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Spring Break Session #1: 2018 Charlie (White2tea)

2018 Charlie white2tea

During Spring break, I want to do a proper tasting session every day and today is the first day. You can read all about my plans and the other teas I tried this week in this post.

The first session of this week is about white2tea’s 2018 Charlie! I received this tea for February’s tea club. I got this tea a few weeks ago and let it rest for a while to overcome its ‘jetlag’. Now seemed like the perfect time to taste it as it is a warming and soothing tea. Two weeks ago, it seemed like Spring was already here in Belgium but now it looks like winter is back. This tea is perfect to smooth out the last months of winter.

2018 Charlie

The 2018 Charlie is ripe (=shu/shou) Puer tea pressed into a 200g cake. White2tea created this cake at the end of 2018. This tea focuses on the darker and warmer aspects of ripe Puer and not on the sweet notes. This is perfect to survive the last weeks of winter. The main aspects of this tea are earthy and woody and these will continue to develop while steeping. I might even be getting some medicinal flavours. White2tea describes this tea as a perfect antidote against the cold. February was the first month that I joined the white2tea club so I’m curious to see and taste what they are offering. I have also browsed their store and they are offering some interesting teas!

I really love the wrapper! I think it’s funny that it’s a warm and soothing tea while showing a fresh and vibrant flower that symbolises Spring.

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

The dry leaves have a darker colour. Some brighter greens as well.

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

The wet leaves after the final infusion. A really dark and warm colour.

Tea tasting

Brewing details

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes Jianshui teapot

  • Water 99°C
  • 10g of leaves for a 200ml Jianshui teapot
  • 2 rinses
  • 8 steeps (15 sec + 5 sec each steep)

Before rinse

The smell of the dry leaves is really warm. I’m getting hints of dark wood.

After rinse

The smell of the wet leaves is not that different. It’s the same woody and earthy notes.

Steeping

1st steep: the liquor itself is not that thick and soup-like. I’m mainly getting earthy flavours during this steep. Also a bit of wet wood on a rainy day in the forest.

2nd steep: more of the earthy flavours but I moved from a wet forest to a wet cave. The flavours are a bit less intense during this steep. It’s really pleasant to drink. The aftertaste is a warm, earthy flavour. When I finished this steep, I got a tingling sensation in my throat.

3rd steep: it starts to get more medicinal and a little bit bitter as well. I’m not in a wet forest or wet cave anymore and I’m only getting light earthy and woody notes. The aftertaste is bitter.

4th steep: more or less the same as steep 3. Light earthy flavour that is dominated by a medicinal flavour profile.

5th steep: it’s getting more medicinal every steep. Only some hints of the earthy flavours from the first and second steeps are left.

6th steep: more earthy flavours than the previous steep and the medicinal notes seem to have diminished. Smooth and pleasant flavours. For me, this steep is a lot more enjoyable than steeps 4 and 5.

7th steep: the medicinal flavours are gone and only pleasant earthy notes left. I’m happy I did not end this tea session after 6 steeps because this is a delicious steep.

8th steep: this is definitely the final steep. Same pleasant earthy flavours as during the 7th steep. One major difference is that the colour of the liquor is a lot lighter now.

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

1st steep

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

2nd steep

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

3rd steep

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

4th steep

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

5th steep

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

6th steep

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

7th steep

white2tea 2018 Charlie tasting notes

8th steep


Conclusion

I had high expectations of this tea because white2tea is offering some really nice teas on their website. I really loved the initial steeps because of the earthy and woody flavour profile that took me from a wet forest to a wet cave. I did not enjoy the medicinal notes from the 4th and 5th steep. It was a clean and smooth taste but I just don’t like that kind of flavours in my tea. I’m happy I did 8 steeps in total instead of 6 because the earthy and woody notes from the earlier steeps returned. The two final steeps were the best ones. Soft and pleasant flavours that are perfect to drink while it’s raining outside. Perfect to relax next to a cosy fireplace. The two final steeps saved the tea, in my opinion. I’m happy I got this tea as a reward for being part of the white2tea club and look forward to tasting more of their teas!

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