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Recent Tasting Notes

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.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/08/white2tea-2016-a-tea-review.html


I just drank this for the first time, unfortunately in the form on multiple gaiwan steeps piled into a mug for a meeting, but I got a lot of the same flavors you did. It was soooo great! I can’t wait to drink it again and do a full writeup!

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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

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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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…

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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

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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

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

I’ve yet to try this one. I wanted to air it a bit, it should be ready for this weekend but I’m also fighting the ridiculous heat wave this week.

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This was a very enjoyable black tea. Malty, with an overtone of caramel. There is a nice level of acidity, keeping it from being at all boring. I keep trying to find similarities to its companion sheng, but other than the fact that I liked it very much too, I’m not able to identify any.

Flavors: Caramel, Malt

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Finally enjoying this tea from the June teaclub. Will be breaking out the black later. I agree with KittyLovesTea. I can taste wet wood, grass, peas, a floral quality and a bitter edge. Each sip is followed by lingering sweetness. Very clean and gulpable.

I’m enjoying this sheng!

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Grass, Peas, Sweet, Wet Wood

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drank Clover Patch by White2Tea
912 tasting notes

Sometimes that’s all that needs to be said :)


Duly noted!

Liquid Proust

It’s not for me, but many others here have enjoyed it. The brew is just dry and twig like and that’s not the oolong I search for or enjoy.

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I think the best way to describe Old Reliable is that it is a “generic shou puerh” in the best possible sense. Basically a good quality everyday puerh that I think is summed up in its name of Old Reliable house blend. A simple puerh for when you just want a decent plain puerh to enjoy.

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I used about 9g from a 25g sample. I really enjoyed this session. The early steeps sweet but not overwhelmingly so. The tea was very full and had an almost oily thickness in the first few steeps before it thinned out some. There was a note of bitterness, but it was mostly in the finish. The main flavor was a grassy note blended with a bit of flowers and a mineral dryness in the back of the mouth. Everything was fairly balanced and I wouldnt call this particularly complex.
First steep
- sweet, honey, grass/hay, light to medium body. Straw color. Light bitterness

- thickened up. Hint of bitterness in the far finish. Mineral?

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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drank Little Red by White2Tea
186 tasting notes

A bold and malty black with notes of chocolate, cumin, and sweet potatoes. Thanks Haveteawilltravel!

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Spices, Sweet Potatoes

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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drank Wild Tree Black by White2Tea
122 tasting notes

I’ve been loving the lack of tea bags and CTC lately!

I had a little trouble with this tea. No matter how many steeps I did, I couldn’t stand the flavor of it fully hot. It tasted off, like burned rubber or chemicals. I know this wasn’t my equipment, as I’m using nothing new, and the flavor disappeared after the tea cooled.

As the brew cools, the tea is a lovely chocolate and cinnamon flavor, with something fungal beneath like mushrooms. It reminds me of puerh in a way, except for the chocolate cinnamon part. There’s a tiny amount of bitterness and astringency to remind me that it’s still a black tea, but there’s no sweetness. That’s a little odd considering the other flavors.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Chocolate, Cinnamon

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank 2016 Poundcake by White2Tea
16 tasting notes

8g from a 25g sample. I tasted this right after tasting the 2015 version and will include comparisons here.

The tea started off moderately bitter/astringent. In the early steepings I noted caramel or honey sweetness and a floral note. A minute or two after taking a sip I would get a strong apricot or stone fruit aftertaste which made me want to drink slowly so that I could enjoy it. By around the 4th infusion the fruitiness came forward with apricot or maybe peach. The bitter notes were still present, and included a grassy/woody flavor, but were well balanced with the sweetness.

Compared to the 2015, I thought this was significantly more bitter. I got more peach/cream from 2015 where as 2016 was apricot and floral. At this point, if you don’t want bitterness, go with the 2015, or maybe wait a while on this to see if that ages out. I personally would enjoy drinking the 2016 first thing in the morning, whereas the 2015 would be nicer as a mid-afternoon easy drink.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Floral, Grass, Honey, Peach, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 120 OZ / 3548 ML

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I am brewing this with 8g from a 25g sample. I started with a 5s infusion and increased by 5-10s for the first few, then went up by a minute or two for the last couple of steeps. The first few steeps were sweet and earthy with a hint of mushroom, wood, wet earth. Tastes like the scent of a forest after a rainfall, or a wet decaying log, but in a good way. I noticed a slight sour tang on the finish. Around the 4th steeping, the earthiness started to fade into a pleasant taste that reminded me of cooking rice mixed with roasted pecans. I ended this around the 8th or 9th steep doing around 5 minute infusions. For the price, I think this is worth it as a daily drinker.

Flavors: Earth, Loam, Mushrooms, Rice, Roasted nuts, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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drank 2016 A&P by White2Tea
639 tasting notes

Good lord, I would not mind having a few cakes of this twinofmunin. This is one of those “chocolate note” Dianhongs to the max.

I’m getting a sweet, sweet malty chocolate taste to this tea, which I can only say for a few Dianhongs that I’ve had before. The kind of malt is on the border of sweet potato that you normally get in this variety of tea, but it is there. The chocolaty profile is also there and pretty obvious compared to the others that dared claim the taste. The sweet black base for Thai Iced tea is the only other thing that I can realistically compare it to since it is so “sugary” for a straight tea gong fu.

I brewed this starting at 15 sec with lord knows how many grams-probably 4-5 in 6.5 ounces, but darn it is good. The flavor overall is not super complex, but again, it’s that sweet malty chocolate goodness that you normally get from an Alishan black or a Laoshan in Dianhong cake form. If only this were released sooner when I was looking for a daily black.

I have a lot more to say, but I’ll leave it at this.

Or I don’t. Steep five and six are purely malty. A good malty black, but just that. I’m still impressed.


i hoped you might like it. :) i like it a lot, myself.


Just got a sample, and thanks to your review I can’t wait to try it!!

Daylon R Thomas

I highly recommend it Gong Fu. Steeping it longer tasted more like a regular black tea, but a good one at that.

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drank 2016 A&P by White2Tea
292 tasting notes

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so, a lot of people have reviewed this tea since it was in the tea club. this is more of a note than a review proper. this was my second session with it; i don’t remember anything about the first one, really (oops). however, today i busted it out again.

jebus, did this tea put me on my ass. not sure whether it was my mostly-empty stomach or what. had a definite weird feeling in my belly (which i failed to analyze in any depth prior to stuffing some food into it), followed by intense whole-body dizziness and a decidedly out-of-it feeling. definitely something. it’s been over four hours since i started, and i’m still feeling weird, with elevated heartrate (a hummingbird has invaded my chest cavity) and weird dizziness behind my eyes, combined with sweating and a very heavy i-want-to-lie-on-the-couch feeling. also had a period earlier on where i listened to muse’s absolution [album] with more gusto than i have in ages (don’t really listen to music very often these days).

so, wild’n’crazy tea times. this might be the first time i can identify the effects of tea as a feeling that could be called “tea drunk”. i definitely didn’t feel like it was a good idea to drive to get some lunch. (i might have eaten hot dog bun pb&j. don’t judge.)

6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank 2016 A&P by White2Tea
1333 tasting notes

First Steep – 1 minute

Tea Colour and Scent – The colour is burnt orange and it bares a thick, malt scent.

Tea Flavour – This has a lot of flavour for a one minute steep. It has both malt and dry wood attributes with sour cocoa that transcends into chocolate for the after taste. Some sweetness though mostly sour and with a rich mouth feel.

Second Steep – 2 minutes

Tea Colour and Scent – Red colour with a sour malt scent.

Tea Flavour – Thick and rich with sweet malt dominating a sour wood undertone. The aftertaste is cocoa like and sour but smooths out quickly. Also slightly drying in the after taste.

Third Steep – 3 minutes

Tea Colour and Scent – Orange/red colour with a sour wood scent.

Tea Flavour – It’s toned down but still thick in malt and sourness. Whilst still sour it has at least relaxed and it doesn’t last for long. The after taste is just as thick but evermore drying. Perhaps my favourite steep as the balance is better.

Overall – A thick and flavourful tea which is more like a classic black, albeit better quality than average. It’s a good quality everyday black tea which has it’s pro’s and con’s. I found it became sour very quickly but I did enjoy the richness of it.

The processing tastes more like a classic black tea and what I am more familiar with, so this method must be quite common in production. It’s also my usual preference in a black tea, I like them strong and rich.

It says that this tea should improve with age and I am very tempted to test that theory, given that it’s a new tea it should smooth out in a couple of years. If I can leave it alone for that long!

Pics and more information: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2016/07/13/white2tea-club-july-2016/


“It’s also my usual preference in a black tea, I like them strong and rich.” +1

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I’m getting down to the last few sessions worth of this, revisiting it after not having tasted it in some months.

Maybe at the same time I got these I also bought a sample of the Milk, Cream & Alcohol: at the time, I was thinking that MC&A was about similar to this. When I mentioned that to 2Dog he was emphatic that MC&A was better tea, which thought I filed away for a while.

Later I bought a cake of MC&A and have been drinking it almost every day: it’s what I started with today, and I thought it would be good to do a near back-to-back comparison. Which is not totally fair to this tea, because it’s down to the last bits and is mostly chop at this point, while the MC&A I’ve been drinking has been looser, closer to whole-leaf material. But the session was instructive nonetheless.

This tea is definitely thinner than MC&A, especially considering that I was brewing chop (Basics) v. mostly large leaf pieces (MC&A). Spring Basics also has a considerably stronger bitter bite and comparatively powerful mouth-drying effect after 4-6 steeps. Basics has killer sweet dry-cup scent (in early steeps anyway) compared to the relatively bland one of MC&A, and Basics gives a nice fruity aftertaste, while the MC&A seems more about thickness in the mouth and an overall feeling of more power.

Anyway that’s my $0.02. I think maybe I will also do a comparison of Basics Huangpian against Fade. Basics Aged against Repave might be instructive also.

Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Drying, Floral, Hay, Sweet

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drank Wild Tree Black by White2Tea
186 tasting notes

The dry leaves have a strongly fruity (fruit loop?) aroma. The flavor has a matching fruitiness as well as prominent notes of yam, malt, mint, flowers. As often is the case with fruity teas, the second steep has even stronger fruit notes. I try to think of a specific fruit to name, but it’s more of a generic “fruit” taste like gummy worms or other candy. Reminds me slightly of a Taiwanese black tea or Yunnan Sourcing’s Ailao High Mountain.

Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Mint, Yams

8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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My latest obsession…puerh stuffed Xinhui mandarin. For the price, very underwhelming. No off flavors or wet storage, pretty clean, except a dominant taste of paper. Perhaps the paper wrapper that’s sealed inside plastic has affected the taste? I’ll leave some to air out for a bit to see if that goes away, update review as necessary.

Very pleasant and complex aromas, I am blown away by the smell. So yummy and relaxing, pleasant, just simply pleasant. Saying “citrus” doesn’t do it justice. It smells similar to the liqueur Grand Marnier. Musty earthy citrus herbal.

Aromas didn’t manifest into flavors unfortunately. Liquor was thinner than I prefer in shu, and pretty flat. Didn’t really get much complexity, much flavor, or even much ripe puerh flavors at all. Dominant paper taste with a tinge of herbal citrus.

Someone else said it was smoky, there was no smokiness in mine. Used gaiwan.

Flavors: Citrus Zest, Herbs, Medicinal, Musty, Oak wood, Paper

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drank 2016 A&P by White2Tea
1333 tasting notes

This is a very tasty black tea. It is really good but not what I would call spectacular. There are strong notes of malt and notes of chocolate in this tea. I steeped the hell out of this at twelve steeps. That’s quite a lot for a black tea. And it held up to all twelve steeps without getting too weak. It did of course weaken a little but that is to be expected. To anyone who is not in the club and want’s to buy this it is I think worth the price. I think he gets $17.50 for this if my memory serves me. At that price per 100g it is worth it. I doubt I would buy more but it is good to have the one. The writeup on this says it is smooth, that is also true. This was a very good tea, unless you compare it to something expensive from Whhispering Pines that is. It doesn’t hold up to that standard but is still pretty good.

I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 8.2g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 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.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Boiling 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

It looks like this is a pressed black cake, not pu-er, is that correct?


Yes it is! Interesting…


Yes black tea


It sounds like something I need to put on my wishlist.

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