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drank Spring Peach by white2tea
14400 tasting notes


Happy (belated) International Tea Day! I celebrated with a session out in the clover fields surrounding my apartment. True to its name this oolong is very distinctly peachy, though it’s much more of a dark, dense and roasted or grilled peach taste than I had expected with lots of backend spice notes of cinnamon and and nutmeg to compliment the more mineral and woody notes so typical of yancha. There’s also an ever so slightly green edge that reminded me of dandelion leaves, though perhaps that impression was subconsciously influenced by where I was drinking my tea this afternoon. Regardless, it was a very beautiful session to celebrate the day with!!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CshUsXlOYb4/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG1UrFKJs7g

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drank 2022 Lumber Slut by white2tea
40 tasting notes

Punchier than the past few years. Has some of that asprin/LaoManE bitterness. A fair bit of that small char like sediment in the bottom of the cup. Very barnyard, very wood. Little to no vanilla. Little to no sweetness. Burly.

Flavors: Barnyard, Leather, Wood

7 tsp 125 OZ / 3696 ML

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drank 2023 Stubb by white2tea
14400 tasting notes

Ceci n’est pas une pu’erh.

Don’t mind the art puns. From the moment I first saw the wrapper for this smoked shou, all I could think about was Magritte’s infamous painting; and the incredibly potent aroma of pipe smoke and incense that come off the cake (even with the wrapper on!) definitely doesn’t help dissuade the comparison.

I don’t want to call this cake “all show and no go” because that’s far from the reality. However, as I’m sipping on it now it’s definitely true that the bulk of the smokiness comes through only in the nose, while the infusion is more dark and earthy. Very camphor rich, with notes of wet potting soil and forest undergrowth alongside just a bit of brothy salinity. Smoky undercurrent, of course, but also just a really smooth earthiness! W2T describe it as “sweet forest fire” and I think it’s decently accurate; but more a slowly crawling controlled burn instead of something wild and unrestrained…

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CsOw49NOtpY/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uZ9i4QYRLo

EDIT: This was grandpa style.

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drank Fruit Bomb Lapsang by white2tea
2084 tasting notes

TeaTiff Traveling Tea Box | No. 9

This isn’t as bold as I would like, but the fruity flavor is clear and unmistakable. I’m going to try this next with two teaspoons instead of one to see if I can get a better sense of the flavors.

Flavors: Fruity

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank 2015 Pin by white2tea
247 tasting notes

Yum. I don’t have much to add to all the wonderful flavor notes here, but I enjoyed this gong fu session much-much. I am beginning to feel cozily familiar with the young-to-middle-aged sheng taste of (vaguely) apricot/astringency/hay. There are shengs that hum more and less beautifully in that range, in the way “oolong taste” can leave me waiting at the bus stop or vibrate me right into a heap of pleasure. This is Vibrational Sheng Taste.

Of course: I say vibrational and then go and admit that I didn’t ackshually get much vibey qi outta the thing. Okay by me, though — the flavor profile and steeps-for-days kept me pretty darn happy.

I do kind of wonder what this is, right? I find W2T’s marketing incredibly visually and emotionally appealing, but then equally frustrating from an educational and knowledge-building perspective: What regions and factories do I find delicious? Well, uh…

/points at sexy-lip bing


derk. thank you once again for your generous sharing. <3

Roswell Strange

Sometimes if you ask Paul directly on IG for the region he’ll tell you.

I found it really frustrating at first when he stopped explicitly listing the regions – not sure at what point it stopped bugging me as much. Maybe when I started noticing the overlap of tasting notes between the teas I was liking? It’s definitely one of his most polarizing sales techniques, though in some ways it’s freeing.

I’m probably buying sheng from regions I would normally skip because of negative taste associations I have with their region or because they’re not my “preferred” region. …but on the same hand, not knowing that doesn’t allow me to challenge those preconceptions.


Good points! I do like the “blind tasting” aspect of it, as it takes away any expectation or judgment. But being able to take the blindfold off once you’ve found something you love also seems valuable — so much potential delight and surprise! It’s a tough one.

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drank 2023 Lapsun by white2tea
14400 tasting notes


This bud heavy black tea cake was so much more beautiful than I expected it to be, with a really savory smokiness that immediately put me in the head space of late summer Southern barbecue. To be honest, I spent much of the session trying to think of what particular brand of BBQ sauce the liquor was reminding me of. In addition to a very intense savory smoke note, I was getting a lot of malt, dense honey, and dark, jammy cooked down cherry notes. The first few steeps also had some chocolate notes peppered in there, but I found those went away quickly while I started to notice the fruitier undertones more and more. Don’t get me wrong, despite sweeter elements, this was still a mostly savory, meat-y sort of profile. If that sounds like a BBQ sauce you’re familiar with, I guess let me know? I never did land on what specific one it was reminding me of and that’s driving me a little crazy…

I think dethroning Calabash is going to be a tall order for any of these other smoked teas, but Lapsun definitely gives it a run for its money!!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cr6TdcIONqF/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srDoL-MU8mY

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Blehhh. Potent in all the wrong ways. 5 flash steeps. First tasted of absolutely nothing. Next 4 were horribly bitter and astringent with no semblance of beauty. Made me feel woozy on the 3rd steep (should’ve stopped then haha).

The 5 points I give it are for the smell of the wet leaf. Many of the notes I get off of teas are not exact matches in taste or smell. This one was absolutely, no doubt, 100%, hands-down dried apricot. No thinking about it it or anything; it was a reflex. Disappointing, then, that the liquor sucked butt.

Another freebie from W2T and the second strike on them for the day. I need a nice sesh of dan cong right about now…

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter


Nuuuuu, not butt suck!

Marshall Weber

Hahaha it’s pretty bad man


What a bummer.

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Free mini sample. Initial experience is like licking hot metal. Not my thing. Some of the flavors like citrus and spicy notes are nice, but the metallic taste on the front end masks these desirable flavors.

It doesn’t come off as bitter to me really, although astringency is medium. As a lover of super dry red wine, though, my astringency scale may be a bit askew :).

Stopped after 6 infusions.

Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Metallic, Pine, Spicy, Tobacco

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I’m pretty new to loose leaf tea so I apologize in advance for the sub-par review. The tea was fantastic and has a nice hint of lemon with maybe a touch of honey? Highly recommend getting a sample if you haven’t tried this already, definitely getting a full cake next time.

Flavors: Honey, Lemon Zest

0 min, 15 sec

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drank 2022 Moon Waffles by white2tea
3513 tasting notes

Sipdown! (8 | 163)

Trying to finish off the teas from my white2tea order, as now I have a bunch of Bitterleaf samples staring at me lol…

This one is a lovely, easy-drinking white tea that’s thick and creamy with a syrupy honey-dried fruit sweetness to it. The foundation is oats and hay – not the musty kind mind you, this hay is sweet and warmed by the sun. A bit of a crisp autumn leafy note as well, which pairs nicely with the dried fruit. Maybe a touch of maple syrup as well?

Certainly a nice tea. Because I’m a heathen who always steeps Western-style these days, I usually break apart the chonks of compressed tea to allow it to steep more quickly. That was a bit difficult with this one, the (admittedly adorable) waffley texture sort of seals each little square into a solid chonk and I had a hard time trying to loosen them. Anyway, enjoyed sipping this one and would sip again!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Dry Leaves, Grain, Hay, Honey, Maple Syrup, Oats, Sweet, Thick

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank 2022 Waffles by white2tea
67 tasting notes

Cake batter is a top 3 ice cream flavor for me. This is that flavor in tea form and I love it. This finding is strange to me, as I wouldn’t consider that flavor to be a fermented-type flavor. But hey, I won’t complain :).

Mouthfeel is okay, but slightly disappointing. Nowhere near as flat as brown sugar, but not as full or interesting as a couple of shengs I’ve had either. Somewhat creamy, but not terribly so. Longevity is 12+ infusions.

This tea is certainly appropriately priced and one of W2T’s cheapest. Price and flavor make it tempting. So the question is ultimately: to cake or not to cake? I’ll probably end up getting a cake, tbh. Nothing bad about the mouthfeel, it’s just not a highlight. And the flavor is great.

Flavors: Butter, Cake, Cream, Earth, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla

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An okay tea that is aptly named. Some good sweetness from the get-go and nice brown sugar flavor, but doesn’t compare to Cream for me.

Main issue for me is one of complexity. I get some brown sugar and maybe a bit of molasses, but that’s it. Mouthfeel is flat. Aftertaste is minimal to absent. Longevity is similarly disappointing. Even with boiling water and longer infusion intervals (+ 10-15 s), it went weak pretty quickly.

Ultimately, a long ways from cakeworthy.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Molasses

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drank 2021 Philtre by white2tea
67 tasting notes

Picked up a sample of this with my order of my first cake – 2016 Fade! An enjoyable tea with trace bitterness and no astringency. Flavor isn’t terribly complex though, but what flavor there is is nice.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly nice for a young sheng. Feels like it’s a blanket laying across the whole surface of my mouth. Longevity is ~ 17-18 infusions.

Enjoyable tea, but not worth it for the price. Fade is better.

Flavors: Apple, Cream, Sweet

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Grandpa Style!

After nearly a month in customs, my last W2T order has FINALLY arrived and I am in pure, unadulterated smoked tea heaven!! Over the next week I will be slowly working my way through sampling each of these cakes and minis.

I’ve been the most excited for 2023 Firebat since Pyrolad, W2T’s other smoked sheng, has quickly become a favourite of mine. I’ve just started sipping through this mini and it’s already blowing my mind; deliciously smoky with a pleasant citrus bite!!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CrjZlgwIUYk/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmxqAjh3WIY

On the nose? Yes. Also just a total bop though!


Firebat?! Such a cute name!


oooh. This makes me very excited to try mine!

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drank 2023 Calabash by white2tea
14400 tasting notes

This is not my first time trying smoked white tea, but even though this first tasting was just Western style I can already tell this is the best smoked white I’ve tried yet! The dry leaf aroma was potent but sweet, with notes of over ripe honeydew and sweetgrass mixed with the camfpire-like overtones. The cake is a little brittle and flaky, but I love the more loose compression. It was very easy to get a good piece off despite the more fragile leaves.

Steeped up the taste strongly reminds me of the sweet mineral aroma of rain; the kind that comes suddenly in heavy sheets like a whip crack in the dead of night. Combined with the smoke notes, which flood the nose and mouth before quickly moving on, I’m transported to the feeling of waking up the morning after a thunderstorm when camping. Groggily opening the tent to rain soaked earth and the lingering smell of last night’s crackingly bonfire still hanging in the air. Fresh, clean smoke. The sip closes out with a faint bit of honey. If it’s not evident, this tea made a pretty striking first impression. Already can’t wait to brew it up again…

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CroeT2EIhXP/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iypuEbVCcc8


Wow. Sounds amazing.

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drank Snowflake Queen by white2tea
102 tasting notes

Had this tea with Ashmanra’s April prompt, “fanciest tea” in mind. I actually had a few other ones mentally picked out for that prompt, but I couldn’t resist this one after it came in with my newest W2T order. I’ve shared it with a couple of friends already heheh

I forget the exact tasting notes I was remarking on with my friends, but the deep floral scent of the wet leaf peeking through the light nutty roast absolutely stuck with me. One of my friends picked up a light lemon note, more zest than juice though. This tea was a crowd pleaser both sessions. I also love how absurdly massive the leaves are, and ended up grampa styling the last half of the leaf sesh I had yesterday. This tea packs a sneaky flavorful punch!

Will report back when I sit down and mindfully drink this one.

Flavors: Artichoke, Floral, Lemon Zest, Lily, Roasted Nuts

5 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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drank 2020 Bamboo Dove by white2tea
3513 tasting notes

Sipdown! (22 | 144)

I cut the steep a bit short for this last mug, because there were a lot of tiny bits and tea dust at the bottom of the bag.

I would call this a terribly complex tea, but it certainly is easy-drinking, and I find that to be the case with most compressed white teas I’ve tried. This mugful is a bit heavier than the others, due to the aforementioned bottom-of-the-bag-bits, so it has a stronger woody/earthy/mineral presence and a darker color. Still with those lovely dried hay notes and a touch of syrupy sweetness. Previous cups had a bit more of that sweet quality, and also some dried fruity notes reminiscent of dates or raisins. The bamboo roast is evident in the strong woody character and comforting toastiness.

Enjoyed sipping through the small bag, though I don’t know that I enjoy the bamboo element of it any more than a regularly processed white tea. I still have Moon Bear and Moon Waffles waiting to be enjoyed, so looking forward to sipping on those.

Flavors: Bamboo, Barnyard, Dates, Dried Fruit, Earthy, Hay, Honey, Mineral, Raisins, Roasted, Sweet, Syrupy, Toasty, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Steeped western; 4 grams/300 ml.

After smelling dry leaf, I thought it will be very smoky, but in fact; not that much.
Brewed tea has lovely level of smokiness, complemented with pine wood aroma and it was also a bit meat-y. But that is probably association in my brain that says smoked stuff => smoked meat.

Also, it somehow reminded me cigars and tobacco, which is something I have very limited experience with as a no-smoker, so I never tried it. But of course, you ran across thorugh different people.

It was a perfect hit to today gloomy and rainy afternoon.

Flavors: Meat, Pine, Sap, Smoked, Tobacco

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

I have always loved lapsang, but have never sprung for a really high quality example. This sounds like it might be a nice place to (re)start the love affair.

Martin Bednář

W2T offers several types of lapsang, so maybe get them and try them.


I will take a look, thanks for the tip!

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White2Tea club – Sipdown.

I didn’t like the taste of this one. Dry leaf smells fruity. Taste is fruity, but has an unpleasant aftertaste. Astringent and drying.
Western style preparation (like everything lately, at work).

Flavors: Astringent, Drying, Fruity

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Started my morning with a session of 2022 Horse Girl Clique and some sweet and tangy passionfruit!! I really love how super dark, slightly bitter chocolate and the lively, bright acidity of passionfruit balance each other out so that’s what I had in mind with this combination, however the tea itself leaned much more heavily towards thick notes of malt, honey, and starchy grains than I had remembered. It was still delicious, but definitely a different dynamic than what I’d expected at first. The dark, dense buckwheat honey was interesting with the more “top note” sweetness of the fruit. It was hard to not have the passionfruit eclipse it entirely since the flavour is so much more intense and concentrated, but after a few steeps – when I got the ratio of tea to fruit more correct – it created a fun layering of different types of sweetness. With that in mind, I probably wouldn’t repeat this pairing but it was still super fun trying it out!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cq_WiNbuOWk/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LT3Y8A1kMw

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severely overleafed this one today, just for giggles. and science. Science giggles.
the buttery green bean note was all there, competing with an astringency I never got when i stuck to my usual 5g. played around with flash steeps, found that I was able to give this tea more legs that way. Really just entertaining myself to distract from the new tea screaming at me from my tea stash hehe. The struggle is real

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Sat down with this tea for breakfast. It’s such a refreshing tea to start my day with. The leaves swimming in my mini kyusu were truly fascintating ! So varied… I saw some paper white buds, rusted red oxidized spots on some leaves, and even a lil tea seed. While these are considered flaws, I find them very entertaining and a bonus each brew.

Flavors: Asparagus, Butternut Squash, Lettuce

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Was intrigued by this tea when I came across W2T’s spring 2023 selections. It was the cheapest of the bunch, and twice as much tea. That alone did not sell me, but the description of this tea being the outcasts of several different tea producers in the Gan Lu region definitely piqued my interest. Of course, I simply could. not. wait. to pop open this bag and see what the tea would turn out like. The dry leaves were a happy variety of fresh green leaves, some small, some a little larger, some flat and oblong, while others were thinly rolled like needles. I even found a teeny little tea seed as I was brewing! The brew was all sweet corn and grassy vegetal flavors. it’s going to be fun teasing out all the flavors as I drink this one down


Glad you enjoyed this tea! I was thinking about buying it, but went with Teavivre instead.


Ooh, which teavivre teas did you go with?


I bought their pre-Qingming Handmade Bi Luo Chun and their Anji Bai Cha. I restrained myself from also picking up their pre-Qingming Longjing, though I kind of regret it now.


Still, those are both excellent choices! BiLuoChun is possibly my favorite Chinese green


I had their regular Bi Luo Chun last year and liked it, and I’m happy to report that the handmade version is even better! I’m still waiting for the Anji Bai Cha, which was shipped separately. If it’s anything like last year’s, I’ll enjoy it as well. Where do you get your Bi Luo Chun?


Got some from Whispering Pines, Min River, Yunnan Sourcing. Basically wherever i can find it lol

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drank 2016 Heart Of The City by white2tea
1406 tasting notes

woof – I’ve had this sample stored for almost 6 years and am just now getting around to it. That will be the case for most of my pu’er notes this year.

Sounds like Heart of the City had good reception when it was fresh. Now it’s 7 years old and kind of weak in a way (also strong) but that could be due to my storage or other factors.

The leaf is moderately chopped to over an inch long, some thin stems. Tan to browning with an olive hue. Sticky to the touch when wet. It gives an orange brew that turns amber and does not provide much in terms of aroma. The warmed leaf, however, has strength in the nose with sticky plum sweetness and goji berries.

The first few brews are mouth-filling and the sip finishes with a dry sweetness that tastes like palm sugar-caramel. Kind of a hollow mineral-herbaceous midground. Nutty-fruity-mushroomy tone stays in the background. Sticky, moderate sweetness. After the first cup, the mouth and throat are already cooled and a decent returning sweetness presents. Mouth is perfumed with bittersweet purple flowers and palm sugar is the background. Strong mineral taste-feeling under tongue.

With the third cup, the astringency that supposedly marked this tea while young shows up. The brew becomes thinner, less sweet and finally it becomes bitter for the fifth and sixth. A few more pours give less astringency and mild sweetness.

Not too much of a sneaker with caffeine but it is felt. A smooth buzz with a gently heavy and forceful restorative swell juxtaposes the astringency and bitterness.

As it stands now at 7 years old and being drunk before the weather turns full spring, the tea might be in an awkward phase or maybe my 60% humidity and 65-70F storage isn’t doing this tea any favors. Heart of the City is not one for me to drink now, but I didn’t want to keep the rest of the sample around to find out how much it might change in several years’ time. Finished.

Song pairing: Evol Intent – Red Soil

Flavors: Astringent, Bittersweet, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Floral, Goji, Herbaceous, Lavender, Menthol, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nutty, Perfume, Plum, Tangerine, Violet, Wet Wood, Yeast

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