106 Tasting Notes

Note- this review is for the 2017 which I find better than last years. This tea claims to be very similar to LBZ without having any actual LBZ material. Now I’ve only had 5 true LBZ teas to date so I’m no authority but they all have had a specific taste I haven’t been able to put my finger on until now. Forgive me for another beer comparison but to me the flavor of LBZ ive had had all had a bitter backdrop identical to beers brewed with a hop variety called Northern Brewer. Brewers describe this hop as tasting woody and minty but it has a distinct unique flavor. Think Anchor Steam. Tuhao AF also reminds me of a hop variety but not Northern Brewer. It reminds me of a U.K. Challenger, the main hop in Fullers ESB. It’s more of a lemony peachy affair. So does this tea taste like any LBZ I’ve had? Not quite but damn good. Is the qi similar? All the LBZ teas I’ve had I’d liken to a stoned roadrunner feeling. This tea is no exception. I recommend an experiment get a pot of this and a pot of real LBZ (Hai Lang Hao from ys has the most of this character) and get a bottle of Anchor Steam and a bottle of Fullers ESB and you’ll see what I mean. Tuhao is a fine tea by W2T but Ive tried almost all their top shelf offerings for 2017 and my fave is she’s not me which is not listed here yet.

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F*ck what you smelled would be a more accurate description to me. After smelling the dry leaves (obviously of top shelf quality) I was expecting a fruit bomb but instead got flavors of quinine and slate…I was reminded of some Lao Man E sheng I’ve tasted…not really my bag but I expect this to change dramatically in coming months. I expect this to age into a monster but being this young I can’t give an accurate rating. It is attitudinal and has potent energy…gonna set the rest of this sample back and try it again on a cold February morning. I’m going by memory but this reminds me of the Hao Lang Hao Lao Man E I sampled from Yunnan Sourcing only less expensive.

Natethesnake

Man… I done a bad thing. I reviewed this tea right out of the mailbox when tasted along with about 4 other teas. In the future I will refrain from commenting until it has had time to rest and I’ve had a decent sized pot by itself. Tried this tea a few weeks later and got an immense woodiness and backdrop of molasses. Reminds me of an aged dark Haitian rum. The qi is head melting. I’m gonna let the rest of this sample rest a little longer while I ponder the price tag as $180 a200g cake is def way up there and there is so much more to sample…

mrmopar

Always rest your tea. Much different when it has time to wake up a bit.

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drank 2017 Pussy by white2tea
106 tasting notes

Of course I love pussy…I also dig this tea and suspect it’ll get one into less trouble (of course drinking too much then driving could be a little risky as tea drunkenness is a real possibility). Have I been suckered by hipster marketing into buying a tea with a funky wrapper called pussy?…probably…but while I am utterly disgusted with what hipsters have done to craft beer (my other beverage of choice) I wholeheartedly dig what they’ve done with tea and this is no exception.

I have a habit of comparing tea to beer. In this case I’m seeing similarities between pussy and a New England ale. Woody bitterness up front followed by sweet , oiliness that lasts for hours. Later steeps reveal notes of candied orange peel. It’s a brisk September morning and I’m enjoying this tea with a breakfast of fried apples, pumpkinseeds and bacon with maple syrup rosemary, cardamom and goat cheese…a perfect accompaniment.

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Bought a cake of this last winter and after trying many other high end sheng began to agree with the ho hum reviews on this site. I then let it age a few months and broke it out with some cranberry scones recently. Lo and behold this tea came to life. Big cranberry, nice menthol and evergreen. The qi is pleasant but subtle. There are much better recent shengs in the same price range but I think this one is evolving into something special so you may want to revisit it especially when consuming cranberries. The flavors that were a semi interesting backdrop to this tea have now come to the forefront and are quite distinctive.

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I want more of this tea. It’s outstanding. Glen sent a sample in the spring and I read reviews of how undrinkably bitter it was so I began with cool 75 deg steeps for like 5 seconds and ramping up the time and temp. Using this method I was able to get aggressively bitter tea that was balanced by honeysuckle and apricot flavors. It truly reminds me of a new school west coast IPA. The qi of this tea made me more aware of my surroundings and boosted my creativity while I had a permanent smile. Can’t wait for the 17. If anyone wants to trade some of this I’d be willing as C lotus sold out.

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drank 2016 Hot Brandy by white2tea
106 tasting notes

Interesting concept. The black tea produces a chocolate note that reminds me of a Fujian golden monkey but without the body. The finish has the fruity floral counterpart of the white tea. Steeping time and temps radically alter the ride. I’m reminded of drinking a dunkleweissen, a dark wheat beer that starts off big and chocolate caramel like and you expect a beer with heavy body . Then that fades instantly and you’re left with thin bubbly beer that tastes like clove and banana. To my palate, this tea was better and aromatic when fresh. I know it’s an experiment so let’s see how it ages. I do get a little brandy as well

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drank 2005 Naka by white2tea
106 tasting notes

This has become the semi aged sheng by which I judge all others. I gave up cigars last year and gave up cannibis in the mid 90s and this tea strangely satisfies any desires I have for either. Good cigar smoke flavors, wood, pepper and perhaps a bit of Ardbeg scotch. This tea relaxes the mind and the muscles and makes one warm and tingly. This tea is actually very good for muscle pain. In fact, my back is cramping up…time to start the kettle!

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This is quite nice. Has the characteristic LBZ smoothly bitter background with a touch of camphor and cocoa. Also has the qi you’d expect from such a tea. My only gripe is that it’s not as generous as I’d like. For me, 6 steepings and its cashed. This is a brew that you want to get 20 steeping from. Think I’ll let er sit a few years and see how she evolved. I bought a cake before the price increase. Don’t know if I’d pay the current price.

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Best Yiwu I ever had. From about 1991 til last year I was a second flush Darjeeling fanatic, Singbulli,Jungpana, Castleton, Thurbo etc. Then I discovered Yiwu sheng last winter and realized it gave me everything that a good Darjeeling could and more. My Darjeeling collection is probably going stale. Anyhow, this tea transports one to another place. It’s loaded with notes of jasmine and what I liken to the smell of the evergreen rainforests of the Olympic peninsula in Washington. In later steeps, notes of honey and almond seep in. The qi is outstanding and takes one to a land where it’s always afternoon. Can’t wait to try rareness 2 and 3. As for Yiwu in this price range I also really liked Hai Langs . It was more aggressive with more wild jungle taste…but I found it’s qi to be unremarkable. Of course qi is rather personal. Anyhow, you need to try a sample of this. Wish I could afford a tong!

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I’ve been a huge fan of all manner of black tea since the early 90s particularly second flush Darjeeling, Fujian, Yunnan and Assam teas but last winter fell headfirst into the sheng world and the rest is history…

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Central Pennsylvania

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