With my last tea review being of an autumn Naka, it seemed appropriate to keep going with that theme and jump over to White2Tea‘s 2019 Dangerfield. TwoDog (of White2Tea) says he blended this tea to be a “poor man’s Naka.” Truth be told, I don’t know what the defining characteristics of a Naka puerh are supposed to be, and I have extremely limited experience with just one session under my belt, but either way I thought it would be fun to compare.
The sample I received is from the beeng hole, but it’s actually not too tightly compressed. This makes me assume the cake is fairly loose, although this is a bit of a guess. Dry leaves are very fragrant with a bright fruitiness up front and a little bit of some floral qualities in the back. After a quick rinse the already aromatic leaves give off an incredible smell. It is vibrant with a strong berry note, in the general families of both blueberry and raspberry.
Dangerfield starts out thick, with an oily texture and cashew-like nuttiness. The huigan is huge from the first sip, coming on quickly and already shows impressive staying power. The second infusion gains a mild bitter bite and a light cinnamon-like spice taste. The bitterness becomes more prominent through the third infusion, which sees an all around increase in all notes. During each of these first three steepings both the already great mouth feel and aftertaste continue to expand and grow.
The fourth and fifth infusions become savoury with huge mouth watering qualities. Bitterness grows but remains pleasant until the sixth infusion when it goes a bit sour.
The sourness seems to have been a one off, and Dangerfield quickly returns to an easy going drink. The bitterness also gets reigned in, and the remainder of the session is overwhelmingly sweet and jam-like, as it returns to the berry notes from the beginning. Flavour peaked at the tenth infusion and faded out over a couple more, but the thick mouthfeel and huigan remained for another three or four infusions after the taste had disappeared.
Comparing this “poor man’s Naka” to the autumn Naka I drank last, the tastes are pretty far apart but I think in terms of the sensations (where I thought the real Naka excelled), Dangerfield pretty much nailed it. Setting aside the comparisons though, this is an all around fantastic tea that I think is a steal at $49 USD for a 200g cake. Great taste, strong aroma, ridiculous huigan and a good thick mouthfeel – I’ll definitely be grabbing a full cake of this with my next White2Tea order.