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74
drank 2021 Lumber Slut by white2tea
28 tasting notes

A clean shou! I got this sample from my recent w2t order, and this tea really is an easy drinker. Beautiful leaves and liquor with a nice, complex aroma. Smooth and clean texture with a longevity that makes this tea last 15-20+ steeps. The flavour is clean and decent, but lacks complexity and nuance. This tea needs some work in the finish & aftertaste department, as well as the cha-qi department too. Overall, a really solid daily drinker especially at that price. A worth it tea.

Flavors: Cardboard, Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Forest Floor, Musty, Plum, Smoked, Smooth, Wet Wood

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

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76
drank 2018 Hot Brandy by white2tea
28 tasting notes

An interesting tea with a unique character! I got this sample from my recent w2t order, and it is definitely the first time drinking a black and white tea blend, let alone pressed into a cake. Incredibly unique and complex aroma with a beautiful liquor, potent flavour and a decent aftertaste to boot. This tea lacks in a bit of nuance and complexity when it comes to flavour, any real form of cha-qi, and the texture could’ve been better. While it is an interesting tea, I wouldn’t say that this tea is something I’d buy again, or something I’d stock up if I had a tea shop. Really decent and unique, but it falls short just by a bit. Still, it’s definitely something I can recommend for people to try.

Flavors: Acidic, Brandy, Citrus Zest, Floral, Hay, Malt, Plum, Spices, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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73
drank 2018 Censers by white2tea
28 tasting notes

A nice white tea! I got this sample from my recent w2t order, and its delicateness and smoothness really stands out. Moderately rich aroma, smooth texture, and a buzzy cha-qi to boot. I wish that this tea had a stronger flavour with more nuance, and that it should have a longer lasting finish and aftertaste for this tea to really be a contender for a really good tea. I just felt that it wasn’t unique and complex enough. All in all though, a decent white!

Flavors: Alcohol, Creamy, Floral, Hay, Marshmallow, Smooth, Whipped Cream, White Wine

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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36
drank 2021 Philtre by white2tea
28 tasting notes

I’m not sure what to make of this tea. I got this sample from my recent w2t order, and so many things were wrong with this tea. First of all, the sample came in a damaged and torn mylar package, and secondly, the tea was quite stale and flavourless. Maybe it could be due to the tear in the packet, but I’m not sure. Little flavour with a slight floral and herbaceous note, thin texture and mouthfeel, and only a little chaqi. The aroma honestly smelled like fresh vomit, which was quite off putting. The only thing going for this tea is the nice astringent finish that coats the mouth at the end, and a decent cake that was easy to break up. Would not recommend, and I’m frankly skeptical about the whole mylar packaging situation as well, but I’ll let it slide with -10 points.

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Herbaceous

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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50

I don’t really understand the high score for this tea. I bought a sample from my recent w2t order, and I was simply not impressed. Weak flavour and thin complexity, with weak texture and chaqi. There really isn’t anything to shout for this tea, maybe other than a decent aroma. It’s treading the border between plain mediocre and not so good tea. Not recommended.

Flavors: Cherry, Herbaceous, Honey, Leather, Sandalwood, Smoke, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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73

A unique Dancong! I got this tea from my recent w2t order, and I have to say that the aftertaste, huigan, the finish, is super strong! This tea brings a potent chaqi to it and it also just brings a whole other dimension to the world of dancongs. This tea however lacks in strength of flavour, complexity, and aroma. If the taste and aroma was stronger and more complex, instead of being practically one-dimensional, this tea could very well be highly recommended. Yes, it is a good tea, but I’m not sure if it is worth the price. Still recommended, though.

Flavors: Alcohol, Cherry, Leather, Mineral, Salty, Soap

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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drank Red Milan by white2tea
13289 tasting notes

Gongfu!

Early morning tea session with some Red Milan and two perfectly ripe red plums! This is already an incredibly sweet and aromatic black tea with a lot of very syrupy notes of waxy red fruits, pomegranate molasses, dark honeys, and leather w/ undertones of exotic woods, malt, and bitter chocolate. However, the extra sweetness from these juicy melt in your mouth plums is really pushing the session over the edge and making the mouth watering sweetness of all the different fruit flavours such a commanding flavour! It almost feels too decadent for a breakfast tea session. Almost.

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg9fwLcOffr/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMaVeA7Tpww

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72

Very unique shou! I got this mini cake from my w2t order, and it was quite an interesting experience. Strong citrus rind taste and finish at the start that moves on to a very very clean shou taste. Texture and chaqi is quite nice as well. If the tea had a stronger aroma and a more complex taste, it would be a tea that I would highly recommend. However, this tea just falls short.

Flavors: Bitter, Citrus Zest, Dark Wood, Forest Floor, Medicinal, Orange Zest, Raisins, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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74

A pleasant mini pu-erh experience! I got this tea from my w2t order and I got to say it is pretty decent! Strong taste and huigan, very long and nice finish and aftertaste. The tea is on the bitter side but that is what I like. The chaqi was semi-potent on this one, but the aroma, character, and longevity of this tea was lacking. It could make a great tea with some age.

Flavors: Bitter, Black Currant, Brown Sugar, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Mint, Passion Fruit, Raisins, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank 2021 Bringer by white2tea
13289 tasting notes

Gongfu!

Dipped into my sample for a nice outdoor session! Once the leaves opened up after the first steep or two, this pu’erh was so incredibly thick with such an oily, coating mouthfeel. It was quite earthy with notes of petrichor and forest undergrowth that reminded me of walking through the woods after a heavy Summer rainfall. However, mostly it was very bitter with notes of super dark cacao and baker’s chocolate. Those who know me well known that I’m not actually a super big fan of chocolate (blasphemy, I know), but I’ve always appreciated the way an unsweet chocolate note like this one can bring an incredibly nuanced and elevated impression of “indulgence” to a tea, and I found myself fixated on this flavour note as I finished the session!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CgwpJMrOZZx/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf8ufb9yed8

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84
drank 2013 Shoumei by white2tea
3746 tasting notes

Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – August Tea #1 -A tea you’ve never tried before

Looking at the fresh challenge list, this tea that I have been drinking for days just happens to fit for this prompt. From derk a LOOONNGG time ago, thank you derk!  I debated about putting the entire BIG piece of this in the infuser, figured this poor tea has waited long enough, and I’m glad I used the entire piece.  It was a slow unraveler.  I may have steeped this the most of any tea, over three days, six big mugs making sure to put the steeped leaves into the fridge for that third day, as I don’t usually steep the same leaves for THREE days. I think it could have kept giving. The flavor was definitely shifting and changing, but it was also difficult for me to tell what those flavors were.  It was also never too strong in flavor.  I steeped delicately at first, then really going for boiling water and long steeps towards the end. The last steep brewed for ten minutes. At first tasting like minerals. Towards the end, the color and flavor of autumn leaves.  I’m not doing this fantastic white tea justice.  But I sure enjoyed it!
After I wrote the above, I read derk’s note on this tea and was pleased to see derk also mentioned it tasted like “minerals” and “autumn leaf”. I feel like derk has the superior tasting ability, so there you go. :D
2022 sipdowns: 91

Cameron B.

I love steeping this kind of tea grandpa style, and I actually have a couple of shou mei coins that I need to sipdown…

Leafhopper

Derk is a super taster! :P I need to find my sample of this tea.

Mastress Alita

I drank this one last month for “a tea you’ve forgotten about.” I never did get the leaves to fully unravel, either.

tea-sipper

NEVER unraveled? Yeah, it was MANY minutes of steeping.

Mastress Alita

I left mine in the fridge cold steeping over night after I had done a gongfu session, and still had bits the next morning that hadn’t come apart.

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drank 2022 Dance by white2tea
13289 tasting notes

Gongfu!

I almost didn’t grab a sample of this sheng puerh because the site description didn’t resonate with me, but I’m happy I did because this tea session has not been at all what I’d expected! Though the brothy savory notes I expected are still present, what I’m finding is that they’re pretty isolated to the finish of the sip and the rest of the session has been shockingly sweet and fruity! Consistently I’m getting notes of fresh Summer peaches, wild blueberries, and black currant syrup – all with a bit of a licorice undertone. After swallowing I’m left with a touch of soft astringency on my tongue, but it’s quickly washed away by the almost plump feeling that the next infusion starts with. Simply put, right now I cannot get enough of this tea!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CghcWK0ugAS/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f08fPkuOIU

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drank 2021 Hot Brandy by white2tea
13289 tasting notes

Gongfu!

Steeped while reading a new manga! To me, the “gold standard” of Hot Brandy productions is definitely the 2020 minis. It was hard not to directly compare the two in my head, and I have to admit that the minis came out on top. Even still, Hot Brandy is always an interesting tea; I’ve never tasted a blend of white tea and black tea quite like it! This session mostly tasted like dandelions dunked in brown sugar simple syrup. The manga was pretty good for a first volume. A lot of the series I’ve been reading for a while are coming to an end, so I’m definitely looking for recommendations of new ones to check out!

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CgetGW3uDAS/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIhzToW3sCY

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75

TTB 2022
I was surprised that this was a raw puerh when I looked it up, I would have pegged it as a ripe. It has some camphor notes and a nice earthyness. The leaf is very hard packed, tough to get a sample without a pick. I am enjoying this brew, but wouldn’t be inspired for a purchase or to add to my wish list from W2T.
Thanks for adding it to the box and encourage the next folks to try this very smooth raw puerh.

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96

Love a good bit of research to go along with a good gong fu session. Holy smokes. There is a ton of research being done on this tea! Type in “eurotium cristatum golden flower” and the amount of articles that come up is amazing. For a short summary on findings, it appears that the more golden flower present, the better the quality of this heicha. In the studies, eurotium cristatum has shown to increase relief from things like ulcerative colitis, hypertension, etc. Now I need to find a tea to help my mom-in-law and husband with their weird blood disease (very low platelets).

This mixed with a hojicha would be an interesting flavor! Frothed milk aroma in the initial rinse. Frothed milk is also in the flavor. It is slightly earthy with rich, dark dry soil and dry bark. There is a hint of smokiness as well. After 3 steepings there are still some parts that remain dry.

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84
drank 2022 Moon Bear by white2tea
5 tasting notes

In order of strength: Raspberry Lambic, Champagne, White Grape Skin, Sugar

Wet Leaf aroma is pure Lindemans Framboise (Raspberry Lambic Beer). On the palate there is tart wild berry, champagne, white grape skin, and creme burlee far into the distance on the after taste. Moon Bear is my favorite teacher of the potential evolution of tea as the session drags on. After many steeps all the fruit and alcohol disappears and all that is left is pure white sugar. Cha Qi is happy and laxed.

Unfortunately the cake leaves a lot of potency in its profile to be desired, contrary to the sample I had before the cake purchase.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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71

In order of strength: Rum, Tobacco, Clove, Apricot Jam

There are notes that come from age older than this tea, but without the accompanying smoothness and balance. For being 6-7 years old at the time of review, there is a ton of astringency that is still on its way out the door. The flavor profile is interesting and a wonderful supplement to reading some Hemmingway.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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71

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drank 2022 Ledge by white2tea
13289 tasting notes

Grandpa Style!

Continuing tasting through my Spring tea orders today! I’ve been trying really hard not to lean too heavily into the “cake is sample” mentality this year but there’s something about the pressed black tea from W2T that always leaves me willing to roll those dice – and I haven’t been burned yet! This particular tea is so aromatic and sweet; like drinking fruit nectar but with a unique unctuous quality that bleeds from the undertones out into the body and finish. I can tell I’m gonna have a really good time getting to know this one!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CgNIHxhunLo/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42m2yoOFf-0

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80

For the sipdown prompt, “a tea you’ve forgotten about.” Derk gave this to me when we both attended the San Francisco International Tea Festival all the way back in 2018… and it has sat in my cupboards since (I’m a terrible person…) Prepared gong fu.

180ml (mini teapot) | 6.5g | 185F | 20s/30s/40s/50s/60s/70s

The first steep, when the leaves hadn’t really broken up yet, tasted like a faint floral dew (in retrospect I properly should’ve given it a rinse to help break the leaves apart, ah well). The second steep was also pretty mild, but had more of a hay/pollen with a hint of honeysuckle floral. The honeyed notes started to pop more as the cup cooled. Next steep brought out a subtle syrupy note that reminded me of a combination of cherry and dates, and perhaps just a little almondy?

Steeped for 6 infusions, which is about the point where my liter kettle runs out and I feel really full and just don’t feel the mood to continue. However, the leaf was still mostly all intact, so I decided to remove it from my little mini pot and stick it in a cold brew bottle, and see what the leaves have left to offer as ice cold tea later. (Which is really what I’m more in the mood for at the moment anyway)

I definitely prefer aged whites to any sheng or shou I’ve tried, so that may just be where my preferences are when it comes to aged tea.

Thanks for sharing, Derk!

Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Dates, Floral, Hay, Honey, Nutty, Pollen

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 g

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80
drank Florist Lapsang by white2tea
860 tasting notes

There is Lapsang in the aroma of the dry leaf but it is light. A gentle scent that embraces you but doesn’t overwhelm you. Makes me think of Northern Minnesota on Lake Superior. Water lapping at the rocks and making that sound I love along with that scent of bonfire mixed with coniferous forest. This tea is all around a perfect example of that area. The flavor reveals nil to limited smoked flavor. But as a black tea, it is quite elegant. (And I slightly laugh to myself thinking about the Elegant Prof in Spy X Family). Light woody tones. Bits of cedar and tree decaying in the forest. Wet forest floor. Same with the wet leaf but to a higher degree.

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79

Okay Brain. We are going to start liking pu er. I know we didn’t before but it was mainly tummy’s fault. Tummy. You. Are. Fine. I filled you up. Just focus on the amazing flavors about to hit you. Oh, wait you’re full of acid. Nevermind. The aroma coming off of the rinses seems to be pretty typical for pu ers. Slightly fishy, mainly woody. The texture of my first sip is smooth with a soft malt-o-meal undertone and a lingering woodsy tone. Varnish as well. I grabbed a white gaiwan cup to experience the colors but I forgot to use it. It’s sitting right next to me. <.< Ooo wow. This sip was intensely wooded. Like you were suddenly thrown out of your carriage and rolled down a hill and ended up in a dank, overgrown deciduous forest. The tongue is becoming thick as is the liquid. Holy crap! BAM. It’s like a yaupon. Oh my word my palate is feeling overwhelmed. The aroma is like a historical house.

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Grandpa Style!

This is so dark and thick, but with a real creamy earthiness and brothy quality with semi-sweet fruitier undertones of fig jams and date spreads. Definitely a very easy going and approachable ripe puerh but with still enough interest in the layered tasting notes to hold your attention while you sip and not just become a tea that fades into the background…

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg4kYW0Opey/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGcdvrZ-bqI

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Grandpa Style!

This is my first time trying this production grandpa style and I think I may actually prefer it this way over using a gongfu steeping method. The texture of the liquor is so much softer and has a really rich creaminess to it, and the soft but defined earthiness and hints of dates and fig are approachable and even quite cozy! There’s something to it that almost makes me think of taking a Fig Newton and dunking it in milk, but just with the addition of lovely clean earthy notes! Mmm!

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cf4Tc92O9Gs/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8sGmSEehi4

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