White2Tea's Catnip Chocolate Bar
Christmas is tomorrow, which means the only people working will be movie theatre workers and Chinese buffet employees. And while I'm at the movies and eating an endless line of mediocre ethnic food, a lot of you will be spending time with your family. I’m sure that many of you on holiday break from school, or work, and are forced to visit people out of obligation. Yes, I'm one of the fortunate ones who has family that either lives too far to visit, or are either six-feet under. In my free time this weekend, I’ll be getting trashed on all sorts of tea, and of course, complain about politics on a throwaway account on Reddit. While I get as tea drunk as I can, I might as well give White2Tea’s new ChocoBrick Raw Puer a try to see if it’ll make a spot in my Christmas line up.
I was amused opening the sheng puer, mainly because the box resembled a box of candy. The print and design on the box was fun to read, and without seeing any actual tea at this point, I was already entertained. When I opened the wrapper to this tea, I was further amused by the fact this iron brick had nine sections of tea, which appeared to be easy to break apart; News flash — it wasn't. After using my Hulk-like strength on this brick, I finally pulled out my pick to stab indents around one of the squares, which made it easier to break apart.
Each of these nine individual squares weigh around nine grams each, so to use my ratio of one gram of tea per fifteen millimeters of water, I had to further break down this square of sheng puer. After breaking apart this square, I was able to scrape enough tea together to fit my parameters, and in return, created around three grams of tea dust.
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Steeps 1 - 6
At the beginning of my session, I first picked up on light notes of grass with a floral undertone. As my steeps continued, a grass flavor came out from these floral notes and left the aftertaste of cream. Around the third and fourth infusion, this tea became notably sweeter, and the floral notes began warming my mouth like a pollinated lily growing wild in a pasture. However, all of this changed when the fire nation attacked. Heh, actually, remember when I earlier mentioned that I created a lot of tea dust while breaking apart this tea? Well, because of that, I ended up with a lot of tea fragments in my vessel. All of this means that at forty seconds, I had to repeat these infusions multiple times because everything was coming off strong as hell, and all at once.
Steeps 7 - 12
Everything with Sheng Chocolate was still coming off punchy, with an ever so slight bitter undertone. After the seventh steep, the tea lost its punch and was able to increase my infusion times. Now with order being restored in my cup, this tea was giving me a velvet like texture that was coating my tongue. Along with the velvet like texture came with the notes of dry grass and, oddly enough, cat nip— Yes, cat nip. You probably think this is strange, right? Well I thought it was strange as well! Anyways, as my infusion times kept getting longer and longer, this tea started losing its overall profile. At the twelfth infusion I was ready to move on from this tea. Although I could have kept using this tea further on for a few more infusions, I decided that it was time to go ahead and draw my conclusion.
I think that the 2016 Chocobrick Raw Puer is an exceptional daily drinker, especially considering that its only $14.00 USD. Although I was easily amused at this tea’s presentation, I personally can’t imagine spending much more money on an iron brick because of how much of a bitch they are to pry apart.
This tea came at a surprise because of how great the material used in this brick was. It was not only complex, it had excellent texture which is something that is uncommon for a tea at this price point in todays market. This is an excellent reflection at the kind of quality that White2Tea presents to their consumer base. However, I immediately take off points for this being an iron brick. Maybe its just me, but I get irritated when amazing material gets used in iron pressed teas, because it usually doesn’t present the material in the best way.
Overall, I think this tea presents a fun experience for anyone who enjoys sheng puer, and you don’t need to be an expert tea drinker to have fun with it. So while you’re stuck in a room with family that you’re not happy being around, and while you’re around family members that you secretly wish would drop dead, I will be spending time drinking tea. I’ll be home in my pajamas, watching TV, eating Chinese food, and getting drunk on more than just tea, I can almost guarantee that Chocobrick Raw Puer will be apart of my Christmas line up…
Rating - 8.0