Finally getting to the older White2Tea pu’erhs in my cupboard. I’m pretty sure I bought these at least a year ago, maybe longer. I gave the leaves a quick rinse, at least partly so one of the pieces would fit in my infuser basket! My first steep was around 1 minute in boiling water.
The flavour is a little lighter than I was expecting. The initial sip is a touch earthy, with notes of dry wood and a touch of camphor. It really comes alive in the mid-sip, though, with sweeter flavours of bourbon vanilla and molasses. The aftertaste is almost too sweet, in a way that reminds me a little of stevia or liquorice root; it lingers at the back of the throat in the same way those do. Hopefully the flavour will deepen a little with successive steeps!
Second steep has very slightly stronger flavours. There’s more woodiness to the start of the sip – it’s become more obviously a dry wood flavour (kind of like sawdust?), rather than the “wetter” flavours I’d usually associate with a ripe. The sweetness is there at about the same level, although there’s more sugar and less vanilla this time. The cloying sweetness in the aftertaste has dissipated a little.
Third steep is softer and more mellow, with a little more sweetness prevalent and less woody notes. The flavour of vanilla sugar flavour is foremost, with an underlying earthiness; the mouthfeel is smooth and silky.
Fourth steep is similar, although becoming less flavourful. The sweetness is starting to fade now, with just a light earthiness remaining. There’s a creaminess to the mid sip that I didn’t notice previously, but it looks to me like things are beginning to wind down. While this has been a pleasant shou, it’s not one I think I’ll find especially memorable.