48 Tasting Notes
Another masterful blend from Two Dog. Flavorwise, perhaps the most complex I’ve tasted from W2T. It almost reminds me of a port or Choya plum wine with hints of camphor and tulip poplar honey. Thick and cooling like a Lincang, fruity and muscle relaxing like a Naka or Kunlu but not really reminiscent of either. This kind of reminds me of the Into the mystic only much much better. I imagine that dry aged 20 yrs this stuff will be pure heaven. The qi is just nice…real nice. It is a little pricey especially for a mystery tea but I’m pondering a cake of this or the not listed tea The Box, which is even more expensive but has the most bombastic qi I’ve ever experienced.
Interesting. I think I enjoyed this more than most high end Lao Man’e offerings (although pu-erh.sk Lao Man’e maocha was phenomenal this year) because I like complexity in tea and I find most Lao Man’e to taste of quinine and slate but not much else, bitter, powerful and intoxicating but give me BaKaNan or Naka over it any day. This stuff otoh being Huangpian starts off tasting like sweet tobacco and tamarind for the first 4 steeps then the bitterness hits and it starts tasting like the Lao Man’e I’m used to…not Huangpian but regular cake. The energy is pretty good and warming too. Not something I’d break out often but I think this would be awesome snow shoveling tea…
When I received this tea it had a sour lactic acid twang indicative of too dry of storage. Remembering that I fixed a similar problem with the 2006 Xigui by breaking it up and humidifying it in a canister (thus making it at least as good as the 2005 Naka that’s 3x more expensive) I decided to try this with this tea…and upon steeping was immediately reminded of my favorite fishing hole in early June. There is a huge patch of wild spearmint and multiple types of berry bushes blooming in June . There is also an aroma of decaying willow branches. That’s the character I get from this tea…very contemplative. Of course my dad drank a little and gets white wine and herbs so get a sample and decide yourself.
Has anyone bought a brick of this tea and put humidity on it for a while? I’m half tempted to do this and would have at the old price of $70 but am leery of the gamble at $125 as the qi is stellar but the taste is so so.
I bought a 10 gram sample and stored in a humidified crock for a week, did 2 rinses and rested it about 20 mins. Early on I’m greeted with sour flavors telling of a tea that was stored too dry for too long. I also get flavors reminiscent of Skoal chewing snuff which to me is the signature flavor of fairly young dry stored 7542. After the 5th steep, the sourness is gone and the cheap tobacco flavors give way to notes of good cigar tobacco, raisins and figs. After 12 steeps I’m totally glued to the couch blasting Leonard Cohen tea drunk as anything I’ve had that’s under 30 yrs old. Judging from the qi and the thick stems I have little doubt of the claim that this is old tree from LBZ (or a surrounding village like BaKaNan). I also suspect that another 10 yrs of somewhat damper storage will transform this tea into a real monster. At $1.25g I’m almost willing to gamble.
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The WMD was one of my favorite teas of 2017 and this years is up there as well…but I’m a big fan of Mansa teas as they seem to combine the floral notes of Yiwu area teas with the backbone of a Menghai. This tea is no exception. This years WMD is very similar to how last years tasted this young except last years was fruitier early on while this years has a more vegetal pea soup character akin to a Japanese sencha or gyokuro. This seems like a common theme this year. Teas that had lots of apricot notes the past few years seem vegetal and minerally this year. Don’t know if it’s different climatic conditions or what. This tea steeps forever and bitter vegetal oily sage and camphor notes fade to sweet orchid and lemongrass. Potent, meditative energy emerges from this tea starting with a tingle in the forehead then spreading through whole body. I see why some monks believe that to drink the good stuff and not meditate afterward is a waste. This is a small vendor that sources a modest but diverse assortment of teas. All are worth sampling but this one is the flagship.
Nice floral and fruit notes with a subtle backdrop of camphor and mild bitterness. Nice balance and quite refreshing. There is a honey like sweetness that grows in later steeps. Not super thick and oily but not thin either. The qi present and uplifting but not brain zapping either. A fine tea to sip while lazing around the garden on a summer afternoon. I examined the leaves after steeping this out and the stems were nice and thick . Pretty bud heavy too. Very nice material for the price and well processed as well. I’d recommend this tea for sheng beginners who are transitioning over from green and white teas.
Got a sample of this in the fall and was like meh…and let the rest sit in a closet til yesterday. Brewed a pot and was pleasantly surprised at how good it became…especially for a tea this cheap. Nice floral and honey notes. Nothing mind blowing but very pleasant flavors and mellow qi. It’s not a brain zap, exploding flavor gushu but at 5% of the cost, who’s complaining?
I bought a sample when it was released, embarrassingly because of the hyperbole with which it was described…something about punishing bitterness and body feels that continue to intensify with each steep. When I first sampled it I was like ok it’s bitter but that’s about it…not even as bitter as a purple tea…I let it sit a few months and drank the last 12g the other day before work. The tea was still bitter but had a nice herbal background and a bit of a mineral profile with perhaps a touch of aniseed. I’m reminded of an old school New England ipa minus the malt. The strong point of this tea however was the qi. I had what would have normally been an exasperating day at work and this tea gave me a calm energy that allowed me navigate the BS with a grin. I prefer a tea with more floral fruity tobacco notes but if if you are a fan of Lao Man E and the like, this is a solid tea at a reasonable price.
I seriously hope Paul releases this blend again in 2018. I’ve had more expensive W2T blends and must say after spending a year and a half with a cake it’s probably my favorite W2T offering. Of course I haven’t tried any of the Treachery cakes as I won’t blind buy a cake of this price without first being able to try a sample…So I’ve lived with this cake a year and a half and have enjoyed its evolution. I drink it once or twice a month and it tastes a little different every time but always smooth, oily and well balanced. Today I’m getting aniseed flavors throughout the session. The qi is always intense and lingering. I was sad that there was no Bosch in 17 and hope there is in 18.