2015 Brown Sugar Ripe Puerh

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Camphor, Decayed wood, Dirt, Molasses, Moss, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Wood, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Mineral, Mushrooms, Thick, Honey, Wood, Tobacco, Bitter, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit, Chocolate
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Edit tea info Last updated by AJ
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 17 oz / 489 ml

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19 Tasting Notes View all

From White 2 Tea

Ripe Puer Tea from White2tea, made using 2012 material, pressed in 2015.

This tea is made from a pile fermented exclusively with top tier huangpian [the largest leaf used in Puer production]. The Brown Sugar brick has Menghai character. The soup is sweet and smooth. It was rested for over two years prior to pressing and is ready to drink now or store for the long term. The material used is of uncommonly high quality. Later steeps are light in color, with a sweet and soft profile.

The fermentation level of this tea was around 65%, which is considered light. Some leaves may even be slightly greenish, and will continue to become darker with further aging.

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19 Tasting Notes

4900 tasting notes

So, this afternoon I’m doing a side by side competition style tasting of White2Tea’s 2015 and 2016 Brown Sugar pu’erhs because I recently purchased samples of both. I’ve tried different years harvests of the same tea, but I’ve never really done a side by side compare before and I thought that would be interesting – especially in the case of Pu’erh.

For both tastings, I’m using 2.2g (because that’s what I broke off from the first cake, so I kept it the same with the second) of Pu in 6 oz. of water – both steeped for three minutes using 95 degree Celcius water. Consistency, bitch.

So without further ado…

Dry Leaf: Very dense/tightly compressed with a very dark overall colour; black and near blacks with some umber. A few flat, more tan looking leaf fragments visible too.

Liquor Colour: A darker red/brown with good clarity. Has the same amber-like colour I’d expect to see from a Chinese black tea, such as a Keemun. Noticeably lighter and brighter in colour than the 2016 Brown Sugar.

Aroma: Quite earthy and dank but supported by a brightness/sweetness: reminds me a little of dates. Perhaps also a little nutty.

Taste: Top notes are earthy with mineral qualities; very structured but not persistent. Overall, the body is pleasant but a little bit flat: none of the notes have robustness or body. It reminds me a little of dry wood, as opposed to the wet/damp wood and forest notes often gotten from shou. Maybe a little nutty, but not in any distinct sort of way. Some sweetness, overall. Finish is very clean, and short lived. No lingering tastes; no real presence. It’s not an unpleasant cup but nothing about it stands out or really has any depth.

Having tasted the 2016, I can definitely say that of the two this is the one I prefer less. I think many people would appreciate the overall clean profile of this tea and how smooth it is in general, but I really like the long lingering earthy notes at the start of the 2016 and how it’s woody but in more of a wet/forest-y way. Nothing about this one was unpleasant, I just think it’s going to be a touch forgettable too.

Link To 2016 Brown Sugar from this tasting:


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37 tasting notes

I had a sample of this tea when I became interested in Shue but didn’t care for it at the time, I forget why.

Since then my tastes have changed so I thought I’d give it another go.

When W2T had a free shipping sale I put a brick of Brown Sugar into the cart. Sure enough this time around I have a different take on this tea. I find it creamy and smooth leaving a sweet mouth feel.

Each day I have filled a houhin teapot and added water off the boil until all flavor is gone. I don’t think about it very much, for me it isn’t that type of tea but it’s very easy to brew and enjoy.

When this brick is gone I have the 2016 to try.

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4 tasting notes

This is my first time drinking puerh! Please be gentle.

I got this tea in the mail today, and while my brain was telling me to air it out for at least a week, I had strong tea craving pangs. I immediately dissected the wrapper and chipped off 6g of the brick. It’s not like drinking an unaired shou would hurt, right? I was able to distinguish the woody scent of the pu even before I opened the paper bag.

My bullheaded decision gave me an otherwise pleasant drinking experience. 6g in a 100ml gaiwan, boiling water, flash steeps. Steeps 1-3 really packed a punch. I got a very strong, sweet, woody flavor. Each sip ended on a slightly bitter note. As a new pu drinker, I wasn’t sure what I expected. It tasted exactly what it smelled like; wet wood, moss, and a hint of dirt. This was when I started thinking, this might be a bit too strong for me, I really should have aired this out for a bit. Despite this, Brown Sugar is still very drinkable. In general, the mouthfeel of the tea was particularly pleasant. It certainly is as smooth as the wrapper claims to be, which is what made me determined to press on. Steeps 4-6 brought out the sweeter side of the wood taste. The liquor also got noticeably darker, and I sort of noticed a slightly redder hue I didn’t see in the earlier steeps? Though I’m definitely not an expert when it comes to tea, I just really wanted to record this experience. While this tea is still sitting in my gaiwan, I’m definitely infusing it more to see how it transforms.

Flavors: Camphor, Decayed wood, Dirt, Molasses, Moss, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Wood

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

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10 tasting notes

Smooth, rich, and earthy, truly a wonderful tea. I would certainly recommend Brown Sugar.

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337 tasting notes

Crap…I forgot to save my note yesterday. Been wanting to attempt to drink more shou lately, so I brought a couple to work for the week. This was today’s pick, and I threw a rather huge chunk into a pretty small gaiwan, gave it a couple of rinses to help it start to open up and then proceeded with flash steeps.

Liquor was a transparent brown to start with a light flavor hinting at the deeper mushroom and earthy notes that were soon to come. Quickly darkened to an opaque, deep brown with a mushroomy earth flavor. The texture is indeed thick and smooth with a nice creaminess. Eventually the earthiness evolves into a more pronounced soil-like flavor with a hint of bitterness and a kind of mineral finish.

I am among those that feel there’s not really that much sweetness to this one (yet), but it still has a nice, appreciable flavor profile and an excellent mouthfeel. Good, easy drinking experience!

Flavors: Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Mineral, Mushrooms, Smooth, Thick

Boiling 11 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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258 tasting notes

Thick, smooth, semi-earthy, & creamy. The liquor is dark. I can drink this for a long while. Currently working through my 15th infusion, with longer steeping times (90-120s for the meantime). This tea can go on, & on, & on, & on….

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92 tasting notes

Opens up a bit thin, a light neon pink-ish orange. I didn’t bother breaking up the compressed chunk I got as a sample from my teafriend, though, so it did take a while to loosen up.

Once it’s gotten underway, however, Brown Sugar brews up dark, thick, and oily, with a slick balm feeling. It’s got a bit of sweet upfront flavor and has an interesting hint of molasses aftertaste that is what it’s named for, I’m guessing, but (un)surprisingly, the shou earthiness is the dominant flavor. It very lightly coats the throat over time and leaves a refreshing, cooling sensation by the middle steeps that I can feel in my ears.

My sample seems to have cleared overall, no real funk after the first steep and the long rinse. It does seem to lack depth despite the heavy taste profile, but it’s not unpleasant for it. A good mindless tea as it’s not very bitter and won’t amplify terribly much if you forget about it for a while while brewing. The flavor profile is also pretty upfront and hard to miss, so you can sip or chug without much thought and not miss much.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Molasses

Boiling 9 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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386 tasting notes

My first shou in a while – I think I picked a good one! Good shou is good – I’ve had enough bad shou for a lifetime I believe. This one had almost no dampness in the aroma or flavor. It was sweet, smooth, and thick, with woody and honey notes. Lasted a good 8 or 9 steeps producing near black liquor before starting to lighten up.

Flavors: Honey, Sweet, Thick, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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266 tasting notes

Shiboridashi brewed gongfu style. The main things that stand out is that it is smooth enough to have a thicker feel in your mouth. The tea is also on the sweet side (for a shou) that goes along nicely with the texture. This is not a casual brewing tea. If you use more casual style brewing it does not come off as that impressive. So your care in brewing is literally the make or break factor for this tea.


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26 tasting notes

From a 25g sample. I found this very smooth and a bit sweet. Lots of woody/earthy notes but they blended in and formed more of a background rather than being assertive and upfront. The taste did not change much steeping to steeping but just slowly faded.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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