Yeah October White2Tea Club time! I got at my monthly tea clubs late since I was out of town for the beginning of the month.
This month is an interesting mix of teas – 2006 Gongting Shou 100 gram cake, two 9 gram 2013 Lincang Area sheng orbs, and a ripe pu’er stuffed in a tangerine. I’m going to review the Gongting and Lincang now. I got a number of messages asking me to review the pu’er orange but that’ll be another post.
Of the club teas this month, the 2006 Gongting shou 100 gram cake is available for purchase. Club members got a spiffy coupon code for it!
Tasting of October White2Tea Club Teas
2006 Gongting shou cake
The shou cake is a very dark brown shade with orange ripples. The scent is light earthy with no fermenty funk smells.
Mmmmm pu crust.
I steeped 7.5 grams of the ripe pu’er with boiling water, doing two rinses before drinking.
There was the instructions for this month’s club to steep the gongting with more leaf for a heavy bitter shou, or steep as normal for a lighter tea. I did a gram more than usual so a little middle road style for me.
First Infusion: The 2006 Gongting shou steeps up light with a dark woodsy scent. The flavor is also pretty light, sweet, woodsy, milky, and smooth.
Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Infusion: The flavor is more richer in taste with each steeping, stabilizing at the fourth steeping. 2006 Gongting has notes of light bitter walnut and dark chocolate. The shou sips in light, with the end sip at peak flavor intensity. There is no fermented flavor in this tea.
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion: The Gongting shou is smoothing out in flavor and developed a spice note at the end… or I’m just drinking this tea way too hot. This is a nice nutty lightly earth spice shou.
The effects of this pu’er started to kick in here – I’m sweating and this tea is burning me from the inside. It’s like there’s a tea poltergeists in me punching from the inside of my digestive track with a torch made of fall spices. The warmth and punches created a “deep breath” tea drinking sensation. I’m sure others would say it’s fairies or magic cha qi but since it’s close to Halloween I’ll say they are tea ghosts. The tea ghosts that haunt the tea pot reminding you of the bad tea choices you made at that overpriced trail mix tea shop at the mall. You need to exercise them out by drinking the good tea to settle the spirits.
My cup got empty in between steepings. The lights when off and boom! Ghost Tea Owl!
Steep faster eeek!
Ninth and Tenth Infusion: The flavor is finally starting to lighten back to the first steeping. 2006 Gongting lost that bitter and nutty note and has gone back to a smooth woodsy earth. I noticed a moisterized mouthfeel that was not present before – was that there before or was I chugging this tea too fast to notice? Gahh that’s not from the tea ghost is it?
Eleventh and Twelfth Infusion: The shou pu’er is finished – the tea has gotten super light with just a bit of earthy essence left. Overall, the 2006 Gongting shou 100 gram cake is a light ripe/shou pu’er, perfect for types who don’t like heavy teas. I love the body tea experience for this pu’er, and the flavor is pretty friendly and warming for a chilly day.
2013 Lincang Area Sheng Orb Pu’er
These orbs are a hefty 9 grams each! The steeping options with this sheng pu’er were to either steep the whole thing for what I will predict be “crazy balls” or break in half for a light tea. I decided to go balls out and steeped the whole thing. However, from what I learned from drinking the Crimson Lotus Teas’ Planet Jingmai, I decided I should break the ball.
Breaking a pu’er ball is just asking for a pu’er pick stabbing. Before the Tea Owl went after the sheng ball, I was entertained that the tea looked like a lollipop! Teal “pu’er pick” Owl stabbed the ball and started slamming it on the table.
The Lincang orb broke into 3 pieces, good enough!
I steeped at 200F water temperature, with a 120ml gaiwan. I did one rinse and fast 10 second steeps.
First, Second, Third, and Fourth Infusion: The 2013 Lincang Sheng orb steeps up a pale gold and lightly smell of tobacco.
These early infusions have a really smooth and thick mouth feel. The flavor is light and of sugar cane and soft wood note. The aftertaste is more potent than the sip with a delightful floral nectar flavor. With each steeping the flavor grows and astringency kicks in, adding a cheeky dryness that makes the strong floral aftertaste last forever.
Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion: The sheng orb is at peak flavor complete with a bitterness bite. The pu’er flavor is pretty similar to earlier, but it seems this tea is all about the mouth feel, fragrance and after taste. That bitter bite is pretty punchy – this is what I get for using the whole dang ball! Oh it would of been hilarious if I had steeped both balls! I think double sheng ball would of been too dangerous. I’m feeling the effects of the Lincang right now as managed to pour the gaiwan right over all my fingers.
Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Infusion: 2013 Lincang orb is settling down…I think. The bitter bite smoothed out to a woodsy sugar cane and floral nectar after taste. Then on steep ten the bitterness bit me again. Eleventh steep was sweet sugar cane. Twelfth I poured the gaiwan over my fingers again so I decided I needed a tea break.
Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Infusion: It took about an hour to get the tea drunk out of my system! 2013 Lincang orb pu’er finishes with a dry puffy cheek mouth feel with soft notes of cooked buttered sugar peas. 2013 Lincang sheng orb was a fun pu’er for the mouthfeel addicts who love fragrance!
More to come for the orange pu’er!