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Recent Tasting Notes

I got this with the tea club, and have tried it 3 times so far, with 3 very different experiences.

1st session: Drank it with a friend who’s not really into pu, didn’t take great notes. Mostly I remember that I thought it was fairly bitter during the sip, with a fairly sweet aftertaste.

2nd session: This was after I broke it up and left the bag sitting open airing out in my super dry apartment for weeks, then sealed the bag up again and forgot about it for weeks more. It smelled wonderfully fruity, like roasted red grapes and peaches, but the taste was sour plum with emphasis on the sour, some surprisingly unpleasant bitterness (I usually like bitter!) and astringency, and a sort of gross vomitous note that made me stop after the 4th steep.

3rd session: This was after I let it sit in my new pumidor (a plastic tub with some 62% boveda packs) for a while. And oh, wow, it’s really lovely now. The flavor is all plums and resinous incense, in varying proportions. There’s some sweetness in the throat afterwards, some dryness/astringency in the mouth (but fairly mild, totally fine by me), and some lingering plum breath. There’s more roughness in the back of the throat in later steeps as the intense flavors start to wind down, but it remained solidly enjoyable overall. Which I would never have predicted! I’m honestly not sure why I even tried it again, but I’m so glad that I did.

I think the moral of this story for me is that storage matters even in the short term.

Flavors: Plums, Resin

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 1 OZ / 40 ML

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I bought a sample when it was released, embarrassingly because of the hyperbole with which it was described…something about punishing bitterness and body feels that continue to intensify with each steep. When I first sampled it I was like ok it’s bitter but that’s about it…not even as bitter as a purple tea…I let it sit a few months and drank the last 12g the other day before work. The tea was still bitter but had a nice herbal background and a bit of a mineral profile with perhaps a touch of aniseed. I’m reminded of an old school New England ipa minus the malt. The strong point of this tea however was the qi. I had what would have normally been an exasperating day at work and this tea gave me a calm energy that allowed me navigate the BS with a grin. I prefer a tea with more floral fruity tobacco notes but if if you are a fan of Lao Man E and the like, this is a solid tea at a reasonable price.

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Super sweet. I would say this is a very goods entry to shou and also a good daily drinker.

Flavors: Caramel, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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1st steep: Woodsy, earthy, comforting. Astringent in this steep only.

2nd: The astringency was gone, and it was smooth going forward. Tasted like umeboshi (sour plum) with smooth relaxing deep woodsiness holding it up. I feel dreamy.

3rd-4th: Smooth dirt. Barely tart mostly fruity sweet umeboshi aftertaste sinking down my throat, which turns into a sort of vanilla sweetness after a while.

5th-7th: Smooth sweet dirty cola. Well, maybe a cola / cream soda blend, there’s still a lot of creamy vanilla going on here too. Deep throat sweetness after. And now I feel the air clean and clear through my ears.

8th-10th: Smooth sweet dirt and a touch of vanilla. (It’s funny, I think this tea tastes to me sort of like how other people claim those nannuo mini shrooms taste to them.)

Then it was bedtime, though the tea felt like it still had more to give when I ran out of time. Love this sample, wish it wasn’t $250 for a cake.

Flavors: Earth, Plums, Vanilla

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

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drank 2017 Four AM by White2Tea
137 tasting notes

I had the opportunity to taste this in “pill” form (i.e. individually pressed 7g mini cake) from Liquid Proust. Overall, it is a soft, sweet, tasty little treat. Nice soft sweet mushroom broth body with sweet floral, stone fruit, and citrus notes. No bitterness or astringency. Easily a drink-now sort of sheng.

I would recommend this tea solely based on its flavor and quality. However, after looking at how much a cake is going for, I would say you can get similar experiences for much cheaper. Good tea, but overpriced – currently $110 for only 200g…
Dry leaf – dried apricot, light honey, sweet floral

Smell – honey, floral, sweet mushroom broth, orange blossom, hints of gummy peach candy and light pepperiness

Taste – mushroom broth, floral, honey, hints of apricot and sweet citrus – just a bit of Menghai fruitiness; very floral on the aftertaste.

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Overall, Year of the Rooster was a good send-off to White2Tea’s 2017 Fall production line, and left a good impression as far as energy goes. I would recommend this tea to those who love strong characteristics of being thick and savory.

You can read my full review here…


Flavors: Broth, Hay, Medicinal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank 2016 We Go High by White2Tea
9 tasting notes

Dry leaf in a warmed gaiwan has that signature w2t/good young raw puerh smell. i wish we could get a candle made with that scent.
good energy. The first cup is soft and inviting. a sweetness almost like baby powder.
The smell of the empty cup after drinking smells of lilac and orchid maybe? anyway….floral.
infusions move along to a nice tingly slightly bitter vegetal brew, then (around steep 10 or so) get back to the sweetness, a sweetwater light brew.

i do one gram per 12-15 mL usually.

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This is a tightly compressed brick! Not impossible to break up, but it’s a tough cookie. Since It’s tight It took some time to open up in the gaiwan. After a rinse and couple of dry storage infusions it’s Releasing some really nice flavors. I’m on my 3rd and 4th infusion and I’m getting some really fun notes. Like, wonton, cola, floral, Antique shop, dust, dirt and an old sailors uniform.

I like it.

Flavors: Dust, Floral

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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I did not like this.

First sip was very… uninteresting. I was expecting something with more funk considering this is such a new ripe.
The aftertaste reminds me of vitamins that I was forced to eat every morning as a child. Ugh

The vitamin taste didn’t go away in future steeps either… More bitterness came out and perhaps some hint of dark chocolate flavor? I’m not sure since I don’t like dark chocolate.

I noticed that the leaves was more stuck together in the gaiwan compared to other pu erh. Maybe it’s because it’s so freshly pressed? I’m not sure.

Overall, I think I just don’t like the shou profile from White2Tea… I really like their sheng but haven’t found a shou I enjoyed from them yet. (I don’t like 2015 & 2016 Brown Sugar either.)

I’ll probably put this away and see if it gets better… or give it away in a tea box…

Flavors: Bitter, Mineral

Boiling 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Part of the White2Tea Club.
Smells good, very flowery.
5 g/100ml 212F
10s – pretty orange color, flowery
10s – really good, smooth
I drank these really fast. 20s, 20s, 20s, ?, ?, am I on steep 8?
starting to get sweeter. it got astringent on the last steep that may have gone for a while as I forgot it was steeping.

I had this westren style on Thursday morning last week when I was off from work. I got three steeping out of it but probably could have gotten more if I didn’t have to go to work. I was sad I had to leave the leaves though.

Flavors: Floral, Smooth, Sweet


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drank 2009 Jingmai by White2Tea
1263 tasting notes

Nice clean dry storage on this middle aged Jingmai. It has notes of honey, herbs, and tobacco, all while smelling like an antique store. It does get bitter in the final infusions.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/march-2018-white2tea-club-feat-2009-jingmai/

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 0 OZ / 14 ML

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drank 2017 Turtle Dove by White2Tea
300 tasting notes

I received a sample of this with my Teaware.House order of an adorable 50ml gaiwan. Fun opportunity to try it out for the first time, as I’ve never had a gaiwan this small.

The scent of the dry leaves in a pre-warmed gaiwan is like leather, hay, and dried flowers

The aroma of the leaves after the first infusion is really rich like dried fruit, particularly apricots. Judging by the smell, the taste of the first infusion is not quite what I expected. It’s a bit rustic with hay and leather notes, more similar to the scent of the dry leaf. There’s also a bit of drying feeling in the mouth, the taste of sugarcane, and just subtle hints of dried fruit flavor. I guess I was expecting a lighter and brighter flavor since this is a white tea, and that’s what I’ve come to expect from the best white teas I’ve tried.

Further infusions followed along in this same flavor spectrum. This tea is easy drinking and enjoyable, calming, rustic. If you like those energies, go for it. I think for me, I prefer white teas to be lighter and sweeter than this, and if I want a tea of this flavor type I tend to go toward a sheng. If you blindfolded me and had me drink this without knowing what it was, I’d have guessed it was a sheng.

Flavors: Apricot, Hay, Leather, Straw, Sugarcane

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

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Wow, the aroma on this one is killer! So light, juicy, and some kind of red berrylicious, with just a touch of creaminess to it, I love the smell more than the actual flavor, would totally smoke up my house with an incense that smells like this. The taste is light, like a weaker version of the scent, the touch of cream flavor fortified with a stiffer hint of malt and some mild astringency. Not as sweet as it smells, but I bet this would make some bomb milk tea.

Flavors: Berries, Cream, Dry Grass, Malt, Red Fruits

Boiling 3 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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Nice enough sheng, but a bit boring. Bitterness is at a nice level, but the astringency is crazy! Mouth is dry for hours afterwards. The aroma displays hints of what could develop into a nice aged flavour, but I feel the storage might have been a little too dry here. Would not buy this myself, but it might be to other peoples taste.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank 2017 Natural Redhead by White2Tea
42 tasting notes

The dry leaves smell like fruit punch and the brew matches up. Heavy hints of strawberry and apple appear in the brew. Sweetness lingers in the mouth after. A bit of peach appears around steep 3. Lasted about 7 steeps before it bottomed out and heavy astringency set in.

Body is on the thin side as others have mentioned. I don’t personally think that’s a bad thing.

I do recommend this tea. Might get even better with age.

Flavors: Apple Candy, Fruity, Strawberry

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Finally getting around to trying this fan favourite; I’ve been sitting on a sample of it for what feels like ages now and as much as I’ve always felt really intrigued by it there always seems to be something just a little more interesting that catches my attention in the moment when I’m selecting a tea.

I’m going 7g/100ml – and will take jot notes with each infusion. I don’t think I’m going to time the infusions out though; I’m mostly just in the mood for something a little more casual and experience based. It’s been almost two weeks, I think, since my last Gong Fu session. The manager at the store I work at got fired a little while ago, and since it was so spontaneous we didn’t have a new manager found yet. So, I’ve been running our store in the interim until we find someone new – which means I’m working literally seven days a week. Literally 60-80 hour work weeks. This is the first afternoon I’ve had off in two weeks; and only because I finally just sort of buckled and said ‘nope; can’t do another nine hour day! I’ll open the store, take the afternoon off, and come back and close in the evening’. Fuck me, I’m tired.

Oh, also, gave this a rinse first! A pretty long one, because I’m spacey AF.

Steep One:
- Very strong camphor really right off the bat
- Intensely aromatic, with woody notes all throughout the sip
- A little bit bitter in the top of the sip, but sweet undertones

Steep Two:
- The aforementioned profile, but a little less bitter and a little raisin-y
- Astringent finish

Steep Three:
- Camphor, mineral, raisin, petrichor, wood, bittersweet chocolate, pine, leather
- Already feeling quite the buzz from this, and I’m only three steeps in!
- I actually think this is wicked smooth too; very pleasant overall!

Steep Four:
- About the same; perhaps more emphasis on the pine and leather?
- More sweetness creeping in, as well!

Steep Five/Six/Seven:
- I think this is the sweet spot for this tea; it’s got all the aforementioned tasting notes
- With absolutely no astringency, and a thick mouthfeel!
- Best part is the extra push of pine and petrichor, and the sweet finish

Steep Eight:
- This was the steep where I really started to notice the decline in flavour
- Mouthfeel also seemed thinner/more watery

Steep Nine:
- I definitely wouldn’t call this the point where the tea was ‘steeped out’
- However it was quite a bit weaker than I really wanted it to be
- And most of the wood notes had subsided
- It was also the last of the water in my kettle; so this just seemed like a natural end

Overall? I was a little intimidated by this tea both because of the reputation it’s gotten but also because the way it’s described on W2T’s site is a little scary. However, overall I GREATLY enjoyed this tea! It was a really good session that highlighted what are actually my favourite flavour notes in Shou overall (sweetness, petrichor, wood, etc.) just in general but especially within the last month or so. I don’t know if this is in stock at all still, but it’s something I’d actually probably cake.



Album Pairing:


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Still extremely bitter in the early steeps (have to throw the first few as they are just way too much). Develops a very nice sweetness and hints of bamboo in the later steeps, as well as when grandpa’d. Too strong to drink now but hopefully will calm down with time and turn into something very nice.

Flavors: Bamboo, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Interesting aroma reminds me of something I can’t place, similar flavour as well. Somewhat bakery like, fresh poppy seed rolls? Nice low level of bitterness. Strong caffeine buzz.

Flavors: Baked Bread

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is a unique and very tasty Fujian black! Fruity and malty with a floral aroma similar to a jade TGY or Taiwan high mountain oolong. With the silky mouthfeel plus tastes of mango and peach it reminds me of a juice nectar.

More on the blog: https://themellifiedcup.wordpress.com/2018/03/23/first-white2tea-club-2009-jingmai-sheng-and-2nd-flush-auburn-black/

Flavors: Carrot, Flowers, Malt, Mango, Peach

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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drank 2009 Jingmai by White2Tea
313 tasting notes

Very nice storage on this brick; well matured for it’s aged without being dank or earthy. Tastes of dry herbs and honey with some tobacco, mineral, and citrus in the background. It’s unobjectionable, but not super “great.”

Flavors: Citrus, Herbs, Honey, Mineral, Tobacco

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

Nice note. I have mine stored away. I’m going to give it a few week before I crack into it.


Thanks, I’m going to give it another shot in a few weeks as well

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Picked up some of this one in a recent smaller W2T order. Compression is pretty tight, but comes apart without much of any fussing – so definitely not on the scale of an iron cake or some of the peskier tuocha/fangcha that are out there.

This one had a bit of a dry woodiness to the aroma that may be imparted by the bamboo, or may just be part of the flavor profile. It is definitely young sheng, and being slightly smaller material, it can definitely go astringent if you don’t brew it with a proper touch. Definitely some sweetness and thickness, to the tea. To me, this one is drinkable now, but would certainly benefit from some age. Wasn’t smoky or funky at all – pretty clean taste.

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drank 2017 Snoozefest by White2Tea
106 tasting notes

Pulled this out for another tasting today. Smells much less sharp fruit and floral and wet than last try, tastes up front kind of like a savory, chestnutty mao feng to start, but with more bitterness that turns into a very nice (vaguely sweet) and lingering floral fruit aftertaste.

Flavors: Bitter, Chestnut, Floral, Green, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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drank 2016 Last Thoughts by White2Tea
106 tasting notes

Crazy fizzy, tingling mouthfeel where the tongue meets the roof of the mouth, feels like my back bottom jaw is humming. Strong mouth and throat coating, like having rice paper thin gauze coating my mouth. Can feel the tea all the way down my throat into my chest and further into my stomach as it penetrates further throughout the session and kind of undulates up and down in an odd sensation. Kind of reminds me of those audio sound jiggly lines as a water droplet slowly stretching and separating from the body of water right before completely splitting from it. Man, did I get tea drunk.

6.66g/100ml ruyao gaiwan @ 207F

Flavors: Camphor, Cotton Candy, Dried Fruit, Herbaceous, Plums, Spices

6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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My first aged white and surely not my last. I now see why the Chinese shudder when they hear of westerners tossing white tea after a year and why they say 1 year tea, 3 years medicine and 7 years treasure. 8g gong fu starting 85 then ramping to 95. The flavor of this stuff reminds me of a combination of Red Man chewing tobacco and the date and nut cake my great aunt used to make at holidays. This is actually a good thing. This stuff refuses to stop steeping and keeps giving. The qi is unique. It’s not relaxing like an aged sheng but both speedy and spacy. Perhaps this should be reserved for a weekend party tea…

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