White 2 Tea 2008 "Often"

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Astringent, Jasmine, Smoke, Sugarcane, Wood, Bitter, Mint, Sweet, Eucalyptus, Limestone, Stonefruit
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Edit tea info Last updated by DrowningMySorrows
Average preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 4 oz / 113 ml

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19 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’ve had the tuo sitting around for 9 months and finally decided to break into it. I took the cable car up California St several months ago, heading to the property management company’s office to...” Read full tasting note
  • “Bought a couple of (semi) aged puers from W2T and decided to start with this one. The first time I brewed it I mistakenly thought it would be compressed very tightly and went to town with my pick,...” Read full tasting note
  • “This tea had everything I was looking for! First, some background. While I love my wife, her mother is a real witch and we do not get along. But the wife insists that her mother visit us for a...” Read full tasting note
  • “Not drinking this today: Actually I finished off this tuo a couple of weeks ago. But I felt the need to add a parting shot. Because my previous notes might lead someone to pass this up, who might...” Read full tasting note

From white2tea

Another unwrapped warehouse find, the Often 250 gram tuo is a solid daily drinker Puer tea for the Puer fanatic on a budget. Slightly strong in early steeps, this tuo behaves like a young Puer that is just beginning to calm down. The tea leaves a strong sweet feeling in the mouth.

About white2tea View company

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19 Tasting Notes

1566 tasting notes

I’ve had the tuo sitting around for 9 months and finally decided to break into it.

I took the cable car up California St several months ago, heading to the property management company’s office to pay a small fortune in rent. The operator in the rear of the car chatted with me the whole ride from Battery to Van Ness. His name was Otu. I was thinking during the entire clattering, ass-sliding trek up the hill ‘Tuo… tuo… tuo…’ I’ll never forget that guy’s name because of pu’er. A simple transposition of letters.

10 years old at this point. Dry leaves smell like hay with some fruitiness. Wet leaves smell aged with hay, floral, vague light stonefruit and a scent that makes me think ‘bitter.’ I suppose that’s hitting the back of my tongue. Later there’s smoked asparagus, old books, dry grass, floral, more pronounced stonefruit and cigarette butt, ending with aged pu’er.

I did not time the steeps and instead went by color. 11 total. Very clear orange-yellow to bright orange-red liquor that doesn’t have much aroma. The scent of the wet leaf is more dynamic than the taste which is straight-forward and mellow. Mineral, airy floral, old books, a very light sweetness, mild (for me) bitterness in the back of the mouth and a pleasant tartness that all make for quick, smooth, thirst-quenching cups. Something akin to green bell pepper shows up midway along with light mint and a more defined sweetness like nectar. Aftertaste of hay, smoke and floral become non-existent after the first several steeps. The taste fades away pleasantly with some throat-clenching astringency and tongue-numbing appearing late. Poking through the spent leaf, I am surprised by the amount of buds. Mixed in with those are broken leaves of all sizes (of which few made it into the strainer) and some stems. Sticky fingers.

Energy is noticeable and top heavy. My shoulders felt bulky like I’d maxed out on overhead barbell presses a day earlier. It felt like there was an anchor point between my shoulder blades and it was being lightly tugged upon, encouraging me to sit up straight. An hour after finishing, I feel very caffeinated and brain-fuzzed, numb to my surroundings. I’m still sitting proper like I’m fresh out of one of those “How to be a Prim and Proper Young Lady” etiquette classes offered in high school.

Well-balanced in taste but the energy is awkward for me. Regardless, I’m glad I sprung.

205 °F / 96 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Mastress Alita

Old book smell is the best smell. <3


This bibliophile totally agrees, Mastress Alita! :)

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16 tasting notes

Bought a couple of (semi) aged puers from W2T and decided to start with this one.

The first time I brewed it I mistakenly thought it would be compressed very tightly and went to town with my pick, resulting in a lot of dust and broken leaves. The second try I just plucked off some leaves by hand.

The first two steeps, there’s quite a bit of bitterness/astringency (which I don’t mind) and a fairly strong smokey aroma and flavour. These disappear quickly and left is a smooth tea. I read people describe development over steeps but it gives me more the impression of the tea having given its best in the first few steeps.

Nevertheless, it is enjoyable enough if not very memorable and for the price it’s definitely good.

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9 tasting notes

This tea had everything I was looking for!

First, some background. While I love my wife, her mother is a real witch and we do not get along. But the wife insists that her mother visit us for a couple of weeks every winter.

This year, after three days, the old bat was really getting on my nerves. So at breakfast yesterday, I prepared this tea using 10 grams in 120ml gaiwan and a 5 minute steep. After the first cup, the old bat packed her bags and left.

I love the smell of Often in the morning. The smell, you know that smokey smell, the whole kitchen. Smelled like… victory.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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56 tasting notes

Not drinking this today: Actually I finished off this tuo a couple of weeks ago. But I felt the need to add a parting shot. Because my previous notes might lead someone to pass this up, who might otherwise buy it.

This tea is marketed as a “daily drinker” and I did drink it most days, most of the time I was drinking it. What this does is to reveal flaws, particularly since I generally drink more than 1 tea/day (and when one of those teas is something as inexpensive as this one, I have a tendency to follow it with something that will up the average price).

The first session I had with this, I was really pretty favorably impressed. It does have some matured character (though it really is still pretty green). It has some nice floral notes, was strong enough to open the pores, and is free of strong smoke or bad bitterness or really any other glaring defects.

The last session was one I drank after discovering a chunk I’d forgotten about, hiding in a cupboard. I hadn’t tasted it in several weeks. And do you know, it was actually pretty decent. Fans of jasmine teas might be surprised to find that tea can taste like this all by itself.

I’ve been drinking mostly older teas than this in recent months. This one has enough age to have some matured traits, as I said, while still being rather on the green side. If there really is an “awkward age” for puer, this one still might be in that stage. I’m toying with the idea of getting another one to hold onto for a few years, in spite of how I have a policy of buying things I can drink now. I think this one will be rather better when it’s 10-12 years old, especially if it’s kept someplace hot and humid.

I doubt this will ever be one where people rave about how thick and sweet it is, or how it has a monster qi, but you know, it is not too bad. If you are curious about aged raw puer, don’t like the idea of 25g samples or are leery of forking over $70 for an entry-level matured cake, this one is for you. Just don’t drink it every day for too long.

Flavors: Astringent, Jasmine, Smoke, Sugarcane, Wood

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107 tasting notes

Below is the review I wrote for a tea labeled “2008 Often” from the PU TTB. Now, based on the reviews from other people, it’s quite possible I got tea that was mislabeled (maybe it was Old Bear?) or stored by someone in a pile of smokey sheng samples. Or maybe it’s just how my palate has processed this tea. So, for what it’s worth:
I have vivid memories of my grandfather, who passed away many years ago. He was a gruff old man, and big as a house. My mother and aunt used to joke that they got his pants from Omar the Tentmaker. My grandfather loved an enormous glass of red wine, the kind that comes in the gallon jugs with woven straw bottoms, and he loved his El Producto cigars, which he purchased by the crateful.

When I first brewed this tea, I had an immediate sense memory that took me back to that cramped NJ apartment where my grandfather sat in his recliner, glass of wine in one hand, television remote in the other, cigar clenched in his teeth, most of the time lit, mercifully (but rarely), unlit. The sense memory is not actually smoke. This is indeed a smokey sheng, but the smell is the smell of a my grandfather’s cigar stubs, soaking wet with his spittle, piled in one or more of many gorgeous marble ashtrays he brought back from his trips to Italy. Wet tobacco with a slight whisper of red wine. Wet tobacco tea, utterly smothering anything else there might be, even 10 tossed steeps later. This sheng rivals Old Bear for smokiness.

I cannot say I don’t recommend this tea, because some folks like a smokey sheng. But for anyone who dislikes smokey things like lapsang souchong, lit//unlit cigars, or smokey sheng in general, this tea may not be for you.


Maybe you got something else. I do remember it being smoky but definitely like dry smoke sheng


I have some I can send you to do a side by side if you want.

Dr Jim

You are #3 in the puerh TTB. I can add a sample of Often with your name on it if you’d like, but I will tell you that in my experience it is very smoky, though less than the bear. PM me if you want it since I’m hit or miss on looking at my dashboard.


Thanks mrmopar and Dr Jim! Yes, it seems like I should try another sample. Funny enough, I have tried Old Bear, but after a few steeps the smoke faded enough that the tea was actually enjoyable. Not so with the Often. Dr Jim, I will PM you about adding a sample to the TTB, seems like that would be easy since the box is coming to me anyway. Thanks!

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304 tasting notes

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

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
Jim Marks

Sounds like a tea which, given the chance, will really shine in another couple of years.

Tea and Cheese Lover

This is one of my two “learning how to brew raw pu-erh” teas. The other being Midwest Nice. I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of brew times, temps, leaf amounts, etc…


I have the Bamboo and a Midwest sample as well. I hope to get to them sometime…… Got a bunch ahead of them it seems.

Tea and Cheese Lover

Not a terrible problem to have!!!


Well sometimes I get in trouble if I get caught with the inbound.


you need to start a underground operation. I’ll help for a share :P

Tea and Cheese Lover

Does that mean that the guy living in the bachelor pad is the sensible drop spot?!


That would be a good option. I think the grand-son idea is about to go bottoms up.

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1113 tasting notes

This has to be the best cheap sheng I have ever had. $22 for 250g? That is a deal :)

Quite fantastic. Easily over 10 steeps and still enjoying the taste as it doesn’t dry my mouth out which I am thankful for.

Went on their site and was like: Yo man, get you some 1980’s authentic pu’erh and try to do it for under $300.
That didn’t happen so I thought: I should get some old bear.
But then I realized I spent over $200 on tea this month… so, dear bear, next month.

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818 tasting notes

From the Sheng and Shou TTB.

I was excited to see this one in the box, after seeing all the reviews from all the folks who received it in one of the monthly subscription boxes from white2tea. This tea took awhile to open up and I started it late in the day, so I enjoyed it over a two-day period. In the beginning it was strong, savory, buttery, a little bitter, with a fair amount of tobacco smoke. The liquor is definitely a touch darker in color than young sheng, showing the little bit of age. The second day it sweetened up nicely and still had a good buttery texture. I liked it, but I wasn’t head over heels in love with it.


i read somewhere this tea is blended with the bigger sun leaves (forget the name) which are more mellow in the caffeine department. So this could be an alright tea to drink later in the day and not be up all night.


Ya, I don’t think I noticed a huge energy from it. :)

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526 tasting notes

So I have thing for a few Pu-erh companies where everything they carry I want , and this company is one of them. I heard about “Often” and I couldn’t wait until I got some for myself. Finally this great day has come!

I got a generous chunk and gave the toucha piece a sniff. This had a subtle fruit and woodsy scent, but a little stone fruit too. I warmed up my yixing and placed this tightly bricked forest green chunk inside. The warmed pot gave off the aroma of camphor and pine. I washed the leaves and prepared to brew up a cup. The steeped leaves had a distinctive smoky tobacco scent. The flavor was wonderful! It carried the traditional grass and woodsy flavor with a little smoke. The undertones consisted of eucalyptus and a sugared mouth-feel. The qi was sneaky and took a while to creep up on me. Also, the leaves were so tightly blocked that it took about 10 steepings until they were fully released. This small amount kept for about 15 steepings at least. The flavor went from wooded and smoke to sweet and vegetal after about 7 steepings.

This is another win from this company, and I’m very happy to have been able to try this!


Flavors: Eucalyptus, Limestone, Stonefruit, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

woohoo :D


I’ve had few shengs but this is the second best one, personally (the first was from the previous Butiki TTB and it tasted unbelievably fruity).


Wait till you try the 2012 Bulang cake they have , KBD.


mmmm Bulang :)


I love your instagram and I love your tea reviews even more. Your descriptions are vivid and make me wish that I could raid your tea cupboard.

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199 tasting notes

This is my… counts.. second sheng? Third, maybe? I found it to be really astringent.. But talking to Phi and Veck, they let me know that my temp was too low, so I’d really like to try this one again.. I’m still a super pu noob, so I have lots to learn!

6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I do this about 200 to 205f.


I had done 185.. I didn’t realize I was so far off until it was way too late


Just the learning curve. We have all been there for sure :P


I sooo have wanted to try this! It looks so good and I hear amazing things about it. Rather, White2tea in general. I’ve yet to have any of their products, someday hahah I’ll get a subscription.

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