You know I squawked and spazzed and bought a cake of 2016 Trap Bird right at release, as you all well know I need to own anything Owl.
When Trap Bird arrived it smelled way too pungent. I let it sit for a few weeks in the open air as the paired association of too young of shou makes my bowels tremble. I then tossed Trap Bird into my shou-midor and promptly forgot I owned this cake until James at TeaDB asked me about it. Then I wrote the review and it got pushed back for 2017 sheng season… and whooops I sat on this tea for a year. How could I forget the owl trap?
I smelled the cake and it passed. LETS OWL!
Dry Leaf and Steeping Method
I was thankful AF Trap Bird has an extra inner wrapper. I am stealing this wrapper away.
Gorgeous cake – a lovely mix of golds and blacks. The scent is sweet earthy.
I used 1 gram of leaf to 13ml of vessel size, steeped in boiling water. I did a single rinse and let the leaf sit in the pot for a few minutes to open up.
Wow, the Trap Bird hot leaf smells like whiskey.
Tasting of White2Tea’s 2016 Trap Bird Shou Puer
First, Second, and Third Infusion: The colour comes out a beautiful clear mahogany. The flavor is light to start, it is a touch of whiskey, wood, and butterscotch notes. Trap Bird is heavy on aftertaste – I can feel it rise like hot air in my mouth, wafting up more flavor through my sinuses. The body is thick, drinking like a wrecking ball going through the digestive tract, making it just sink down and stir in my gut. I find it has lost most of the funk but there is a hint of sour on some aftertaste sips.
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Infusion: Trap Bird is fairly consistent in notes tasting similar to the earlier infusions, so why I can see it is labeled as a daily drinker. It has reached peak strength, sitting more on the moderate side. It isn’t a thick death shou and I find it easy drinking. I lost all sour notes in this bracket, so these infusions were quite smooth.
Eighth and Ninth Infusion: Flavor is starting to slip, though the fragrance is going strong – I can actively taste the tea as the aftertaste rises more than the actual sip. The body is thinning out but still feels slick on the lips. The body feels still is gut slamming. The notes are fairly consistent – a little whiskey and butterscotch.
Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Infusion: I did a fairly long infusion of 10 minutes to start. The colour went back to like it was on the first infusion. The flavor is light but shifted away finally from the whiskey to crisp simple sweetness with an aftertaste of butter and sweetness. I thought 11th infusion was the last, but has more in it. Each steeping got sweeter and sweeter but the body got thinner.
Labelled as a daily drinker, White2Tea’s 2016 Trap Bird shou puer is easy drinking with a moderate level flavor and plenty of aroma. The texture is heavy in the early stages and decent body feel. I quite like the flavor notes in this one and it certainly put out a lot of infusions. It is ready to drink now, finally, though it still has a touch of young shou funk.
I quite like Trap Bird, though I am partial to the aroma and Owl art. It is certainly daily drinker like as it is consistent but has plenty of delicious notes and gongfu switch flavor at the end with never-ending sweetness. As a comparison to other White2Tea shous (though I am going off my own notes, I haven’t had both in awhile), Old Reliable is more earthy, whereas Cream is more bright, sweet, and smooth. Trap Bird seems to land in the middle and is focused on being aromatic. I would buy another cake if I wasn’t swarmed in similarly priced shous. I managed to talk myself out of buying it twice, especially since I got around to framing the wrapper.