White2Tea’s 2008 Often

(Tea Provided For Review)

I’m approaching the end of my White2Tea samples, I originally planned on trying this 2008 Often first, but I lost the sample; unbeknownst to me I put it with my Japanese greens. Anyways White2Tea describes this as:
Another unwrapped warehouse find, the Often 250 gram tuo is a solid daily drinker Puer tea for the Puer fanatic on a budget. Slightly strong in early steeps, this tuo behaves like a young Puer that is just beginning to calm down. The tea leaves a strong sweet feeling in the mouth.
250g tightly pressed tuo [nest shaped], heavy on the huangpian [large, yellow leaf] and pressed with a red ribbon. Previously unwrapped in large boxes, we wrapped it in paper with a stamp that says “Often” to remind you to drink Puer everyday.
I’m starting to feel that White2Tea prefers letting the tea speaks for itself, besides being made from huangpian you don’t get much besides it has a sweet aftertaste.

Dry Leaves: The leaves have a couple golden tips and looks like a lot of huangpian I’ve had in the past; it looks to be tightly compressed has a soft earthy aroma with some hay notes. The dry leaves are not particularly fragrant, but I could smell a bit of smoke in this.

First Steeping
Temperature: 175oF
Brewing Time: Thirty Seconds
Aroma: Smoky, Meaty and Peach
Flavor: Vegetal, Smokey and Grassy
Tasting Notes: I started off with three quick five second rinses using boiling water and the leaves still have not started to break apart. There was a bit of smoke taste and aroma, but it was not overwhelming like some cheap shengs and there was a strange meaty aroma (maybe boiled meat). There was no astringency or bitterness so far, but there was a very sweet grassy aftertaste. I do not often (ha!) taste sweet grassy notes in shengs.

So far I am not sure what to think of this, the sweetness put me off a little, the vegetal and smoke notes are very weak so far and perhaps it would have been stronger if I used hotter water. There is a nice thin-ish mouthfeel that was quite pleasant.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 190oF
Brewing Time: Forty-five Seconds
Aroma: Smokey and Peach
Flavor: Vegetal, Grassy, Wet Stone and Honey
Tasting Notes:  I decided to crank up the heat this time I don’t often do this when trying new shengs especially shengs that I was planning on writing on, but I do have quite a lot of my Often sample left over. As a little side note I tend to notice TwoDog like the better Puerh vendors tend to give out a little more, my sample packet says 10g, but it actually had 17g in it; 10g of which was a large chunk, 5g in a smaller chunk and 2g in loose strands.

Anyways wow this sure taste a lot better than the last infusion. While the last was slightly on the anemic side this is much more potent. The strange meaty aroma disappeared as well as the smokey flavor. Instead there was a wet stone taste. Still it has a very sweet aftertaste, this time more so from the honey notes than the grassy (although this is still sweet). I am happy to say there is some light astringency this time, but still no bitterness.

Third Steeping
Temperature: Boiling
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Peach
Flavor: Bell Pepper, Celery, Grassy Mineral and Honey
Tasting Notes: The smokey aroma is gone; the peach scent is starting to become much stronger and is quite pleasant. The bitterness is starting to become stronger, almost to the point where I would describe it as kuwei. Otherwise the vegetal notes started to become distinct; I’m getting a lot of thin watery bell pepper notes as well as celery in later infusions I get more cucumber notes. The sweetness of the grassy notes is starting to wane, but the honey aftertaste is still strong.

I rather enjoyed Often, while it did star out a little weak I cannot chalk that up to me using too cold of water. I did use the rest of my sample in another session and started with boiling water and still the first infusion was weak (not as weak though) I feel pretty confident in saying this tea benefits from longer rinses. At the time of writing this White2Tea is selling a 250g tuocha for $22.50 and that seems very reasonably priced. Often is definitely a daily drinker and I feel it is worth checking out even though White2Tea currently does not offer a sample, it is very non-offensive tea and probably best to drink soon (and often). It does not have some of those green bean notes that are warning signs for many sheng drinkers, I am a little curious how this will age.


Just a guy who likes tea.