2015 Smooch

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Apple, Apricot, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Green Apple, Hay, Honey, Muscatel, Peach, Plums, Stewed Fruits, Sweet, Vegetal, Honeydew, Black Currant, Grass, Orange, Sour, Spices, Astringent, Green, Biting, Apple Candy, Cinnamon, Flowers, Lavender, Cream, Nutty, Pine, Creamy
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 5 oz / 160 ml

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18 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I got this as a freebie with my very first White2Tea order. Thanks :) Just now getting around to it. Gone gaiwan, 150mL, 212F, a prodding steep of 30s, followed by 11 steeps at...” Read full tasting note
    76
  • “This is the first time I took notes during a tea session. Normally I just go with the flow and write the review from memory. Taking notes definitely means having more data to work with in the end...” Read full tasting note
    85
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “This was one of the best mini ball type raw I had so far! Very strong, full creamy body and very intensely fragrant. Major notes of Mango and Honey ~ this fellow is for sure very sweet and fruity...” Read full tasting note
    85

From White 2 Tea

Made from quality Lincang material, the tea Smooch is convenient for on-the-go tea brewing or travel situations where carrying a cake is not an option. The Smooch brews up sweet and easy to drink, with a charming fragrance.

Each sample is in a hand rolled ball shape of roughly 8 grams, though each sample varies slightly by weight.

About White 2 Tea View company

Company description not available.

18 Tasting Notes

76
502 tasting notes

I got this as a freebie with my very first White2Tea order. Thanks :) Just now getting around to it.

Gone gaiwan, 150mL, 212F, a prodding steep of 30s, followed by 11 steeps at 30s/10/15/15/15/25/30/35/45/1m/1m30. Strong beginnings, it requires some attention because it does oversteep easily. Anything less than boiling seemed to decrease the mouthfeel.

I could tell by the smell of the dry leaf that this was going to a fairly floral experience. The ball opened up quickly following the initial soak and I was greeted with a fragrant airy white floral, white rose and maybe cherry blossom, all drenched in honey. The smell of the liquor remained fairly strong throughout and was also prominent in the bottom of the cup. The golden liquor produced tastes of honey, airy white florals, hay and straw, faint apricot and mango with a vegetal undertone. It started off strong, thick and viscous with sweetness up front and edged into bitter in the back. The bitterness later moved forward and left my tongue numb. The texture thinned respectably into a light-bodied brew. Minimal astringency and sourness, though it didn’t sit too well in my stomach and a full belly soon became a requirement.

After the session when I took off the lid of the glass gaiwan to customarily poke through the leaf, I noticed impressions of saponin bubbles left behind which might not be visible using a brewing vessel made of different material. I’m guessing the saponins are what caused a slightly queasy stomach. I could quickly tell what made the liquor so thick in the beginning – most of the leaves had hairy, rough undersides. The leaves all appeared to be of the same region source material (Lincang, they say). I love little quirks in my tea and in this one, I found a leaf with its tip cut off that was 10cm long and 4.5cm wide. I’m a little bit of a builder so I sometimes like to measure :P

Given all that, I’ve recently concluded that honey-forward teas aren’t my style. But for someone with that kind of sweet tooth and who doesn’t mind, or even wants some bitterness in their brews, I think this would be a good choice and a good intro to puer for the adventurous who already have some experience brewing with loose leaf.

Preparation
Boiling 5 OZ / 150 ML

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85
68 tasting notes

This is the first time I took notes during a tea session. Normally I just go with the flow and write the review from memory. Taking notes definitely means having more data to work with in the end but I do wonder if I don’t lose something in the process, if, like in quantum mechanics, through the act of observation I change the outcome. Anyway, without further ado, let’s get down to business.

I set my kettle to 95C (203F) and plop the 8g ball in my 130ml gaiwan. I rinse for 20s in order for the ball to start unfolding.

1. 15s steep leads to a rather light liquor, the color of elderflower syrup. The taste is light s well with hints of flowers and muscatel grapes.
2. 20s steep gives a slightly darker liquor which now resembles white grape juice. some bitterness starts to emerge. Aroma of baked tomatoes which I sometimes get in other sheng pu-erhs as well. Taste is sweet and floral with apricots, green apple and quince.
3. Down to 15s in an attempt to escape the bitterness. No luck, it’s still there ant slightly stronger too. The ball has now fully opened. Perhaps it’s a bit much for my gaiwan. Liquor color is light gold. I get apricots and peaches. Green apple turns to yellow, more ripe one. Mouthfeel as if eating quince, drying and somewhat astringent. I get floral notes after the bitterness dissipates. A hint of linden blossom maybe? some lingering sweetness.
4. An even shorter steep, around 12s. Still bitter, slightly vegetal too. Golden color. Strong fruit notes – muscatel, apricots and quince. Floral retronasal olfaction, I get magnolia on the outbreath as I do often with sheng pu-erh. The empty gong dao bei gives of meadow honey and hay. Sudden sweetness after everything has calmed down.
5. Up to 18s again and another spike of bitterness. Liquor acquires an orange tinge, like light honey. Still sweet and fruity with some stewed apple and quince compote. The floral aroma is building up.
6. I decide to add some cold water to the kettle and bring the temperature down to 85C (185F). Let’s see if that affects the bitterness. And it does. After a 25s steep bitterness is much less present than before. Color is just a wee bit lighter. Taste of apples, prunes and honey. Slightly less floral than steep 5.
7. 30s steep again at 85C. Color stays the same. Bitterness is more manageable. Taste is stewed fruit. Flowers are back and strong. On one of the sips I get an unexpected hit of medicinal bitterness at the back of the throat but it goes away quickly. There’s strong sweetness on the tip of the tongue and a mouthwatering effect.
8. 35s, color holding, no development in taste. Liquor starting to thin out but still pleasant.
9. 42s, taste is lighter – apple, plum and quince compote with floral finish.
10. 1:30 minutes, color darkens slightly, but taste feels slightly water albeit still quite aromatic.

I could probably have squeezed a couple more infusions out of this but my head was already buzzing so I stooped here. The quince dryness goes away and leaves behind long lasting floral sweetness. Overall this tea is quite good though with a bit of astringency to overcome.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Green Apple, Hay, Honey, Muscatel, Peach, Plums, Stewed Fruits, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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27 tasting notes

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

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85
72 tasting notes

This was one of the best mini ball type raw I had so far! Very strong, full creamy body and very intensely fragrant. Major notes of Mango and Honey ~ this fellow is for sure very sweet and fruity with a certain spicy Sichuan citrus flowery pepper aspect to it. There is a lot of power within this ball. It can get overbrewed easily – so take care! This young Sheng is definitely strong on the stomach so eat something beforehand. Very long lasting and a good long way to go! Great good quality travel pu – worth to carry one or two within your pocket on your next journey

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89
188 tasting notes

What a nice puerh it is. The aroma is probably the best I experienced with raw puerhs: no sourness, no dunkiness…. just a very powerful floral and fruity blend that is hard to describe but very easy to enjoy and appreciate. The same could be said for the taste – it is strong and immensely pleasant. Apricot, apple, cherry, mineral, flowers, orange zest. The tea’s emotional profile is of energy and cheerfulness.

This tea is forgiving with longer steepings and in general presents markedly different (but equally enjoyable!) profiles steeped short and medium. It invites you to experiment a little bit. A very nice lingering bitter and astringent aftertaste with floral and cherry notes is present. The only downside is that this enjoyable taste lasts only for the first 3-5 gaiwan steeps and after that quickly degenerate in the all-too-familiar cheap sheng astringency.

I tried this tea first time a year ago and while I liked it back then it since improved quite noticeably. I will have to go back and bump my previous rating up since this Smooch certainly deserved.

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3 tasting notes

The very first thing I noticed when drinking smooch is that it was sweetness up front, bitterness and astringency at the end of the sip. In my experience with most sheng, especially young Lincang sheng, I notice that the bitterness and astringency tend to make themselves known up front, but fade into a rewarding sweetness at the end. I brewed a 7-8g “dragon ball” of smooch in my ~100ml chaozhou teapot. As with all dragon balls, it took a little while to open up, but when it did the material was strong and long lasting. I didn’t count steeps, but I would guesstimate somewhere in the 12-15 steeps range which I think is pretty great. The liquor was thick, and reminded me of green apple (sweet, but with a bite) and a hint of muscatel grape. The Cha Qi is pleasant and relaxing, but not overly powerful. This probably wouldn’t be an ideal introduction to puerh teas, as the bitterness and astringency are quite obvious. However, if you’re not put off by a little bite, Smooch is a lovely tea.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Green, Green Apple, Muscatel, Peach, Sweet

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

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60
2210 tasting notes

009/365

I picked this one up with my first White2Tea order, partly as a novelty as I’ve not tried a compressed pu’erh before. It’s a pretty young sheng, with greenish leaves and a lightly perfumed fragrance. From what I can gather, it’s supposed to be a convenient way to brew pu’erh while travelling, and I imagine it could be (depending how quickly the ball unfurls…) It’s still pretty compact after the first steep (around 1.5m, western-style.)

The first steep is sweet and mostly smooth, with a hint of floral. It’s a little grassy, with just a touch of astringency towards the end of the sip. It’s not remarkably distinctive or flavourful, at this point.

Second steep for 1 minute. The ball disintegrates completely at this point, and so I’m not entirely sold on the suggestion that this is supposed to be much more convenient than a cake. I wouldn’t find it so, but I don’t typically attempt to lug around a whole cake anyway. I’d take a fragment on holiday, in a ziplock bag, and use an infuser – but I’m using an infuser for this also, so it would make little difference to my personal set-up.

The flavour this time is more distinctively “sheng” – earthy/grassy, with an edge of bitterness. It’s still mostly smooth, more so as it cools, but there’s just that bit of “bite”. This one reminds me most of Teavivre’s Fengqing Raw Cake from 2006, which I seem to possess in quantity but don’t particularly enjoy. It’s pretty hard to describe, but it has the same brassy, almost-metallic background flavour.

Third steep for 50 seconds. The flavour, at this point, seems fairly fixed. Once again, it’s earthy/grassy with a background brassiness, and just a touch of bitterness. It’s still very easy to drink, although it’s not particularly distinctive. There are definitely more exciting sheng pu’erhs out there – this one strikes me as very routine.

I might try one more steep after lunch before I call it a day with this one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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56 tasting notes

This tea came unlabeled in my order, making for an interesting adventure and practice in identifying an unknown.

Compressed into a nearly perfect sphere I was almost certain it was a blooming tea at first. Can you make a blooming pu’erh? Doesn’t smell green, not very dark and doesn’t smell much like a black either, is it a flowering oolong? A search for “bloom” and “flower” on the white2tea site reveals no results. Upon closer inspection I decide it’s not a blooming tea at all but rather a tightly and neatly compressed cake, almost definitely a pu’erh then. I’m not very pu’erh experienced… is this a raw sample? Or just young? I guess I don’t actually know the difference but I’m pretty certain it’s not very aged in any case. I decide it’s probably a raw.

Breaking it up confirms that it’s a compressed tea rather than a flowering ball. It has a very light scent, maybe a little bit bready, a little vegetal. Brewed in a gaiwan at 200F for 10 seconds reveals a much lighter liqueur than anticipated! Definitely not an aged tea! Brews up gently floral and sweet with an underlying vegetal flavor that quickly strengthens with more steepings. By the third steep it’s already too bitter for me.

Sorting through the raw pu’erh section on the white2tea site I finally find my tea! Turns out it’s not necessary to break it up, I’m sure that contributed to the bitterness. It is certainly not to my taste, being fairly bitter, but I had a surprisingly fun time unraveling the mystery as well as trying out a new kind of tea.

Flavors: Biting, Floral, Vegetal

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83
5 tasting notes

Had this one sitting around the house for a month after receiving my White2Tea order, where it came as an extra. Picked it up one morning and thought, eh, why not? Then when I unwrapped the ball, even the paper smelled like incense and flowers.

What was so surprising was that the first 4-5 steeps tasted just like the dry leaf smelled. Like sticking my nose into a bowl of potpourri: crushed flower petals, dried fruit and maybe a little dried apple, pieces of cinnamon stick. 8 grams is a lot for my gaiwan, and so it was hard not to bring out the bitterness, but the fragrance kept rolling in, as well as a richer body and slight tongue-drying quality. The cha qi seemed to blast down from my forehead, as if the tea was trying to launch my head off my shoulders.

Sometimes unexpected pleasures are the best ones! Now hoping the order I have incoming from W2T includes another one.

Flavors: Apple Candy, Cinnamon, Flowers, Honey, Lavender

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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92
10 tasting notes

I first received this tea as a freebie in an order from White2Tea. This curious little ball comes individually wrapped in paper and tied shut with a short length of twine. The leaves are stuck together pretty tight, but come apart after a long rinse and about a minute of leaving it in a steaming gaiwan. The tea is very pleasant with a slight richness that I enjoy.

The taste alone is nice, but what I love the most about this tea is the way it makes me feel. I’ve never had a tea that makes me more tea drunk than this one. I usually feel like dancing after I drink this tea.

Between the fun presentation, tastiness, and the good mood it will set you in, this is truly a wonderful tea. I highly recommend trying it, and at just under 2 dollars, it’s worth adding on to any w2t order you make in the future to try it out.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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