Continued from the last post:
White2Tea 2002 Little Yellow Mark ($269/357gr, $.75/gr)
I’ve said I would get a full cake of this once I’ve accomplished a major life goal. I haven’t yet, but it never stops motivating me. This tea proves that cakes with Zhongcha wrappers come in all different varieties. I’ve had another yellow mark private order (from teas we like) that’s completely different in material and storage. The white2tea little yellow mark is an all-around powerhouse. It’s got honey sweetness, deep fresh woodiness, and everything in between. High notes, low notes, it’s just deeply satisfying. It’s one of those teas you have to stop and appreciate for it’s yun and its balance. I would consider it the standard by which I compare aged raw puer.
Other reviews of this tea: http://jakubtomek.blogspot.com/2015/01/2002-little-yellow-mark-white2tea.html
Yunnan Sourcing Lao Cong Mi Lan Xiang ($12/10gr, $1.20/gr)
In regards to tea, I go by this maxim: the deeper, the better. Mi Lan Xiang means Honey Orchid aroma/flavor, but they do not all come the same. Many Mi Lan Xiangs give you just honey and orchid flavor with nothing else special about it. But this one had a deep almond note in there as well as rich wood incense tones that made it obviously next-level.
I had two sessions with it, including one at walden pond. During that one, a little girl yelled, “look mommy, he’s having a tea party!” It made me pretty happy. I could think of few more magical places to drink tea. Circumstances aside, this tea has a lot of depth and yun.
Other reviews of this tea: None
O-Cha Gyokuro Tsurujirushi ($30.60/50gr, $.61/gr)
My first gyokuro from O-cha, and so far the best. I’ve also had the suigyoku, the yame and the shirakawa, but they’re not nearly as good. I purchased it in August 2017 and finished it rather quickly.
What makes it stand out is its long-lasting electric sweetness; a sweetness that you can’t get to the bottom of. Some teas are nice and sweet for a bit, but the length of the sweetness here was notable. This taste balanced out the overwhelming umami so that they played off each other.
Tsurujirushi is so intense that whenever I shared it with a friend, they became stunned silent, almost confused. While drinking this tea, it’s impossible to have any other thoughts; it overloads the palate in a very arresting way.
Compared to other gyokuros, the yame is too one-dimensional umami and a bit astringent, the suigyoku was not vibrant enough for me, and the shirakawa was nice but more mellow.
Other reviews of this tea: http://theartofjapanesegreentea.com/tsurujirushi-gyokuro-tea-review/
Pu-erh.sk 2018 Lao Man E ($7.90/7 gr, $1.13/gr)
This tea is so powerful it once made me feel like I was on a whole other existence. I consider all pu-erh.sk productions to have some sweetness, so it’s not like this is just a bitter bomb. The aftertaste is usually around ten minutes long. Lao man’e is not always that easy to find. This having the characteristics of older trees makes it interesting to have a tea that is extremely bitter, but not harsh. Anyone could get some young factory tea to be bitter but this is a different world. It’s got textured bitterness that evolves over time and one of my favorite intense qi profiles.
Other reviews of this tea: https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2018-lao-man-e-prsk
White2Tea 2017 Pussy ($92/200gr, $.46/gr)
This was kind of a life-changing tea for me. It was the first nice raw I ever tried, and a good choice for that. It’s a really sweet tea with a bitter backbone, which provides for an awesome depth. It’s nice having your first qi experience along with that taste, very fun and happy. A couple years later, it still delivers pure joy.
In food science, there’s a term called the bliss point which usually refers to how much added sugar is the perfect amount to maximize pleasure. In this blend, the honey-pollen sweetness is just perfect, while you can still taste the woodiness, high florals and deeper richness. I’m on my third cake now, my first two purchased in early 2018 and the new one bought just recently in mid 2019. You can taste some aging on the new cake, where it’s a little deeper and less bright. It’s exciting to taste the transformation, but the peak time for this tea is six months to a year after pressing, and then probably many years later, depending on the storage. I would buy the 2018 to get an idea of that, or the 2017 if you want the original.
Other reviews of this tea: http://mattchasblog.blogspot.com/2017/09/why-this-tea-will-sell-out-first-2017.html