This arrived today, a whole 200g cake of W2T’s ‘House Blend’, as part of the W2T tea club package for January.

The cake is dark and inviting; it’s tightly compressed, and the scent is mild and pleasant aged-leather, forest, and wood.

I used about 10g in a 140ml Yixing teapot, boiling water – rinse 10s, then steep for 10s, increasing for each steep by a few seconds.

The wet leaves smell very clean and deep, like a forest in the rain, with an undertone of just-cut wood logs, and the scent left behind in a house with a wood fire. It’s smooth, with a sweetness balanced by a small hint of pleasant sourness. The sweetness gets a little sweeter with each steep, and the sourness fades, but the other scents and tastes were pretty consistent.

I didn’t find anything overpowering or really stand-out remarkable about this tea, but with a name like ‘Old Reliable’ I wouldn’t expect to – it’s a lovely ripe puerh, and (as promised by W2T on the cake wrapper) there are no funky or fishy smells, and nothing weird inside the cake* – it makes a lovely strong cup of ‘just right’ ripe puerh, with no big or strange surprises, and it’s very durable and reliable(!), with the same taste and scent profile through the (about) 12 steeps I had.

*which is remarkable and overpowering just by itself, considering the odd little ‘surprises’ I’ve found in some puerh cakes in the past.

Flavors: Sweet, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

awesome! ~ definitely adding to my wishlist

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awesome! ~ definitely adding to my wishlist

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The argument had raged for months and years; he would say something hurtful and cruel, and then I would shoot back a likewise response. The good cups and a beautiful clay teapot were in shards all over the kitchen floor; tomato ketchup dripped from the balustrades, and the cat, named in honour of the great Richard ‘Kinky’ Friedman, was making a mew of distaste. And so, after wrestling with the mathematics of it for many, many sleepless nights, I realised that no-one would, in fact, be able to qualify or quantify the difference between an 87-rated tea and an 86, so I stopped rating tea.



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