Finally getting to the older White2Tea pu’erhs in my cupboard. I’m pretty sure I bought these at least a year ago, maybe longer. I gave the leaves a quick rinse, at least partly so one of the pieces would fit in my infuser basket! My first steep was around 1 minute in boiling water.

The flavour is a little lighter than I was expecting. The initial sip is a touch earthy, with notes of dry wood and a touch of camphor. It really comes alive in the mid-sip, though, with sweeter flavours of bourbon vanilla and molasses. The aftertaste is almost too sweet, in a way that reminds me a little of stevia or liquorice root; it lingers at the back of the throat in the same way those do. Hopefully the flavour will deepen a little with successive steeps!

Second steep has very slightly stronger flavours. There’s more woodiness to the start of the sip – it’s become more obviously a dry wood flavour (kind of like sawdust?), rather than the “wetter” flavours I’d usually associate with a ripe. The sweetness is there at about the same level, although there’s more sugar and less vanilla this time. The cloying sweetness in the aftertaste has dissipated a little.

Third steep is softer and more mellow, with a little more sweetness prevalent and less woody notes. The flavour of vanilla sugar flavour is foremost, with an underlying earthiness; the mouthfeel is smooth and silky.

Fourth steep is similar, although becoming less flavourful. The sweetness is starting to fade now, with just a light earthiness remaining. There’s a creaminess to the mid sip that I didn’t notice previously, but it looks to me like things are beginning to wind down. While this has been a pleasant shou, it’s not one I think I’ll find especially memorable.

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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