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Recent Tasting Notes
Expanding my knowledge of pu-erh today with a sample of this! Using about 6 g of the dry leaf; it came as pieces broken from a cake, the leaves tightly compacted and smelling sweet. I decided to go with 200 F water and a first rinse of 10 sec. First steep of ~10 sec results in a pale amber liquid. First sips remind me of hay, with a light sweetness to finish. There’s a note I haven’t tasted before, an almost minty coolness. Probably that menthol I’ve seen mentioned in someone’s previous tasting note. I catch some apricot too, in there.
Second steep 15 sec. Shade of the liquid is darker, now, and the chunk is beginning to loosen up. Some of the free leaves are opened already, and prove to be small. The first sips are creamy, a bit grassy, and the apricot note has disappeared. It leaves a pleasant tingle on my tongue
Third steep 20 sec. Liquid is now a richer amber color with a trace of the smell of hay. The flavors are light still, no hints of bitterness. A note of hay, mixed with some cream.
Fourth steep 30 sec. Hoping to get some more flavor, but doesn’t seem to have changed much from the last steep. A tinge of astringency has appeared, though.
Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Grass, Hay, Smooth, Sweet
tldr: Try flash cold brewed its really good.
I got a sample of this. I first tried this gong fu with 7g to 150mL. The tea is exactly what it is described as, a daily drinker. It doesn’t have too much complexity but is quite mellow and pleasant to drink. However, because I wasn’t actually super interested in drinking this tea hot I tried flash brewing this with ice.
I stacked two steeps of the tea in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shook till all the ice disappeared and I have to say that this tea shined a lot more. Through this method there was a lot more dry mouth to the tea but there was more flavors brought out through it being cold and it was extremely refreshing. I would highly suggest anyone to try this tea cold brewed if they do decide to get a cake or sample of this tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Drying, Grass, Vegetal
I got this as part of the teaclub whatever month it was included in. The dry leaves have a nice and crisp floral aroma, with a bit of vegetal and/or autumnal undertones. The wet leaves had a sweeter aroma, with mineral, peachy candy notes, along with a bit of a buttery or saltiness.
The tea tasted much like it smelled, with a bright floral front, especially in the early sips. The flavor moved into more of a peachy fruitiness, and the tea finished with a buttery smoothness. As the session progressed, I noticed a bit more of a mineral flavor early in the sip, followed by more of the peachy, buttery finish. Like a peach cobbler! Except not that sweet…It was good though! I still don’t really have enough experience with Dancongs to know what level this one is at. I enjoyed it, but was not wowed by it or anything.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Mineral, Peach, Salt, Sweet
Iron compression. Leaf material is mostly black, with a few dull gold bits. Dry leaf smells sweet, woodsy, and slightly smokey. Brewed aroma is, mostly, a heavy campfire smoke, with an underlying sweetness. The sweetness reminds me a bit of tar now. After two washes, I start brewing.Brews up thick, and lubricating. Color wise, it’s sort of a peach-yellow/orange. First sip is smokey. There’s a pine tree sap sweetness to the smoke. Pine tree is actually a perfect descriptor for this tea. That’s about it. There’s very little evolution in this tea.
Flavors: Pine, Sap, Smoke
First tea I’m trying from White2Tea! This I got as a sample and admittedly I would likely never have picked it for myself. At least not right away while I’m still a pu’er novice. Anyways. A small chunk of a cake. Variety of leaves pressed into it and something that looks like a flower petal, since it’s rounder and orange rather than skinny and black or longer and silvery. It does smell nice though.
Break off a chunk of 4.5 g and decide to follow someone else’s brewing times and temp. I fit about 4-5 oz of water in my little gaiwan, give it a 10 sec rinse at 200 F and then do my first steep at ~5 sec. First impression is positive. I smell and taste the apricot notes quite clearly. The liquid is honey-colored, sweet, and malty. The tastes seem heavier at the end of a sip, too.
Second steep ~7 sec. More maltiness, faint hint of apricot.
Third steep ~10 sec. Smooth, light flavor. Sweet. Seems to have lost any tangible flavor besides the malt.
Late edit: I did steep this 2-3 times more, but no flavors really stood out. Much like the third steep, even though I began adding more seconds on to the steep time. Eventually leaves had been sitting out (covered in gaiwan) for 24 hours and I decided to toss them.
Flavors: Apricot, Malt, Sweet
I had a sample of this tea when I became interested in Shue but didn’t care for it at the time, I forget why.
Since then my tastes have changed so I thought I’d give it another go.
When W2T had a free shipping sale I put a brick of Brown Sugar into the cart. Sure enough this time around I have a different take on this tea. I find it creamy and smooth leaving a sweet mouth feel.
Each day I have filled a houhin teapot and added water off the boil until all flavor is gone. I don’t think about it very much, for me it isn’t that type of tea but it’s very easy to brew and enjoy.
When this brick is gone I have the 2016 to try.
The other half of todays review, the second offering from this month’s white 2 tea club. This is the 2017 lincang green tea, made from the same leaves the puerh, but processed as a gree tea.
This is an interesting green tea as it has some different flavors from what you would normally associate with a green tea. To start with this was done in a 75ml gaiwan and with 185 degree water. Now this is very slightly higher than he recommended which was about 180, but my kettle doesnt have a 180, so I figured a teeny bit higher would be better.
I skipped the wash and the tea is really clean and opens fairly fast, i didnt feel a need for it, I got a very clear pale liquor similar to the puerh. Though instead of that floral pop I got from the puerh, I got a nutty , almost almond like aroma, and cut grass, very similar to the puerh.
Tasting the first infusion I get nutty, astringent, floral, grass and almonds. Not quite as fruity or sweet as the other tea. But smooth and a slight cooling on the back of the tongue, there is some astrigency that I got in the later steepings right up front. But mostly what I get is intense almond flavor as well as another nutty type flavor that I cant quite put my finger on.
The second steeping produces a bit different flavor,, now I get the cooling sensation a bit more strongly as well as a bit more astringency and lightly into bitterness, but its still really light and refreshing and the nutty flavors are still staying prominent.
Third steeping is much like second and pretty much all the same flavors and aroma’s. The tea seems fairly consistent along the flavor profile as its steeped out. There is another flavor there now, that I cant quite identify.. citrus maybe but not quite…
I figure this will steep out a few more times. Im really impressed by how this tea tastes and how fresh it tastes. It really makes a difference to start on greens right at the beginning of the year when they are freshest.
Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Floral, Grass, Nutty
This month in the white 2 tea club I got an interesting couple of samples. One was a green tea and the other was a puerh tea from the same plant from the same farmer. Very interesting comparison and this was the youngest I’ve gotten to taste a puerh, pretty much straight from picking to my pot.
I follow the recommendations on the sheet as closely as possible. 6 grams of tea, to just a bit more than 90ml of water. He recommends a 1 to 15, but my pot is just slightly bigger, so I just didnt quite bring it to the top.
The first thing that hit me on doing the wash was intense fruity aroma, peach and apricot, along with spinach and cut grass. Now general floral, fruity, grassy aromas are petty normal with young sheng. But the intensity was really impressive, as well as the complete lack of bitterness or astringency, it was almost completely floral and fruity notes with spinach or cut gass.
First infusion the flavors almost exactly match the aroma and the floral flavors are really strong. The liqour is clear and a very pale yellow and its slightly sweet as well. Its hard to place some of the flavors im getting from this.
Second infusion was pretty much the same, though the liqour got slightly darker, and it got a bit sweeter as well. The base flavors are still the same though.
Third infusion is where thing are getting a little different, Im getting more of that young puerh flavor now, as well as a tiny bit of astringency. Also the sweetness has started to die down a little too. This is actually closer to what I would have expected from a young sheng, dry, floral, fruity, bit astringent, but light. I guess it would be right to call it that immature flavor.
Fourth infusion is very close to the third, im actually a little surprised how much this flavor is changing , I think there is a bit of the cooling bitterness, that he mentioned at this point.
Im fairly sure based on this it will brew out many many times, but im really impressed with this tea. IM aware I should have let this tea rest for at least a week before trying it out, but I want to taste it next to the green tea, which Ill be putting a note up on later today. But its a fairly hefty 50gram sample, so there is more than enough to rest and come back in 1 month, 3 month and 6 month and give notes on each time.
Highly recomended if you like young sheng.
Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Peach, Spinach
The last of my shu samples from W2T. Decided to brew this up last night as I came home from visiting my sister-in-law in the maternity ward.
Despite the advice and the obvious hint in the name, I put the ball in my usual teapot, rinsed and steeped. The first steeps are the usual shu dark, very smooth and quite thick. After a few infusions the thick/smooth/dark recedes and taste comes to the foreground. It’s an enjoyable tea.
Since it’s the last of my samples, I’ll summarise them here. My reference is my Dayi 7692, simply because that’s what I was drinking before. That one is pretty neutral: nothing offensive but also nothing to commend it.
Red shroom: motor oil thick. Nothing against that but a bit of taste would be nice.
Grandpa, only thick in the first few steeps. Smoother than the shroom and tastier in later infusions.
Gold melon, not much thickness, not as smooth as Grandpa but much tastier. My preference out of these three.
Last night I tasted my sample of this daily drinker.
Upon opening the bag I got a fruity smell that reminded me of Hojo’s teas, except that those smell even better. Nevertheless, a promising begin!
Tastewise too, the first infusions are seem to aim for that same fruity spectrum. I like that and I enjoyed the tea. Unfortunately, the endurance is not quite there and the tea lost taste before I was through my thermos of boiling water (I usually take the first steep from the kettle and then fill a thermos with water on a rolling boil. When this is finished some teas are steeped out but the better ones can go for overnight infusion.).
It’s quite a likeable tea but for not a whole lot more money, there is tea that tastes better and lasts longer.
Sister and Brother is a fantastic experience. The bricks are mensong material, one roasted during the ‘kill green’ process than the other. In my opinion, I thought they were both great. I couldn’t chose a favorite between Brother or Sister, because they both stood so strong on their own.
Overall, they were fruity, floral, and sweet. I recommend this experience to anyone because of how fun it was. However, I would rate this a 100, but I felt like the iron pressing of these bricks kind of lessened the experience. However, both bricks were complex in flavor and gave off an amazing body feel.
You can read a better detailed review on my site…
Flavors: Fig, Flowers, Fruity, Grass, Green, Hay, Medicinal, Sugar
The leaves of this cake are dark and black, but break apart easily revealing long, spindly leaves. After a quick rinse, the leaves smell earthy, like a shou, but also have a heavy, ripe fruit scent to them, like plum or heavy apricot.
The first steep is quite light and comes out in an amber color. The flavor is very reminiscent of a shou, as the earthy note comes out in the foreground. It’s a very “clear” earth note, however, and feels like the scent of the air after a rainfall.
In the second steep, a mid-centered bitterness comes out, around the middle of the tongue, though it’s quite light and not unpleasant. In addition, there’s a tanginess to the flavor here as well, that shows up along the sides of the tongue. It’s a sharp, sour sort of feeling. Overall not too unpleasant, and quite interesting.
In the third steep, earth takes over as the main note once again, though with a backline of similar flavors to the second steep. The fourth steep is similar, but the astringency rises a little and leaves my mouth feeling quite dry. Later steeps have a deep sweetness to them as well as a bit of the earthy and bitterness.
Overall, an enjoyable tea and more interesting than most shou I’ve tried thus far. Maybe not my favorite, but I’ll be giving it some more time.
I continue my sample tasting with the repave.
My sample seemed a bit small. Took a somewhat smaller than usual-sized chunk which is nearly half the sample.
Nevertheless, the taste camemthrough stronger than with the ‘often’. The other difference is that there is no bitterness/atringency. Otherwise, the taste is fairly similar to the ‘often’ with the same transition from heave smoke to smoothness. Overall it probably the better tea of the two and the higher price is offset by the greater strength. I enjoyed it.
How has no one reviewed this yet?
Mad a big western mug using 1/2 ta square – it was pretty good, I should have taken some better notes though. I remember it had a nice, thick mouthfeel and sweet hay and cream notes. The undertone was a little apricot-y. Very tasty!
I think the 1/2 square was the perfect amount for a Western sized cup too; lots of flavour but didn’t feel excessive either. I look forward to Gong Fu brewing this one, as well.