2015 Brown Sugar Ripe Puerh

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Grass, Mineral, Sweet, Wood, Coffee, Earth, Pleasantly Sour, Spices, Camphor, Molasses, Peat, Burnt Sugar, Leather, Mushrooms, Decayed Wood, Dirt, Moss, Smooth, Wet Wood, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Thick, Honey, Tobacco, Bitter, Bread, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit, Chocolate
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Edit tea info Last updated by Lexie Aleah
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 4 oz / 120 ml

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From white2tea

Ripe Puer Tea from White2tea, made using 2012 material, pressed in 2015.

This tea is made from a pile fermented exclusively with top tier huangpian [the largest leaf used in Puer production]. The Brown Sugar brick has Menghai character. The soup is sweet and smooth. It was rested for over two years prior to pressing and is ready to drink now or store for the long term. The material used is of uncommonly high quality. Later steeps are light in color, with a sweet and soft profile.

The fermentation level of this tea was around 65%, which is considered light. Some leaves may even be slightly greenish, and will continue to become darker with further aging.

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27 Tasting Notes

61 tasting notes

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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2238 tasting notes


Finally getting to the older White2Tea pu’erhs in my cupboard. I’m pretty sure I bought these at least a year ago, maybe longer. I gave the leaves a quick rinse, at least partly so one of the pieces would fit in my infuser basket! My first steep was around 1 minute in boiling water.

The flavour is a little lighter than I was expecting. The initial sip is a touch earthy, with notes of dry wood and a touch of camphor. It really comes alive in the mid-sip, though, with sweeter flavours of bourbon vanilla and molasses. The aftertaste is almost too sweet, in a way that reminds me a little of stevia or liquorice root; it lingers at the back of the throat in the same way those do. Hopefully the flavour will deepen a little with successive steeps!

Second steep has very slightly stronger flavours. There’s more woodiness to the start of the sip – it’s become more obviously a dry wood flavour (kind of like sawdust?), rather than the “wetter” flavours I’d usually associate with a ripe. The sweetness is there at about the same level, although there’s more sugar and less vanilla this time. The cloying sweetness in the aftertaste has dissipated a little.

Third steep is softer and more mellow, with a little more sweetness prevalent and less woody notes. The flavour of vanilla sugar flavour is foremost, with an underlying earthiness; the mouthfeel is smooth and silky.

Fourth steep is similar, although becoming less flavourful. The sweetness is starting to fade now, with just a light earthiness remaining. There’s a creaminess to the mid sip that I didn’t notice previously, but it looks to me like things are beginning to wind down. While this has been a pleasant shou, it’s not one I think I’ll find especially memorable.

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4 tasting notes

50/50. A good daily drinker or something for the food. Only quality/price don’t really match.

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 10 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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72 tasting notes

Scent-wise this dark buddy exhales such a sweet thick earthy bouquet with deliciously deep notes of marshmallows and bourbon vanilla. This whole construct changes a bit within later infusions into a more medicinal aroma with a hint of licorice.

Further on within the actual tasting and steaming scenting phase a very dense forest earthy melody whistles like a really spice strong balsamic breeze over the mossy surface of a with rain soaked jungle covered in mist. This is without a doubt a very rich and well balanced Shou with first impressions of shiitake mushrooms grown on old with moss covered tree barks while a from the mountain leading pure fresh creek wriggles its way through the thickness of this evergreen forest. With its deep creamy texture it literally develops a tingling sensation on your tongue and palatal. On one side it started with balsamic woodsy roots it soon transforms further into a quite milky chocolate note with hints of caramel and vanilla. The aftertaste is very long lasting as expected within a great fusion of sweet and earthy components.
Warming your body and soul it is easy to fall in love with this fellow which makes him a great beginners Shou but also to be enjoyed by tea lovers of any stage ~ You want it chill & cozy add some brown sugar to it!

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19 tasting notes

7 g
5-6 oz water
2 rinses, 10 sec with a rest of 2 min in between

dry leaf: compact, dark, dry, brittle, faint sweet musky scent like dry leaves

1st steep: 10-15 sec, rich dark brown with reddish tones, no bitterness noted
2nd steep: 12-15 sec, same color, light forest floor taste
3rd steep: 15 sec, lighter, more red color
4th steep: 20 sec, same as before. just kinda eh for me.

Boiling 7 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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226 tasting notes

I am just getting into puerhs, trying to understand all the hype. This one really helps to do it. I had a sample(25 g) and looked terrific: like a multilayered old piece of something from the strange, ancient forest. When you steep it it does not give you much of smell but the taste is pretty complex and cool. There is mineral, coffee, pleasant sourness and a lot spices. These spices predominate in a long, evolving aftertaste.

Also, if you steep it for 3-4 minutes the brew comes out very dark and tastes remarkably like coffee.

All in all, a pretty good experience that holds through multiple resteeps. I am not sure if I get more of this one – need to try more puerhs to figure out if this one is that unique – but you cannot go wrong with Brown Sugar.

(later addition) I started to steep for 2 minitues instead of 30-45 seconds and the taste profile changed completely: typical puerh earthiness and rotten wood came in force and became main notes. It was not bad but quite different. Note to yourself: this rea produces completely different taste profiles depending on the steeping time (which is not bad at all you can get multiple teas for the price of one).

Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Mineral, Pleasantly Sour, Spices

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477 tasting notes

Well, it was about time I finished off these samples. I tend to stash samples of nice tea because I feel guilty if I don’t spend the “time” on them.

Mostly playing fast and loose with steeps; it’s sweet and leathery on the front of the tongue, aftertaste sort of like peat. Lingering sweetness when you breathe out.

Was brewing it a bit strong, but it mellowed with subsequent steeps; otherwise, I don’t tend to notice a big shift in profile.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Leather, Mushrooms, Peat

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16060 tasting notes

So, this afternoon I’m doing a side by side competition style tasting of White2Tea’s 2015 and 2016 Brown Sugar pu’erhs because I recently purchased samples of both. I’ve tried different years harvests of the same tea, but I’ve never really done a side by side compare before and I thought that would be interesting – especially in the case of Pu’erh.

For both tastings, I’m using 2.2g (because that’s what I broke off from the first cake, so I kept it the same with the second) of Pu in 6 oz. of water – both steeped for three minutes using 95 degree Celcius water. Consistency, bitch.

So without further ado…

Dry Leaf: Very dense/tightly compressed with a very dark overall colour; black and near blacks with some umber. A few flat, more tan looking leaf fragments visible too.

Liquor Colour: A darker red/brown with good clarity. Has the same amber-like colour I’d expect to see from a Chinese black tea, such as a Keemun. Noticeably lighter and brighter in colour than the 2016 Brown Sugar.

Aroma: Quite earthy and dank but supported by a brightness/sweetness: reminds me a little of dates. Perhaps also a little nutty.

Taste: Top notes are earthy with mineral qualities; very structured but not persistent. Overall, the body is pleasant but a little bit flat: none of the notes have robustness or body. It reminds me a little of dry wood, as opposed to the wet/damp wood and forest notes often gotten from shou. Maybe a little nutty, but not in any distinct sort of way. Some sweetness, overall. Finish is very clean, and short lived. No lingering tastes; no real presence. It’s not an unpleasant cup but nothing about it stands out or really has any depth.

Having tasted the 2016, I can definitely say that of the two this is the one I prefer less. I think many people would appreciate the overall clean profile of this tea and how smooth it is in general, but I really like the long lingering earthy notes at the start of the 2016 and how it’s woody but in more of a wet/forest-y way. Nothing about this one was unpleasant, I just think it’s going to be a touch forgettable too.

Link To 2016 Brown Sugar from this tasting:


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82 tasting notes

I had a sample of this tea when I became interested in Shue but didn’t care for it at the time, I forget why.

Since then my tastes have changed so I thought I’d give it another go.

When W2T had a free shipping sale I put a brick of Brown Sugar into the cart. Sure enough this time around I have a different take on this tea. I find it creamy and smooth leaving a sweet mouth feel.

Each day I have filled a houhin teapot and added water off the boil until all flavor is gone. I don’t think about it very much, for me it isn’t that type of tea but it’s very easy to brew and enjoy.

When this brick is gone I have the 2016 to try.

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4 tasting notes

This is my first time drinking puerh! Please be gentle.

I got this tea in the mail today, and while my brain was telling me to air it out for at least a week, I had strong tea craving pangs. I immediately dissected the wrapper and chipped off 6g of the brick. It’s not like drinking an unaired shou would hurt, right? I was able to distinguish the woody scent of the pu even before I opened the paper bag.

My bullheaded decision gave me an otherwise pleasant drinking experience. 6g in a 100ml gaiwan, boiling water, flash steeps. Steeps 1-3 really packed a punch. I got a very strong, sweet, woody flavor. Each sip ended on a slightly bitter note. As a new pu drinker, I wasn’t sure what I expected. It tasted exactly what it smelled like; wet wood, moss, and a hint of dirt. This was when I started thinking, this might be a bit too strong for me, I really should have aired this out for a bit. Despite this, Brown Sugar is still very drinkable. In general, the mouthfeel of the tea was particularly pleasant. It certainly is as smooth as the wrapper claims to be, which is what made me determined to press on. Steeps 4-6 brought out the sweeter side of the wood taste. The liquor also got noticeably darker, and I sort of noticed a slightly redder hue I didn’t see in the earlier steeps? Though I’m definitely not an expert when it comes to tea, I just really wanted to record this experience. While this tea is still sitting in my gaiwan, I’m definitely infusing it more to see how it transforms.

Flavors: Camphor, Decayed Wood, Dirt, Molasses, Moss, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Wood

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

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