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drank Shui Xian Oolong by White2Tea
24 tasting notes

First, a little rant. This is my second month of the White2Tea monthly club and it will definitely be my last. I signed up for December because they were including a 250g heicha brick and that seemed like a good deal (which is sort of was, the brick is OK). This month I open my box to find a grand total of 22.5g of tea. For $30. I wouldn’t pay that much per gram for tea I knew was going to be amazing. But whatever, maybe this tea is super valuable and rare to try and I’m just an idiot. But really, what a horrible value.

Leaf is lightly rolled and very intact, beautiful leaves. Primary nose on the wet leaf is chocolate and malted milk. Taste on the rinse is fruity and roasty. Nice so far. Fruitiness is less bright on the second steep and a little more mineraly, still keeping a nice roasty flavor. Perfect tea for this snowy morning, really.

Continues to be bright, mineral, low astringency, some oxidation flavors, really delicate and complex tea. Delicious? Yes. Worth over $1/g? Hell no.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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drank 2016 Poundcake by White2Tea
108 tasting notes

The poundcake is the young pop star of pu’er in the West for obvious reasons. I’m not one to embrace trends, but I’ve been curious what all the hype was about. This is my second session with this tea. The attractive long dried leaves have a sweet sugary/grassy scent which is enhaced with a spash of ripened passion and mango aromas after the first rinse. What’s not to like?

Steeps are consistently vibrant and active in the mouth with some throat action going on there too. This one has a nice buzzing qi that grabs my attention. Typically expert processing here: mercifully light compression respecting leaf integrity; pure and clean tea liquor and taste; and no burnt specks to be found. Tropical fruits, sweet florals, and milky oolong continue into later steeps with just a hint of astringency.

There’s a metallic finish (all too prolific in W2T’s shengs) at the roof and back of my mouth that takes points off in my book. This can be overcome with more dynamic flavor characteristics, which isn’t the case here considering the softer profile and lack of edge of this tea.

I can see why this would be attractive to beginners with a decent tea budget, but having tried at least 5 of W2T’s Yiwu-like shengs, I find myself unwilling to put up the cash for this xiao bing. Instead, I chose to pay $15 more for their 357 g 2009 Yiwu Gushu Bing, I suspect shared very similar characteristics in its youth.

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97

There are two options to pick from to review, but this choice had more tasting notes.

The leaf is dark and nicely threaded together. A nice note of smooth sweet wood and light musk lift from the leaf. I’ve heard good things about this tea, so I am excited to try. I warmed my lil pot up and prepared for brewing. The leaves, once warmed up, give off a fruity spice aroma. I pick up plum mixed with an extremely pleasant tobacco scent. I washed the old timers once before steeping. The taste is incredibly smooth with a bit of tannic. The huigan is thick, full, and filled with dates. This tea is motor oil thick and silky smooth. The later steeping yields a pleasantly sour tobacco note, but the drink still ends with a candy like sweetness. A light floral orchid lifts from the tongue by the third steeping. This is a stellar tea. I’d also like to note the leaves give off an inquisitive herbaceous note that fills the tea room. The qi begins head clouding and clears to warming uplifting of the body. This is a nice “cruising” tea; I can just drift along with the brew, enjoying the ride. The brew leaves me calm and collected with a nice easy goin vibe. I really like it, almost a bit too much.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOKkHdZge2O/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Candy, Dates, Orchid, Pleasantly Sour, Plums, Smooth, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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drank Little Red by White2Tea
144 tasting notes

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Roswell Strange sent this to me as part of the Slack chat Secret Santea event, so thank you so much! I’ve been wanting to try this one. Since I also had a sample of Teavivre’s 2011 Fuding, I decided to drink these side by side.

I can tell from the beginning that this one will take a while to fully expand and steep out, as the initial steep is extremely light in color and flavor and the chunk of cake is really holding itself together. The leaves are very intact with almost no fannings come off in the rinse or during multiple steeps.

Gongfuing this, I get a delicate flavor with stone fruit and a nice fruity sourness that develop throughout the session, along with an eventual acute sweetness. I revisit it the next day and it keeps delivering, and the day after that, the cake still hasn’t fully pulled itself apart.

Knowing that this one can be steeped quite a few ways with good results, I look forward to experimenting with it some more. Thanks again, Roswell Strange!

Flavors: Pleasantly Sour, Spices, Stonefruits, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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drank Little Red by White2Tea
16 tasting notes

This was sent to me twice as a sample by W2T (thank you then, W2T packing elves), so I’ve had about 6 sessions and feel more comfortable reviewing it.

Prep: 60cc or 100cc gaiwan. I didn’t measure this out, just made a nice thick mound in my gaiwan. I tried this with boiling and 190F water. Steeps starting at 10s and going up to about 3 min. Also one session with less leaf and 2-4 minute steeps in a cup, western style attempt.
Sessions with this tea: 6

This is a very sweet, almost caro-syrupy/molasses tea to me. Roasty toasty malt notes with a heavy-handed cocoa flavor which showed up in both the aroma and the early steeps. The malty notes stuck around and steeps 5-8 were somewhat less intense with sweetness. I couldn’t seem to push much more out of this. This one is far too sweet for me to drink often, and if there were a category of “dessert teas” I would probably place this one there. I would probably recommend this tea for people who like black teas as a tea that has enough complexity and hits all the high notes to be enjoyable regularly, but I don’t see that it’s still for sale.

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My experience for this is just been awesome. I starts slowly but grows rapidly. Thanks everyone who is key people behind it.

Flavors: Alcohol, Anise, Apple Skins, Brandy, Champagne, Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Goji, Medicinal, Ocean Breeze

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77
drank Little Red by White2Tea
4301 tasting notes

Drinking this one Western because that’s how it was recommended to me.

This is pretty nice; I really had no expectations for it or knowledge of it going into the cup because it was essentially a blind purchase just based on the recommendations of others here on Steepster/Slack, but it’s pretty smooth and has some interesting flavour notes.

The main one I’m getting is actually this vaguely spice like note – it’s bothering me a little bit because I can’t really nail down what particular spice it reminds me of but it’s not overbearing or, you know, spicy in the sense where it’s very hot. The finish is maybe a little peppercorn-y? It’s kind of got that tickle to it that peppercorn has. Apart from that, it’s also quite thick and malty with some underlying fruit notes and a bit of dry-er, baker’s chocolate/cocoa sweetness. The fruit reminds me a little bit of fig, and maybe a bit of dried stonefruits as well. Finally, the finish is just a little smoky, as Chinese blacks often slightly are.

It’s a good array of flavour notes. I’m quite happy with this first impression of it.

EDIT: Just reread the description – cumin and cinnamon, eh? I guess I can see the cinnamon if it’s a bit of a drier cinnamon and less of a sweet, confectionery sort of cinnamon. I’m not all that familiar with cumin though, so maybe that’s why I can’t peg that flavour as well. Hard to say…

UlchabhanRua

I was thinking the same thing about the Cumin during my session today. Though after about my 8th steeping into it with a gaiwan it kinda hit me. I definitely taste a flavor reminiscent of golden milk (an Indian drink with a raw cumin base) a ways into it.

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84
drank 2016 Trap Bird by White2Tea
1515 tasting notes

This is a very nice ripe but not quite spectacular. It is very good though. It started out with basically no bitterness and a lot of fermentation taste. The fermentation was done right on this one and it didn’t taste unpleasant or fishy. There was also a sweet note from the beginning. While this sweet note evolved overtime I really failed to pin them down. It did not seem chocolaty to me but was very dark in the early infusions. In fact it was still so dark in the tenth infusion that it looked like black coffee. While this tea probably won’t win any awards with what is out there it is a good solid tea that is basically lacking in negative notes overall. An excellent daily drinker if there ever was one. While I will not likely buy more of this I did really enjoy it. It was good.

I steeped this twelve times in a 160ml Solid Silver teapot with 13.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. Judging by the color of the tea in the twelfth steep I’d say I could get another four steeps out of this tea. But twelve steeps from a 160ml teapot is a lot of tea.

Flavors: Bitter, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 13 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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drank 2016 Poundcake by White2Tea
16 tasting notes

Summary: Sweet but not cloying, playful, easy drinker with a thick texture and some energy.

Prep: Dunno, boiling water, 5-8g, 100cc gaiwan. Anywhere from 7-16 steeps.
Sessions with this tea: 10+

Taste: Starts sweet like fruit (more complex), evolves to sweet like dew (simple). Small astringency early, mildly medicinal, goes away into sweetness. Aftertaste doesn’t linger unfortunately.

Body: Thick heavy cream mouthfeel, so good. Drying in the mouth aftertaste, induces some salivation. Sits deep in the belly, not heavy. Moderate energy.

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drank Hoplite by White2Tea
16 tasting notes

Summary: Smooth sweet dark honey yancha from W2T

Prep: 4-7g, 100cc gaiwan, 190F or boiling. Rinse, 10s, increasing from there for anywhere from 6-12 steeps.
Sessions with this tea: 10?

Taste: Starts off with easy mineral roasty herb or smoke or something (cannabis mentioned by previous reviewer, seems to fit in retrospect). Sweetness is apricot . No bitterness, no astringency. Turns into something inbetween floral and kinda dark honey or caramel flavored and that herby note drops out. Very sweet throughout.

Body: thick body. Sits down low in my abdomen. Mild background energy, not very bright.

A little on the sweet side for me, and probably will not buy again. The thick smooth body is very pleasant though.

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drank 2016 B_ D_ by White2Tea
1226 tasting notes

This little cake is bitttttttter and dry! Underleaf it a bit and flash steep it for awhile. It is a complex tea – wet stones, vegetal, leafy with a heavy pudding texture and big aftertaste fragrance. Drank BD after a month of rest, will need to revisit in a year or two.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/november-2016-white2tea-club-feat-2016-b__d_-sheng-puer/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 17 ML

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88
drank 2016 We Go High by White2Tea
3 tasting notes

Leaves have a sweet hay smell. The color started a rich yellow and quickly moved to gold. The texture is fairly thick with a nice mouth feel. There is a mild sweetness and I get a slight bitterness, which I don’t mind. The flavor was a little bolder than I was expecting. If a soft Yiwu is a 1 and a bold Menghai is a 5, this was about a 3.5 for me. I began to notice a mild body feel at the end of my second steep and increases slightly into my 5th steep where I took a break. It did not upset my stomach at all which surprised me for such a young sheng. This tea seems to have some serious backbone so I would drink it w/ respect. I think it is almost too much for me to be a daily drinker but definitely want to enjoy from time to time. I ended up getting 13 steeps out of the leaves. Using the Richmond Rating Scale, I give this a 4.4 which equates to a 88 on Steepter scale. Richmond scale:
1 I hate this tea. I’m not sure I can finish my cup, and I would never purchase it.
2 I’m not a fan of this tea. I may finish my cup or pot, but I probably wouldn’t buy it.
3 This tea is okay. I might drink it from time to time. I may purchase if it were inexpensive or someone gave it to me.
4 I like this tea. I want to drink it regularly, and I would be willing to pay up to the mid range of my budget for it.
5 I love this tea. I can’t get enough. I would be willing to pay at the highest end of my budget for it.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Very unique tea. Just dipping my toes in as I just finished a hefty Dahongpao session, using 2.4 grams in a mug (grandpa style). I’m smelling pinewood and for some reason a pleasant chewing tobacco aroma.

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drank 2016 We Go High by White2Tea
1226 tasting notes

This tea will get you rekt.

The flavor is potent, even in early steeps. Strong vegetal flavor and a good amount of bitterness (think young bulang) and dryness. There is some floral, stone fruit, and buttery flavors. Boiling temperature got some excellent thick texture.

But really, unless you like bitter sheng, you are drinking this to get completely blasted and forget all your worries.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2016-go-high-sheng-puer-white2tea/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 15 ML
Mackie

Oh god lol that sounds slightly terrifying

tanluwils

Oh…I should have added that sample to the cart. Luckily, I have a Mangfei with similar affects reserved for those darker days.

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drank 2016 Trap Bird by White2Tea
144 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
6 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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drank 2016 Post Truth by White2Tea
144 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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92

Well,

This tea started out very oily and had strong body feels. I stayed tea drink for four hours, and now a day later, I feel hung over. It’s crazy because this tea is already so young, yet so strong. It’ll be crazy to see what this tea is like a year for now.

Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Dry Grass, Hay, Olive Oil

Preparation
6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Matu

Looking forward to getting my sample of this one :D

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76

Sample from Christina i figured i’d try this one out today. I’m only a few steeps in on this but the general feeling i’m getting from this one is that it’s a decent enough every day puerh. There isn’t a lot of complexity to this one, but it’s a solid shu. slightly earth, smooth, tasty.

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84

For its price, this is a pretty good tea. It’s strong in maltiness with a little bit of raisiny sweetness and hints of cocoa.

Thought the tea itself isn’t astringent, there’s a dry, woody sort of flavor of this tea that reminds me of a shou.

You can’t seem to overleaf or overbrew this tea, which is interesting.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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This is my first young raw pu-erh and I feel very enthisiastic.
As a newbie on pu-erh teas I was just tried only 1999 raw pu-erh and Liu Bao by GrandTea and I was mostly drinking just ripe pu-erhs.

This one really surprised me, well…I read other reviews about this tea and I should expect such notes; but I felt surprised anyway.
That’s beacuse I was just get used to tasting classic notes on aged Raw Pu-erh, Ripe Pu-erh and Liu Bao. _

I like so much the cake, it’s a beautiful mosaic of leaves and buds, with green and beige colours.
Before brewing it for the first time I waited a month, and after this time I noticed that these dry leaves smeels a bit fruity. :P

I used 5 g for 100 ml; I rinsed for 10 sec and than brewed for 15’’, 20’’, 30’’, 45’’, 1’, 1’30’’, 2’. 3’, etc….until 30 minutes.

The liquor has a golden yellow colour and it’s clear, with a creamy body .
It immediately release his sweet, vegetal (seaweed), fruity (apricot) aromas.
In the mouth feel these notes, plus herbal, and, secondly, also floral notes; sometimes I taste a little bit of astingency.
It leaves a good vegetal-fruity aftertaste, it’s a very vivacious tea.

After many brewings it start to die, but the fruity notes keeps on and it’s a very pleasure drinking it also after a 30 minutes of brewing.
I can’t get tired of this. _

This is a 50 g cake received by KittyLovesTea from an her giveaway. :3

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Seaweed, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85
drank 2016 B_ D_ by White2Tea
1515 tasting notes

This small 50g cake was last months offering from the White2Tea club. While it is a nice tea I don’t think it by itself was worth the $29.99 for the club. The tea started out with just a little bitterness and developed an astringency to it. It developed into something of a bittersweet sheng with the bitterness almost but not quite disappearing. Overall it was a very nice tea. By the twelfth steep all the bitterness was gone and a sweet note remained. I am not sure if I would describe this note as the traditional apricots of young sheng however. Overall I liked this tea. It is not available on the website. Which is ok by me. I wouldn’t buy more unless the price was significantly less than what I paid for this.

I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml Shiboridashi with 10.3g leaf and 190 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I could have gotten a few more steeps out of the leaves, they were not done, however I had had enough tea at something like 1.5 liters.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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93

Well, I typed up a whole thing for this, then lost it when I closed the window for some strange reason.

Anyway, starts out medicinal, which I didn’t really understand the description of until this tea. There was also a lot of autumnal leaf pile. To be honest, I didn’t really like it at all until the fourth steep or so.

It started to change with some cinnamon with a touch of honey, autumnal leaf pile still being the base flavor. As the brew itself cooled, I got a hint of green apple, which is a first for me in any kind of tea. Am I getting better at this? I hope so.

The tea seems to mellow out to vanilla, honey, and dried flowers. I kept alternating between 200 and 212 because I was trying to decide which temperature I liked better. I liked them both really.

I may cake this.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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