Tuesday, September 19, 2017
2017 White2Tea “four am” and A Trap Music Puerh Session
One of the elements that makes White2Tea so unique is that Paul has branded and intertwined his selection of puerh with American popular culture and his spin on modern art. This has never been done before and oh, it is done so brilliantly. Especially noticeable are references to American Rap and Jazz. I believe it is no coincidence that around the same time this tea was being pressed 2 Chainz released his single “4 AM”.
Really there is no better way to enjoy puerh that to bang out some new school trap music. Sitting in Zen meditation with 2 Chainz, melodically disorienting styleof rap bridging on the edge of confusion with both rough and harsh edges flowedby high interruptions booming seems like the best way to appreciate such things. I received this sample free with my order of 2017 "Pussy" on White2Tea's site it is listed for $109.00 for a 200g Xiao bing or $0.55/g. Let’s drop this…
The dry leaves are mix of pungent, deep, rich meat notes, with a slight fruity edge.
The first infusion delivers a pungent, spicy peppercorn sweet meaty initial taste in a thick brothy mouthfeel the aftertaste is of mild honey tastes and edges of slight floral tones. There is a nice slightly rubbery, slightly bubble gum taste that lingers in the mouth minutes later. Immediately, I think to myself that there is a lot going on here.
The second infusion develops a creamy sweet taste, then just a slight meaty pungent profile which pops up quickly then recedes to a developing sweetness of honey and slight, almost non-existent, orchid tastes. The aftertaste develops a gummy, barely bubble gum, and mainly unnami like taste. There is lots of different tastes going on here. The back drop is a decent mouthfeel and a throatfeel that is pretty deep and stimulating.
The third presents with bitter notes up front which then build up to a swelling and growing expanding sweetness. The base flavor is a slightly savory unnami taste and a sweetness. The sweetness is of mainly honey but slight orchid. This infusion shows slight suggestions of a wood base underneath. The initial mild bitterness really opens the mouth to the sweeter tastes to come. The qi makes the jaw and face slightly numb and is giving me a nice floating sensation in the head.
The fourth has a bitter and cypress taste up front that has a slightly evergreen tree like edge to it. A sweet edge of honey develops underneath but this tea is not out rightly sweet. The sweetness build in the mouth until a nice spike of icing sugar and peach fruit sweet taste spikes about 20 seconds after swallowing. The mouthfeel is slightly medium thick, sticky fuzzy in the mouth but the throat is nicely stimulated.
The fifth offers creamy soap-like tastes that pair with slightly bitter cypress tree notes. These tastes quickly transform with ghostly edges of orchid and honey. The sweet taste peaks 20 seconds later with a sweet bubble gum and fruit taste in the mouth. There is a slight woody base under the whole infusion. Feeling very relaxed- nice qi.
The sixth infusion offers a flatter, initial bitter, up front sage-like honey taste is in there as well. An evergreen wood base taste in slight sweetness develops. The sweetness builds slowly and has a certain complexness to it. Really, there is lots going on as far as taste goes. Minutes later the taste aggregates into a sweet clear honeydew melon taste with honey base and suggestions of orchid flowers.
The seventh and eighth offers a watery, bitter initial taste with slight wood. There is a nice building up to a enjoyable melon sweetness. The returning sweetness is layered nicely and is by far the most enjoyable part of this tea. The bitterness feels quite mild here now.
The ninth infusion offered stronger resinous evergreen tree notes as the base. A slight menthol note appears in the aftertaste for the first time. The sweet note builds slowly until cresting in that honeydew melon taste.
The tenth infusion has a watery soft bitter start with an edge of evergreen wood. The taste is a bit vacuous in the middle profile. Even the aftertaste is a bit weak- not as sweet but more orchid late in the returning sweetness. The taste evolves slowly in the mouth.
The eleventh has florals mixed with muted evergreen wood/ cypress wood taste. The sweetness first of honey then of a floral type. The twelfth infusion steeped a little longer seems to meld most of these separate tastes into one right from the initial taste and through to the aftertaste. This tea is still too young to drink and I can feel its qi kicking at my stomach. I spread out the infusion through the course of my day at home to mitigate this ill effect. The tea really coats the teeth and tongue in a thin stickiness. Minutes later there is a sweet honeydew melon sweetness on them. Minutes after that a faint resinous evergreen woody taste.
In the thirteenth infusion the bitterness starts to come on stronger mildly astringing the fluids of the mouth and dominate the subtle flavours which still manage to punch through. I was at approx. 20second infusions here. I think I will dial that back.
The fourteenth is mild, almost a creamy sweetness in empty woody water here.
In the fifteenth I press hard again- it is buttery, bitter and slightly sweet now. The aftertaste is still interesting woody, and slight sweet. The bitterness is somewhat challenging at this point. If you steep lightly, you don’t get too much but if you go a bit stronger the bitterness is an issue.
I steep it a few more times but the bitterness is too unpleasant and unharmonious at this point to continue which is absolutely normal for a tea that is meant to be aged. Overall the tea is not that bitter, but just young puerh bitter.
The taste is as chaotic as the music I have paired with this tea today with a lot going on- highs, lows, depth, and harshness. I still think "Pussy" is a better tea but these are two really different types of puerh. “four am” has much more diversity of taste in there and is a tea that you would want to age not drink now.
Looking back at my day with this tea I can sum up the chaqi as giving me an unfocused and floating feeling… not much got accomplished this day.. hahaha.
So why the fly image? It is a reference to the slang “I’m flying high” aka experiencing a sensation of floating or the effects of drugs. Certainly this tea has some of this.
… Or maybe its just a complete coincidence and the name is a blend from “four”, “am” as in “areas in Menghai”. The thing with White2Tea is that you never know.
The names and wrappers are essentially art to be interpreted by the eye of the beholding puerh drinker. Which I find quite amusing… but not as amusing as day of Trap music and puerh.