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Recent Tasting Notes
One of the the things I love about being a tea club member is that it isn’t just about new teas, but also new experiences, and this tea is definitely an experience.
First off, I don’t know about this tea as being a “puerh/white tea blend” as per the description, b/c as far as I know, the description from w2t says nothing about puerh. Anyway, this is my first time drinking white tea and it’s baffling. Does white tea always look like a pile of decomposing leaves, but taste like honey? It smells like honey too. Seriously, this is one of the most wonderfully aromatic teas I’ve ever had. I gongfu’d for a few steeps (the first, aka “the rinse” was the best IMO), then I decided to just grandpa drink it from my gaiwan for awhile, and that was also quite nice. What a lovely lingering sweet aftertaste.
I tried boiling the spent leaves and I might have overboiled; at one point I tasted the tea and it was nice. I was going to take it off the stove but got distracted by having to pee, and when I came back it was too late. Like, “I should have eaten that avocado yesterday” too late. Still drinkable, but disappointing nonetheless because I knew I had screwed up. Luckily, I have more of this tea and next time I’ll be more careful.
Overall, I loved it.
Flavors: Dates, Honey, Sweet, Vanilla
This was a really interesting tea. The leaves look pretty dark and when brewed they turn a dark brown. I didn’t use quite enough leaves so the first infusion was a bit light. I could taste the typical hay I get from whites and and honey sweetness.
The instructions said after a couple of gongful sessions ( I did one in the mug only) to boil the leaves in 1 litre of water until the water was red. I did this ( except I used a bit less water since I had less leaves) and the first cup from that tea was excellent.
It was much more robust than the first cup. It actually brewed up almost as dark as a ripe puerh. I still got the hay and honey notes but added to it this time was sweet dates and an earthiness. Yum! That was the best cup. Once the leaves sat in the water too long the tea just became too earthy and I couldn’t pick up the other notes as much.
Definitely an interesting tea.
Flavors: Dates, Earth, Hay, Honey
Sweet, creamy, vanilla, dark cocoa – the best descriptors for this fine shu! Very drinkable and enjoyable with no off-putting taste at all. The flavor profile was less developed in the first two steeps but by the third it had picked up and then exploded in the fourth. Half a cake left and I wish White 2 Tea had more.
I’ve been sipping this for awhile, and it’s one of my go-to daily drinkers. The cake is heavily dried and tightly compressed. I can spot some gold curls spread throughout the top. I take a whiff and inhale a dried earth and light fungal tone. I break off a hefty chunk and throw it into the warmed gaiwan. I opened the lid and take in a wonderful bunch of scents. I spot wet sage and clay right off the bat, slowly I begin to pick up some earth and a rising petrichor. I washed the leaves a few times due to its heavy compression and begin my brewing. The steeped chunk finally un-bunches and releases a sweet damp leaf and soil aroma. The scent is heavy and thick. The brew consists of a dense and dark soup. The taste begins light and sweet with a brief cocoa tone. This thick drink gives a heavy and full mouth-feel with nice lubrication. The tea expresses some distinct earth tones that move throughout the senses. This liqour is full of curbed tones. It’s a nice balanced drink with its smooth heavy tastes and a light finish. The qi is beautifully warming and begins low in the gut and slowly travels up to the mind. This offering is not overly complex, but it’s a reliable Shou. The brew is good, steady, warming, and rich. The cake is not something I’m crazy about, but I enjoy having it, and I drink it at night before bed to warm myself up.
I really like how this came out
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Clay, Cocoa, Earth, petrichor, Sage, Smooth, Wet Earth
This is one of the best ripe puers that I have ever tasted. (Although that isn’t saying much just look at my logged teas.) It has complexity and actually some huigan. I don’t drink ripe often, but when I do, I would like to drink something like this. With this kind of quality, its enough reason for me to stop supporting the larger factories. Sure the big names are reliable, but with my experience, white2tea is on another plane of reliability.
Drank this tea today and I drank a lot of it. I used it to do a sis by side comparison of my electric kettle, and my Anta Pottery Clay Boiler. The goal was to see if I could tell a difference in the tea itself. The verdict is out. Without a doubt the clay boiler produced a smoother and even slightly sweeter cup of tea. I did six steeps with each kettle, so it was not just one or two steeps. I ended up doing eight steeps with the clay boiler. As to the tea itself. This is a very nice ripe. While it had a fair amount of fermentation flavor that flavor was not too potent and certainly was not fishy. I found some notes of chocolate in there and a fruity taste in latter steeps. This tea is quite the bargain price for what quality of tea you are getting in my opinion. I steeped the tea in two identical gaiwans each with exactly 8.2g of leaf so there was no one tea that got more or less leaf. This test was about as scientific as I could muster.
I steeped 8.2g leaf each in two identical 100ml gaiwans with boiling water. I can’t be sure that the holding temperature of the clay boiler was not a little cooler than the electric kettle. I gave each tea a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped each for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. I kept going with the clay boiler for two more steeps at 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Sweet
From the Jan 2016 White2tea club
This shou is a really nice daily drinker at an excellent price. It’s pretty friendly for a new pu’er person too. It’s a cedar wood flavor and later steepings getting really sweet. It’s clean tasting and absolutely no funky shou shenanigans going on. There’s some sour notes in the early infusions, but it fades fast.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/january-2016-white2tea-club-featuring-2015-old-reliable-ripe-puer/
Breaking this out to compare to the ‘Classic Tuo’.
Got about 11 grams of this out as well. I gave a rinse and let it sit a while before brewing to absorb some of the water.
I did short steeps and compared the color of mine from the website. The one I have brews a bit darker that the picture. This one is softer and a bit silky in the mouth. There is a touch of minty cooling with this one and the sweet that lingers is more pronounced. It gives some hints of a touch of a bitter bite only briefly. The damp aroma led me to believe there was some smoke in it but it doesn’t come across the palate. There is another note I am trying to figure out. Maybe just a hint of wood in there. Solid to have and drink and I am going to be sure and save the wrapper and red ribbon inside.
Flavors: Bitter, Mint, Smoke, Sweet, Wood
This tea is strong and somewhat bitter. It was quite tasty though. It stayed bitter throughout the first four or five steeps and then a sweet note emerged. This is an excellent tea for the price. At $18.50 it’s not a big risk in a tea. I think it’s got a lot of potential. If only my pumidor wasn’t full. I will have to dry store this one and see what happens. I’m not really sure how to describe the sweet note that emerged. There was still a bitter aftertaste even with this sweet note.
I brewed this tea eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.3g leaf and 190 degree 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.
Packed my smallest gaiwan with about 6 grams of this tea as I always find white teas very forgiving. The smell on the heated leaves is, just as described by the vendor, packed with red dates as well as white peony, a hint of vanilla/cinnamon, and white flowers. This smell was present consistently throughout brewing – in the wet leaves, the tea liquor itself, the after taste, and even the smell in the cup after drinking the tea.
In addition to the flavors already mentioned, the tea tasted of honey and some other light/tart citrusy fruits, toasted oats, and a solid note that reminded me of a pile of dry autumn leaves. Quite full bodied, falls just short of malty. smooth with a nice cooling in the back of the throat and a sweet saliva-inducing buzzing in the cheeks. The tea endured 8 steepings packed with flavor before I decided to boil it. This tea was a welcome change of pace from oolongs and puerh, while still having a full enough body and flavor profile to satisfy me on a cold winter night, it honestly had some parallels to 10-20 year old oolongs.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cinnamon, Dates, Flowers, Honey, Vanilla
Impressions: Earthy with big notes of wet cedar and mulch. Damp vegetation on the nose here and there. A tiny hint of sweetness and woody spice (cedar) on the finish. A bit round and kind of clumsy, but it is enjoyable to drink now – void of any unpleasant fermentation flavor. No great characteristics in the mouth, but does leave a smooth and slightly sweet finish lingering for a few minutes after drinking. I think this will continue to age well .
Flavors: Cedar, Earth, Spices, Wet Earth, Wet Moss, Wet wood, Wood
Received this cake in the January edition of White2Tea’s monthly club. Before I even tried the tea I was grinning at the wrapper.
This is my second time trying it and it’s got amazing tea mist! I’m really enjoying watching the beautiful patterns forming at the surface of my cup. I get a nice bittersweet flavour that ends with a bit of lingering sour tartness. The first time I drank it I thought it was an aftertaste from something I ate before. To be clear, the sourness is not unpleasant or even very strong. Some people might not even notice it unless they’re looking for it.
Old Reliable is a solid shou with a name that suits it. Definitely a solid daily drinker with strong flavours that don’t give out too quickly.
Old Reliable is a great tea that has many flavors that the Marlboro Man would be drinking himself! this tea reminds me of the ‘old wild west’. It’s many flavors makes it a ripe pu-erh that’s amazing for any occasion for any tea drinker. It’s exceptional, especially for the price.
I started this tea by breaking up a few chunks. I did 6.5g for a 3.3oz vessel. The cake was really easy to break apart with my tea pick, and almost smelled like mushrooms-fish before brewing.
On my first infusion I did a quick brew. I was hit with the taste of mushrooms and sweet aftertaste of malt. It has a sweet fragrance that reminded me of caramel. On my 2nd and 3rd infusion, the mushroom taste started to phase out and notes of tobacco started to come out.
The liquor of the tea started to turn from golden orange to dark brown. The taste of malt-caramel disappeared on my 4th steep but the notes of mushroom were lingering on. As I moved on to my 6th infusion, it started to taste like bark and tobacco. The smell and taste of tobacco started to take over and was very pleasant. It reminded me of when I was watching westerns with my mom growing up. Tombstone came to mind as the tea turned from a bold texture to a smooth leathery texture. All I could think about was Clint Eastwood or the Marlboro Man.
The tea still has tobacco notes but the after taste of caramel-malt notes are back (unfortunately they’re very weak)! On the other hand the bark and mushroom notes are nearly gone. It’s smoothing out like an aged cigar with the texture of a lazy-boy leather recliner. It’s lost it’s bite at this point but I’m still enjoying it!
I would buy this tea again. I got many memories of watching westerns as a little kid growing up, and it’s nothing short of complex. They way it changes its notes through out the steeping process took me on a great tasting journey. It never got bitter or astringent, which is why I’m placing another order for this tea!
Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Mushrooms, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood
First Impressions. The dry leaves smell wonderfully fruity/spicy with a present but not overpowering roast. The first brew is bursting with ripe fruits and spicy/woody notes. The tea has a strong sweet aftertaste which lingers for a while. Full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. I found the subsequent brews to be less and less flavorful, becoming a bit more roasty/sweet and less complex. The mouthfeel was still great for 6 brews.
I think I’ll use more leaf next time.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Oak wood, Peach, Roast nuts, Spices, Sweet, Toasty, Toffee, Vanilla