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Recent Tasting Notes
Had a sample of this one that I only recently got to. It was a pleasant tea, with typical soft Yiwu flavors for the most part. Body was good, as I’d come to expect from all w2t sheng. While I enjoyed each session with the sample, it wasn’t anything that I’m likely to buy – didn’t really stand out for me, especially for the price.
Old written note.
Sample is sawed, very tight compression but not the beeng. Lots of struggle to break off a chunk with my improvised pick (flathead electronics screwdriver). 6g, glass gaiwan, 205F, 20s rinse. First few steeps were just ok. Aroma light stonefruit, very thin liquor, taste lightly sweet, dandelion and cement. After that, pure brass later accented by a very un-good bitterness. Got a terrible headache. Has the claimed endurance, though.
I finished this sample with varying leaf amounts, water temperature and used a different gaiwan. Same results every time, including the headache. At least it’s consistent :P Something about this tea just didn’t jive with me physically. Hate to leave such a low rating but White2Tea certainly has better entry-level sheng puer if you’re willing to fork out a little more cash.
A sweet, sweet tea. I liked it the moment I opened the pouch and inhaled a strong aroma of camphor, apricot and flowers. I had it gongfu style and it lasted a good amount of steeps. The aroma of the wet leaves was good and consistent: this bird is certainly an olfactory pleasure.
The taste was equally light and uplifting: camphor, peach, apricot, prunes,flowers… Just a touch of earthiness and dry wood. I initially did the steeps of 10-15 seconds and when I went a for a bit more it added some pleasant bitterness to the palette. In short, it is the tea that encourages you to play with time and temperature and the results are different but never bad. In the later steeps (6+) most of the complexity was gone and it started to taste like a good regular dianhong, which was FAR from being disappointing. Shou puerhs are often tend to be to gloomy,decay-ish and intense and this one is quite different, being lovely, light and uplifting.
Several previous reviewers called it a decent everyday drinker. I tend to drink the lower -priced puerhs, so quite possibly there are right and there are undiscovered wonders in pricier cakes but from the perspective of a puerh catfish like myself this tea amounts to something more than that.
This is the first tea that has convinced me there might be a part of me that can enjoy sheng.
The first thing I notice is still the astringency and bitterness I associate with sheng, but it’s much less harsh than I expected. In the first steep I can tell there’s something else there, but it’s a bit hard to decipher.
On the second steep though I start awakening to the other scents and flavors. It leads with freshly baled hay and minerality. As the session continues the tea mellows into a sweetness that is reminiscent of red currants.
The qi doesn’t knock my socks off, but it’s present, powerful, and longer lasting that what I’m used to from shou. It presents to me as calm and mind melting energy that would be equally good for meditation or housework, but makes focused tasks hard.
As I expect from young sheng it’s a bit too harsh on my stomach to be something I could drink daily, but I’m glad to have it in my cabinet as a breath of fresh air and a respite from the world.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Mineral
4.5g, 90ml and then transferred to 110 ml(I know….that’s diluted but that’s the smallest pot I’ve got.) for the later steeps for heat retention purposes. 100C.
Dry leaf smells extremely enticing, I have trouble expressing how or why but it just was.
The tea itself tastes like…licking bitter tree bark. Very strong woody flavors until very late steeps. There’s some astringency making itself present BUT it isn’t drying astringency. Its the kind of astringency that makes you salivate which was a good experience. Finally I see what people mean about that.
I’m doing some late power steeps in a pot instead of thin porcelain gaiwan, and it is more syrupy and like tree sap, with finally some sweetness. Just took some time to find it…
The qi on this was also very calming and nice. A pleasant tea.
Flavors: Oak wood
5.5g in 100ml, 100C.
Early steeps were really thick and syrupy and really pleasant in texture. Doesn’t even roll around the mouth easily because of how thick it is. Immediately had my hair standing on end
There’s some up-front bitterness moving forward and immediate stone fruit huigan, really nice. But…astringency started to set in…
By mid steeps this was really dry and bitter but in an unpleasant way to me. This “formaldehyde” note to me I’m tasting here I’m being told is young “Lincang” character.
Despite that, sticky and pleasant in the mouth. And the qi feels like a tight headband around my head but not in the “tension headache” way.
All in all, I’m actually leaving this one without a score. It is clearly good(dare I say great?) tea, at an affordable price. But, its not something that I want to drink right now, because that formaldehyde note makes me think too much of anatomy lab, and astringency is too high, for my weenie mouth. Pick it up if Lincang is for you!
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Thick
4.5g in 80ml, 100C.
The lid is like sour-sweet plums (in that order), quite an appealing smell. The dry leaf smells great too. In early steeps the tea has an unique musty honey note, like honey that has been sitting at the back of the cabinet for a long long time. The energy from this tea sits mostly behind my sinuses and a little at the back of my head which was pleasant.
Unfortunately, the taste beyond that is sort of…not there. Like weird mineral water
Flavors: Pleasantly Sour, Plums, Sweet
This tea charmed me right off the bat as soon as I opened a pouch with my sample. It has one of the best dry leaf aromas that I encountered with puerhs so far: a potent blend of wood, plums, apricot.
I prepared it gongfu (5g per 80g of the 212 degree water). My steeps were 15s, 5s, 10s, 15s, 25s, 40s, 60s, 90s, and 120s.
In the first steeps it came out very sweet, fruity and smooth, with just a hint of dry wood decay and camphor. The aftertaste is long and also comfortably sweet, full of camphor, apricot, peach, flowers, honey… All these flavors blend exceptionally well together and it was a lot of fun to sip and observe the interplay of various tastes. Around 4th-5th steep this shou started to lose some of its power and complexity but still remained cheerful, sweet and enjoyable.
All in all, it came out as an exceptional puerh for me, with every element of this tea -appearance, aroma, color, taste, aftertaste – having no flaws whatsoever. The tea’s character is confident, powerful and cheerful. I had it very early in the Monday morning at work before the arrival of most of my coworkers and ended up aimlessly wandering the office corridors, smiling and happily greeting everybody I met like a some sort of a resident office fool. A very enjoyable experience and an awesome way to kick off the workweek.
Flavors: Apricot, Camphor, Decayed wood, Flowers, Honey, Peach, Plums, Wood
Reviewing from the Sheng TTB Round #3, first up on reviews because I was so excited.
4.5g in 90mL gaiwan, 100C
Rinse was very light, and trending extremely sweet
Steep 1: the lid was extremely sweet. There is some very slight bitterness but more than anything else this is an extremely nourishing broth. All of this was on the first sip…by the time that I BEGAN to sip the second sip, I got chills and the hairs on my head stood up and felt like I had a head massager thing which is an eerily similar experience that Oolongowl reported…whew this is going to be a banger.
Steep 2: the texture is slick, but not bitter or astringent. Just pleasantly sweet. I’m sweating and lightheaded already wowww
Steep 3: Primarily sugarcane up first in front, followed by bitterness on the finish and some dry astringency afterwards up front but it isn’t bad at all I actually kind of enjoyed it. And there’s a sugarcane huigan in the back aplenty. I was waiting on some more water in the kitchen and was just pacing around dizzy. This is sitting right up tight in my chest and just under my scalp, with a very noticable energizing feeling. WHEW this is some good feels
By steep 6: there’s more bitterness, and a heavy texture but unfortunately I think this is on its way out….
By steep 8: there’s some brief floral notes up towards the top of my mouth but this doesn’t last long. Instead this is just CRAZY SWEET. After the 10th steep I think this was all done…not able to taste much besides leaf juice, and the texture is flat.
I wish it had lasted longer, this is awesomely sweet and some real fast qi which doesn’t fuck you up for long but its pretty great while it lasts. Totally considering getting this…
Flavors: Bitter, Sugarcane
Anyone else feel like you had a phase of extreme precision when making straight/traditional teas and now you’ve just sort of moved along to a different phase of “fuck it, I do what I want”? ‘Cause that’s kind of where I feel I’m at right now…
Drank this one yesterday all throughout the evening Grandpa Style while reading a new graphic novel – I’m basically caught up with The Runaways right now (which is what I was reading) so now I just need random other things to fill the gaps in between new issues. Here’s the list I’ve had recommended to me so far:
- Snot Girl
- Kill Six Billion Demons (Web Comic)
- Squirrel Girl (Actually a few comics into this one already…)
I’m totally open to other suggestions, though! For frame of reference, other things I’ve read and really enjoyed are basically anything Spiderman/SpiderGwen, Deadpool (started with Spiderpool stuff and branched out), the Lumber Janes series, Seconds (by Bryan Lee O’Malley), the Jughead comics, and a lot of the more lighthearted stuff from Boom Box! like Dodge, and a few of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer seasons that came out after the TV series ended (I think I left off on season ten)…
Anyway, the tea – quite smooth, and it handled this style of brewing really well/never once got bitter or astringent even though I was using boiling water. Main flavour note was hot hay/straw, but there was also some underlying sugar cane-esque sweetness,a bit of a clotted cream kind of taste (especially at the beginning of sitting down with this), some non-distinct heady floral undertones, and then a finish that was a bit more pleasantly medicinal and like resin. Sort of a weird mash of notes; but VERY enjoyable and relaxing. I could sit there drinking this tea for hours – and in fact that is what I did…
I wonder if this is sold out…
Since I am the first person to write about their experience with this tea here, I am going to use that as license to ramble… because that seems like fun to me, and I like the sound my keyboard makes when I type stuff… but out of courtesy for those who have no desire work through my muddled blathering, I will confirm now what you most likely already suspect… this is a REALLY nice tea.
As a side note, I don’t measure my tea, I eyeball it. I’m guessing I put 7 g or so in my 100 mL gaiwan. Started with 5 second (or less) steeps.
Here I sit… Notebook out, pen in hand… anticipating a new experience with a high tier tea.
wet leaf aroma: vegetal, artichoke
1st steep: very light flavor – delicate, but fills the mouth. Rich and thick, subtle notes of tobacco and artichoke. No drying or astringency. My whole body feels good, all of a sudden I’m in a good mood.
2nd steep: a bit more strength behind the flavors but very far from overpowering. I’m catching a slight note of sweet/sour – it is elusive though… cant quite put my finger on it.
3rd + 4th: feels so good in my mouth and body. I’m relaxed and focused. I feel warmth at my temples.
5th: this tea is so smooth. The flavors are subtle and delicious. I seem to have lost the touch of sweetness that I had on the second steep.
6. Hearty… like stew. I’m catching a glimpse of the sweet/tartness again – actually… reminds me of sweetarts candy
~went for a short walk to refill my kettle. I feel good. Healthy, vital, powerful (in a kind/loving way, not a BWAHAHAHA type of way)
7. mild astringency, but the sweetness is shining a bit brighter now. The tobacco and artichoke flavors are little more than a light fragrance at this point.
8. feeling some slight perspiration on my face. Mild astringency is still present – sweetness is still subtle, no longer tart.
9. Steeps are getting annoyingly long… I market myself as a super patient person… and for the most part that’s accurate, but certain things, like having to wait almost a minute for tea, it drives me nuts. Lots of sweetness now, like elote candy, but with out the chili powder.
10. This tea could have been named “happy soup” – thick, rich, pleasing, feels good in the body. The sweetness has mysteriously vanished – totally savory now. If you can’t tell… Im totally tea-lit right now.
11. Sweet again! keeping me guessing… perhaps I should start keeping track of when I reboil…
12. (not a fresh boil) – Savory. I can sort of see where the sweetness is hiding… like getting a bit of carrot in a big meaty bite of stew.
13. This tea is running out of life… (more accurately, I’m running out of patience for steeps… Instagram can only keep me occupied for so long) still delicious though. I reboiled before this steep and it is sweet again… sticky and sweet
14. Yeah, I went one more. it tastes so nice I didn’t want to quit… and figuring out what to drink after this is tough. this has been a bit of an adventure!
15. so… after transfering all of these notes from paper to computer, I figured… what the heck, this tea is really nice – lets give her another run. I put a fresh kettle to boil, and, after a quick rinse to warm everything back up (even the rinse water had a pleasant sweetness to it) I let it sit for a while while I had a small snack. Not much left in terms of flavor, but it has a pleasant aroma, and great mouth-feel. quite nice.
All and all…. a great experience!
Starts out nice and light… maybe slightly floral, then out of nowhere… around the 3rd or 4th steep… bitter. good bitter though. nice, pleasant, with that light floral thing in the background. Nice tasting tea, but seriously… its the sensations that I feel in my body that make it amazing. Makes me feel like I’ve got a bullshit proof vest on. I have no words to describe how useful a bullshit proof vest can be. Highly recommend this tea. After one taste, I bought a cake. Now every time I drink it, I think to myself… I should probably buy a tong of this.
This is my first time sharing tasting notes… bear with me… or don’t.
Let me preface with – this was the first tea that spent time in my pumador before I drank it. I was having so much fun taking the cake apart (since it was not crumbly and flaky), that I put quite a bit more leaf in my gaiwan than I normally would have.
Early steeps, all 5 seconds or less: I taste paper matches, newsprint and tobacco. strong returning sweetness, like pure sugar. first time I have experienced it like this so sweet so quickly. pleasant mouth-drying astringency.
Start to feel the tea in my 5th steep. tingling on my scalp – warmth in my cheeks near my nose, heavy warmth in the center of my chest. dry/astringent/ paper like aspects of the taste are starting to fade, but the tobacco taste (along with a mild tongue numbing sensation) and the sweetness are in full force.
~Took a break after 5, chest feeling a bit tight, and I am at work! also, I like to walk around when my tea-high kicks in so I can better explore how it feels in my body.
Steeps 6,7&8 (10, 15, 20 seconds) Mild tobacco/tongue numbing, a slight back of throat tickle, nice viscosity. the aftertaste is sweet like honey, with just a touch of tartness, like fresh white nectarines. feels warm and comfortable in my shoulders.
Steeps 9, 10, … fucked up my steep counter. (first time counting steeps, dont yell at me!) 30 sec, 40 sec, 1 minute… or so… these longer steeps bring back some of the mouth-drying sensations. the sweetness reminds me a little of watermelon. I’m just now starting to sweat a little, definitely energized, and a bit hungry.
Whatever steep I’m on now… I let it steep while I walked around a bit. now I can feel it beneath my shoulder blades… perhaps I’m growing wings. Now it is pure sweetness like a watermelon jolly rancher.
The sweetness lingers in my mouth the entire time I wait for this next steep. this will likely be the last one – I get impatient when the steeps get a few minutes long.
Oooohhhhh! it’s so sweet! I’m going to do just one more.
Flavors: Honey, Paper, Stonefruits, Sugar, Tobacco
6g in 100mL, 90-100C.
Thanks to oolongowl :)
Starts off delightfully light, floral, and fruity as promised. As the leaves actually open up on the second steep, these flavors intensify, and by steep 3 or 4 I’m getting some head fuzziness and…I stopped taking notes. The bodyfeel from this was quite pleasant, not a “knock you out” tea, but still really a nice head-fuzz feeling. By mid to late steeps though, it was a crazy wall of astringency/dryness, like I had a sore throat and also hadn’t had water in like a day. Regardless, the tea had a great texture and body feel continuing, and once you push past the astringency this tea turns almost like sickly sweet tropical fruits with no astringency in sight. I’m considering beenging this once it sits in Paul’s storage longer…keeping a close eye on stock levels. Would be an instant-beeng and much higher rated for me personally if the astringency were toned down a hair without losing texture as I suspect bringing down to 90C would do…but I’ll give it a go anyways. FYI Paul’s description is right on point though, this astringency should hopefully calm down with age.
Update: astringency be damned, as much as I hate it and makes me miserable…I’m craving this even just a day later…
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Fruity, Pineapple
First ever chenpi shou, so I can’t evaluate relative to others, but this is good stuff. Leafing 1:15 was still a little light on the shou taste, I’d recommend slightly harder since the strength of the tea is cut by the chenpi. Not quite ready to beeng this yet, but when I have more storage space.
Flavors: Orange Blossom
Excellent tea. The depth is coming out on this one. I did my usual 10grams to 100ml of water just off boiling and one rinse. The florality aroma of this one comes early. Sweetness almsxt like a gum taste comes in early. The later steeps lose much of the florality and the tea gets heavier and almost a touch viscous. Later steeps had the bitter aspects coming in. I played around in the leaves and would guess a couple of years leaf in this one. Nice leaf, and mostly 2 leaves and a bud. Found a couple that were almost able to stretch across my palm. Good tea to celebrate a bit with.
Happy Fourth of July to all. Let us remember the ones who gave us our freedom and still are on point to protect it.
Flavors: Floral, Heavy, Sweet, Thick
I seriously love this stuff. And not just because it’s got an extraordinary amount of caffeine (which I find valuable in a tea, dangit – just not the make or break element of it). Open the wrapper and smell hay in the sun. I loooooooove the smell of hay. The liquor is thick and sweet, though not in a sugar sweet way, but that same hay sweetness… and maybe some date. I can drink this hot, or (gasp!) iced. It’s fabulous, either way, and everyone I’ve served it to has enjoyed the heck outta it.
The first time I tried this tea was at a local Taiwanese restaurant – the server is a terrific dude in the local tea community and he gave us a pot to try while we ate. Hooked me immediately, and hard – he kept adding boiling water and it kept tasting amazing. There’s no over steeping – it doesn’t get bitter, though maybe a touch astringent and strong like bull!
I don’t really measure when I make a lot of my tea, so the below is a guesstimate. I tend to use more leaf and less steeping time. Impatient, much?
I bought 3 cakes. Two are in storage right now, but they won’t be staying there for the super long term.
I might have to buy 3 more if I actually do want to see how they store long term.
7g coin from Liquid Proust, 100C, 100mL porcelain gaiwan, just 1 rinse but left to break up for a few minutes.
Once the coin opens up and gets going, this is so so bitter but little astringency for me which I didn’t mind. Two things to know for this tea:
1) It is so ridiculously floral fragrant like drinking incense which is the same sensation I get from drinking ALMOST overbrewed strong dancong. This is absolutely a sheng for dancong lovers. My cheeks were numb from the potency of this thing
2) This tea is so crazy heavy both in texture and it makes you feel heavy too. After just a couple of sips I just kind of…crumpled into myself. Really strong huigan too, but I couldn’t pin point it.
This tea didn’t just fade away into nothingness: even while it was dying, it didn’t lose body and instead transitioned to a heavy sweetness. Highly recommend both for the heavy qi and the dancong floral
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Heavy
Got this from the June 2018 W2T club box. This has some classic black tea flavor with a good bit of floral taste and aroma. It is there in a nice way, but punching you in the face, just there for your enjoyment. I like this tea, but I won’t be trying to get more.