It was another very nice day today so I decided to brew a sheng puerh I’ve had for a while. White2tea’s 2019 If You’re Reading This was featured in June’s tea club together with the 2019 green hype. It’s only a tiny 7g coin so only enough for one session. That’s why it took such a long time to brew it. Once I used it, it would be gone forever.
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If You’re Reading This
Not much information is available about white2tea’s If You’re Reading This, except that it’s from 2019 and that it’s a blend of a couple of regions. Other than this, I don’t really know what to expect. The Green Hype was pretty good so I hope this one will turn out fine as well.
The leaves are compressed into a small coin, but I broke the coin into smaller pieces for the session. It’s mainly olive green with some very bright tints here and there. I see leaves, buds and twigs. The aroma is sweet with subtle fruity notes and some hay.
The aroma of the wet leaves is less sweet and it reminds me of last year’s Spring. After infusing, the leaves have a vibrant green colour. Now I see that it consists of really small pieces and parts of smaller leaves. There are also stems in the mix.
- Water 90°C
- 7g for a 150ml Jianshui teapot
- 1 rinse
- 6 infusions
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Infusion 1 (15 sec): I get the impression that it’s thick and syrupy. This cup immediately reminds me of Spring as it’s sweet and a tiny bit floral. There is a bit of a bite towards the finish, but this changes into warming raisins in the aftertaste. It’s a complex brew that is soft and enjoyable. The flavours are not in your face and it feels as if it’s taking a weight of your shoulders.
Infusion 2 (15 sec): this one looks more intense; the colour is darker yellow and the liquor is cloudy. I was right! It’s a lot more bitter than the previous infusions. I’m still getting some of the sweet notes, but they are buried somewhere deep beneath the surface. It’s a lot harsher than the first infusion and it’s a bit too intense for me. However, the aftertaste is soft and sweet, even a bit fruity. It’s weird that the aftertaste is completely different!
Infusion 3 (10 sec): the previous infusion was too intense for me so I decreased the infusion length. It’s still bitter at the start and this diminishes very slowly. I’m also starting to get some fresh and greener notes in combination with a light astringency.
Infusion 4 (10 sec): this infusion is less cloudy. After the first sip, I noticed that the bitterness was still there, even though a bit less intense. I also experienced a pepperiness in my throat. After the initial bitterness, I got traces of the flavours I got during the first infusion. It’s not really sweet, but lightly floral with a peppery touch.
Infusion 5 (15 sec): it seems that the liquor is cloudier again. Almost no bitterness at the forefront, but I’m still getting a peppery feeling in my throat. In general, nothing major is going on during this one.
Infusion 6 (20 sec): it’s greener and fresher now. It’s OK but not quite right for my taste.
This session was a weird and challenging experience for me. I’ve had this tea since June because I didn’t want to brew it. It’s only 1 small coin so when it’s gone, it’s gone forever. I finally brewed it today and to be honest, I don’t know what to think about it. It looked and smelled amazing and the first infusion was very promising, but it went downhill from the second infusion onwards. The next two infusions were really bitter, even with short infusion times. I tried to listen to the leaves to find out how they wanted to be brewed, but I couldn’t figure it out. The flavours started to change from the fourth infusion onwards and it became a bit more enjoyable.
I don’t know how or why but something was not quite right. For a brief moment, the thought of drinking artificial flavours even crossed my mind. I couldn’t get it right so I didn’t get everything out of the leaves. This is also part of gong fu tea and tea in general so there was nothing I could do about it. On the other hand, it shows that no two sessions are the same and that minor things can have a big impact on the tea you brew. Based on this session, this is not a tea that I’m likely to buy in the future. If you like bitter, I suggest giving it a try.
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