27 Tasting Notes
Got this tea a year ago from Bana during their 20% off sale after reading Oolong Owl’s review (basically it’s good beginner sheng).
So I didn’t actually use this as my beginner sheng, but treat it as the many samples I’ve since acquired. I’ve drunken a good variety of sheng now and can honestly say that this cake is not for the more advanced.
The beginning steeps are flavorful but never gets bitter, both savory and sweet. However, the flavor pretty much dies down after 3-4 steeps. Maybe my palate is more insensitive, but I use the same thermos when doing gongfu each time, and usually I use up the thermos (about 700 ml) for one session. For this tea, I have about 1/3 left.
It’s a fine tea. I get about 3 great steeps and a bunch of mehhh ones after that. Flavor is straightforward and forgiving. Oolong Owl is correct that it’s good for beginners.
I might try western brewing this next time.
Flavors: Sweet, Umami
Aptly named! From the very first brew, you can taste both butterery and floral flavors. Both are strong yet oddly complementing. In addition, there’s a perfume like aftertaste that I’ve never tasted before!
As a steeped more, the floral flavor became stronger and the butter moved more into the background. The floral perfume aftertaste is still sharp.
It gets to the point that I find it unbelievable that this oolong isn’t scented… it kind of taste like a strong jasmine oolong!
Overall, very interesting tea. I don’t like it more than Taiwanese oolong (my favorite) because I found the sharp floral aftertaste a bit off-putting. Definitely worth a try though.
Flavors: Butter, Drying, Floral, Jasmine
The leaves were surprisingly easy to break apart. I’m VERY BAD at breaking cakes apart but had no difficulty with this. Leaves definitely looked aged.
I did a rinse of about 5 seconds, then did a 5 second first steep. It was a little rough around the edges but was unexpectedly sweet! I read other reviews on this tea and was expecting something more bitter. For some reason I associate cha qui with not yummy tea lol
Second steep is a pleasant surprise of honeyed camphor and slight smokiness. I don’t usually enjoy smokey tea, but this was well balanced.
The next steeps are a bit more savory. I tasted some plum notes as well.
Flavors: Camphor, Honey, Plum, Smoke, Sweet
I did not like this.
First sip was very… uninteresting. I was expecting something with more funk considering this is such a new ripe.
The aftertaste reminds me of vitamins that I was forced to eat every morning as a child. Ugh
The vitamin taste didn’t go away in future steeps either… More bitterness came out and perhaps some hint of dark chocolate flavor? I’m not sure since I don’t like dark chocolate.
I noticed that the leaves was more stuck together in the gaiwan compared to other pu erh. Maybe it’s because it’s so freshly pressed? I’m not sure.
Overall, I think I just don’t like the shou profile from White2Tea… I really like their sheng but haven’t found a shou I enjoyed from them yet. (I don’t like 2015 & 2016 Brown Sugar either.)
I’ll probably put this away and see if it gets better… or give it away in a tea box…
Flavors: Bitter, Mineral
This is the most honeyed pu erh I have ever had. From the first steep, it got more and more intensely floral and honeyed. At the 3rd/4th steep, it reminds me of Ethiopian honey wine or mead, but (obviously) without the sugar and alcohol taste.
The aftertaste isn’t necessarily sweet, just… honey-like.
I enjoyed this a lot… it felt and tasted like an elegant treat.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Honeydew
Leaves are long, kind of like loose pu erh. I wasn’t sure what to expect even though I had other yellow teas before.
First steep… OMG It’s cotton candy!! Literally the only thing I can think about. I was so shocked that I had to keep going and see if the taste continues.
Future steeps are still very sweet… reminds me of the honey taste of sheng, but it’s more forefront and cotton candy-like.
Very interesting since I’m more used to green tea having umami flavors and being malty. This is a pleasant surprise, and I would definitely repurchase!
Flavors: Cotton Candy, Honey, Sweet
I brewed this both gongfu and western style.
the taste was unexpected. I thought it would be sweeter, but it was malty and reminded me of barley tea (in a good way). I liked it but wasn’t sure if I’d repurchase.
brewed 4.8 g in around 12-14 ozs of boiling water.
First sip (while it was hotter) yielded similar tastes as gongfu style. However, as the tea cooled down, I tasted a bit of milk chocolate, which was a pleasant surprise. I’m actually more willing to repurchase this for western style brewing.
Now I just have to try this grandpa :P It might be a very versatile tea!
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Roasted Barley
Very balanced and elegant. It’s simultaneously sweet and bitter, but neither is overwhelming. The bitterness needs deciphering to register, unlike other bitter teas that hit you in the face or have a returning kuwei. The sweetness and bitterness go very well together to produce a fruity and slightly floral harmony. Kinda like biting into a not-yet ripe peach.
The tastes also last many sessions without obvious changes (to me). I like it.
Flavors: Bitter, Peach, Sweet
First steep tasted like honeydew and sweetness, which is a rare treat! Usually shou don’t start tasting sweet until steep 3. Oddly the funkiness often associated with shou was stronger in steep 2 and 3 than 1. Oh well, I’m not complaining.
This might be the easiest shou I’ve had.
Flavors: Honeydew, Sweet
The tea is very tightly compressed. As a relative newbie, I had difficulty chipping the leaves off.
First steep, DAMN that’s bitter. Not the most bitter that I’ve tried, but it definitely has strong kuwei. It wasn’t unpleasant at first, but I was drinking on an empty stomach and quickly got nauseated.
Ate some food, but the tea is still bitter with flash steeps at steep number 5 or something. Ugh, now I’m kind of sick of the kuwei.
I think I’m more of a cat person.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor
I find most bricks to be rather tightly compressed. No experience in young bricks, but I did buy my sister one of the cats (her name is Kat). She didn’t express any difficulty breaking that one apart though.
I was able to break leaves off… but it was more broken and dusty :/ much harder than a typical cake. I will be thinking twice before buying bricks again lol
Don’t get me wrong I have a cake or 2 that I LOVE. Also, there have been very popular cakes out there in the past couple years (White Whale and Old Bear) that people rave about. Although having in tact leaves is preferred, I would by no means write a tea off just because it’s leaves are somewhat broken. All depends on brewing parameters as well, if you use a gaiwan you shouldn’t mind broken leaves besides the fact that the brew may be stronger.