Crimson Lotus TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Had this sample along with a couple of others from Crimson Lotus sitting around, decided to revisit them and review them.
I think this is a really good tea which is quite easy to drink with some nice sweetness. It seems to be a good representation of a nice light pu’erh, I would definitely recommend it
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Sweet, Wood
Breaking this out of the pumi. I think it’s ready now.
I picked 8 grams off to brew in the Gaiwan. I gave a quick rinse and inhaled the aroma. Vegetal and sweet comes up from the Gaiwan.
I did 3 short steeps to start with. The tea is a pale yellow color when poured. It started a bit light and I increased the steep time to about 7 seconds and did three more for the big cup. The increased steep time amped it up. The tea has much more to it. It has a touch of bitter and then the sweetness arrives fast. I got notes of pineapple in this one. It does get a bit more of a bite as the brew cools a bit. It gives a little buzz on the tip of the tongue. It is a very subtle drink that seems to mellow me out a bit. The leaf hasn’t fully unrolled all the way after six steeps and I think there is more goodness to come.
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Pineapple, Sweet
Wowzers, thanks very much for the sample Kieblera5 aka KIEBS!
This tea was an ALL DAY tea for me. I drank on it for 8 hours straight. The first few steeps it tasted like a cross between a green and a sheng. Very buttered sweet green veggies for me, and then it opened up and became fruity complex sheng flavor, and just ended up honey sweet gold by the end. Very much a FEEL GOOD tea. Felt so pleasant and happy all day drinking it. A little buzzed but not crazy tea drunk. Very VERY nice!
I got two samples of this tea, and I first tried a basket in cup brew that was just ok. The other sample I brewed gong fu and my first steep was my favorite, chocolatey, smooth, yummy. Subsequent steeps lose the chocolate, but are replaced by a smooth woodsy taste. An enjoyable cup of shou.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Wood, Smooth
Wow. This is the best young sheng I’ve tasted to date, though I am still fairly new to pu. I’m extremely impressed. The first steeping was thick and viscous, which is something I find very appealing and often lacking in shengs. The flavor was both very easy going, like “Whispering Sunshine”, but it also had a touch more bitterness and was more bold and aggressive. I think those are good signs, especially for aging. The flavor has pollen in the background, and honey sweetness in the foreground. It is very tasty. The steeps were very thick for the first five or so. I got quite stimulated and a bit tea drunk for about an hour. The next five were a little more bitter, still fruity, and of course less thick. I really love this tea, it is of very high quality. It’s not cheap, but I think it stacks up very well against teas of this price range. My strategy for sheng buying these days is to spend more per tea on fewer teas that are of high caliber. This fits the bill! Thanks for producing an awesome tea, Crimson Lotus!
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Tea provided by Crimson Lotus Tea for review
For my second and final sample, I wanted to wait until it was raining outside so I could enjoy the Shou puerh with the nice scent of rain and not feeling hot and sweaty in the summer!
First sip had a bit of sweetness along with the familiar woodsy, earthy, deep shou puerh flavours I love.
Second through fourth were consistent in flavour, getting a bit of a deeper earthier flavour with a hint of menthol.
Fifth steep was my fav, it became much smoother and had the best balance.
I ended on the ninth steep, which was still quite dark and retained fruity and menthol flavours.
Overall Bulang Shan Imperial Grade 2008 met my expectations. I didn’t have any fuss steeping it, or noticed any off putting flavours. It was nice to try a shou puerh with a bit of a sweeter side than most of the bold earthy ones I seem to always get.
Flavors: Forest Floor, Fruity, Sweet, Wet Earth
I drank Crimson Lotus Whispering Sunshine 2015 raw puerh for the second time. I’ll admit that the first time around, it missed the mark for me. It was too subtle for my liking, but i decided to give another try two weeks later.
The first time, as usual i couln’t help myself and drank it the same day that it arrived. Well I guess it needed some time to air after shipping cause this second time around is lovely!
Very clean as young sheng should be, but with very little astringency. There is a certain bite to it which i love but it’s very light. It’s grapey and apricoty, sweet and a little citrusy with a nice vegetal feel.
It also gave me a pretty strong head buzz which lasted throughout the whole session. I lost count of how many steeps i did.
Now i’m a little puzzled about something…i read somewhere that it was smokey. I am not a fan of smoke in general and trust my taste buds, i will find smoke if there is some to find. I got absolutely none in this, which was fine by me. Just a super clear and clean liquor.
I really enjoyed it and i’m glad I have a whole cake.
This is an excellent “drink now” pu erh. Very aromatic, and heavy on the pollen flavor. No astringency and very little bitterness, just easy going to the max. It is a great example of this style. I’m not sure I would want to hold onto this for aging, as it is fairly light. But who knows, I think the jury is still out on how well these young easy drinkers will age. The leaf quality is excellent, and I got many many steeps. Later infusions were a bit lemony. All in all, a great tea.
Dry – Sweet, thick, creamy, red dried fruits, faint bitterness.
Wet – Thick, fruity, bittersweet, rich, burn-sugar sweet.
Liquor – Red-ish brown to a coffee-brown.
Initial Steeps 1-5 Are thick, creamy, bitter to bittersweet notes with apparent richness and full body. The liquor is thick and becomes smooth going down while turning sweeter, but retaining some of that rich bitter-sweetness. Hints of dried dark and red fruits in the sweetness that stays behind.
Mid Steeps 5-7 Still thick, though not as thick as the first few, it holds its ground pretty well with the similar notes of a Bitter to bittersweet front that has rich and tart notes, coating the tongue with a thick layer before transitioning into a sweeter and smoother note. The sweetness lingers in the tongue and throat if you allow time between steeps. Some minor astringency shows up at the end.
Final steeps 8-11 The first steep here still has some body to it, but this declines with each steep, thi is the collapsing portion of this tea (which is REALLY damn good for a shou). The steeps begin to get ‘cleaner’ with less body and even barely retaining any bitterness, just holds on to enought to not make it just sweet, this steeps are still pleasant and satisfying, but in a more juicy way than filling.
A very satisfying every day shou. I would recommend drinking this one next to W2Ts 2005 Bulang Maocha. Its not fair to do a 1:1 comparison due to age and possibly storage factors, but you can get an idea of how loose leaf/maocha vs compressed Puerh behaves in terms of taste. Both great shous to have in your collection.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Sweet, Thick
Tea provided by Crimson Lotus Tea for review
I haven’t had a lot of puerh recently, so I was super excited to dig into my two samples provided by Crimson Lotus Tea.
Going into my steeping, I didn’t have a lot of expectations. The first steep tasted buttery, slightly floral, with roasted tobacco. Most importantly it wasn’t bitter at all, just very smooth and palatable.
Third steep brought out a more mellow, soothing experience. With notes of apricot and ‘woodsy’.
Winding down to my sixth steep, more of the tobacco flavour was present, but was otherwise smooth with a bit of menthol sensation.
Overall the sample exceeded my expectations. I don’t drink sheng puerh very often, and most of it has been young and bitter. That being said, I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately I’m not in a great position to keep/store sheng. But I love having a bit occasionally.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Floral, Forest Floor, Menthol, Tobacco, Vegetal, Wet Earth
Thanks to Crimson Lotus Tea for sending me a generous sample :)
Unfortunately, I really didn’t like this tea.. I tried brewing at different temperatures for different times and the tea always seemed kind of weak to me, like it was on the brink of greatness, but didn’t finish. The overall taste was indicative of wet storage, slightly musty. My initial reaction was that it tastes the way that a leaf compost pile smells. Not a huge fan, but I tend to like more middle aged sheng instead of the older stuff.
Okay, I’m officially in love with jingmai. Unlike the other reviews posted, I didn’t find any bitterness in this tea. It’s a delicious and sweet tea, laced with complexity and overall satisfaction. This held up well to multiple steeps. It’s a great drinker right now, but I’m sure will be just as good or even better with a little aging. Hands down the best young sheng that I’ve had. I’ll take more of this any day or night. Glen, can we talk about tong pricing? :P
I am not so eloquent in my descriptions of tea. I have only recently become more and more fascinated with sheng puerh, and so lack the vocabulary to do this tea justice.
What I can say is that this is really good. I’ve done about 4 or 5 infusions now, and it seems to still carry a lot of flavour. Smoky, mineral, apricots. Those are the main flavours that I picked out. Some musty/humidity in the first couple of infusions, but not at all bothersome. I didn’t find any bitterness in this, but I did pretty short steeps. I decided to let infusion 5 steep for almost a minute just to see how bitter it would get, and it was pretty good with a bit of bitterness.
I loved the colour of the brew – golden honey. That kinda surprised me, actually. The mouth-feel was soupy/thick and very pleasant.
I really enjoyed this sheng and am considering a purchase. Definitely recommended.
Thank you so much for the sample Crimson Lotus! My apologies for the delay in writing a tasting note.
Hi everyone! Remember me? Miss y’all!! ;-)
Not gonna lie…I’ve had a few shopping sprees at Crimson Lotus in the last few months.
Yeah, yeah…I need a good spank!
But to my defense, I will say this: I don’t regret any of it. Top notch quality in the tea and the little pots. Yes, CL does know how to feed my addictions!
Now this tea. My friend MzPriss, who has exquisite tastes, bought this Bulang before I did and she was so excited about it, I could not pass on it since her and I are Teaplets and usually have the same tastes. She was right.
Since it comes in a gigantic brick, they sell it to you in chunks of 250g.
I used 12g for 170ml Jian Shui pot.
After the rinse, I can already tell this will be a treat. The smell is amazing.
Forget traces of barn, seaweed or leather that can be found occasionally in shou puerh. Think more “Caramel alert”. It’s sweet. And it takes over my mouth in a swirl of texture and body.
Yes, I will call this decadent. Creamy with notes of vanilla and dried fruits.
Laters steeps bring some cocoa but not the bitter type…it’s very mellow.
BONUS: it provides a nice relaxing qi, yes i feel like a noodle, and i like it.
Dexter the Dobe is looking at me funny cause I’m a little giddy and he feels it. yes, Momma is high on tea again!
This is something I will be craving. I’m glad I went for the 250g bag instead of the sample.
Now I’ll just close my eyes and dream of getting the 2 kilo brick!!
Pics of the session:
Thank you Crimson Lotus Tea for this sample. This was very tasty. I am more of a shou drinker but I enjoyed this a lot. It was slightly bitter in the early steeps, took about three to four steeps for the bitterness to go away. There was no hint of smoke that I noticed. It developed a flavor of apricots just like the best young sheng does. I gave this tea ten steeps and I’m sure I could have gotten four or five more steeps out of the tea at least, but ten was my caffeine limit for today.
I brewed the entire sample, about 7g in a 100ml teapot with 200 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min.
A very drinkable, friendly wet stored raw puerh with a juicy/lusciousness enveloping the initial tasting experience (i.e. right after taking a sip). Flavor quickly tappers off into a watery nothingness after each sip… with some occasional huigan and back-of-the-mouth mouth feel. 10+ steeps of interest (pretty good longevity).
One of the first raws that I picked up a full cake of and I cannot say I would do it again. Since having tasted this cake I have had the chance to session many other raw puerh’s, most under the 100 dollar mark. I like the similarly stored (Guandong), cheaper priced ($.13/g vs. $.24/g), 2006 Yunhai Nannuo from White2Tea better. As a note: Crimson Lotus is also based stateside; so costs might even out come shipping time (depending which side of the pond you’re living on).
Additionally, I noticed the cake took on some nasty, humid storage aroma/flavor (that was different from my initial session with Crimson Lotus). After carefully airing for several months and “tinning” the tea can I firmly say it is out of that weird phase. Good thing too, because I am almost out of raw. I have a Taobao order in…soon I will be sipping on Gaudong stored Xiaguan and some Naka…looking forward to that.
i got this sample for review – thank you so much Crimson Lotus tea.
When i opened the pouch it smelled smoky, grassy and sweet.
This tea is delicious. almost no smoke detected in a brew. just faint to make things interesting.
I enjoyed it a lot. many steeps yesterday and i continue today.
7g 80ml gaiwan 200F rinse/short steeps. few secs, i didnt time them.
Guess what ,my son was very curious and asked me if he can try. he had 2 tiny cups and declared it delicious. its easy to drink, no harsh bitterness often associated with young sheng, no astringency ( but again i kept my steeps short). lovely tea overall.
Im so glad i was able to try this tea, thank you so much Crimson Lotus Tea
PS no stomach issues i usually experience with young sheng. yay!!!https://instagram.com/p/3g2BMEhwoD/
Don’t buy this one…
Until I get paid and can buy a tong!
This has a jingmai smokiness, but is much greener. It is wonderfully complex, I can see how it is related to Hidden Song (which I didn’t get a good enough sense of in a serving to review bc it was so unique) but it is so much more complex! It is like Bulang and Jingmai has a delicious delicious baby together. There is the pleasant bitterness of Bulang with the subtle sweet smokiness of Jingmai.
There is a sweet lasting after taste. Mmm.
I have instagram pictures of the leaf and liquor I will post here later.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Green, Leather, Smoke, Summer, Tobacco
This was a second sample I got from Glen and Lamu. How nice of them!
When I opened the packet, I was amazed at how sweet this tea smelled on its own. And it really is. It’s probably the greenest tea I’ve ever had, and definitely the greenest sheng I’ve ever had. It tasted really green, but also sweet and kinda almost creamy. I really enjoyed it. It’s very energizing.
I’m pretty certain this is the right tea – I received it as one of three free samples from Glen at Crimson Lotus Tea. I am pretty excited about it because Crimson Lotus is one of the “hot” companies around here that I have been wanting to try but couldn’t yet justify an order. Now I’ve got an opportunity to try a couple things and see if I will dip my toes further in.
At random, I selected this sample to try tonight and on first sniff it seems a good choice. One thing I noticed is that I have a bit of fannings/dust but I am thinking that is rough handling by Canada Post as the intact chunks look to be good sized leaf. I’m using the full 7 g sample in my ~120 ml gaiwan with boiling water (minus ~1g that was too small and I worried would escape the gaiwan in a pour). Two quick rinses per the recommendations on CLT’s website, and then a 10 second steep.
The leaves are VERY awake at this point. The beau smells dirt, but dirt after a fresh rain. I get wood, leather, smoke, and other dark and delightful aromas. The liquor isn’t very dark, but it didn’t have the chance to get dark. The flavours are muted compared to the aroma but still full bodied and giving the impression of a thick brew. No off aromas here, and nothing fishy. Just dark and rich and yummy.
Second steep at 15 seconds yields a very dark brew. More what I expected right off the bat. Clearly the leaves weren’t as awake as they seemed. This is fairly brown and opaque. I can barely see the grain of the table through the cup. Aroma has moved over to what I frequently refer to as barn-like. And, as always, that is a positive. Sweet clean hay and something earthy and organic to take it darker and deeper. The flavour is very different than first steep. I get sweetness and almost a bit of astringency with a little bit of a dry mouth. It’s “earthy” and sometimes the beau and I each get a bit of a fruity taste. Maybe like a fruit leather or dried apricots.
Steep 3 at 20 seconds is also quite dark, the sweet aroma is gone and it’s really rocking some smokey aroma right now. The flavour is less earth, more sweet and smoke morphing into each other. It feels like the tea is coming into itself with this steep. I always seem to enjoy the third the best. Is that common?
4 at 25 – less dark in colour but aroma settled in nicely with damp earth and a hint of smoke. Flavour is starting to mellow out. I’m searching a littler more to detect anything new. Sometimes it sips in sweet, sometimes a bit smokey. There is still a bit of a dry mouthfeel and a slight cooling sensation at the back of the throat. I may have abused the tea, or that might be part of it. I’ll never know!
5th at 30 seconds is starting to lose its aroma. Maybe I should have upped the ante a little bit on this steep. The flavour is also a bit lacking. Needed more time! I think I’m going to use the leftover leaves for a western style pot tomorrow morning with my breakfast. I’m getting a lot of tea out of these leaves.
All in all, this was a nice session. I wasn’t particularly wowed – there was no “OOOH, Chocolate!” the way some of my favourite backs can be but it is definitely an easy drinking shou that I could use to teach people what pu-erh can be like. Definite positives, and no negatives, just not the wow factor that gets me to keep buying something. I’m really glad to have been able to try it though, and I look forward to sipping on the other two samples.
I was just reading other reviews and saw someone mentioned fermentation flavour. I wonder if that is what I mean when I am talking about earth/barn. Starting to think so! I like it, just never know how to describe it.
Flavors: Earth, Smoke, Sweet
Oh this is yummy.
So, Glen and Lamu sent me a message a little while ago, asking if I’d like some samples in exchange for reviews. I’m always open to that, especially if the tea is good.
And boy, is this tea Goooood.
I wanted to take all kinds of pictures and such, but my phone decided this morning to take a crap for me. All locked up for hours before I sorted it out. While drinking tea. Good tea. It helps a stressful situation be less stressful.
Anyway, this tea. It’s rich and delicious. Sweet. Chocolaty. Tasty. Amazing. It lasted through several infusions. It would have lasted longer, but I was distracted at work on the second infusion, and instead of steeping for about 10s, it was more like 90s. Oops.
I’m adding this tea to my wishlist now. I’m sure I’ll order some soon.
Thank you, Glen and Lamu, for providing a sample to review!
Had a gongfu session. Prepared with a ceramic gaiwan. Did two 3-second rinses. Steeping times: 5, 10, 20, 45, 75, 120.
Letting the dry leaf sit in the heated gaiwan really brings out its aroma: a very sweet sugarcane, then sticky rice, and then cedar. The wet leaf aroma smells more like damp earth and wood – an old forest perpetually wet – and like cherries.
When sitting in my makeshift sharing pitcher, the liquor resembles whiskey, having the very dark amber color and the clarity of an alcohol. The texture of the liquor starts off as smooth and then becomes creamier, almost soup-like somewhere in the middle of the session.
The leaf still has yet give away its entirely in the first infusion, which tastes mostly like wet wood, weakly. The second infusion is where it really got started. My first impression is wet wood, again, but allowing the liquor to sit in my mouth, I taste black cherries, finishing with black coffee. Bread aftertaste. The third and fourth infusions are even sweeter, but only initially. Cooked mushrooms take over, followed by a bitter note of baking chocolate. The sweet and the bitter are simultaneous and balanced. Infusions five and six are still sweet but mellower in intensity. Alongside earth and coffee, sugarcane makes its reprise.
This was a pleasnt shou to drink, especially since it matched the weather today – cool, then humid, then stormy, then cool again – and the petrichor-filled smells that came with it. It was definitely the shou influencing the weather and not the other way around!
Yum! Rich and earthy shou! Very creamy and clean tasting too. Slightly sweet. This is a shou anyone could enjoy I think.
Thanks again to the good folks Crimson Lotus for letting me taste your teas! They were all extremely enjoyable.