Not too long ago I acquired a full 200g being of The Wanderer — the first shou production from Totealy Tea. Totealy is a tea company based out of California and was able to get their hands on some 2018 puer for their shop. For their shou puer, The Wanderer, they released a shou tea from Lincang — a region on China typically known for it’s sweetness. Since trying this tea, we got together and decided to do a giveaway on social media. So for their first shou puer, how did The Wanderer turn out? And who won the giveaway? Let’s find out!
Dimensions — 4.3g of tea for a 65ml gaiwan
Water Temp. — 212ºf (boiling)
Number of Steeps — 12
Price — $42.00 USD per 200g beeng
Steeps 1 — 6
Upon receiving this tea, The Wanderer still had a ‘fresh’ scent to it. Before the initial session, I let the tea sit and air out in the living room for several weeks. After getting a chance to breathe The Wanderer found its way into my gaiwan. For the first infusion, this tea let out a light woodsy sweetness that seemed to glide easily past the tongue. However, the biggest surprise came within it’s second infusion when the colour of it darkened so much that light couldn’t protrude through the sharing pitcher (see 1st and 2nd infusion difference in photo below). With the second infusion, up to the sixth infusion, a heavy cocoa/dark chocolate bitterness exploded in the mouth with the heavy felt-like texture that continued to get louder with its abrasiveness.
Steeps 7 — 12
The Wanderer’s profile seemed to reach its peak with the strong notes of cocoa powder on the base of the tongue. However, the abrasiveness and bitterness began to mellow out as the colour lightened up. As this tea lightened up, a mouth-watering flavor that best resembled a black tea kept becoming more and more prominent. Surprisingly, towards the end I could have easily been convinced that I was drinking a hong. By the twelfth infusion, The Wanderer was ready to wander off. By the last infusion, this tea was gone and it was time to pack up and travel on…
The Wanderer is Totealy Tea’s first shou puer, and is a Lincang shou that best exhibits a dark chocolate-like bitterness that came right out of the floodgates. As the session progressed, the most notable thing that jumped out was its continually changing texture. The Wanderer even had me believe that I was drinking a black tea after the abrasiveness mellowed out. However, this tea’s main complex was the texture that kept changing through out. It showed how the same few notes can make you believe you were drinking something different throughout — all due to the different textures that made their-self present.
In conclusion, The Wanderer is a tea I’ll continue to drink, along with seeing how it’ll age through out time. And as far as the giveaway goes (the reason why half of you made it this far), we had dozens of entries through out the past few days. As much as we’d like to have given out a tea to everyone, @ros_strange on instagram is the lucky winner! And for those of you who didn’t win, hopefully you’ll try this tea and let yourself wander off into Totealy’s first shou with The Wanderer…