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.
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!
These 50 grams cakes are so darn cute! The cake has a beautiful tea rainbow to it with olives, silvers and a little gold.
The ball is similar in appearance in regards to colour.
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.
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!
Yeah yeah, I should had the pro do it. Teal Puer Pick Owl has skillz.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!