Wednesday, December 18, 2019

2019 white2tea Snoozefest: The Defeat of a Foe & Staying the Course

I guess I have a rather weird obsession with these Snoozefest cakes (see here, here, and here… I’ve reflected on this a bit lately… it is actually a bit strange…  I think it has something to do with the fact that I can rarely resist something so cheap and decently good.  Hobbes of the famed The Half-Dipper blog was afflicted with the same flaw, if we could call it that.  The marketing is its own thing too- the Black Friday, the giant cake giveaway, the concept of exclusivity, the Dis-cake theme.  It’s all interesting to me.  I think it’s also a struggle within myself as well…

The description on the website for this 2019 white2teaSnoozefest ($15.00 for 200g or $0.08/g) did not state that the production was limited to 100 as it did the previous two years.  This created some conspiracy theories to pop up about how many were pressed and how limited the cake actually was.  It was compounded when the cake sold out in about 2 hours only to be offered again a day later.

The wrapper design was a bit tweaked this year too.  Check it out unwrapped!  It is really a stunning piece to look at.  It is quite out there and definitely makes a statement.  Each year the Snoozefest wrapper has used the old wrapper concept and added to it.  This 2019 wrapper still has lots of the features and messaging of the 2017 and 2018 however the wrapper has many additions and artistic features new to this years wrapper.

The most interesting is the phrase “Sorry, u/tinklefor is either deleted, banned, or doesn’t exist. ;)”  This basically is a statement claiming defeat over its critics- especially poor u/tinklefor.  To understand the background of this dis-cake and on the u/tinklefor beef see the comments here. 

The wrapper continues with an appreciative and excitement building tone which the 2018 cake had.  It continues by adding “We pressed it. And you enjoyed it” and “par for the course” in parentheses which speaks to the monotony and predictability of this surprise release which is also alluded to in the description of the cake on the website “(this again)”.  To me it also speaks the aspects of this year’s white2tea Black Friday promotion that was basically identical to years past.  There is something eerily familiar about the way Paul chose to put “par for the course” in parenthesis like that.  Drinkers of puerh in the West have no doubt seen that phrase many many times before but where??? It was actually one of Hobbes of The Half-Dipper’s most common phrases to describe puerh in his posts!  As you may know Hobbes was also an early supporter of white2tea.

Other features in the wrapper design include seeing double images.  When you get clobbered like poor u/tinklefor you might be seeing double.  There is a lot of double imagery in the wrapper which includes the snapchat ghost, the large graffiti 2 and W and T, the white2tea logo, the w2t reppin, ect.. Or maybe the double image is just playing on the 2 in white2tea… so seeing double.  The blurred imagery wrapper design is also a continuation of the wrapper concept released on many cakes in the early Spring. 

There is only one triple impression on the whole wrapper which is the purple outline around a pink circle outline the size of the cake.  To me this symbolizes the three releases of the Snoozefest cake (2017, 2018, and this 2019).  There is a feeling of finality to this wrapper concept, Paul has claimed victory over u/tinklefor, he won, his point was made and I think this will be the last Snoozefest (although I predicted wrongly that he wouldn’t release this again this year).  This one was all about the victory lap or victory dance.  In offering us a cake for this cheap he is offering us a gift in which we can celebrate in Paul’s victory as well.  So let’s celebrate… wait a minute… I’m I one of Paul’s critics?…. Hahaha…. Is me buying this cake Paul claiming victory... hahaha...

Someone actually purchased one of these cakes but had no idea what it was… Paul’s response was “it’s a raw Purh tea with a strong huigan.  Nice daily drinker.”  Simple and to the point…

Let’s see if this year’s Snoozefest is as good as last years???

The dry leaves smell of grasses and dry woods.  There is just the faintest edge of pure icing sugar sweetness found in there- you can hardly smell it.

The first infusion has a sweet bubble gum like taste upfront there is a powdery, chalky, creamy edge to it which kind of expands in the mouth.  There is a faint grassy base that you can’t really notice too much over the dominating creamy bubble gum sweetness.  I can feel Qi in this one in the chest already unlike last years which had very little Qi apparent through the session… this one is already showing signs of being quite different.

The second has an orange fruit taste off the bat.  There is a flat stone like taste in there, a certain slipperiness to it.  The sweetness isn’t so candy or obvious and is more on the edges of orange fruit with a faint grassiness to it.

The third has an almost bitter almost sweet orange fruit taste with mineral taste as well as a brackish woody grassiness.  There is just a faint coolness on the breath with a grassy woodiness dominating.  This really reminds me of a Bada area cake.  There is a chesty bodyfeeling and noticeable decent relaxation in the mind.

The fourth infusion has a buttery bubble gum sweetness up front with grassy sweetness underneath.  There is a very soft sour taste not really bitter but almost like orange fruit.  The bubble gum edges are really faint in the aftertaste.  The mouthfeel is a slippery chalky feeling in the mouth, not too full, thin, and decently coating.

The fifth infusion has a burst of tangy sweet orange followed by a mineral, slippery rock like taste.  There is some grassiness and barely sweetnesses trying to push through into the aftertaste.  The mouthfeel is not that obvious but a slippery feeling.  The throat is not very stimulated or opened.  The chest has a mild opening sensation and I can feel the jaw relax a bit.  There is even a noticeable spacy feeling with this one.

The sixth infusion has a sour fruity orangey onset with layers of bubble gum and mineral rock.  The aftertaste here is a bit stronger and tastes of a stickiness, slight astringent tongue.  There is some grassiness that comes out then a sweetness is better held with the increase strength of astringent mouth.  The Qi is building in the head and giving me a pretty decent spaciness now.

The seventh infusion has a creamy sweetness of peach and orange the sweetness is prominent here with a nice orange sweetness return and creaminess throughout.  The grassy and mineral are less in this infusion- it’s more of a long fruity taste.  There is a sticky mineral taste that lingers on the breath.  The Qi is more heady at this point- a bit spacy.  Nice for something this inexpensive.  The mouthfeeling is slippery then throat only opens with more astringent infusions.

The eighth infusion starts with a nice sour orange taste then it slowly disperses into a mineral base.  The last few infusions the grassy note has disappeared.  Leaving a layer of sour sweet orange and mineral finish then a long orange in the finish.  Nice taste.

The ninth infusion has a slightly sour buttery orange fruit taste with just faint suggestions of bitter orange rind.  The mouthfeel is fuller now with a touch of astringency.  The mouthfeel is a sticky almost astringent tongue.  The Qi is slightly spacy.

The tenth is more peach now than orange.  It’s a mellow sweet taste full over a slippery mouthfeeling.  The throat only seems to open at the top but is enough to let an enjoyable orangey mineral sweetness on the breath.  The taste gets really simple in these last few infusions sweet slight sour orange with a mineral base and slight slippery tongue and mouth coating.  The Qi you can feel it in the head a bit of spaciness there.

The 11th has a juicy peach and orange sweetness with faint nuances of sour and even more faint barely bitter.  The mouthfeeling is a bit sticky and full on the tongue.

The 12th is a nice peachy sweetness with mineral underneath the mineral, stone wet mouthfeeling with very slight astringency.  The taste is long now and becoming less complex leaving a nice simple note of sweetness to be enjoyed.  Qi still imparts a relaxing head feeling.  The years Snoozefest doesn’t feel as harsh in the body and isn’t as powerful in its mouthfeeling and bitterness as 2019 Snoozefest.  2018 Snoozefest can be a drink now where last years had a few more aggressive and more powerful tendencies.

13th is a mellow peachy taste with mineral taste undernieth.  The mouthfeel is just a touch astringent over slippery stone feeling and faint stickiness.  The Qi can still be felt in the Heart a tiny bit.

The 14th and 15th have a mellow pear and peachy taste with some mineral.  A bit dry here.  The taste has fallen off fast and is pretty much just this simple mineral and mild peach taste.  It’s enjoyable for what it is so I trudge on adding 60 seconds to the flash infusions I’ve been doing here.

The 16th has a more distinct peachy mineral taste and a more full slippery tongue coating but otherwise simple but enjoyable tastes.

The 17th I do a minute steeping out comes a mild juicy fruity typical sheng taste with a base of some mineral and a slightly sandy coating.  I can see this one lasting a while like this… pretty easy tastes in these later infusions but there is something enjoyable about peach and mineral, a comfortable mouthfeeling, and a mild spaciness that you can’t really complain about for $15.

I dump the leaves into a mug a work and fill with hot water and drink it like this “grandpa style” for an hour… I get woody, lots of mineral, slight mint, bubble gum, orange, peach, grass, a slightly pucker finish with mineral and orange in the aftertaste.  Slight bitter comes out here now too. 

To compare this 2019 to the 2018 white2tea Snoozefest these cakes are really different.  At its core they are both, as Paul described them, as an everyday drinker with a sweet returning profile.  But they are actually very different from each other too...

2019 has a more mineral and orange taste which the 2018 doesn’t have.  The 2018 has much more intense profile with much more strength of bitterness, sweetness, and mouthfeeling.  The 2018 had more grapefruit and floral to it.  The 2018 has a more mild layered presentation.  The taste will change a bit but it won't gather intense elements like bitterness or mouthfeeling like the 2018 has.  The best thing about the 2019 has at least a bit of Qi and bodyfeeling where the 2018 is a bit lacking here.  The 2019 was not overly strong or harsh and could easily be consumed now whereas the 2018 I think will age a lot better.  The notes above for the 2019 are similar to what I read about the 2017 Snoozefest and might be closer to that year’s production rather than the more interesting 2018.  There is a distint base of Bada area puerh that is apparent to me now.  Personally, I think the 2018 is much superior and will age out a lot better than the 2019.

Thanks again Paul for this gift of a puerh tea!


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