White 2 Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

Dry leaf: Very pleasant aroma! Dried fruit, cranberry, raisins. Very hard compacted dry cake material. Leaf in a warm clay pot smelled amazing – like plump, hot, sweet, stewed raisins.

Taste: Very light vegetal, sweet raisins, tart dried cranberry overtone. Pleasantly warming, nice solid medium mouthfeel. Light astringency started to show up after second steep.

Liquor: Light golden yellow.

Spent leaf: Olive to dark olive. No discolorations. Material was fairly broken but it was a tightly compressed sample and took some coaxing to break apart. Leaves that were still intact indicate this is made of quite small leaves along with a bud here and there.

Vessel: 125ml clay pot

I’m finding out as I taste more and more teas, my favorite part of the experience is opening up the bag and smelling a tea for the first time. This tea smells amazing in the bag – like plump little hot raisins, rich and sweet! This tea isn’t particularly complex, but it has a very solid medium body and a great balance of sweetness, astringency, and smoothness. It warmed me up immediately and my mouth was buzzing after about the 4th cup. The astringency is something someone new to shengs could handle, yet the balance overall should be plenty satisfying for someone more experienced.

I’m very happy with this tea taste wise, quality wise, and price wise. This tea is something I would imagine most sheng fans would keep as a permanent resident in their tea cupboard. Daily drinker? That’s a solid “yes”.

Flavors: Cranberry, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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82

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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82

Smooth, rich, and earthy, truly a wonderful tea. I would certainly recommend Brown Sugar.

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drank 2016 Tyler by White 2 Tea
278 tasting notes

Still working my way through my BF W2T samples and this is today’s pick. Been getting a nice aroma from the sample bag, so I’ve been looking forward to this, though I pretty much have said that about every sample. Very easily separated 7g off of this sample chunk and spent a few seconds looking around for my strainer, so I ended up skipping the wash and just drinking from the start.

I’m getting fruity, floral, herbaceous and hay in the first steep. Smooth with a bit of viscosity. More grass and hay in the second steep, with the florals lingering at the end. Some appreciable bitterness and astringency start to emerge in steep three.

Sipped on this throughout the morning until the flavors started to fade with flash steeps, at which point I was still left with a nice mouthfeel to enjoy. The leaves are still giving off plenty of aroma, so I’m going to let them rest a while and then I will probably revisit them tomorrow.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
7 g

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This was my other Saturday day, another one with a fairly sweet fragrance coming off the dry leaves, which were loose in the sample bag. They took on a freshly fired aroma (if that makes any sense) upon being woken by water. The wash comes out a light amber and I give it a taste. It has a super light hint of sour fruit flavor.

Once I get into proper steeps, this tea becomes warm, buttery fruit, like the filling of a pie. Easy to drink. Tastes good. Affordable.

Flavors: Butter, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 7 g

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This was my first tea to get me through a Saturday of homework this past weekend. Actually managed to get through all of my homework in just a few hours, so I really got to spend more time with the tea.

The dry leaves had that great, sweet, fruity, floral aroma that I’ve noticed in a lot of the w2t samples I’ve had. Liquor comes out a nice gold and is light in flavor to start. It’s got that fresh suntea taste I’ve mentioned before, mixed with light honey.

The flavor comes through more in the next steep and really tastes like a light, wild honey. I get that through most of the session that day. I revisit this tea the next day and it’s smooth, thick and light with an enjoyable buttery aftertaste.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 7 g
Haveteawilltravel

This is my go to lazy afternoon cake. It’s a very nice brew.

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65
drank Hot Brandy by White 2 Tea
6 tasting notes

Dry leaf: Raisin, prune, dried fruit. This tea is in cake form, medium compressed. Mixed green, brown, and dark brown leaves. The smell in the bag was very much like a white tea.

Taste: Sweet, honey, nice medium smooth mouthfeel. No bitterness.

Liquor: Rinse and first steep were distinctly dark yellow, to light orange, then after the 2nd or 3rd steep, a beautiful dark orange.

Spent leaf: Light brown to dark brown. Medium sized leaves, very little stem.

Vessel: 200ml glass teapot (actual water 100ml since I only fill it half full)

I had no idea what to expect from this tea. In the bag, it for sure smelled like a white. In a warm tea pot, it actually smelled like both a black and a white. After a quick 5 second rinse, is was all black. I started out at 212F thinking that’s what this tea needed. After a few steeps, I was disappointed. It was tasting like a black tea, but it was lacking any body and had a very flat mouthfeel, no white tea overtones.

So – I decided it was time to adjust the temp mid session to see if I was running too hot, which maybe was allowing the back tea to take over the cup. I dropped the kettle temp down to 190F and that did the trick. The body became fuller, and the white tea flavors were now showing up. Things were a little more balanced. I got 8 or so steepings before things dropped off.

Although I think the idea of mixing a white and a black tea is interesting, I wasn’t totally blow away by it. It was fun and a good learning experience, but for me, not the kind of tea I’d keep in my cupboard. If you feel like experimenting with an experimental tea, then toss a sample in your cart next time you shop at W2T and see what you think! (for science!) Who knows – maybe it will find a spot your cupboard.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Honey, Raisins

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank 2015 Pin by White 2 Tea
278 tasting notes

My puerh pick for Friday. And it seems it was the puerh pick for many this past weekend! The sweet, fruity, floral fragrance of the sample bag had me looking forward to this one for quite a while.

Steeped 7 grams of this at work and decided to sip the wash, because I sometimes do that. Glad I did this time, as it was full of flavor. Very light gold in color, but with a mouth coating viscosity, floral head notes, sweet hay body and light honey finish. And that flavor just lingered. Needless to say, the rest of the wash was consumed.

A nice sour fruitness developed in the first proper steep, with a spiced herbaceous aftertaste that began to mingle with the lingering aroma and huigan.

The florals and hay start to take on a bit more of a piney-ness after a few steeps, and the exhaled aroma is that of spinach.

Some bitterness starts to come out in later steeps, but it doesn’t eliminate the mouth coating sweetness.

Eventually, the flavor mellows out to a nice lingering peach. I practically flash steeped this entire session and Pin rewarded me greatly for doing so!

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Peach, Pine, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 7 g

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89
drank Butter Flower by White 2 Tea
280 tasting notes

This is a review from memory, as I have had a busy weekend & been drinking tea on the move, so its a bit short.

This Oolong was a nice surprise, the perfume has elements of Tie Guan Yin, alongside the more expected Dan Cong Aroma. What was also nice was that the subtle buttery flavour had a citrus edge which is also reminiscent of the aforementioned green Oolong, that reminded me a bit of sour yogurt. Again, a nice surprise.

Another nice aspect was that it was quite forgiving to brew and remained nicely balanced – well, until the body gave out and I was just left with lovely fragrant water.

Thinking back, and if I had more to try it might come across like a Jin Xuan-Dan Cong, with a citrusy-milky thing, but at the time all I could think of was Tie Guan Yin had a baby with Ya Shii.

Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Flowers, Yogurt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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80

This is one that I have almost exclusively at work, grandpa-style, but after having had White2tea’s 2016 Prolaxicorvatin, I decided to break this one out today in the gaiwan. The comparison wasn’t as straightforward as I’d have thought: this one operates in a much higher register, with almost all the flavor concentrated on front of the mouth bitterness. There’s some finish in the back of the throat, but most everything lingers, again, in the front of the mouth. I’m mostly getting sharper pine flavors from this, rather than some of the lower, slightly fruity bitterness from some of the other Menghai teas I’ve had; this combines with the mouthfeel to offer something of a soapy impression on the early steeps, which, despite the sound of it, is actually pretty enjoyable. I also got taken by surprise on some actual qi in the early steeps, though this didn’t last terribly long. The durability is so-so, and the taste gets pretty hollow in later steeps.

If this reminds me of anything, it’s probably a Dayi 7542 that I picked up from Yunnan Sourcing, although this doesn’t have quite the menthol character that that one does. In fact, I’ve had the back to back at work a couple of times and had to concentrate a little to tell the difference. If you’re into the bitter side of young sheng (and I am), you’ll probably like this one. It’s not the most complex tea out there, but it’s enjoyable for a workhorse, daily drinker.

Flavors: Pine

Preparation
Boiling 8 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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84

As advertised, this is very much a Menghai daily drinker, with that low, fruity bitterness characteristic of the region. That said, even at its punchiest, it never quite veers off into punishing territory; my wife, for whom New Amerykah 2 is essentially non-drinkable, quite enjoyed this session. There’s no real qi and the tea isn’t particularly thick, but it leaves behind a nice, penetrating aftertaste (kuwei, I guess?) throughout most of the steeps. The smoke is decidedly present, but, in this session anyway, mostly unobtrusive (I seemed to notice it more in prior sessions, so there may be some variability in the cake, or waiting a couple months caused the sample to smooth out; hard to say). The later steeps held up better than I expected, with the bitterness transmuting into actual sweetness, rather than just fading into vacuity.

All told, this is a pleasant tea, maybe even a bit better than that. At the current price point, I’m not totally sure I’d get it. A couple dollars more will land you New Amerykah 2—which, although a harsher drinker, is decidedly the better tea—and a bit more than half the price will get you Milk, Cream, and Alcohol—which is admittedly not as good, but lacks the smoke. Still, I wouldn’t turn this down, and this could eventually work its way into my collection, especially after the 2017 price increases.

(As a disclaimer, this is based on a sample; your mileage may vary, especially after a year or two)

Edit: after having had Milk, Cream, and Alcohol in a direct comparison, I’m bumping the rating on this. This is a much deeper tea, on the balance, and has more interesting stuff going on with it, especially in the later steeps. Both teas are priced appropriately for the quality, at least as far as they compare to each other (still not sure with regards to NA 2).

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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drank 2015 Smooch by White 2 Tea
17 tasting notes

I received this as a free sample with a recent white2tea order. Score! The ball opens up pretty easily with a long rinse followed by a rest in a closed gaiwan. It’s mildly sweet with a vegetal background. It’s not the usual sweet forward taste I’m used to with w2t productions, though. There’s something in there that I can’t place.

The liquor is creamy and thick and the middle steeps have a huang pian-like dark heaviness to them. It reminds me of some of Yunnan Sourcing’s Lincang productions in that there’s a nutty background to this tea.

Overall, I think this is a decent tea but it doesn’t fit the flavor profile I typically like.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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Finally gave this shou a try earlier this week, but I didn’t note it with enough detail, unfortunately.

7g in the gaiwan for a rinse, and the first steep yielded a slick, smooth, reddish liquor with a light sweetness. The color deepened over subsequent steeps, during which the flavor also became sweeter. I found it pretty clean and easy to drink overall, but I need another session with this, for sure.

Flavors: Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 7 g

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Finally got back into some w2t samples. This one was a little weird for me. It took until the very last session for me to have a really good experience with it. It was never bad, but for the first few sessions of it I drank, I found it pretty inferior to other 2016 w2t productions, even in the lower price brackets. I agree with the laconic tasting note on w2t’s website, noting that this tea has “higher than average” astringency. It really required flash steeping for the majority of the session for it to show its better qualities.

These leaves had a sweet apricot, buttery aroma when dry – after a rinse, the aroma was strong and zesty, with apricot and a slight undercurrent of petrol which some people (including myself at times) associate with the aroma from young sheng leaves. The tea, as most from White 2 Tea do, brews up thick in texture from the get-go. It was sweet, with a bit of fruitiness – I got pineapple – along with some vegetal flavor. There was a pretty intense astringency, especially if steeped carelessly. The tea carries on for over fifteen steeps, flash steeping through at least 10 of those. Towards the end of the session, the fruitiness mostly leaves this tea as does the astringency. The finish becomes sweet, reminding me more than once of sugar cookies.

Reading back, this tasting note seems a little all over the place. That kind of matches my feelings for this tea. When I finally nailed the brewing, it was good – still not as great as some of the other White 2 Tea productions I’ve had this year – I enjoyed Tea Don’t Lie and Poundcake over this one. I’m glad I got a sample of it though, and I would encourage people who are perusing w2t’s 2016 lineup to sample this tea, as others I’ve talked to have really fallen in love with it.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Fruity, Pineapple, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
JC

I really like this one, but those harsher notes do me in sometimes as well. I’m not sure if you’ve ever done this, but if you give the tea two or three steeps, let it rest for a few hours. That usually lets the leaf open itself and it also eases some of those notes a bit, I’m assuming its some minor oxidation. :)

Matu

Interesting! I’ve heard of people giving the leaves a few minutes to rest after rinsing, but not a few hours. I’ll have to give it a try sometime.

JC

Yeah, I’ve done it with a few, but its not friendly with all teas, usually the more abrasive/harsh a tea is the more likely is to work (at least on my experience).

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73
drank 2015 Smooch by White 2 Tea
6 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Honeydew, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85

I really do like the cheesy space race reference on this cake. The tea is mildly aged with strong notes of damp wood, leather, spices, and some clear cooling wet tones. I warmed my teapot and placed some inside. The scent opens into some sweet earth/shou, fennel, leather, wheat, barley, mineral, etc. Its a whole medley of your down-and-dirty aromas. I washed the leaf and began my brewing. The brew begins pungently sweet with rich earth tones as a base. The exhale brings about dark fruits and some black cherry. The brew moves into heavier earthier tastes as it progresses along with some slight char and dryness. The brew progressively gets dryer and dryer and the tones get straight down to clay beneath the soil. This tea kind of reminds me of a shou, both with its earth aspect as well as dryness. The huigan is tardy to the party, but it makes quite a commotion with it arrives. Its thick and lasting, and it does help tone down the dryness. The pot soothes out, and my tongue has taken up residence in the Sahara desert. The qi distracts me with a strong relaxed feel yet still much alert. The sensation warms me up and produces a good vibe that soothes me out. This is an okay tea, but the dryness was a bit too much for me.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHVTZxeA0CO/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

https://www.instagram.com/p/6lFHF5zGSe/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Cherry, Drying, Earth, Fennel, Leather, Mineral, Red Fruits, Roasted Barley, Sweet, Wet Wood, Wheat

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Brian

this one has really mellowed in my storage. i need to really up the leaf to have the kick i like.

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Crap…I forgot to save my note yesterday. Been wanting to attempt to drink more shou lately, so I brought a couple to work for the week. This was today’s pick, and I threw a rather huge chunk into a pretty small gaiwan, gave it a couple of rinses to help it start to open up and then proceeded with flash steeps.

Liquor was a transparent brown to start with a light flavor hinting at the deeper mushroom and earthy notes that were soon to come. Quickly darkened to an opaque, deep brown with a mushroomy earth flavor. The texture is indeed thick and smooth with a nice creaminess. Eventually the earthiness evolves into a more pronounced soil-like flavor with a hint of bitterness and a kind of mineral finish.

I am among those that feel there’s not really that much sweetness to this one (yet), but it still has a nice, appreciable flavor profile and an excellent mouthfeel. Good, easy drinking experience!

Flavors: Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Mineral, Mushrooms, Smooth, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 11 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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92

Wonderful Mengsong area tea. Thickset, uncompromising flavors. Strong as an ox, vigorous qi here, this one’s a champ.

Flavors: Almond, Oak wood, Plums, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Cream by White 2 Tea
278 tasting notes

I brought this along with some other ripes this week to encourage myself to drink them. And this morning in teachat, steph recommended using “boychik parameters” on this one—1g/5ml, so that’s what I’m doing!

Quick wash, let the leaves sit and then flash steep. Color is like coffee, aroma is a bit earthy and mushroomy. Mouthfeel is very smooth and rich. I don’t think creamy would be an inaccurate description. And something about the richness of it really lingers in my mouth and throat.

Second steep is darker, richer, thicker and the sweetness starts to come through. There’s almost a bit of viscosity going on. In steep three, the hint of coffee grounds pushes more into the forefront.

Since I had to go to an appointment today, I decided to take these leaves home to finish up with a few hours later. I snacked on some really spicy ghost pepper chips and then did another steep of this. And THAT was creamy. So thick and rich. I can visibly see the thickness of the tea.

Been flash steeping this all day now and it’s still going. I like this, and this experience definitely makes me want to try leafing heavier with shou more often.

Flavors: Coffee, Creamy, Earth, Mushrooms

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 2 OZ / 50 ML
Haveteawilltravel

Does it taste like chewing on brownies? I tried 1g 10ml +/-, and I was stuck in the coffee ground richness. I’ll give boychiks method a try soon tho.

Inkay

I got coffee the whole way through, more or less. It was like drinking thick, coffee-flavored cream almost, if that makes any sense.

Haveteawilltravel

hahah, that makes sense.

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90

Just an all-around enjoyable tea, really. Not necessarily a whole lot of complexity here: predominant notes of lighter fruit (like another reviewer, I’m really not sure what, precisely), backed by some mild sweetness and a little bit of Bulang-esque bitterness that comes out more on the later steeps. Some hints of darker undertones start to emerge a bit later in the session, but they’re kind of fleeting and the tea doesn’t change all that much. It’s solidly durable, though; I don’t count my steeps, generally, but the number’s in the mid-high range. The liquor’s reasonably thick, though not outstandingly so, and the throat pooling effect is definitely there.

There’s a definite tea-drunk effect on this one, but it’s not as immediate as some; it’s more of a gradual muzziness that creeps up on you almost unnoticed, until, around the fifth or sixth steep, you stand up and realize that everything’s more than a little muzzy. This is more relaxing than I remember from some of my earlier sessions, where my recollections are of something higher octane. It’s possible that this has evolved a bit over the year-and-a-half I’ve had it, but it’s hard to say.

On the whole, this is a very good tea that’s just outside the top tier for me. It has very few recognizable flaws, but it also lacks the oomph to push it over that threshold; it’s a near thing, though, and in many ways, this is a more immediately enjoyable tea than some of those higher echelon ones. I’ve not had subsequent productions, but if they’re comparable to this, I’d definitely consider them.

Preparation
Boiling 8 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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