It’s been a crazy month this month so apologies for the delay on this review. Luckily there was enough time to drink tea, especially White2Tea’s Fade! Fade is a new sheng brick released by master tea curator Paul in his monthly tea club! I got mine in the month of April, but he soon released it for purchase in his site a few weeks later. Paul teased us with pictures and delicious descriptions of this tea previous to its release on his Instagram account. Usually I’m patient when it comes to most things but damn, it was really making me anxious to try it. I don’t know if I should call this good marketing or good torture.
Upon opening this brick I was really cautious as to not tear apart the paper. I usually don’t care if I save tea wrappers or not but this was just too beautiful to preserve. The cover features Abraham Lincoln and a design scheme that was inspired by Kayne West’s latest album, ‘The Life of Pablo’. Actually, according to Paul, the tea itself was inspired by Kayne’s new album. Paul said he made a blend that reflected the inspiration that ‘The Life of Pablo’ gave him, and the brick is named after ‘Fade’, a track on the album.
According to Paul, he recommended listening to ‘The Life of Pablo’ while trying out his new sheng. I’m not a crazy fan of rap, or narcissists, so I decided to listen to M83’s new album ‘Junk’ instead. I’m a huge fan of M83 and after seeing they released something nearly a half decade later, I couldn't resist.
I opened up this tea with a rinse and waited a few minutes for the leaf to open up. Upon the first steep I first noticed a fragrant smell of cucumber radiating from the tea. It was very refreshing to smell this in a sheng because its something I’ve never smelled in one before. On my first tasting of Fade I noticed a pleasant warmness was hitting the sides of my tongue. I was left with a faint aftertaste of sugar and mushrooms.
After the fourth steep Fade started to really open up. As the steeps continued the taste of warm kitchen spices became more prominent in the mouth. The more steeps I got out of this tea the stronger the sugary notes became. Even after a few minutes of drinking this tea I could still feel the aftertaste of sugary spice filling every square inch of my mouth. One thing I distinctly noticed was how thick this tea was, and overall felt like a broth more than anything.
One thing I have to point out was the light background notes of mushrooms and moss. This is something that isn’t out of the ordinary because of how fresh this sheng was. According to Paul, Fade was recently pressed so its very humid to start off with. Don't worry though, after this tea has more time to settle the mushroom notes should go away.
I was nearing the end of my session around the fourteenth steep. One thing I have to point out is that this teas flavor quickly dissipated, and it’s flavors don’t seem to ‘fade’ whatsoever. I was surprised at how quickly it went from strong and flavorful, to dead and flavorless. This might just be my experience, but I felt like this tea took an exit too quickly considering how robust it was a few steeps ago. Maybe its because it’s so new? Only aging will tell.
Overall Fade was a great experience and it’s easy to see why White2Tea’s Paul went on a binge with it. Fade definitely stands out by how powerfully warm and sweet it was, but it’s only draw back would be how quickly it lost its flavor. I think Fade definitely needs more time to air out from pressing, but only one can hope that aging this brick will help it be a hidden gem.
Tea Drunk Level:
I got so tea drunk that I ended up listening to The Life of Pablo. However, I got bored and ended up listening to Drake instead...