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Recent Tasting Notes
Another solid hong from White2Tea club (when were these from, May?). This one wasn’t particularly interesting or anything, but it was tasty. Aroma of malt and a bit of fruit off of the leaves. Flavors were soft and malty sweet with a touch of floral to begin the session. The fruit an floral flavors lasted through three or four steeps, at which point they dropped off and a bit of a woody flavor started to accompany the malt. It was not quite as sweet for the second half of the session. Not astringent or anything, though the flavor did on occasion dip into some sour territory.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Malt, Sweet, Wood
Obtained a sample from the Pu’erh Plus TTB.
I used 5.4g in a 60ml ceramic gaiwan. Gave the leaf a quick rinse and a two minute rest. Steeping times: 5 seconds x5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 15, 20, 30, 45; 1 minute, 2, 5, 12.
The leaf smells sweet and herbaceous, of tobacco and apricot. As the session goes on, the more the leaf is washed with water, a very sweet apricot aroma takes over.
Clear, yellow soup throughout the session. The first few cups are quite bitter with some sweetness, and they feel punchy and buzzy in my mouth. Not truly surprising since the ratio of grams to water is 5.4 to 60. I’d also used boiling water. I guess this is the first time I “hit it hard” with sheng. I did feel my heart rate increase as if I’d spent some time exercising.
I lowered the water temperature to 200 beginning with the sixth cup. There isn’t much evolution in taste or texture after this point. Overall, the soup is still bitter but sweeter – there is more of a balance. Around infusion 11, a grassy note appears, replacing the bitterness. The soup then tastes like sweet grass and apricot until the end. In regards to the punchy feel, that slowly disappears.
The texture is a somewhat thick. My mouth dries a little after I finish each cup, but saliva quickly replenishes itself. There is huigan throughout the entire session, and it lasts for minutes. I enjoyed the sweet, apricot notes, and I felt contented every time I resumed the session after taking breaks. Bear in mind, I was enraged at one point and this sheng calmed me. Props.
I decided to try this tea from last month’s tea club shipment (still way behind, I just jumped ahead for this), because some people in teachat were talking about W2T Wuyi, so I decided to give one a try myself. To be honest, this one was a little odd. Not necessarily bad, but funky and unusual. The leaf smelled lightly roasty with a bit of honey or caramel sweetness.
The first steep is thick, with a raisin-y sourness and honey finish. I also detect a slight herbal flavor which, based on the talk of W2T Wuyi, I think might be kind of cannabis-like. I have little to no experience with that particular leaf though, so it could be something else entirely – that’s what kind of gives this tea a funky vibe for the most part.
The next couple steeps are also a bit off. While they offered some nice throaty feeling, I also got a soapy note, like what I’ve gotten from overbrewing dancongs before. The aftertaste remains fruity, almost getting peachy, with that funky note still hanging around.
After those steeps, I started getting less fruitiness with more of a mineral sweetness, still accompanied by the seemingly omnipresent cannabis note. The aftertaste became slightly floral. I began feeling a bit of energy and buzziness in my belly from this one. This went on much the same through steep 7, after which the tea’s flavor started to drop off.
This was an interesting Wuyi yancha – not a category of tea I have a particularly great amount of experience with. It was incredibly aromatic, with very long lasting flavor filling my mouth after each sip. I detected more qi from this than any other yancha I’ve had yet. The thickness was also the greatest I’ve experienced for a tea of this category – no longer a surprise from W2T. I think it is good and quite interesting, but a bit odd and funky. I really can’t decide whether I’d recommend it or not – leaning towards yes, because it’s fun to drink if nothing else.
Flavors: Cannabis, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Mineral, Raisins, Soap, Thick
This is the one that came with another mini cake of Mengsong Black Tea (not with a couple little balls) – June maybe? Just tried a couple sessions with this tea out. It’s pretty tasty! I agree with another reviewer that this one tastes quite a bit like a green tea. Not too surprising as it’s a baby sheng. It’s definitely not a green tea though – much more body than I’ve ever gotten out of a green tea. Though, I suppose I’ve never used boiling water with this ratio of tea for a green…hmm. Might be an interesting experiment.
Anywho, early steeps were thick and grassy with a sweet vegetal beany note. As I steeped it out, it got thicker, to the point where I would describe it as creamy, and the grassy character dropped off a bit. It did get slightly bitter a few times, but never to an offensive level. I found it smooth and intensely creamy – carrying a thickness I’ve still yet to experience in anything besides W2T’s offerings. This continued steadily for around 6 or 7 more steeps, giving me maybe a dozen or so total. The final couple tasted more steeped out, and had a kind of high-chlorophyll grassy taste to them again.
I really need to get out the cake of Mengsong Black that came with this, but I’m having too much fun with my Jianshui teapot that I’m just using for sheng! Hopefully I’ll get to it soon!
Flavors: Beany, Creamy, Grass, Thick, Vegetal
So im still learning about various different storage methods, this one an HK style. Its peaty & muddy. But with a slight spice & sweetness that creates an enjoyable brew. Ive been drinking this for two days now & its just very pleasant. Not much in the way of fruit or other flavours I associate with aged sheng, in fact there really isnt much in any direction really, quite a reserved taste overall.. Not mindblowing but just nicely enjoyable.
Flavors: Mud, Peat, Spicy, Sweet
Good god, I’m so far behind on teaclub drinking – they generally just get tossed in to my big box/bag o’ samples, forgotten until I’m randomly digging through for something to drink. Another pretty nice black tea from W2T, though it was definitely nicer the second time, after I remembered I’ve been using 200F water instead of boiling for these ones. With boiling water the tea died quite quickly and was never particularly good. With slightly cooler water, the tea lasted about 8 steeps – pretty good for a black tea that seemed to be composed of pretty small leaf.
The leaf, both wet and dry, gave off a nice cocoa aroma.
The first two steeps were soft with notes of cocoa and malt, along with a bit of creaminess. Very friendly on the palate. On my third steep, I think I upped the time a tad too quickly and the tea got a slight musty note along with those sweeter flavors. From the fourth steep, the tea started to take on a bit of a woody note. By this time, the cocoa flavor had gone out of the tea, so the remaining few cups from this session had a woody start which became bolder and more forward as the flavor steeped out, with a sweeter malty finish that diminished over a period of multiple steeps.
This was a very drinkable tea once I used the right temperature – a decently quick session and not a tea that made me think too much. I have read other reviews indicating that this tea took a long time to steep out, but I didn’t really find that to be the case (though maybe I’m just comparing it to sheng puerh that can go 12+ steeps, I don’t know).
Flavors: Cocoa, Creamy, Malt, Musty, Wood
Brewed this sheng fast and hard – warrior style!
Stone fruit, green apple, and plenty of astringency are the key flavors here. Also, a heavy sour top note dominates the mouth.
There is a direct line from W2T’s Milk, Cream and Alcohol to this to Tuhao As Fuck. They are all these deeply creamy, deeply mouth filling, subtly dairy, subtly sweet, not at all cloying things. Each is appropriate to its price. Poundcake ain’t some weird candy thing (although maybe if you’re used to camphor-power it might seem so) – but its full range of bizarre German-baking spices is totally cool.
This tea is rank, and dank, and gnarly. I understand what a previous review meant with his shou comparison – this is a tea for a cold, dark day, not when it’s still summer (in the GregorIan sense). I will endeavour to revisit this in the early part of the new year, and I’ll be letting it breathe until then.
Lest you misconstrue, however, I believe there’s a very fine tea hiding under here, or I wouldn’t bother.
Bonus note – I cold brewed the mostly spent leaves for over 10 hours today, and it tasted like liquid leather. Quite nice, actually!
Rated M for moist.
2015 Red shroom – shou puerh by w2t review.
Yixing engraved Dragon teapot gongfucha.
Dry leaf: musty
Wet leaf: weak sweetness
Light steep: I taste/smell; little to no fermentation taste. Slight
-> earth, cream, sweetness. No bitterness
Medium steep: I taste/smell; little to no fermentation taste. Slight cream. Light
-> camphor, mushrooms, earth. Medium sweetness. No bitterness.
Heavy steep, I taste/smell; little to no
-> fermentation taste, cream, Bitterness, sweetness (after). medium -> camphor, mushrooms. Medium to strong earth.
All in all, a mixed bag of aromas and tastes. I love it! Surprise each steep! Ok cha qi. I rate 100.
I will definately order from white 2 tea in the future.
Extra photo: maybe if i eat it, ill grow big like mario and luigi!
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Cream, Earth, Mushrooms, Sweet
A little late to the party on this one. Got a sample in a grab bag of goodies from W2T about a month or two ago. A little light during the first two steeps, but I stepped up the temperature and steep time on number three to near boiling and got a lot more bang for my buck. Malty notes as well a decent amount of chocolate flavor in there. Not a bad black tea, but I’m not a huge fan of black teas in general.
I received this in the White2Tea subscription. I put off drinking it for a long time, life has been chaotic and I haven’t been able to properly prepare to drink this type of tea. I used my gaiwan that I purchased at Christmas for the first time with this tea, in fact, it was my first time using a gaiwan in general. The tea itself was beautiful, I had a wonderful experience drinking it through the brews. I am a very avid white tea fan, having many of white teas from other companies that I brew in a regular infuser. The aged factor of this white tea was very interesting, to say the least. I am sorry that I cannot provide very good notes on the specific flavours, I am still developing my ability to recognize and note flavours. I just wanted to say I enjoyed this tea very, very much.
The weather has been so awesome the last couple days, I have been loving it! Previously this week it has been cool, mostly sunny, but cool…perfect windows open days. Yesterday the fun started, first with a bit of drizzles then intermittent storms, and then wow, last night was a storm party! Granted it was when I was trying to sleep, and I am pretty sure a tree up the road was lightninged into oblivion meaning very loud booms, but I don’t care. I will lose sleep anytime to storms! In fact it just finished another storm about half an hour ago, with more promised during the rest of the week, this makes me giddy!!
Today I am taking a look at White2Tea’s 2016 A&P, a Dianhong they included with the July teaclub (along with some killer sweet balls) which is conveniently also for sale in their shop for when I inevitably run out and need more. It is how I am with the deliriously tasty reds, they are addictive and I always need another fix, ALWAYS. Honestly I am tempted to get another cake to just put away for aging, since it was made from Lincang Puerh materials and sun-dried leaving it a bit raw meaning it should improve with a few years age on it.
Except for a few exceptions I love most my reds with a little age on them, usually I find any harsh notes will mellow out after a year or two…assuming they last that long around me. So after admiring this lovely dark cake in its pristine form I hacked a bit off for closer examination, with my nose.
Well hello there you chocolaty cake of goodness, it smells like the batter for the rich triple chocolate molasses cake I make when I am desperately craving chocolate, very sweet and thickly chocolate. There are also undertones of cooked plum, sandalwood, myrrh, and malt. Fun fact, when I first opened this bad boy up it smelled lightly of cocoa, a few weeks later the cocoa increased, and now in the middle of August when I am writing this it smells like a blasted cake! I think in a year it will gain sentience as the embodiment of chocolate, it is the only explanation.
So after a first steep the aroma is nothing short of oomph, it is a little bit malty and a touch nutty, but the strongest notes by far are sweet cocoa and woody sandalwood. The combination of this tea’s notes are mouthwatering, sandalwood is a great love of mine, like on a primal level…is this tea trying to seduce me? The liquid once free from its leafy restraints blend notes of creamy milk chocolate, peanuts, sandalwood, molasses, and caramelized brown sugar…it is like all the parts of a really tasty candy but separate, and with sandalwood. Yum.
So I make a show saying that I am not a social person which is why most my teaing is done in the privacy of my tea lair, but really I think it is because the noises that good tea elicit out of me are just not sociable, and I don’t like holding back! I have this same problem with food. This tea had that effect on me for sure, from the first sip I was dancing in my chair and making all sorts of happy noises. Starting with a thick mouth (this is a theme that will stick around) it is sweet, like the most perfect ripe cherry and plum exploding in my mouth with a fantastic chocolate shrapnel to the face. Then for the finish it is like someone gave me just the caramelized sugar top of a creme brulee, the aftertaste of brown sugar lingers for a while.
The aroma of the second steep ramps up, stronger cocoa, more intense molasses, juicy plum and brown sugar dance with sandalwood for one outstanding thing to sniff. It is still thick as all get out, like almost fruit nectar thick but blissfully without the sticky, super creamy and dense. It starts with overly ripe bordering on cooked plums with malt and molasses, building slowly until the midtaste is chocolate. Starting with milk chocolate and moving to dark, never getting to bittersweet. The finish is a blend of pine sap, myrrh, and sandalwood, cutting down the sweet ever so slightly but adding a richness that is almost blinding.
Surprisingly my mind is not mush by this point, it feels like it is almost at the point, sensory overload for sure! This steep does not change much from the second, it pretty much stays at status quo until steep five where it starts fading away into chocolate, plums and molasses until nothing is left several steeps later. This tea has longevity, aging potential, and it almost turned me into a gibbering mess (I needed time to process before I could get this written, it was like a chocolate tea Eldrazi…the MTG card no one knew they wanted) so yeah, if you have the money I say give this one a get. I plan on attempting to leave my cake alone for at least a few months to see how it changes.
I liked this tea a lot more than I thought I would! I used 7.5g in my 120mL gaiwan with 200F water. The dry leaves, which looked quite interesting, with different shades and large leaves and stuff in there, smelled slightly of honey and a bit sour. Once rinsed, they gave off an interesting aroma, part sour plum, honey, and a bit of a medicinal aroma.
The tea didn’t break apart quite as readily as I thought it would – took probably 6-7 before it was most of the way broken up. My first three steeps were plummy with those same medicinal notes and a honey finish. I also detected kind of leaf-litter autumnal flavors in there too. The plum note started to fade after these initial steeps, but throughout the session the sour aroma remained kind of in the air whenever I took the lid off the gaiwan. This flavor sort of reminded me of oriental beauty, but this was way better than the oriental beauties I’ve tried.
A couple steeps later, I started pushing the tea a tad bit more, and it got a bit drying with the medicinal flavors taking more of the fore. From about the 7th steep on, the flavors (still honey, medicinal, autumn leaf) seemed to be in constant flux from steep to steep. One steep the honey would be the front, the next the medicinal, etc. It was pretty interesting and fun to drink.
I’d be interested to try more aged white teas. Apparently the next W2T club shipment is going to be a white tea cake, though from this year I believe. Interested to see how that’ll turn out. I would definitely put this on the same level as sheng puerh as far as how enjoyable I found it. At least from this one example.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Fruity, Honey, Medicinal, Pleasantly Sour, Plums, Sweet, Thick
From puerh plus TTB:
1st steep: stone fruit
2nd: a light floral taste
3rd: brewed a dark green gold color, the only tasting notes I have are “liquid gold”…not sure what I was thinking there.
4th: brewed an orange color, slight bit of drying bitterness here
The drying effect lasted through the next couple of steeps. Then it sweetened up while gradually fading away…
This was a very enjoyable tea. I’m going through an orange/mandarin/whatever stuffed with puerh phase right now so figured I’d get one of these and one Black Star in my last order from W2T.
Originally hesitant to purchase this due to reported ‘fishy’ flavors/aromas. I’ve had fishy puerh in the past, and not a fan at all. But I figured I’d let myself be the judge, and also doubted that W2T would actually be selling fishy (improperly processed) puerh. So it was a leap of faith and it paid off.
This tea is GOOD! The puerh is very smooth, aromatic, clean, no fermentation or wodui present. With just the right ratio of orange peel to tea you get a very rewarding experience with smooth creamy earthy puerh, slightly spiced and pungent but smooth mandarin notes in the background. They say aroma is like 80% of flavor, this tea has lots of yummy aroma from that orange.
Pro-tip…after initial 2 rinses put some of the orange peel in your chahai, it needs more time to steep/open up and is not going to turn bitter like tea. Thank me later :)
Pro-tip 2…when I initially drank this it had a papery flavor to it. So I threw away the paper and rewrapped it in foil, and a month or so later the paper flavors were gone.
Flavors: Earth, Orange, Orange Zest, Spices
Today feel as though I’ve been let in on a juicy secret that wasn’t meant for my ears. I say this because I’m enjoying a White 2 Tea tea club tea, a tea from a club I’m not part of. I just got my order from the sale a few weeks back, and 2Dog included this and a few other past tea club teas as freebees.
This is a fairly tippy, cute little mini cake. Flavorwise it’s very green tea-like. Notes of green peas, grass, wet moss, white grape, and apricot. The mouthfeel is thick and oily, as I’ve noticed White 2 Tea sheng tends to be. There’s some light astringency, but not much bitterness. Overall its a pretty light and fruity tea. Much more notable than the taste is the strength of tea drunk that I’m experiencing. This tea has me feeling very light and calm and floaty.
Flavors: Apricot, Grass, Peas, Peppercorn, Seaweed, Wet Moss, White Grapes