; Cwyn's Death By Tea: 2021 Gas ;

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

2021 Gas

I literally have it. Gas, I mean. This last month has sucked big fat bowels as I struggled to drink this tea and get this review done. I take some medications that are ripping me a new one and I waited far too long trying to tough it out. Finally I went to the doctor to say I just don't feel good, and she identified the medication culprit and switched me. Took three weeks to heal and I am not fully there yet, but I am on the mend. Still I wanted to get something out on this tea, but I am limited in the kinds of sessions I can do, and I will note these limitations. 

Over the summer my bland diet really got to me, and while shopping for a tea towel on white2tea I decided to toss in 2021 Gas to my purchase. I saw the description of the tea as having an "in your face bitter character" and all of a sudden everything in me craved a bitter green tea. They got to me at a moment of weakness with this one because I have plenty of bitter tea to choose from, just nothing fresh. In the hot muggy summer green tea just gets too appealing for me to resist. 

The tea towel, I have to say, is pretty but not what I was looking for. I have teaware in sufficient quantity to open a shop but I actually don't own any tea towels. I have cloth dish towels for drying dishes, but some of these are 30 years old and used only with water. I don't want to mess up my relics with tea stains. But the new towel is more like thin scarf fabric and I was expecting something thicker for $15 with a microfiber backing maybe. Just really a user error on my part not reading the listing carefully, perhaps, but since I don't own a tea towel per se and not knowing what to look for, I guess I should have looked around more or just bought a regular microfiber cloth. 

2021 Gas is a very green tea at the moment with big-ass leaves. I wanted to do a bunch of sessions with this thing and hoped to spend the entire month of August drinking it. So I started out doing Teforia brews to see how the tea performs just as a bitter green tea. The Teforia on the sheng setting brews just under boiling water temperature. I brewed several sessions of 2021 Gas through the machine which does 3 gongfu brews and expresses the tea with some force. I brewed 3-4g of tea at a time because that is about what the globe can hold. 

The tea did not perform as I expected in the Teforia due to the lower temp of the water. Let me say the tea is actually quite lovely brewed at sub-boiling, the profile is unexpectedly sweet and honey-like with green tea and hay notes. It's not what I wanted, but the takeaway here is that 2021 Gas can be controlled using water temps below boiling. The tea just won't get bitter if you brew it this way.

After recovering from my health mishap, I finally completed a true gongfu session using boiling temps. Well, completed a session with some caveats. I am still not about to tolerate the massive style session I prefer to have. I brewed 3g of tea in a Lin's porcelain pot with about 40 ml water and did 5 brews which is all I can tolerate. 

Happily, the tea lives up much more to its bitter promise with boiling water temps. No sweet introduction, the tea starts out bitter and kept right on through five steeps. It's a tongue-coating bitter. The brew has a greenish tinge, so we are really getting green tea from this at the moment. It has some of the honey vanilla note I found in the machine brews, but otherwise it's more green tea, mowed grass, some floral and a bit of apricot fruit. The tongue coat remains and is fairly slow to transition in the mouth to sweet, with the bitterness lingering for me up to about a half hour before changing over. I am not finding much here for throat and I am not getting much of a tea high, but I just don't think I will brewing this small of a session. 

White2tea prices tend to be relative to one another, so this 200g beeng is $45. At this price point, white2tea is providing a fairly basic tea and it will not have some of the spectacular mouth feels and body sensations their higher tier offerings do (or have done in the past, because I did not buy any other sheng this year from them to compare). 

On the plus side, the tea lacks any tobacco notes and no char or smoke. The spent tea has the large leaves, some stems and a few buds. I could imagine this batch of maocha used in blends with other better teas, or perhaps all this tea was purchased for is an offering for people who want a basic bitter profile at a budget price. Twodog asked me on IG how my health was doing, and I mentioned I wanted drink this tea, and he said "oh, you are going for the ultra bitter?" 

Well, ultra bitter for me is still the 2008 Haiwan LBZ from Wilson. That tea is still the standard for personal pain. No other tea I have had before or since caused me to violently fist punch my leather sofa. This tea is easily controlled with brew temps. It's what I wanted out of a bitter green tea, but I am probably going to pay for this session and it will not feel good later. If you have issues with too-green sheng for other reasons than medication, you might want to give this a pass. But anyone else wanting to avoid the smoky factory profile, and out-of-control factory prices these days, while still needing a bitter tea for aging, this one might be an option. I hope someone else who can drink it out will post a better review and photos for you.

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