White2Tea is always finding ways to innovate when it comes to puer, and in the fall of 2016, they released two 100g bricks packed together that goes by the name of Sister Brother. This duo is an educational experience because these teas are both made from the same material, except Brother’s material was left in the ‘kill green’ process longer than Sister’s. White2Tea pressed the duo bricks Sister and Brother in April of 2016. What’s funny about this is that they were pressed on April 1st.
Anyways — White2Tea pressed these teas in the spring but didn't release them until the fall. However, we got a glimpse that resembled the duo back in the August 2016 White2Tea Club. Despite waiting until the fall, was this release worth the wait? Also, do Brother and Sister go together? Lets find out!
[Note: Click on photos to enlarge]
Steeps 1 - 4
Both tea sessions started with a quick rinse of each (separately, as I don’t promote incestual activity), after the kettle warmed the water to a temp of 185ºf. For both teas, I used 6.6g of tea in a 100ml vessel. The session started with brother, which gave off a light medicinal and hay oily body, and left a date like sweetness aftertaste. To compliment the sweetness of dates, Brother also had a light undertone of sage. However, Sister started out with a sweet and green base with a light and floral aftertaste. Sister then made its way to the back of the throat, and left a light fruitiness that echoed in the sides of the cheeks.
Steeps 5 - 8
Brother’s body grew thicker and thicker, which nearly resembled a syrup. The medicinal oily body grew even stronger as the fig’s fruity sweetness became more prominent. With that, the hay and sage aftertaste was louder, and left a vapor in the mouth after it left the throat. Even long after sipping the tea, the sensation of sugar vibrating in the teeth made itself known. On the other hand, Sister’s body kept getting smoother and smoother (ha), almost as if the base liquor was lighter than air as it slid past the throat. The floral base became more notable, as the texture became thicker and oilier. A light sage undertone appeared as it left a soft finish behind in it’s trail.
Steeps 9 - 12
Brother’s bliss point hit around the later steeps, as its base transformed into the likeness of a sugar coated fig. The sugar coated fig was presented in an oily texture that felt almost like a broth. Along with the sensation of sugar vibrating in the teeth, Brother left a light medicinal undertone which lasted until the last steep. Meanwhile, Sister’s sweet fruity body took a back seat (ha) in these later steeps, as its body was more medicinal and grassy base. Sister left a sweetness which began to mellow as the floral notes kept getting pushed out. Sister’s body was soft and mellow (ha), and lasted until going away with a kill brew.
Sister Brother is an interesting experience all together, and an experience that isn’t presented in the market very often, or at all. The experience started with the bamboo wrapping of Sister Brother, which made opening the duo a memorable moment in time. Another fun aspect was seeing how the longer roasted tea (Brother) was fruitier and sweeter compared to the lesser roasted tea (Sister), which was more floral. However, one thing that disappointed me was the fact that these bricks were iron pressed, because for the price point, too much of the tea was reduced to tea dust. Normally I wouldn't care, but the Mensong sheng material presented in these bricks was too fantastic to waste.
Overall, Sister Brother is a course I would partake in again, and is one that I would recommend to others. In Puer, there’s a lot of drinking experiences that can only happen while in Yunnan, China. However, White2Tea brought this experience to light and allowed you to expand your knowledge with the different ways of processing sheng puer. To further wrap things up, the wait from spring to fall with these teas was definitely worth the wait. And just like the friendship I have with my own sister, Sister and Brother definitely go together…