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Recent Tasting Notes
The only thing I can thing while sipping this is :
“BULANG HIT ME, HIT ME HARD!!!!”
I love bitter tea, especially shengs… So I actually overbrew this one and it taste soo soo soo good!!! Used 6g of leaves in a 95ml gaiwan, with nice and agitated brewing at rolling boil… give a thick, astringent, bitter tea… It’s delicious :) Leave a nice mought feel… Tea to be enjoyed SLOWLY, watching all the after-effect of that kind of powerful tea!!!
This tea is most definitvely on my to re-buy at some point :D
My first note got eaten by Steepster…:(
This shou is friggin’ awesome, and I believe I got the parameters down perfect. I aired out this shou for six months. My tea pals can tell you how long it took me to learn that aged offerings need airing!! I’ve learned that the aged teas from white2tea require this kind of patience but to trust TwoDog on his choices, if it ain’t good then I didn’t air it long enough or I didn’t brew it right. The longer an aged tea has been stored in China, the longer it really needs to rest and air out after arriving to really be the best.
I brewed up this 20 g melon in 180 ml Zhuni clay teapot to let it expand but then I used about half the water! So about 100 ml water after doing four rinses. The lump of shou sticks up above the water line. I’m on day 3 STILL flash brewing past 15 steeps. Smells earthy in the pot but the taste is the reward, mushrooms, dates, cherries, cacao, thick port wine flavored brown brew of goodness and double happy dance. Brew it thick and thicker with less water, this tuo is 20 g for a reason and the makers knew what they were doing when they made these! Oh yeahhhhh….
Flavors: Cacao, Cherry, Dates, Mushrooms, Red Wine
Backlogging from over the weekend!
I got my new little Ru Kiln pot from White2Tea this weekend along with some samples that Cheri sent! https://instagram.com/p/0gyegXRh48/ Thanks again Cheri!
I drank the ChocoShou Saturday night and I really enjoyed it for an aged tea. I’m pretty picky about my older shou and this was a very enjoyable one. Tasted like sweet old library books. Will pick up a tin with the next group order for sure :)
After reading countless stellar reviews of White2Tea’s curated selection of puerh teas and impeccable customer support, I had to place an order. The owner of White2Tea, known in the tea community as Two Dog, is arguably the most knowledge tea blogger on the Internet. You can read his work over at http://www.twodogteablog.com/ and http://www.white2tea.com/blog/. He is also very active in the r/tea and r/puer communities on reddit.
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White2Tea is based in Beijing, China and offers a very minimalist, “no bullshit” approach to selling puerh teas. Although White2Tea’s selection is smaller than some of its competitors, sometimes it is nice to select from a smaller amount of curated puerhs, rather than sift through hundreds and hundreds of random cakes. I also love all of White2Tea’s creative and adorable logos on their wrappers.
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This 2008 Often came as a sample with my order (White Whale!). Two Dog was very generous, giving me four different ten gram samples. The 2008 Often Tuo is White2Tea’s main budget offering, which is why I wanted to jump in and try it right away.
I used almost the whole sample for my review, so this is a little bit more leaf than I would normally use. With that in mind, I brewed the tea with very quick infusions.
This tuo (nest shaped puerh) has quite an interesting composition. My 10g sample contained one large chunk and several smaller leaves. The tuo is pretty tightly compressed, just like most tuos. The leaves are on the larger side, and are a fantastic array of color. Some of the leaves are light straw colored, while others are dark gray. They gray colored leaves had beautiful gold and silver hairs on them. I was transfixed by the way that the light was bouncing off of the hairs. If you zoom in on this photo, you can see the hairs!
The dry leaf is not overly fragrant. There is a slight hay or grassy smell to the leaves, but it’s nothing too strong. I detected a slight smoky note to the aroma of the dry leaf. Perhaps the most noticeable aroma coming off of these leaves is a sweet and earthy smell, which I really enjoyed.
I used a standard gaiwan, nothing too exciting. I picked up this neat tea strainer and hand from Tea Drunk in New York City. I used a tea strainer like this in Taiwan once, and I have been looking for one in the US ever since. I finally found one! I showed off this tea strainer and hand to my friends, but they were a bit concerned about how happy it makes me.
The aroma of this puerh really took off once I placed the leaves into the warm gaiwan. The fruity and smoky smells were intensified tenfold. Incredible! If I had to describe it, I would say it is very peachy and smoky…perhaps grilled peaches? Nah, that makes me sound like one of those wine snobs.
I opened up this tuo with two five second rinses.
The first steep came out an interesting orange-yellow color. The color was definitely darker than I expected. This puerh has a very interesting flavor, with many of the characteristic sheng puerh flavor notes, but it is a bit more vegetal than most puerhs I’ve tasted. The first steep was quite astringent, even though I essentially poured the hot water in the gaiwan and then immediately poured it into my cha hai. I actually found this astringent character quite pleasant. This steep was also notably vegetal. Although the dry leaf smelled a bit smoky, there was no smoky flavor in the brewed tea.
The mouthfeel was very slick and smooth, giving this tea a very pleasant juicy and thirst quenching quality.
The astringent and vegetal qualities of this tea combined quite well, combining to create an interesting flavor that I identified as green bell pepper, or perhaps celery. The aftertaste was notably sweet and very pleasant.
The second steep was a similar color but tasted a bit less astringent. The next several steeps were very strong and powerful. This tea is definitely strong in the early steeps, as noted on the White2Tea website. Steeps five through eight calmed down quite a bit, although the strong vegetal qualities still came through.
I steeped this tea in my gaiwan about ten times, and then threw the leaves into my tea mug and brewed the leaves “grandpa style” a few more times. The tuo definitely packs some power!
This tea gave an excellent cha qi. I felt super calm and relaxed after this gongfu session.
These leaves were definitely on the larger side. The leaves were mostly light green or gray-green, but there were a few darker brown leaves thrown into the mix.
At $22.50 per 250 grams, the 2008 Often tuo is a solid daily drinker with a few years of aging. I would definitely consider buying this tuo again, and perhaps keep a few for aging and see how they taste in a few years. This tea is just beginning to calm down, and I would love to see how this reasonably priced tuo will develop in the future.
I would definitely recommend buying some teas from White2Tea. Two Dog is one of the most knowledgeable and helpful people in the specialty tea business. White2Tea offers a carefully selected and well-balanced selection of puerhs and oolongs at various price points. While some of the offerings are definitely a bit out of my price range, I am sure the quality is impeccable. Luckily, Two Dog also has plenty of teas that are quite reasonably priced.
This tuo was a solid introduction to White2Tea’s offerings, and I look forward to reviewing more of Two Dog’s teas in the coming weeks.
“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Dry – Old decayed wood house, musky tree, wood-bitterness, dried leafs.
Wet – Sweet, coffee like bitterness, musty decayed wet wood, molasses.
First few (1-3) steeps Have a sweet front but wear a very robust mustiness that can be either very pleasant if you like it or off putting if you don’t that develops pepper like woodiness and slight spicy astringency and woody bitterness. The final notes recover the sweetness with a refreshing camphor.
In the Middle (3-6) Here is where the real good stuff shows up with mostly the sweeter notes and maintaining most of its woody characteristics with out being unpleasantly musky or decayed wood-bitter. The sweetness has some thickness and the bitterness make it seem more like a molasses than sugary which is very nice and almost malty in some sense.
Final steeps The notes start getting weaker, but the sweetness shines more here; with most of the wood bitterness and musk notes gone the sweetness is more like a raw sugar than molasses like, it doesn’t hold much complexity but it is still satisfying.
I like this one as an every day drink, the mini bricks have an undeniable musky, sometimes almost fishy scent that at least to me require a few days out of the container and a good two rinses to get rid of and even then the first 2-3 steeps will have plenty of it.
With all of that said, it becomes more and more pleasant in the middle steeps and flat sweet in the last few ones. I would recommend using the container for other teas and moving this ripe to a box or open container to get the best out of it.
Flavors: Decayed wood, Molasses, Musty, Sweet
This is by far the best shu that I have yet tasted: sweetly-smooth leather with distinctly-pleasant overtones of the sea (cod-fish?). The soup is a delightful sludge in the middle infusions. Prepared this western-style, as gong fu infusions are too weak.
First infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz water, boiling, 2:00 min.
Second infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz water, boiling, 2:00 min.
Third infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz water, boiling, 3:00 min.
Fourth infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz water, boiling, 3:00 min.
Fifth infusion — 5 g. per 8 oz water, boiling, 5:00 min.
Sixth infusion — 5 g. per 8 oz water, boiling, 10:00+ min.
I don’t think I could properly give this a rating. I was so disappointed by the way the meeting went that I could not remember enough to put a number to it. I hate to admit it, but all of the steepings were awful. The bitterness and astrincency were so prominent that not much else was trying to get through. We did discuss it’s potency and earthiness, we even agreed on the strong black coffee and tobacco notes. The other teas we tried went the same route. sigh.
From the Sheng and Shou TTB.
Brewed gongfu style with a ceramic gaiwan. 5 second rise. Steeping times: 10, 10, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 120, 240.
Such an alluring aroma the dry leaf has – incredibly sweet, with notes of honey and jam. It is what lead me to try this sheng when I didn’t know where to start on this side of pu’erh. Following the rinse and each infusion, the aroma initially offers green peppers, which quickly change into purple grapes, raisins, and prunes.
The liquor is the color of peach juice, and clear and clean with a thin-texture and full-body. Beautiful to look at with bits of leaf at the bottom of the cup. The first infusion tastes of green pepper and dried grass. Thereafter, there is a consistent note of bamboo and sweet summer field grasses. Beginning with the fifth infusion, honey comes up, creating a long-lastingly sweet aftertaste.
Dry grass notes don’t appeal to me, which is why sheng isn’t a favorite of mine(it’s what I’ve tasted in all but one of the shengs I’ve tried thus far), but Often is beyond tolerable, a a nice pleasure, especially because of its qi. I felt the qi on the first sip of each cup. It is calming and grounding. In addition, Often will get you tea tipsy if you drink four infusions one after the other.
Recommended for those who want to start exploring sheng. I might buy the 250g one day to become more used to sheng and to taste its evolution.
I really liked this tea. It was very well compressed and I almost had to break out my tea awl for this one. It is sweet with subdued notes of either dates or plums, not sure which is a better description. Cocoa notes are in the ball park too. This tea was a bargain at only $17.50. This is one I would definitely consider buying another of if putting in another order. It was much smoother than the 1998 White Tuo, at least I thought so. I kept this to six steeps tonight because I don’t want any more caffeine but you could certainly get twelve or more steeps out of this tea.
I steeped this six times in a 120ml gaiwan with 6.5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec.
Flavors: Dates, Earth, Sweet
Wowee, this tea is thick and a lot of flavor! The tea is tricking my tongue to think I’m sipping pudding rather than tea! At higher temperatures, you get mineral, tobacco and bitterness. I had to submit defeat and steep this at lower temperatures, around 190F. At that temperature and later infusions you get sweet, lemongrass citrus and a light stone fruit aftertaste. I got 12 infusions and probably could of gotten a few more.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/february-white2tea-club-bulang/
received a 5g sample for my monthly sub from white2tea.
Was excited as I had heard so much about orchid dancongs, and never got around to try it.
long leaf, smells grainy, like freshly baked bread.
steep 2gr. 200 ml. kamjove teamaker 90 C, 1 minute.
I may be doing something wrong, coz I can’t seem to steep this one right. It’s bitter, and not at all the taste I had anticipated..
Tried several steeps, but none was o.k. I guess this is not my cup of tea. Too difficult to get the steep right for an o.k. cup of tea, well, maybe some other time, but for now, a no no for me.
Wow this is exactly my type of tea. Thick mouth feel, amber honey infusion, quick bitter into slight sweetness, immediately body warming sensation, smell/taste that lasts after the session done, oily weight and viscousity that sloooowly slides down the sides of your tongue……. oh and the tea drunk that could wake the dead! I have come full circle, young bulangs are what I started drinking when I got into puer not liking them at first but the intrigued by their “ying-yang” qualities. By that reference I meant you don’t know sweet until you have tasted bitter, you don’t know thick chunky mouthfeel unless you can bare the astringency and you won’t ever build up a tolerance to enjoy your tea drunk until you have been abused by some good ol’ bulang enough times.
Short and simple yes yes yes. It is bitter it is astringent so be warned if you are into flowery sweet yiwu this is probably not for you.
Flavors: Bitter, Citrusy, Lemongrass
Yesterday I thought I’d try grandpa brewing the last square I had from White2Tea’s Tea Club. A quick rinse, and then the little square sat in my tumbler for a few hours as I sipped from it.
Unsurprisingly, it was a really, really strong brew. Dark, earthy, wet rocks. It was a little too intense for me during the first round of grandpa brewing that I poured half the tumbler into a mug and filled the mug up with hot water, which helped a lot. There was a pleasant, light sweetness to it. It was surprisingly crisp and refreshing, like how I’d imagine drinking from a stream would taste.
I have a tin of this on its way. At some point, when I have time (ha), I’ll have to do a proper gongfu side-by-side tasting with the ‘98 White Tuo. There’s something kind of familiar about this tea that made me think about the White Tuo.
Not bad but seriously overshadowed by Pauls’ other offerings.
These are a little under 20g mine turned out to be ~ 17g but super compact I did a double check on my scale when I saw the reading, as I am used to tuos being either 5-6g or 100g+. I broke off 5g and threw it in my gaiwan, after two rinses we were off. I did not sense any pile taste which is to be expected being a few years old. The liqour was black so I am guessing heavy fermentation the tea had decent body as well. The flavor profile was woody but unlike others I have tasted all I can remember is smelling and tasting incense not smoky per say or super woodsy just light and delicate incense flavor if that makes sense. While it was pleasant, just prior I had steeped one of paul’s other ripened that blew my mind in the sweet coaco flavor profile so this gold melon was overshadowed. As a result this tea didn’t get much of my attention as I was still in astonishment at the previous session.
My tea cache is starting to become obnoxious, mostly in part because of puer so I am very picky about my raw and ripe these days. I received this as a sample with my last order and while it was not bad and I will gladly drink it down, it was not worth a spot in pumidor.
Received a very small sample (~ 5g) in my tea of the month package so as a preface I didnt brew it enough times to get to right possibly.
Light roast indeed the leaves became unfurled after 2-3 flash steepings, cant say I got much sweetness or fragrance that I’d normally expect every steep seemed too light and thin after the 3rd steep all I tasted was leaf. The leaf reminded me of the last steepings of a shui xian wuyi, very slight hint of mineral and raw leaf taste.
Grand tea, yunnan sourcing and rishi offered more fragrant, sweeter, increased longevity in their mi lan xiang dancongs, while I just realize rishi’s dancong is almost 2x the cost of this one I think ill stick with puer from W2T and stick with yunnan sourcing us site for budget dancongs especially since W2T shipping is so rough.
Love everything White2Tea has so far(Puer wise) so ill just chalk it up to bad brewing perimeters.
Been drinking this tea a few times a week for the past couple months—I really like it. Starts out with a slight astringency, a subtle bitterness, but pleasant and sweet. Earthy, a bit minerally maybe… By far my favorite ripe puer I’ve had (although I’ve tasted very few). Will definitely be getting another cake with my next order.
Started brewing in the gaiwan but ended up bringing the cake with me to work where I just have one of those Teavana things that strain through the bottom. Probably used around 8g and steeped 4oz cups for 15, 25, 30, etc., seconds. Lasted quite a while.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Black Currant, Brandy, Earth, Mineral, Nutty, Rye, Sweet
This is a tea with nice power – the power of rich content. It begins with a bit of astringency and smoke but quickly they both fade away. Next, the herbal and grassy notes move forward and become more prominent with a lovely sweetness poking through. The sip becomes very smooth by the third or fourth steeping and the sweetness begins to break through. After drinking three cups, I am left with a distinct dryness in the mouth and throat. This cake is definitely made with good raw material but it still has room to mature with more age. I’m going to move this one to the back of the humidity monitored sheng cabinet and let it sit for another year or two before trying again.
Grrrr….accidentally hit the X while I was trying to switch tabs.
So my re-write.
Thank you so much, TwoDog2, for the sample of this tea with my order. I have never had such an expensive tea before. And yes, it’s worth every penny.
Started out very bold and strong, deep, clear, and incredibly smooth. Staying smooth and strong, it slowly sweetened up over infusion to infusion. And it’s still going strong. Amazingly smooth, delicious. I’ve got to stop for today, but I’m saving the rest for tomorrow.
This is the first White Two Tea offering that I’ve tried. I found it to be quite nice. The earthiness of it was rather subtle, which I appreciated.
Earliest infusions were sweet and mellow. The earthiness of this pu-erh is perhaps the most pleasant earthy taste that I’ve yet to experience in a pu-erh. This has a flavor of a mushroom. It’s not briny or fishy. It’s smooth, not bitter, and not astringent.
Later infusions became deeper in flavor but still pleasantly sweet, mellow and smooth. The sweetness develops into a caramel-y like flavor that I loved, and then with later infusions, it became more like molasses (loved that too!)
In later infusions, I also picked up on some raw cacao notes and hints of mineral. There was also a slight citrus-y tangy note.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/12/27/1997-light-green-7582-private-order-pu-erh-tea-from-white-two-tea/
Dry Leaves: It took me a while to break a chunk off this little tuocha; I started off trying to break a fourth of it off, but I ended up sawing it with my puerh knife. The tuocha didn’t have a strong smell, but it smelled a little smokey.
Temperature: Boiling (Subsequent infusions at 190oF)
Brewing Time: Fifteen seconds ( + five seconds for each subsequent infusion)
Aroma: Slightly Fishy
Flavor: Sweetly Smoky, Earth, Woodsy and Licorice
Tasting Notes: I started with two thirty second rinses, since the item listing recommends a long rinse. Immediately I knew this was way too dark for me, but I soldiered on. I was surprised by the licorice taste I could distinguish in later infusions, although this doesn’t have a lot of staying power, I got eight infusions out of it. I was kind of surprised by the aroma, while it wasn’t fishy enough to be off putting, there was a slight smell, although this might have been caused by the thin wrapper.
I probably wouldn’t buy it again, I am not really fond of Shou Puerh, but I was surprised at how creamy it was. Maybe if I used half as much tea or brewed at a lower temperature I would consider buying this, but for $1.99 for a 20g mini tuocha, it isn’t a bad deal. I just happen to like teas on the greener side.