White 2 TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Broke off 1/4 of a cake into a 12 oz hot water.
Dry leaf smells very earthy and mushroom-y, with notes of cocoa.
Steeps a ruddy brown, very thick liquor.
Flavor was surprisingly light— perhaps I needed to use a 1/2 cake instead.
Tasted mostly like earth/ roots to me.
Just a typical pu’erh, nothing special or memorable to me.
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Mushrooms, Wet Earth
Reading through all the notes, the taste is covered and I agree with most… To me, it’s not a remarkable taste but a pleasant taste nonetheless. As far as energy, it was a comforting tea. Made my hectic day more tranquil. I basically drank it all day. I followed white2tea’s instruction since I only have two of them. I just dropped it in a mug and filled it up over and over.
It’s clean, no strong fermentation notes, slightly earthy, a little fruity here and there but there were very odd but good aromas as well. I think the main reason I enjoyed this tea is the peculiar mouth action. It became smooth but didn’t start that way at all. It had slight drying effects towards the end. It’s really a hard one to describe but I only saw one other that mentioned it.
I’d drink it again :).
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Earth, Fruity, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wood
Had this yesterday and didn’t take notes (sorry >.<), busy day. I have more so I will probably add notes to this one. In a nutshell, it was a wonderful roasted Yancha but its quite expensive $22 for 25g and probably won’t get it again. There are some fine YS that I liked just as much.
As far as the tasting profile, there was a strong presence of dried cherries with wet wood notes. It was very fruity. As I progressed I got lots of minerals, some floral notes and roasted barley at the end. It’s very smooth, a good mouth and throat feel. The dark cherry notes remained throughout all the infusions, although lighter towards the end. I “gaiwaned” it (starting at 20s) but after the 4th or 5th infusion, I didn’t time it anymore. It remained flavorful until about the 12th infusion.
Flavors: Butter, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Mineral, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Smooth
I’ve been trying a lot of gong ting in orange and tangerines lately. I bought one from White2Tea and wish I got more now. They are expensive. One is $4.00. I had so many infusions yesterday I lost count. It began as Yixing gaiwan, 110ml, rinse, 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, 40s, 45s, 50s, 55s, 60s… And then I just kept filling my gaiwan up, used it all day.
The tea is meant to be drunk with the orange and all so I just put the little orange in without breaking it up as their site suggested. The fruit is tiny, young and unripe unlike the others I tried. It was so tiny and cute (yes, I went there lol. I love cute things.) and it did have a greenish hue. I especially loved the first 5 infusions because of the “fresh green bite”. Their site says you “can toss out the first 2-3 steeps, and drink the next 12 or so.” No way, I loved that part! :) It changed from a slightly astringent green taste to a very mellow mandarin and earthy ripe pu’erh taste. I broke the orange up towards the end of the day to get even more of that rind taste.
I think of all the Xinhui Green Mandarins I’ve tried so far, this was my favorite. I’ll have to do a comparison again if I can get another. I think they sold out… /cry. Note: I have two more to try: YS Tangerine Stuffed with 4 Years Aged Ripe Pu-erh Tea and YS Gong Ting Pu-erh in Tangerine “Golden Horse 8685” Ripe Tea. Maybe I’ll do those this week.
Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Zest, Earth, Orange, Orange Zest, Wet Earth
Too much going on these days to focus on sessions, so I’ve been going through the daily drinker stuff, but today I was like okay let’s revisit this sample. It is still relaxing, dirty, and nutty. Lost track of time on 8 and oversteeped. Wet leaves smell like a mud room at the sauna .
Flavors: Dirt, Nutty
I got 2 mini waffles in a subscription box by sips by. I put half a coin in a muslin tea bag. I poured boiling water over it and steeped it for about 4 minutes. I’m rather new to pu-erh. It was sweat sweet smelling and less fungusy smelling than my tuo-cha I normally drink. Had a somewhat sweet flavor also. Nice dark mollassissy color to it. Second steeping was slightly sweeter with maple and grass and coffee and earthy notes to it.all in all I quite liked it and will be ordering some other teas from them
10g, split over two days, both done grandpa style in a 500mL tea thermos. A moderate shu, really heavy on a soapy, floral character that I’m not that into. It’s not particularly thick or sweet, but smooth and dry, like cocoa husks or french roast coffee. I guess for the cost, this is reasonable, but it’s not particularly remarkable. The second of the sessions, I steeped twice, and boiled for a third, but couldn’t squeeze that much out of. It’s fine, but there are better modern shus out there at this price point.
Flavors: Cocoa, Floral, Soap, Toast
I just got a sample of this and brewed it in yixing. Smokey, astringent in early steeps, but good full mouthfeel and smooth. Colour of the liquor was a bit orangey yellow. Two quick rinses followed by two 30 sec steeps so far. With that small amount I already feel the expansive mind energy I get with a good chaqi (or maybe strong caffeine). I wouldn’t call this a calming evening tea. Would also not recommend on an empty stomach. I’d recommend for a sample, but probably not the whole shroom.
Flavors: Astringent, Smoke, Smooth
Dry leaf appearance – A decent ratio of glossy, hairy buds to medium-small leaves (I don’t know much about the grade of leaves yet, apart from gong ting and huangpian, so I can’t give an accurate assessment.) Very good-looking material.
Dry leaf smell – dried grass, timothy hay, alfalfa, high quality tobacco, steamed zucchini
Wet leaf smell – more of the above, but the tobacco is more pronounced, herbaceous, sage, tarragon, turkey stuffing, basamati rice with saffron, sour notes
Liquor – goes from a light champagne to a beautiful golden yellow as the steeps progress
Texture – thick and juicy with a nice snap as it hits the back of the throat and goes down; lubricating, but not much of a coating
Taste – a perfect interplay of sweet and savoury; surprisingly tastes more like semi-aged sheng that I’ve had than other yearlings; virtually no astringency, but I do a lot of flash-steeping with this one so I avoid most of it.
Empty cup – there is a slight hint of the Timothy hay from before, but it is married with a delicate floral/bready aroma, almost like something one would expect from a leafier white tea
Mouth finish – coating bypasses to guess and palate and warms the back of the throat as it carries it down; leaves a slight tingle in the tip of the tongue
Wet leaves – the mini-cakes separate much more easily than others (specifically those in the white tea Basics samplers). From what I’ve found in my 5 mini cakes so far, he vast majority of the material seems to consist of a bud and a leaf joined together by a small stem.
Body feel – this tea has a surprisingly strong qi that comes out of nowhere around the second or third steeping and just keeps going and going. It is slightly more energetic than I usually like, but there is a sharp focus that comes with it. I’d imagine this would make it good for gamers and the like, but it also carries a strong creative energy that makes you want to write, paint, or play music. It’s also very good for tarot interpretation if you’re into that sort of thing.
This lovely young sheng is like Thanksgiving dinner in a cup, minus the pumpkin pie and noisy relatives. It is an absolute pleasure to drink on every imaginable level, so if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, look no further – this is an incredible tea for the price. It’s one of my favourites right now, and I plan on grabbing a few more mini-tongs as soon as this one is done.
Thank you, Derk :D
Cute little compact square, ~8g. The dry square wasn’t too aromatic, a very light orange aroma, no barnyard aroma or any other fermentation aroma. The rinse liquor was light amber. The wet square had earth and citrus/orange aroma. It was still pretty much in square form after the first four infusions… And even though 3/4 of the brick was pretty much intact, the liquor had gone from light to dark orange amber color. The infusions from the beginning albeit light had really flavorful citrus notes, clean earth, some wood, and citrus rind. After my 7th infusion, it is still ~60% formed lol and this is when the earthy notes peaked. After that, the citrus flavors incrementally went to the forefront… The tangerine, mandarin orange, citrus notes. It was smooth, no astringency nor bitterness. The only changes were earthy notes versus the citrus notes and the orange notes became more distinct as I went.
While it wasn’t a complex tea, I really enjoyed it. I still prefer TeaVivre Aged Chenpi Ripened Tangerine Pu-erh but these would be great to put in my little tin can which consists of a variety of mini tuochas, and mini cakes when I want something convenient.
Porcelain gaiwan, 8g, 205°F to boiling, 110ml, rinse, 11 steeps: 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 35s, 45s, 55s, 65s, 75s, 120s.
Flavors: Earth, Orange, Orange Zest
7g in 100 mL gaiwan
Dry leaf appearance – probably made up of lots of broken, smaller leaves, but hard to tell. Good, solid compression but not like a Xiaguan ripe where you have to break the pick to get enough tea to drink.
Dry smell – maple syrup, light chocolate, damp, humid forest in summer months, earthy
Wet smell – sweet, caramelized sugar, creme brule, coffee cake, cinnamon, cinnamon buns, freshly baked old fashioned donuts with glaze, plums, cinnamon raisin bread
Liquor – dark red, almost rose colour on first steep before fully opened. Almost opaque but not yet. On third steep a dark, semi-opaque plum-like colour, almost like a cola
Texture – soft and thick, velvety and smooth
Taste – very, very sweet. Light and sugary, maybe a bit of maple syrup on a sweet waffle or other kind of pastry. Extremely pleasant. Second steep even sweeter. I get a serious baked good taste, maybe a maple donut. A tiny bit of maple sugar candy
Empty vessel – syrupy, but there’s almost a kind of fruitiness along with it, a tiny bit tart. Like blueberry compote. Brandy-ish after third steep
Mouth finish – tingly palate, light coating but not significant. Produced a bit of saliva on the tip of the tongue
Wet leaves – pretty much what you would expect from a typical shou.
Body feel – a bit intense, but almost scattered and confusing Qi, maybe due to the blend or something. Still, not unpleasant.
A solid daily-drinker; definitely a great value for such a low price. Be warned of the possibility of a slight funk, however, as my S.O. thought it smelled fishy (though I didn’t get that myself).
Included as a sample with a larger White2Tea purchase.
Pre-Infusion: Incredible aroma. Predominant lychee & caramel notes. Quick inhale oddly reminds me of sweet chewing tobacco (Red Man Golden Blend) that instantly transports me back in time.
Post-Infusion: Did a quick 1 min steep at 200F (didn’t have time for the full gong fu style progression). Leaves lend a distinct sweet and smooth aroma, rounding out a bit from the strong pre-infusion scent. Liquor is light amber, sweet, floral, and smooth. Lychee, raisin, and chestnut. Sweetness and mouthfeel linger. Really delightful tea.
Flavors: Chestnut, Lychee, Raisins, Tobacco
Grandpa is my preferred brewing method for this shou since the compact square takes too damn long to break open gong fu.
Channel Orange is not a complicated tea but it’s rewarding on a cold and stormy February day. It reminds me of a fuzzy polyester blanket that features scenes of nature, or maybe a wolf or bald eagle, and becomes matted with years of use. That kind of blanket you’ve had since 1991 and never wash. Your smell and maybe your dog’s are embedded in it.
That’s not to say this tea is dirty or smells like a dog! — it’s a very clean shou. Clean earth, dark wood and minerals, cleansing citrus, a bit spicy. I get notes of pine and cedar here and there. Tingly, mouthwatering, oily, light to medium body. The chenpi is more evident on the sip and lingers lightly in the mouth. A bright, warm note for a dull day!
So, this was my first tea of 2019!
It’s not so much that I picked this specifically for my first tea – but I know I wanted to have something compressed and drink it Gong Fu because I usually like my “firsts” to have some sort of symbolic meaning. In this case, I’d like it to hopefully be representative of more of a shift towards drinking larger amounts of straight and traditional teas at home instead of just at work.
Apart from that, I chose this because I’ve owned this cake for like three years and never touched it & based on reviews it seemed like it would be acceptably with the champagne infused cheddar I had also purchased to start the year off with.
Around nine or ten steeps in total; and a hefty amount of cheese also consumed throughout the session. I did find that the tea wasn’t super “stand out” in terms of flavour; not anything wrong with it but I feel like I’ve also just had far better offerings from White2Tea in terms of the white teas that they carry. I found it fairly sweet and floral, with some stonefruit-like fruity elements in the undertones becoming more prominent throughout the session. I think I just wanted more “life” and brightness to the tea’s profile overall.
Cheese was also really good, though I didn’t find that the “champagne” in it was all too strong/clear. As tasty as it was, I felt like maybe it was more gimmicky and meant to rope people into buying it specifically for the thematic tie ins for NYE – just like it did for me.
I’m a sucker for a well put together symbolic gesture/theme.
Finally broke into my bar of this maybe a week ago, I think on my last day at the office before we went on our Christmas break?
It was a sort of cold, rainy/drizzly day and I woke up just kind of thinking “this is a shou kind of day” and that quickly evolved into a “actually, it’s a shou with chenpi kind of day”. Unlike doing what I normally do when I feel like that, I didn’t go for W2T’s Big O but instead decided that I would break into something I hadn’t yet tried before, and I’ve been sitting on this tea for a while…
I steeped it up Grandpa style because that’s simply what’s easiest for me to do at work while I’m running lab tests and such – but also because I find that generally shou works REALLY WELL steeped this way, and the addition of chenpi doesn’t change that. One of the squaeMy first impression was that there was less of that distinct mandarin orange note in this tea than in Big O, which is probably my favourite chenpi blend at the moment and the one I drink most often. I mean, it was still there but I felt like the profile was more so a sweeter shou pu’erh with date/fig, damp garden soil/petrichor, sweet and kind of cocoa-y notes and a very smooth, thick mouthfeel. I do feel like an hour or so later, after I had been drinking and rebrewing for a while, the orange notes were popping more for me as the flavor of the pu’erh declined a little bit. I think, though, that what is probably going on is not there there’s necessarily so much less chenpi in this blend but that it’s just more of a natural compliment to the pu’erh mix here, so it stands out a little less than the bright chenpi notes in Big O, which don’t meld together quite so seamlessly (though they’re still complimentary in that tea, don’t get me wrong). Is it necessarily better or worse that the chenpi doesn’t stand out as much here? I don’t think there is a correct answer, just a better fit depending on what you’re craving in that moment.
I’m happy to have both in my cupboard.
“So smoove we got you sayin SH!T, DAMN, MOTHERF$CKER”
Amen to that, 2Dog, amen to that!
It’s been a while since my last shou indulgence and, boy, I enjoyed every last drop of it.
It’s smoove alright, and it’s sweet and creamy. Balm for the soul it is. Just a touch of wood and that lingering brown sugar goodness. Mmm, mmm, mmm. It’s the simple things in life y’know.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Sweet, Wood
I’m about halfway through this whole set. Some of the cakes I liked, and some I do not care for at all, which is I suppose the entire purpose of an offering such as this one. But I would be surprised if anyone liked all four of these. Compared to the better cakes where you can find whole leaves and somewhat better hygiene, these are more mulch-y with much more dust and random tiny human hairs. With some minor extra labor, you can still squeeze some fairly decent tea out of it. But I would say do not drink the rinses on these out of curiosity, and use the finest filter you have to avoid the real dust, the tea dust, as well as other random unappetizing detritus. It was a reasonably priced provision of 400grams of raw puer, but I do not think anyone who has tried it would buy this set twice.
Gong Fu Sipdown (607)!
I’ve tried to be a little strategic with tea I’m packing first – if it’s something I had in a large quantity or don’t drink often then it’s going into a box first, and if I think I can finish it off before I fly out to Montreal then it stays out. It doesn’t need to be packed if I drink it first, after all. So this one stayed out of the box because I knew it would be an easy sipdown.
I received this one as a freebie in an order earlier this year; it’s definitely not something that I would have ever purchased for myself though, what with my not being a big Sheng drinker. It’s taken me a while to work up to trying it because based on the reviews I’ve seen it doesn’t seem so much like my jam…
First infusions were really intense but ultimately pleasant; definitely a big punch of tangy fruit notes – the kind that find their way into every crevice in your mouth, which in turn only makes you salivate even more. A mix of red fruit notes and more of a tangy peach-y sort of thing? Also vegetal, but less so than the intense wave of fruit. I mean, it kind of felt like the tea version of this Fruit Gushers commercial:
However, after those first two infusions this got so, so much more intense and a lot more bitter and vegetal tasting. Still hints of a fruity sweetness, but definitely more of an umami/savory profile with lots of edamame/green bean/lima bean kind of notes. I think I did about four infusions with this as the general profile but it wasn’t up my alley and I wasn’t enjoying the strong, bitter body and finishing notes so I decided to just stop the session.
I mean, I don’t think this is a bad tea but it’s got a lot of intensity to it and just isn’t my preferred flavour profile.
Starts off quite delicate. Deeply kelp-like when pushed. Makes you wonder how this tea would perform as a substitute for green tea in ochazuke. I recommend w2t in general for the crash course it should be for 99% of people on the fine art of branding. I recommend this form factor from any brand for anyone who wants to be a little coddled, or needs convenient socially acceptable chunks that do not look suspiciously like a baggie of illegal drugs with which to get one’s fix on, say, a commercial flight. It gives me pause to think these are individually hand-wrapped and stickered by another human being, probably another East Asian female human being. In that sense they are kind of like handmade tea dumplings, except you can’t eat the wrapper. The fact that the same amount of manual wrapping energy is being put into the coins as into the full size cakes in some ways makes these coins feel the most ludicrously bourgeoisie. I’m also relatively “meh” on this tea, because I have already had some really great(and far more expensive) others this week. Finally, it doesn’t matter because this one looks sold out.
I like this one. It’s quite fruity. It brews a nice light golden liquor with a peachy pinkish hue in the initial steeps. Do shorter brews to keep the bitterness at bay. I get pears and quince, dried apricots, plum jam, a hint of wild strawberry. There’s sweetness but it’s not overwhelming. On the finish I get herbal honey and jam, some light floral notes as well and maybe even a touch of baking spices.
Overall, this is quite pleasant and would make for a pretty good and uplifting everyday sheng.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Fruity, Honey, Jam, Pear, Plums, Strawberry
Well, this tea has been pretty much covered so I’ll add a little personification for fun.
Old Bear reminds me of a good friend I have who likens himself to a cross between a black bear and a gorilla with dark hair the color of this leaf and some red in his beard like the color of the brew. He happens to like roughing it a lot and is no stranger to a good smokey campfire and a swig of peaty scotch. Even the toughest jabs seem to glance off of him. He comes across as bold, brash, bitter and gruff with a hard to penetrate exterior but once he opens up, he’s very sweet and even-tempered. I wouldn’t call him dry, even though this tea can be at times. A solid, thick, no-nonsense beast who always delivers.
I’ll have to take this little brick with me next time we meet up in the wilderness and see what he thinks of this tea.
5g, 100mL, 212F, 20s rinse, 8 steeps at 4×20s/30/35/45/45 then lost count after that. Oh yeah, high and sustained amount of caffeine and a nice softening of the gaze. I was gifted an animal hair in my first chip off the brick. It was tan and white, coarse and wiry. Maybe pig? Who knows.
Flavors: Bitter, Campfire, Cedar, Dates, Drying, Peat, Smooth, Sweet, Tar, Wet Wood