68 Tasting Notes

91

Trying my third Shou from Crimson Lotus today. This is one of the best shou’s I’ve had. It is very deep and rich, a little earthy, very hearty, and quite smooth. A touch of astringency and sweetness balance the flavor. It lasts and lasts. It has a high kick factor. It has all of the qualities I like in a Shou, and it’s harvested from trees from the Bulang region so I’m not too worried about chemicals. It’s currently $30 for a 250g brick, so it’s not terribly expensive. I’d highly recommend giving it a try! I am gaining a lot of respect for Crimson Lotus. They have excellent taste in ripes. You can watch a little video about them and this tea here:
http://crimsonlotustea.com/products/2008-bulang-imperial-grade-shou-ripe-puerh

Ubacat

Sounds good. Had to check out the video. Almost tempted to order the sample size.

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87

Trying another Crimson Lotus ripe today. This is another winner. It is interesting and a little different. It is earthy and sweet, some hints of chocolate, no harshness though I wouldn’t call it super smooth, and brews a deep brown. What I find most interesting is that it has a palpable thickness, almost a grittiness. It’s a nice drink. A bit expensive at $60 currently, but you can buy a sample to see if you are interested.

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87

A lovely easy to drink young sheng. Very little bitterness. Flowery and sweet. I’m not sure if it will age well, but it is a great drink now for sure.

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88

This is my first tea from Crimson Lotus. It is a rich and fairly smooth ripe. Very tasty, and reminds me a bit of a mix between Special Dark and a Dayi ripe in terms of its flavor profile. Its staying power is a little on the lighter side, but it makes up for it by being delicious. High kick factor.

Cwyn

Glen at Crimson Lotus drinks shou in the morning instead of coffee. One would anticipate that a breakfast shou drinker would have high expectations on taste.

Rich

Indeed! I have been doing that myself quite a bit lately. Thanks for turning us on to them, I foresee more purchases from some of us in the near future!

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87

This is a nice little gem from the Boyou factory. The cake has a nice feel to it – a pretty wrapper and all. It is very tightly compressed. First infusions are sweet and flowery, with notes of Lucky Charms. Later infusions taste a bit deeper and darker, with some age showing through. But it still tastes young overall, probably because of the compression. A little huigan, sourness, and just a touch of astringency and smoke here and there. Overall a nice drink.

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88

Another blend from YS. I liked this one quite a lot. It’s quite easy to drink young, but still feels like it has the potential to age. Kind of that cereal sweetness, with some astringency but not too much. It’s thick, with a medium high kick factor, and has got a little huigan. Going to pick up a cake of this for sure.

mrmopar

Got one of these aging away. I bought it from the description. I will have to break it out soon.

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86

This tea is quite likeable. It has a nice flavor, some sweetness, a nice bit of astringency and even some huigan. It could be just a little stronger, but it’s not too bad at all. It held up fairly well to a number of infusions. It’s a nice blend, I think it might age like a good Dayi. I am going to order a cake.

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OK, you smoke lovers, here is one for you. Got a sample of this from Life in Teacup. They don’t try to say it is a real ban zhang. I pulled this out at random from a box, and Lo and behold, it was another smokey tea like yesterday’s White Whale. It is very much in the same vein as that tea, maybe with a bit less smoke and a bit more wood and mushroom. Very sturdy and held up to a lot of infusions. I didn’t like it, but you smokies probably will!

JC

I was going to say that I never got smoke from this one but well, we all taste and describe tastes different! lol I did get a lot of ‘Tobacco’ (not yet lit up leaves) scent and taste. The same with the white whale, although the white whale did have some smoke in the background for me.

Rich

Yeah, I also wonder if more smoke comes through in some cakes relative to others. Hard to imagine you wouldn’t taste a lot of smoke! But like you say, people taste things differently.

Cwyn

Twodog told me at the tea tasting that the heavy smoke comes from the wok.

JC

Rich, it is true. We can taste and describe things differently so, in theory there are two levels of detachment when reading other people’s notes. And as you very well said, it can change from cake to cake. I’ve had samples of teas that make me buy a bing and then when I receive the bing I feel like it lacks something or has something extra to it. To me this one has a lot of tobacco and medicinal wood notes with minor smoke on the back. Not one of my favorites though. I can appreciate it, but not my go-to Sheng.

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71

OK, I guess I’m going to be the one to disagree with all the hype about this tea. It is smokey. Really smokey, and stays that way through at least several infusions, after that I couldn’t take anymore. It is certainly a hearty tea, but the smoke is overwhelming. I personally don’t consider this quality good for a Pu erh tea. I did not enjoy this at all. If you like smoke, I’m sure you will.

mrmopar

It’s like an XiaGuan brick or a similar item.

Rich

Yeah, pretty much. I don’t like those either, so that explains it!

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89

This is a real keeper. Very smooth, just a touch of astringency, medium fermentation. Not earthy, more dark coffee. Delicious!

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