August 2016 White2Tea Club feat. Mengsong Sheng Comparison

White2Tea Club time! This month features two different 2016 Mengsong Shengs, one 50 gram cake and two balls. My cake clocked in at 49 grams, the balls 8.5 grams each. We had a White2Tea mengsong comparison back in June 2016, but this is a different farmer. Both teas are club exclusives.

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As always, there is a handout that comes with the club giving us information about the teas. For this month reading the handout with the tea is a spoiler for the tasting. I glanced at it before going for a taste, then as I am back editing I added in the tea information. I’m reviewing this at the end of August – if you have the White2tea club you had time to drink this before this slow/tea queue overload blogger got to it. If not, spoiler warning!

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Dry Leaf

These 50 grams cakes are so darn cute! The cake has a beautiful tea rainbow to it with olives, silvers and a little gold.

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The ball is similar in appearance in regards to colour.

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The scent is really hard to tell apart, but they both smell fresh, sweet and vegetal. The ball is young tree material whereas the cake is from older trees.

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Steeping Instructions

For both teas I went with a ratio of 1 gram to 15ml… which means I had to split the mengsong ball in half to fit my 60ml gaiwan. I learned my lesson back doing the comparison with Crimson Lotus Teas’ Planet Jingmai & Midas Touch – don’t be a damn hero and take the whole sheng ball.

Alright, I take that back. I hate you 50gram cute cake, I got freaking stabbed!

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Yeah yeah, I should had the pro do it. Teal Puer Pick Owl has skillz.

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I went with 200F/93c since these are 2016 puers. I’ve experienced some bitter face killers with the 2016 White2tea sheng line this year so I’m not taking chances on wrecking anymore.

Tasting of August 2016 White2Tea club Mengsong Shengs

The cake is a touch darker steeped, but otherwise they look pretty close. The hot leaf on the balls smells a bit more smokey, while the cake smells bit more fruity.

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First, Second, and Third Infusion:

Mengsong ball – I screwed up and the first steeping tasted like a rinse, which I dumped. I should of broken up the ball more instead of throwing a half lump. I prefer breaking up puer balls, but after the last ball tea from White2Tea, breaking it was a bad idea. Oh well. After I broke up the ball more, the second and third steep flavor bloomed with each steep but the taste is light, floral with a bitter throat feel after after each sip. The texture is lip balm slick.

Mengsong cake – is soft, buttery sip with a soft kiss of floral. It has an oily lip texture and thick. Each steeps develops a deeper rich apricot taste. The texture is quite heavy and slippery that I feel I could fall on my face and slide all over the floor. The cake is much sweeter than the balls and a heavier taste and texture.

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Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Infusion:

Mengsong ball – the flavor caught up! It is a sweet tinny floral hit, then finishes off quite bitter and toothy dry. It sips coarse going down. The aftertaste is bitter and floral.  The fifth infusion is flat and mellow – an even flavor of bitter and metallic with a bit of a floral finish. The texture is slick to start, but thins out at the end of the steeping bracket.

Mengsong cake – sips in smooth and apricot with a floral finish. The liquid is thick feeling in the mouth and goes down smooth. There is some bitter finish, but has enough sweet contrast to win.

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Seventh and Eighth Infusion:

Mengsong ball – sips in buttery but quickly ramps into metallic bitter mode that instantly dries out your teeth and makes your gums feel all weird. Oh gawd, I should brush my teeth more, I can feel all the gunky spots I missed at lunch. GROSSSSSSSSSS! The tea is quite thin here too.

Mengsong cake – the cake has mellowed out similar to the balls were in the last infusion round, but is a more potent sweeter taste. It is bitter of a finish, but the thick texture adds some lubricant so my mouth doesn’t dry out as bad.

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Ninth Infusion:

Mengsong ball – sips in insanely bitter, I noped out of this one. All this collected young sheng I’ve been drinking and this bitterness has added up to a gut twisting feel.

Mengsong cake – came out surprisingly smooth and mellow. Its got a touch of thick broth stuff, but is pretty mellow and easy drinking. Some bitterness at the end but very drinkable.

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About 15 minutes after my session it hit. THIS MENGSONG IS A CREEPER! I got hot flashes and felt crawlies everywhere, like shivers up my scalp. I’m goosebumping cold after the hot flashes, and it was a toasty 80F in my house. The crawlies were driving me nuts, and I didn’t want to start another tea to try and bring me down. So I put the tea drunk into good use…WAXING TIME! Trust me ladies. Get ripped on young puer and wax those legs and upper lip. I FELT NOTHING. I was too busy feeling crawly and strange that I didn’t feel pain as hair got ripped out.


Now who lets you try both young and old tree material, tightly tuned down to same farmer and village? The very spiffy White2Tea club that’s who! I love good tea learning material, you can only do so much reading about it – you gotta get out there and drink all the things!

The only thing that wasn’t controlled here was it was stated the processing is different, plus shape. I much prefer the cake, sans its evil stabby shape (though that poundcake gourd was the worst) and ouch it is old arbor. I’d leave these balls to drink for later, whereas the cake is drink now ready but unfortunately not for sale to get more.

The 2016 shengs are never ending. I’m still slogging through all the 2016 shengs I got and there is no end in sight!

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  • I’ve been considering joining the White2Tea club for a while and this defiantely makes me wants to join it more so. Puerh is still pretty unexplored for me.

    I also love those cups! Where did you get them from?

  • White2Tea – Haven’t had a tea from them in a while might have to bust one out! LOVE the review and comparison thank you!

  • Scott

    Hey Char

    Hoping you can offer a bit of advice or help 🙂 I am a complete pu-erh novice but have heard that it can be great for helping to lose weight – do you know anything about this? From what I’ve read it is best to use a both the ripe and the raw forms but I don’t really want to shell out for two of the sample packs from white2tea and was wondering if you would have any recommendations on what kinds to buy from the white2tea site or any other that sells pu-erh? Thanks in advance

    • Well it won’t help you lose weight. I should be super model thin with all the puer I drink. You’d only lose from the caffeine hit and calories saved if you drank it over eating snacks. Go talk to a doctor and sign up for Myfitnesspal.

      For trying tasty puer, I’d get 1 sample pack from White2tea at a time – there is a free shipping code – so use that to your advantage and load up. If you wanted to go just singles, for ripe I’d go Old Reliable or 2006 Little Gold Melon. Raw I would get Fade or maybe Daily Drinker. If you want something mid-range good try Poundcake.

      Other sellers – try a sample pack at Bana Tea Company (they are pricey but very good). Crimson Lotus = 2008 ripe Bulang… raw I need to try more 2016s, but Jingmai love is decent so far. Yunnan Sourcing is a good spot and cheap but a lot to choose from – I’d just sample stuff that sounds tasty hahahah! Bitterleaf Tea is also an option, I haven’t tried enough to rec anything yet.

      • Scott

        Well I’ve actually lost quite a bit of weight already just hoping for something to get rid of those last stubborn couple of kilos – apparently it’s a bit of a process to follow as in mixing raw and ripe throughout the day and only doing it at certain times, who knows if it will work but I love tea so if it doesn’t work am excited to try some anyway. Thanks for the advice! is very much appreciated to get a few reputable sources to buy from 🙂

  • Kris

    Thanks for posting these! I’m pretty new to Chinese tea, drinking “Western” tea for years until this year. This week I tried the 2basics sheng sampler which had plenty of bitter younger tea. Not sure if that’s an acquired taste of if sheng isn’t my thing (I love my Cloudy Days shou cake). It’s good to know not everyone digs the bitters. I’m working my way through my verdant teaclub membership before I try white2tea’s, so I’ll be watching these helpful reviews from afar!

    • Yes and no. Bitter sheng is a thing – it ages well and some people really like it. But there is lots of young sweet shengs out there, sometimes commanding a higher price. From White2tea the low bitter ones are Diving Duck, Poundcake, and 2late. But yeah, I heard there is one sheng in the basics set that is really bitter hahah!

      It is some acquired taste, especially young sheng. My early sheng days I would steep it 185F, which tames bitter well. Now I just 200F or boil, which gets more bitter but I generally got the taste for it able to distinguish bad bitter and good bitter. Good bitter has some sweetness to it.

      So yeah, try a sweeter sheng and play with temperatures. Or yeah, try an older sheng (with at least 5-10 years on it).

      • Kris

        Thanks for the recommendations! You think Little Walk would be worth adding to that list as well? I was thinking of playing with temp. Bitter sheng reminds me of when I steeped boiling water on a dragon well green for 5m western style b/c I didn’t know better. Mmmmm…

        • Exactly! Kind of like bitter greens. Little Walk is good, but I always forget about Little Walk as I tend to favor Fade for the similar price range. Fade is good but moreso if you want to drink it years down the road.