Then, after a tireless effort, I broke off some debris for brewing. I placed the small rocks into the warmed jianshui and let them sit for a little bit. I lifted the lid and sniffed at the blubber. I noted strong notes of pipe tobacco, wet wood, whiskey barrel, and undertones of slight smoke and some cranberry. I recoiled at the scent of the smoke. I had read some reliable reviews, and they reassured the absence of smoke in the taste. I repeated this in my head, for I reaaally didn’t want that flavor. I washed the whale skin twice before brewing. I took an inhale of the steeped leaves and breathed a sigh of relief. The dreaded smoke has vanished, and it was replaced with some intense aromas. I was picking up dominant burnt sugar, tobacco resin, and spice. I caught a lingering dark fruitiness in the background. The liquor itself was a nice darkened bronze. The initial sip was smooth with some bitterness. This drink had a nice body, yet it wasn’t as full as I would’ve guessed. I picked up some tannin flavors with a pleasant oak tone. The brew progressively became deeper and gained a darker color. The body grew somewhat with depth and became sweeter. The huigan was peculiar, for it was a rough sweetness the lingered in the throat. The brew was not overly complex, and it kept a consistent flavor profile. The qi was great and calming. The feeling began in the head and slowly moved around the body. I experienced a nice warming feeling. This drink had an interesting mouth action with some cooling effects. This is a nice brick, but I would feel better about it if I grabbed it when it was cheaper. For the future, I will be breaking it in half; one I will enjoy and give away, and the other will be going into storage. This is a very interesting tea, and I enjoyed the experience. Also, this is a good bargain buy for a nicely stored aged raw.
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Cranberry, Oak wood, Resin, Spices, Tobacco, Wet Wood
Great tea. Filled my gaiwan with this and steeped it throughout the day. Energy energy energy. I feel reinvigorated after each cup. The mouthfeel is as aggressive as the energy.
Flavors are in sync with each other, making this tea very well-rounded. The aftertaste is powerful and sweet. The floral and astringent tastes come through with each sip, also accompanied by a mellow bitterness.
Not harsh on the stomach, but it becomes alive after it has been drunk.
Great tea through and through
The early steeps are thick and sweet with a strong honeyed flavor. Mineral and mossy notes with a floral touch that reminds me of lavender. Very nice and clean. Good infusability and strong, energizing qi feelings
Flavors: Lavender, Mineral, Moss, Sugarcane, Vanilla
Well, where to start with this one? I brewed up 5 grams in a 100ml gaiwan at 210/off boil. I gave two quick rinses. This tea was pretty compressed and took a few steeps to open up. It was so light in the beginning that there was nothing to even note. About steep 3 or 4 it started to give a little bit. The wet leaf smelled very floral and fruity with some slight tangy sourness in there. The material looks ok but nothing to write home about as it was a bit chopped looking to me bearing in mind this was a sample from W2T and I didnt personally break it off the cake. I feel that 5 grams was definitely not enough for 100ml, at least for me. It was so light that I wasn’t really experiencing the full offering of these leaves. For me this tea was VERY floral. I didn’t get any smokiness at all and the bitterness wasn’t too bad for a young sheng. The bitterness made its appearance around steep 4 and did stay but I was pushing the tea a bit because of how light it was. That is why I think I need to up the leaf to water ratio a bit. Maybe 7-8 grams to 100ml. I don’t think this first review is going to reflect my true opinion of this tea as I need to revisit it with more leaf ammo for the gaiwan. I didn’t really get any fruitiness but very floral throughout. I gave up around steep 10 or so. The smell is great and the taste in smooth and light. I think this one is going to be very good the next time I brew with more leaf. I am hoping to get some of those fruity flavors that are noticeable on the nose of the wet leaf. Definitely will be a good tea with some more age. I think a purchase of the full cake wouldn’t be a bad investment especially at the price point its at.
So I brewed up about 7 grams in a 100ml gaiwan at about 210f/off boil. This tea is 2012 material and looks really great. Nice big leaves and actually some of the better ripe leaves that I have personally ever seen. I gave two rinses and began the trip. First infusion was a bit more bitter than I had hoped so I backed my steep time off just a bit…maybe a bit less leaf next time would help. I can really tell that this is a younger ripe. But with that said it is the smoothes ripe that I have had personally. Very smooth. I didnt get really any sweetness that it boasts as it was more earthy and coffee like bitter. I also think giving it a rest for a bit would help because I pulled it out of the box today! Some slight sweetness did come through on the later steeps (5 or 6). This tea does have some staying power. Gave multiple steeps. My overall opinion is that this tea is going to be amazing with a bit more age. It has a nice buttery sweet smell on the wet leaf now that will come out in the flavor later on. I would recommend buying some of this before it goes away because in a couple of years this tea will be awesome. That said, its is already a good tea. I will revisit this tea in a few more weeks to see if the taste of the trip has worn off and gives me something else to say as I feel that it needs a bit of airing out for a proper review. Still yummy tho.