drank 2015 Smooch by white2tea
56 tasting notes

This tea came unlabeled in my order, making for an interesting adventure and practice in identifying an unknown.

Compressed into a nearly perfect sphere I was almost certain it was a blooming tea at first. Can you make a blooming pu’erh? Doesn’t smell green, not very dark and doesn’t smell much like a black either, is it a flowering oolong? A search for “bloom” and “flower” on the white2tea site reveals no results. Upon closer inspection I decide it’s not a blooming tea at all but rather a tightly and neatly compressed cake, almost definitely a pu’erh then. I’m not very pu’erh experienced… is this a raw sample? Or just young? I guess I don’t actually know the difference but I’m pretty certain it’s not very aged in any case. I decide it’s probably a raw.

Breaking it up confirms that it’s a compressed tea rather than a flowering ball. It has a very light scent, maybe a little bit bready, a little vegetal. Brewed in a gaiwan at 200F for 10 seconds reveals a much lighter liqueur than anticipated! Definitely not an aged tea! Brews up gently floral and sweet with an underlying vegetal flavor that quickly strengthens with more steepings. By the third steep it’s already too bitter for me.

Sorting through the raw pu’erh section on the white2tea site I finally find my tea! Turns out it’s not necessary to break it up, I’m sure that contributed to the bitterness. It is certainly not to my taste, being fairly bitter, but I had a surprisingly fun time unraveling the mystery as well as trying out a new kind of tea.

Flavors: Biting, Floral, Vegetal

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