2017 puer is nuts. We got so much selection this year for young sheng, that I’ve been busy drinking it all and getting gut rot. I’ve drunk a good selection of White2Tea’s 2017 line now, so I am starting with what I found is a good mid-range tea. I got 2017 Farmer Direct Tea (FDT) as a bonus sample with purchase. I was a high roller this year and only bought the expensive White2Tea shengs to try, which I slightly regret as FDT turned out to be pretty good.
Farmer Direct Tea. I’m sure the name of this tea really appeals to people as it is a popular buzzword, as it sounds wholesome organic or maybe fair trade. I can feel the Search Engine Optimization magic from the Google superpower. Oddly, my brain switched off “Farmer Direct” buzzword immediately and went to “direct to video” giggles. If White2Tea does this tea again, it should be like Farmer Direct 2: Director Tong Cut, then Farmer Direct 3: Revenge of the Hui Gan.
Dry Leaf and Steeping Method
Farmer Direct Tea smells fruity, fuzzy, and somewhat nutty.
I didn’t do anything different with gongfu style, but this year I have no mercy with young shengs so it has been boil boil boil. I went with 1 gram to 15ml, steeped in boiling water. The hot leaf smells like scorched sticky rice.
Tasting of White2Tea’s 2017 Farmer Direct Tea Sheng Puer
First and Second Infusion: Farmer Direct Tea is subtle on flavor with a savory, sticky rice broth. The aftertaste is light, clean, and sweet grassy as if I ate a salad 10 minutes ago. The body is interesting – it is certainly sticky. It feels like it gumming up in the back of my tongue.
Third and Fourth Infusion: FDT has gotten more sticky, it is despite it being watery tea. It is like drinking glue as the broth jams the back of the throat and settles there. The flavor notes of savory grass and green beans are stronger, though still on the lighter side.
Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion: It keeps getting stickier and stickier. The flavor is pushing the limit, especially with boiling temperature. My greens are getting stewed and dancing to bitterness. However, the body keeps getting stickier and stickier – like a bone heavy stock that gluey dense texture to it. The flavor is still on the savory side, so this straight up tastes like vegetable + bones broth. The aftertaste is finally coming out with a stronger, longer lasting sweet grass and spinach.
Ninth and Tenth Infusion: I did long infusions here, so around 10 to 15 minutes, to keep Farmer Direct Tea going. Despite the long infusions, it is actually quite drinkable with sharp steamed greens and spinach notes and that glue mouthfeel. I now regret not leafing this a touch more. 1 gram to 12ml might have a better result for more potency as this tea can certainly take a touch more abuse.
White2Tea’s 2017 Farmer Direct Tea Sheng Puer (FDT) is a savory light tea with a crazy sticky body. This tea is hands down for texture chasers. FDT makes for good educational tea if you want to experience how tea has texture. Overall, I found Farmer Direct Tea reliable to steep, likely a touch heavy on the leaf would have good results. I wouldn’t go under boiling water as the flavor is just too subtle and this tea is all about the texture. Without the hot brewing temperature, you’ll likely just have strange dishwater.
Comparing to the other White2Tea 2017 shengs I’ve had, Farmer Direct Tea’s savory and sticky notes stand out in the sea of sweet young puer. I’ll be mentioning FDT again when I get around to reviewing White2Tea’s 4am, which has similar sticky texture, but more refined in taste.
At this time, 2017 Farmer Direct Tea is $69 for a 200 gram cake. Honestly, 2017 puer has been expensive and I’ve noticed this with across many of the puer sellers. Maybe it is fond memories but I feel previous years $50 cakes were just as good as these 2017 $70+ cake whippersnappers. Through the grapevine, I heard the material was more expensive this year due to weather. That said, this year is important to sample first before committing to a cake.
(My sample of FDT was a bonus free sample with my order. I didn’t buy the tea but it also wasn’t provided to be reviewed)