2017 Four AM

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Astringent, Bitter, Creamy, Earth, Mineral, Sand, Sour, Sweet, Tart, Bark, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Wood, Floral, Grapefruit, Heavy, Medicinal, Nutty, Plums, Wet Wood, Yeast, Honey, Wood
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by TheOolongDrunk
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 oz / 100 ml

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8 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I thought I was out of white2tea teas, but I’d forgotten I had a small mini bing or whatever people call these flat, dragon ball-esque coin things of this tea that I received as a freebie with my...” Read full tasting note
  • “Drank this, was it last night or a few nights ago? I found it to be a mellow and balanced tea. My sample was about half cake, half loose leaf and smelled like plums and hay. Warm leaf was...” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “7g coin from Liquid Proust, 100C, 100mL porcelain gaiwan, just 1 rinse but left to break up for a few minutes. Once the coin opens up and gets going, this is so so bitter but little astringency for...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “I had the opportunity to taste this in “pill” form (i.e. individually pressed 7g mini cake) from Liquid Proust. Overall, it is a soft, sweet, tasty little treat. Nice soft sweet mushroom broth...” Read full tasting note

From White2Tea

The 2017 four am is a blend of multiple areas. The tea is both elegant and heavy at the same time, with a complex character. Drink now or age for the long term.

About White2Tea View company

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8 Tasting Notes

97 tasting notes

I thought I was out of white2tea teas, but I’d forgotten I had a small mini bing or whatever people call these flat, dragon ball-esque coin things of this tea that I received as a freebie with my order of some samples. This has been sitting in my pumidor for a year now and it’s frankly a wonder it did not get lost somewhere between the cakes. I drank this away from home with some company and only weighed it with the wrapper on when I took it with me. My scale showed 7.7 grams, so I assume these are intended to be around seven grams which is fairly standard. The gaiwan I had on hand was 130ml, so I did this session filling it up to what I know to be around the 100ml mark.

Now, before we move on to the tea, I’ve done a long rant in the past about my weird relationship with white2tea (none of which I’m going to repeat here) and how I might not be the most unbiased person to be reviewing their teas, but I will do my best here to express my honest opinion. I’ve also mentioned in past reviews that I don’t drink a lot of multi-region blends, so I’m a bit out of my comfort zone here. As such, if I come across slightly harsher than normal, that’s why.

With dragon balls, I’ve found that a longer 30s rinse followed by a shorter second rinse / extended first steep at around twenty seconds works quite well for me. That is what I did here as well, thirty seconds followed by twenty seconds after a five-minute rest in between. The first rinse was sweet but still light. There was some body, however, and a nice, silky texture. The second rinse was still light in terms of its flavors, but the extraction itself was much stronger. The taste was clean, mineral, sweet and earthy. The nice texture from the first wash was carried over. I proceeded to do ten more infusions, the timing for these being 4s, 7s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 35s, 45s, 75s and 2 min. Somewhat irregular pattern for me in the middle steeps there.

Compared to the two washes, the first flash steep was really light and had lost its nice texture. I tasted mainly notes that I associate with a patch of soil in the garden. There was also some sweetness there. The second steep was stronger, really earthy/peaty with a dirty taste to it. Can’t say I was a fan. Slight creaminess in the finish, accompanied by a strong sandy note. The mouthfeel was now better.

The next three infusions were all strong and each stronger than the last. The flavors moved from a combination of leafy and dirt to increasing levels of bitterness, accompanied by at time sweetness, others extreme tartness or even sourness which is a rare one for me to encounter in pu’er. My tongue grew gradually numb from the bitterness, leaving it feeling somewhat similar to it being burned.

This is the point where I needed to start adapting to the tea to regulate it and as a result the sixth brew while still strong and bitter was also now smoother and more balanced. While steep seven was similar, some astringency was now starting to creep in and this culminated in the following infusion where all of the other flavors suddenly dropped off, leaving the tea dominated by astringency. I attempted two more brews, but if I’m being totally honest with you the ninth steep tasted like sock juice to me and the final infusion had hardly any taste to it besides some mild sweetness and astringency.

While we’ll likely never know what exact teas went into this blend, if I’m allowed to speculate a little, it seems fairly clear to me that there’s some Bulang material in this. The mid-to-late steeps are dominated by an aggressive bitterness that is quite familiar to me. As to what other teas went into this, it’s hard to say. The soft, more elegant start could very well come from a Yiwu tea or something of similar character, of which there are many teas out there. If there are any more than two teas in this, I found it extremely hard to tell as the more aggressive tea dominated everything once it got going.

As for the quality of the material, the silky mouthfeel at the start was actually pretty nice, so whatever material was responsible for that might actually be quite good. Once the tea got going, the strength was so good that I actually had to start adapting to the tea on the fly. What puzzled me though was the way the tea just suddenly died at the end. Considering I was holding back on my brew times, I would have expected that to extend the longevity, not diminish it. Perhaps I’m spoiled, but I’m used to teas typically winding down more gracefully. I’m not going to try to read too much into it since I’m no expert, but maybe this means the more aggro material isn’t necessarily gushu but perhaps dashu or younger.

Looking at the leaves at the end of the session, many of the leaves are quite big, but there is a quite high ratio of more oxidized leaves in the mix, many of these quite heavily reddish, not just small blotches. You of course see these in nearly every tea, but it’s usually just a leaf here and there. On the other hand I didn’t spot any leaves with burn marks from the wok.

So what are my thoughts? It wasn’t a bad tea, but it also didn’t really impress me. It is unclear to me where they were really going with this blend. A soft, elegant start, suddenly turning into aggressiveness? I’m going to compare this to Bulang teas, because most of the time the tea behaved like one. At 55¢/g, it’s really hard for me to see this tea being worth its price tag. If I wanted to buy a more aggressive Bulang tea, I could get one with ten years of age on it for around 10¢/g. The material wouldn’t necessarily be as good, but the tea would have gained complexity and notes that this young tea currently lacks. At 55¢/g you can also get crazy good Yiwu teas as long as you sample and find the ones you like. Therefore for me this tea would maybe fall in the 10–20¢/g bracket, not that it matters. Could be that it’ll age into something magical, but I leave that up to those willing to invest a hundred dollars and wait for a decade or two to discover.

And there you have it. If anything, this tea made me want to go drink some more Bulang teas. I should also maybe order some samples of aged Bulangs to expose myself to more semi-aged teas. So far Bitterleaf’s Dear Comrade has been the first aged sheng to click with me, but of course it sold out right after I ordered my sample. Any recommendations for aged teas to include in my next Yunnan Sourcing order are welcome.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Creamy, Earth, Mineral, Sand, Sour, Sweet, Tart

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

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88
503 tasting notes

Drank this, was it last night or a few nights ago? I found it to be a mellow and balanced tea. My sample was about half cake, half loose leaf and smelled like plums and hay. Warm leaf was stongly prune and that carried through into the rinsed leaf, which had the addition of wood and coffee grounds. The prominent taste was a bitter, airy but lightly resinous floral supplemented here and there with a light stonefruit (apricot and plum), sourness and minerality. Some astringency but nothing overpowering. A very clean menthol (not camphor) and sweetness showed up in the later steeps with a kind of stevia aftertaste. The tea provided a barely noticeable but sustained, calm energy that kept me awake into the night without anxiety. Spent leaf was cut/chopped quite a bit, looked a little aged already. Several long, leafless stems.

This is a good sheng to drink now but probably not something I’d buy again since I’m looking for a little more oomph in terms of fruitiness and bitterness. I’m a sucker for that light resinous taste and menthol, though.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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90
61 tasting notes

7g coin from Liquid Proust, 100C, 100mL porcelain gaiwan, just 1 rinse but left to break up for a few minutes.

Once the coin opens up and gets going, this is so so bitter but little astringency for me which I didn’t mind. Two things to know for this tea:
1) It is so ridiculously floral fragrant like drinking incense which is the same sensation I get from drinking ALMOST overbrewed strong dancong. This is absolutely a sheng for dancong lovers. My cheeks were numb from the potency of this thing
2) This tea is so crazy heavy both in texture and it makes you feel heavy too. After just a couple of sips I just kind of…crumpled into myself. Really strong huigan too, but I couldn’t pin point it.

This tea didn’t just fade away into nothingness: even while it was dying, it didn’t lose body and instead transitioned to a heavy sweetness. Highly recommend both for the heavy qi and the dancong floral

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Heavy

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167 tasting notes

I had the opportunity to taste this in “pill” form (i.e. individually pressed 7g mini cake) from Liquid Proust. Overall, it is a soft, sweet, tasty little treat. Nice soft sweet mushroom broth body with sweet floral, stone fruit, and citrus notes. No bitterness or astringency. Easily a drink-now sort of sheng.

I would recommend this tea solely based on its flavor and quality. However, after looking at how much a cake is going for, I would say you can get similar experiences for much cheaper. Good tea, but overpriced – currently $110 for only 200g…
*
Dry leaf – dried apricot, light honey, sweet floral

Smell – honey, floral, sweet mushroom broth, orange blossom, hints of gummy peach candy and light pepperiness

Taste – mushroom broth, floral, honey, hints of apricot and sweet citrus – just a bit of Menghai fruitiness; very floral on the aftertaste.

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5 tasting notes

I was pleased to be greeted with a very thick body and sweet floral taste, but with some unexpected complexity. I thought it might have had a couple of years of age on it, but it’s all spring 2017 material. Once the leaves had opened up, the bitterness was quite strong, like when you don’t quite swallow a pill properly and it gets suck in your throat. The astringency wasn’t too strong and built slowly.

Continuing to flash-steep, the bitterness was there ready to jump on me if I over-brewed even slightly. Even so, it was still quite strong, but I found it to be quite enjoyable. The hint of complexity persisted and trying to put my finger on the nature of it during the session was a lot of fun. The body of the tea remained quite thick and the sweetness level remained fairly constant – present but not strong.

Extended steeps brought out slightly more sweetness but not as much as I expected. After the session I was left with a ‘spiciness’ on the tongue and a light menthol sensation going far down the throat. I didn’t feel much energy during, but I felt energised after the session for some time.

Whether this tea would be good to introduce to a new young raw pu’er drinker, I think that depends a lot on their tolerance for bitterness. If high, this would be a great option. I think more experienced drinkers (especially those who enjoy young raw) will appreciate it a lot. Well worth trying!

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1112 tasting notes

Life has been so busy that I have been up until 4am to get things done and the sad part is I leave for work at 7:30am in the morning… I think I’ve finally found my limits when it comes to working full time (two jobs…. soon to be one), doing my MBA, owning an online LLC, being engaged, and trying to keep friends close as well as family.
WHEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW LIFE IS AWSEOME

Anyways, I got this tea in these little pill form thingies or whatever for the 2018 Sheng Olympaid! https://www.instagram.com/p/BZHMAsgAxVT/?taken-by=liquidproust

About to be so awesome : )
Drinking one right now and it’s not actually that bitter for being so new. The liquid has a really defined color that’s like someone hasn’t drank water for awhile… you know what I mean???

Anyways, good stuff! Nothing like TAF that I kept using… because it’s my favorite, but this is quite nice. Leaves the mouth a little beat up from the astringency but each brew offers something a little different than the last. Quality plucked leaf as you look through the stems that lead to two leaf that are not ripped for the majority of what I’m seeing.

Kinghazzah

I actually want to go to white2tea an rethink buying this one from them as I loved the one in the 2018 Sheng Olympiad! The leaf from this little individual pot use is deceiving upon looking at the “cake” tuo because there really is a LOT of tea packed into this little piece of tea loveliness. It didn’t take very long to open up and offer it’s essence to the water either for what looks like a fairly tightly packed mini. ENJOY!

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95
88 tasting notes

2017 Four AM by Whtie2Tea was as complex as it was tasty. One of the first positive attributes that I noticed about this tea was that its texture quickly turned into a soup, shortly after beginning the session. Another aspect about this tea I liked was the fact that it was complex and kept changing throughout the session. This tea also had a nice energy, which made me completely tea drunk by the end of the session.

You can read the rest of my review here —

https://www.theoolongdrunk.com/single-post/2017/09/03/Wake-Up-Its-2017-Four-AM-by-White2Tea

Flavors: Bark, Bitter, Honey, Medicinal, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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