61 Tasting Notes

drank 2017 Four AM by white2tea
61 tasting notes

7g coin from Liquid Proust, 100C, 100mL porcelain gaiwan, just 1 rinse but left to break up for a few minutes.

Once the coin opens up and gets going, this is so so bitter but little astringency for me which I didn’t mind. Two things to know for this tea:
1) It is so ridiculously floral fragrant like drinking incense which is the same sensation I get from drinking ALMOST overbrewed strong dancong. This is absolutely a sheng for dancong lovers. My cheeks were numb from the potency of this thing
2) This tea is so crazy heavy both in texture and it makes you feel heavy too. After just a couple of sips I just kind of…crumpled into myself. Really strong huigan too, but I couldn’t pin point it.

This tea didn’t just fade away into nothingness: even while it was dying, it didn’t lose body and instead transitioned to a heavy sweetness. Highly recommend both for the heavy qi and the dancong floral

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Heavy

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5.4g, 100C, porcelain gaiwan 100mL. The last reviews on this were about 3 years ago so lets see what I think now that its had 8 years.

Dry leaf smells really good and complex already but I can’t put my finger on it…Once I rinse then it becomes apparent that this tea is going to start smoky….which I thought I didn’t like because it can be too harsh
In the early steeps I rapidly realize that this is a treat. The wet leaf smells like smoked sweet sausage. Just from two sips I’m already getting a lasting gan, this tea is so strong. But it isn’t heavy. Instead I’d describe it as uplifting. The taste is savory, strong, bitter and making me feel lightheaded. The cup is sweet but with that savory smoke going down without bitterness or astringency. Time has done this well.
Already its getting heavy and fills the mouth by middle steeps. It is neither drying nor sweet though, instead just heavy and savory.
By the end of this my burps were as if I had eaten a lot of bacon—yummy :). I highly recommend, even for people like myself who thought they didn’t like smoke-leaning sheng.

Flavors: Heavy, Meat, Musty, Smoked, Sweet

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5g, 100C, 100ml.
1 rinse, and the wet rinsed leaf already smells potent like applewood smoke, ever so slightly sweet.
Steep 1: bitterness up front, but no astringency. Not quite full in the mouth but not thin either, this is on its way to developing a great texture. Already some huigan just after the first 100mL of liquid…well that was fast >_>
Steep 2: sent chills down my spine upon sipping , this has some crazy energetic qi. Still bitter but you can tell it has calmed down from when it was first pressed in 2014. There’s a little bit of umami here…
Steep 4: Sour but smooth. Super high energy, I feel like I’m vibrating. Loads of huigan, but unfortunately the taste of the tea liquor itself is not good to me at this steep.
By Steep 7, became very hoppy. Like…VERY hoppy and bitter. Great huigan but not worth the bitter hoppiness to me.
Steep 12+: died out tooth achingly sweet for a few steeps before being done.
Overall not something I would have been interested in getting even if it was still in stock, but I can see how some of y’all that like hoppy beers would like this. The shining things for me were the 1) qi and 2) huigan

Flavors: Bitter, Hops, Smoke, Sweet

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A part of a tasting set put together by LiquidProust. My notes I took while I was drinking this:
6/15/18: Jingmai LOVE, 5.2g/100mL. Dry leaf looks incredible—whole leaves and maocha stemmy. The dry leaf smells like cream and sheng. The rinse was totally drinkable: light, refreshing, sweet, aromatic like cucumber skin and lightly floral.
Steep 1 was slightly bitter but goes away IMMEDIATELY, leaving me with the THOUGHT of sweetness and grass. Its like a sencha minus as much umami, making it a more common drinker for me. I think I want a beeng of this already >_>. There is some cream and herbs in step two, with a bitter start.
Steep 3 reveals some bitterness that wanes quickly. There is ALMOST a huigan to this tea but not quite, might need more time to develop one? I demand huigan though :(.
Steep 4, the lid is straight up honey and cream, but the taste is bitter and clears quick thankfully. The aftertaste was like swallowing vodka to me, cleared my sinuses like liquor.
Steep 5 was better at a faster brew, still like sencha minus the umami but floral, like the Yunomi orchid dragon.
Steep 6 is nose cleaning alcohol still, but not as bad as I’m making it sound.
Steep 7 is trending sweet, drying my mouth a little it but not too bad so I can tolerate it.
8 was vegetal but not like gross stewed leaves. There’s a sour note that I can’t identify like it wants to taste like a sour fruit but isn’t quite there. NOW I’m getting a long lasting aftertaste of…an anxi oolong, which combined with the sourness reminds me of tieguanyin? Which is awesome to get out of a sheng! Eventually this tea dies around steep 13-14, but with a taste of sweet cream, not like watery honey like other youngsheng when it dies. I’m going to pick up a beeng of this once I can. Favorite thus far!
Update: I did actually pick up a beeng the following day…

Flavors: Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Herbs, Honey, Pleasantly Sour

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If you are looking at this based on the name looking for a sweet sheng, look elsewhere (maybe a gongting grade? huangpian tastes more savory to me).
Setting that aside, this shou is not something I’d be interested in again—I leafed hard (1:10), light (1:30), and in between and I couldn’t find a spot where this was a shou I’d like to drink again without feeling like I didn’t want to waste the sample. Maybe really hard you get some thick almost molasses-y texture but this needs some more time to air out if you’re at all sensitive to wo dui and this shou didn’t particularly have a qi or something to make up for it. It wasn’t an intense wo dui, but enough that it wasn’t the greatest without a pro to balance that con out . Maybe with lots more time there’ll be something interesting to it but I wouldn’t bank on it personally. Leans more savory to me but not anything interesting. I’m sure it’d be fine if you’re the type that likes shou with food but definitely not something I’d pick up personally.

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drank Bamboo Dove by white2tea
61 tasting notes

7g 100ml at 100C.
I was feeling a bamboo day, trying this and another white2tea sample that were stored and/or roasted in bamboo. Anyways, first off I have to say that the aroma of the dry leaf (chunk?) on this is absolutely bonkers. Smells like a nicely aged white already even though this is 2017 material. I went with a 30s rinse to try (in vain) to loosen the chunk. The wet leaf smells strongly of glazed donuts, its so sweet it almost stings the nose!
No rinse
Steep 1: light, sweet, airy, smooth. Totally wowed me, hadn’t had something like that before. Still had that sort of doughnut smell too.
Steep 2: at 25s, I was at the border of astringency though its starting to open up. MAYBE slightly mineral but this serves to only add more complexity.
Steep 3: medicinal, umami, some slight saltiness, sweetness, smooth: overall very nicely balanced. The rest of the session continued from here but… I was enjoying this too much to save my notes. I will say I had to take the chunk out to break it up more because it was just not breaking apart…and then once apart the material was lawnmowered to hell which is clearly a bummer and started extracting more astringency than I wanted though I’m a baby about it. I value smoothness without astringency a lot. Regardless, extremely enjoyable stuff.

Flavors: Bamboo, Medicinal, Mineral, Pastries, Salt, Smooth, Sweet, Umami

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Didn’t save super thorough tasting notes, but I know I did 5g, 100C, 100ml.
Super pleasant shou, a great place to start because this lacks just about anything someone could find offensive in shou. The bamboo has contributed some aromatics almost like white rice, with some subtle wood but not wet wood like other ripe puer. Not heavy on soil tastes either, a really easy drinker. I’m considering picking up some of this!

Flavors: Bamboo, Oak, Rice

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I cannot believe I didn’t write my tasting notes down for this, but the short of it is that I loved it. Most shou that I’ve had so far has been “high” leaf gradelike gongting, gnwl. This is expressly not that, and felt very different. I see that someone else referred to this as “barbecue chip” scent which isn’t….wrong I suppose but I thought it was interesting. Overall this tasted very savory, rich, umami, almost like tomato paste and almost salty? Good stuff, try some if you ever get the chance. Very clean, not fishy at all, and not sickly sweet like some shou. This is definitely on the savory spectrum.

Flavors: Umami


I need to actually remember to upload my tasting notes…

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Been looking forward to this for quite a while, thanks fidgetiest!
Steeped 7g/100mL, 100C
I ended up drinking the rinse because I didn’t want to waste a drop of this black gold—as expected there’s wo dui funk up front, but gives away to incredible sweetness later but I was only able to drink a few sips of this. I was curious!
I only wrote minimal notes on this tea but what I did write down was that this is thick, and dark like coffee and burnt sugar in the back of my throat. Whenever I took a break in the early steeps (1-3), there were some distant plum aromas in my nose which gave this a tiny bit more depth. Also in steeps 2-5 there were some really intense camphor notes, and I felt super relaxed but hyped at the same time. This tea reminds me of a mocha latte now: thick, creamy, dark chocolate going down with only very slight sweetness. As the tea faded into the very late steeps, there were some sweet cocoa notes too! To note, this tea lasts forever unlike some of my other shou puerhs, giving me about 1.5L off of the 7grams. Super impressive!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Camphor, Cocoa, Coffee, Cream, Plum, Thick, Wet Wood

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Gongfu, 100C, one planet (>8g)/110mL.
I was intimidated to try this because I’ve heard that puerh from the Lincang region is really punchy when young but a great candidate for aging….and this is a 2017 and I don’t like astringency but I decided to go with my small gaiwan rather than lowering the leaf:water ratio in my bigger gaiwan.
I liked this a lot :).
After loosening the planet up, I noticed that most of the material is really tippy
Steep 1 after loosening up the leaves with a rinse, I sniff the lid and think I’m stuffing my face into some cotton candy! The sip isn’t super flavorful, but after swallowing leaves a clean, crisp, sweet sensation like sugar snap peas which I love
Steep 2: still clean but more herbaceous, not astringent at all yet which I had been bracing myself for so…shrug. I like this a lot so far.
When I take a sip of Steep 4,…whoa. I immediately think of Italian Wedding Soup as weird as it sounds, this reminds me of basil, maybe a hint of thyme too. This also has me feeling like whoaaa! loads of energy. Also the cup smells like cotton candy when sipping down. I will note definitely don’t steep this too long, steep 5 was definitely too long, and the liquor came out cloudy and bitter.
By steep 7, the herbaceous bite left. I think I’m used to having bitterness up front from young sheng followed by a late sweetness. This is reversed here—intense sweetness up front that gives way to some crisp bitterness but not totally unpleasant.
All in all this was pretty damn good, and I definitely learned something about my tastes in puerh. Maybe I’ll start exploring the Lincang region more…

Flavors: Bitter, Cotton Candy, Herbaceous, Peas, Powdered Sugar, Sugar, Thyme


You taste so many notes! I wish I had your palate. Awesome!


Just had a YS 2017 Lincang myself and wasn’t overpowering either. Definitely hear about the killer young Lincang or Mengku but I didn’t have a problem with yesterday’s. Then again, it may have been an Autumn tea.


Oh gosh, I’m so new and still learning, I don’t think I have a particularly great palate, fidgetiest!
Kev, I hadn’t considered the time of harvest, that’s a great point and maybe what was different. I had avoided Lincang because I’m so sensitive to astringency/bitterness but its definitely something I’m willing to dipping my toes into now, figuratively speaking.


Definitely a stronger region for those flavors… I enjoy them very much but I only hit them every once in a while when I need it. Try literally, no more athletes foot. Haha ;) enjoy it.

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MD-PhD Student, new to gongfu brewing and serious tea tasting but excited to learn. My favorite kinds of tea are oolongs and both Chinese & Japanese greens.
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