Crimson Lotus TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank You Mr Mopar for this sample. I hope I’m reviewing this in the right place as there seem to be two 2014 Crimson Lotus Bulang teas. This was a strong and punchy sheng. It was bittersweet in the early infusions. While there was a punchy bitterness to it there was an underlying sweetness to this tea. That sweetness really came out in later steeps. I only steeped this eight times as it is getting late for me to have caffeine but I figured I was using a 60ml gaiwan so I should still be able to sleep tonight. I definitely have to put this on my list of teas to buy. It’s quite good although you have to appreciate a bitter sweet sheng.
I brewed this eight times in a 60ml gaiwan with 4.6g leaf and boiling 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, and 30 sec. This seems like a high quality sheng and if I wasn’t watching my caffeine I think I would have given this one another six or eight steeps.
Flavors: Bitter, Sweet
Love this pu’er! It was nice and fruity with peaches, apricot, cream, and edamame notes. The balance of thick texture, bitter and dryness made me very happy. I got 13 infusions.
I drank this together with CTL’s 2014 Planet Jingmai Sheng
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/crimson-lotus-tea-20142015-jingmai-sheng-comparison-tea-review/
MMMM giant sheng ball! I got 17 infusions out of this beast, though the first couple were too weak to drink. I failed at following instructions on loosening the ball with long rinses.
The flavor is citrus, linen, cream, woodsy cedar, sap and artichokes. A very fun sheng to steep due to the shape!
I drank this together with CTL’s 2015 Midas Touch Jingmai Sheng
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/crimson-lotus-tea-20142015-jingmai-sheng-comparison-tea-review/
I love a good Jingmai! This is a spectacular brew. The leaves are easily compressed, long, and so fragrant. This cake has the traditional Jingmai characteristics. The leaves are dark and resinous and carry a strong tangy and almost citrus scent. I placed a chunk in warmed yixing and shook em up. The aroma from my brewing vessel was sweet and fruity. I washed the leaves once and prepared to brew. The steeped leaves are soft, vibrant, and sweet. I love Jingmai for its full flavor. This has a complex balance of succulent and potent. This brew is hard, yet it finishes smooth and soft. The initial sip starts with a slight pepper taste, and it finishes with a strong green tea mixed with honey suckle. My yixing yielded a bronze soup for many steeping sessions. However, there was only a very faint huigan. The qi from this tea is a rising effect. I almost didn’t notice it. I can feel a background effect that boosts me. I was given motivation to complete my task, and the relaxation to focus on precision. This was a nice golden brew. This is something special, and I will invite others to try it.
Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Pepper, Smooth, Sweet, warm grass
I’ve had so much stress lately. The power lines just got fixed to my house, so I can finally get back to my work. Today was the first time in weeks that I’ve been able to just sit and relax. I needed some quiet time, and I chose this to be my medicine.
This tea is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The dry leaf consists of long resinous maocha with fuzzy green spots. These tendrils are dotted with brilliant gold leaves. The scent is spectacular. This is by far one of the most fragrant sheng I’ve ever experienced. The scent is somewhat like berries and wine. I take in a sweet, yet its also a tangy aroma. I placed a generous chunk in my warmed yixing and gave it a shake. This wondrous aroma expanded. I was reminded of a Jingmai except waaay more potent. I could take in brown sugar and marsh land. It also reminded me of a time I went caving in Northern Arizona. This warmed leaf smelled of the inner mountain walls. It was a moist, living, and fungal aroma. This brew had just so much life in it. I began my brewing. The steeped leaves give off a grape leaf and wild greens aroma. This tea is bitter, and I mean BITTER. This is what an enjoyable bitterness should taste like. The kuwei is intense and pleasurable. This brew has a peppery taste that finishes with a long jing smoothness. It’s a complex mixture of flavors and sensations. The qi is perfect. I have never felt so good. It’s not an overpowering sensation. Its not an adrenaline rush, rather it’s a present feeling. I woke up from my slumber and just became centered. my body was tingling and my attention was focused. I could feel my being soothe and smooth out. The last few weeks have been a mess of bushiness and activities. This was exactly what I needed to just calm down and get quiet. This session was serene. I am most grateful for this opportunity.
Flavors: Bitter, Kale, Lemon, Peppercorn, Sweet
I got 4 grams of this from the Pu’er TTB! Gah, so tiny and I wish I had another gram or two to get the ratio better for my gaiwan.
Great taste too – it’s quite peachy fruity, bit of lemongrass, hint of smoke and a bit of dryness to add some fun. The mouth feel is very oily, more slick than my recent drinking of w2t 2 late, and I love it.
I liked this until I fell asleep and oversteeped it to death. Bitter hoot of dooooom! Great cha qi too. I’m considering buying some, though I have so much 2015 cakes right now. tea problems.
First off, thanks to Glen & Lamu at Crimson Lotus for sending out this sample. It’s taken a little while for me to finally get around to it, but definitely worth the wait.
The dry leaf had a clean kind of aroma, with a hint of spice. No ammonia, or mustiness whatsoever.
The early steeps provided a smooth & sweet cup, with a slight coffee-like edge.
The tea quickly blossomed into a rich dark brew, with a thick mouth. It was delicious & robust enough that it would be great with breakfast. The aroma of the wet leaf is of whole grain bread and vanilla egg custard, very sweet & satisfying. There’s also some spicy wood in there.
I drank from these leaves all afternoon, and into the evening, all the way until it was a sweet water.
My love for mountains and cold weather draws me to high elevation teas and for no other reason than that (and the entertaining session on teadb.org with Crimson Lotus) I bought a cake of Whispering Sunshine. I’m glad I did—it’s a lovely tea to drink now with a pale pinkish yellow broth and a nutty, evergreen profile that coats the mouth and tongue with a light effervescence.
I pushed the middle steeps to about 30 seconds and was presented with a subtle smokiness that perfectly complements the rock candy sweetness on the tip of the tongue. The energy in the leaves is perfect: buoying but not overwhelming. An excellent tea at this price point and one I’ll surely reorder.
Thanks to Crimson Lotus Tea for the sample! (and sorry it took so long to review..)
This tea is quite the experience. The overwhelming bitterness presented in the first few steeps is a strange, intoxicating bitterness. I’m not a fan of bitter tea, but this is alluring, coating my mouth and throat with a sweet afternote. The bitterness slowly gives way to a lighter, sweeter tea, but the mouthfeel lingers, beckoning you to drink more. All in all, the tea is too bitter for my tastes, so I refrain from rating it; however, it was a delicious experience far beyond a standard tea. The feeling of this tea should be enjoyed and savored.
I got a small sample of this pu’er from the Steepster Sheng and Shou Pu’er Travelling Tea Box!
This is a really nice, easy to drink sheng. I’m a mouthfeel addict, and I love how fluffy each sip is. The pu’er starts out light and a little fruity, buttery and smokey, with later steepings developing a nice apricot flavor. Final steeping are mineral and a bit of bitterness.
CL was kind enough to include this sample when I ordered a cake of Whispering Sunshine and I was happy to discover a very good shou with medium body and great energy. The first couple of infusions featured a fairly strong tobacco flavor and a somewhat lighter menthol taste both of which persist through successive infusions. I especially like that the tea isn’t in-your-face sweet, like so many other shous that mask their imperfections under a layer of confection.
As I continued with the session, a pleasant tang emerged along with a nice mix of fresh bread and black cherry. Around steep five or six a pulse of sweetness entered the mix but it was far from cloying.
This tea drinks like a much more expensive one—Thanks to Crimson Lotus for offering it.
This tea is very different from any pu erh I’ve tried. It is very interesting! And so different, that I really don’t know how to describe it. First, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has a wonderful energy. My fingers and toes were tingling after the first cup. And I feel just very wide awake and present. I often judge a tea based on how it makes me feel, rather than analyzing the flavors, and this felt very nice. That being said, the first steep was just surprising. It was very bitter, with almost a charred type bitterness. At first I thought maybe the leaves got burned in processing, but this was not the case after seeing the leaves. It was a very different kind of bitterness than one usually finds in pu erh. The flavor was – I don’t know, just different. You just have to try it to see what it’s like. Today, me and my wife got through probably 10 steeps. The bitterness cleared after 3 or 4. The broth was a bright and deep gold. The flavor kept changing, it was a very dynamic tea. It just kept getting better, and I found it quite addicting. We are going to have more tomorrow, as I’m sure there are a few steeps left to go.
CL has some pictures of the wild giant trees in the forest from which this tea was picked. From such trees, I can see why it would be very different than a typical pu. This tea is expensive, but really cool to try.
I am FINALLY getting a chance to make this well reviewed tea! I have been meaning to try it but have not had the time to sit down and properly brew it, but today is the day! Thank you so much Crimson Lotus Tea for this sample that came with my teapot!
The appearance is so cute. I love that it’s a planet! A nice little sphere :) the dry smell is very faint as it is so well compacted but there is a touch of hay and honey. I am going to brew as per CLT’s gaiwan instructions on their website.
For rinses, I did the first rinse as a 30s steep and then let it rest for a few minutes, same thing for the second rinse. The rinses smell nice and light.
As for the first actual steep I am drinking (a 30s steep btw), this tea is, simply put, awesome!!! It’s smooth, definite honey flavor, a light vegetal body, and a hint of bitterness at the end. The honey flavor intensifies after the sip, lingering and making me want more.
I will continue to steep this all afternoon, in between errands and what not. Delicious start to the day!! Thank you so much Crimson Lotus Tea for the free sample!! I may have to place an order in the near future for a few teas, I have one more sample to try then I will see! :)
ETA – here is a link to my IG photo of this tea today :)
Was really happy to give this tea a try along with the Slumbering Dragon, thanks for the samples Glen and Lamu :).
This tea had a really pleasant aroma that was both sweet and vegetal and I also was able to pick up the aroma of edamame that was mentioned.As for the taste its quite easy to realize how fresh this tea is, the first couple of steeps reminded me a bit of a fresh green tea but I was able to pick up some nice sheng flavors that became more pronounced after the first couple of steeps(was able to get a total of around 10 steeps). I was quite surprised at how smooth this tea is for being so young, but it wasn’t too flat either as it had some nice tangy/bitter flavors as well. I would definitely consider buying this cake and would say its definitely drinkable right away.
Flavors: Fruity, Green, Smooth, Vegetal
So, this is one of the three samples sent to me more than a month ago by Crimson Lotus Tea. I’m sorry for my tardiness, but still grateful for the opportunity to try these out! Unfortunately my life hasn’t left me with the time to sit down and gongfu lately, but I carved out an hour yesterday to try this one out a bit. Glen billed this as a sheng that even shou lovers would like, which was very compelling as I am not very experienced with sheng.
I did four steeps back to back and lined them up for the beau and I to compare. I actually really liked this approach as we could see/smell/taste each one and compare it immediately to another. It helped us be sure of our impressions as it gave second chances. It still has plenty more to go and I hope to do that tonight if the leaves are still good.
The details: 7 g sample in 150 ml gaiwan (I finally measured it!). 95 degree water, 3 second wash.
Dry: The compressed piece is beautiful. Green/black/golden leaves all pressed together. Looks like camo but more attractive. Smells like light smoke and hay. Sort of like a roasty oolong. There were some broken crumbs along with the one larger piece and I steeped it all up. Those pieces inevitably slipped through into the steeps but they didn’t create any adverse affect.
1st steep: 6 seconds. Pale amber. Not bitter, but not much taste. Slightly dry tongue so a hint of astringency. We came back to this one repeatedly but there just wasn’t much there that we could detect.
2nd steep: 6 seconds. Slight smoke is emerging, and a bit more drying on the tongue. Sill no bitter. I mention it because all I hear about sheng is that it can be bitter (and that should be pleasant). I hate bitter, so I’m pleased to not be getting anything like that.
3rd steep: 8 seconds. Sweetness is coming in gradually and building with each sip. Not as sweet as I expected but it is starting to emerge. This is the first steep to really have an aroma. Increased astringency, and continued light smoke.
4th steep: 10 seconds. Aroma is shou-esque. Reminds me pleasantly of a barn. This one is less astringent but it can build up on the sip. There is a mineral taste and remaining light smoke. I made a note that this is “very sippable.” This was both of our favourite, by far. Hubby felt it tastes like a black/oolong mix at this stage which explains why we preferred it.
Unfortunately we had to stop here but I definitely think if we had the opportunity to continue it would have kept getting better. I look forward to having a second round tonight and will try to update with my notes.
EDIT: We did another four steeps last night and took a few notes. All at 95 degrees again. Why not? I gave the leaves two flash rinses in warm water to “wake them up.”
5th steep: 15 seconds. Aroma was like salt fish. Not that it was fishy, but it smelled salty and slightly smoky. Weird. Taste was mineral and slightly bitter, with some astringency which remained to the end. Not a fan of this steep, but I think it had something to do with waking the leaves back up.
6th steep: 20 seconds. Aroma was mineral and smoke, flavour was mineral but not bitter. Hubby found this the best of all and thought it was almost fruity.
7th steep: 25 seconds. Aroma of toasted rice. What the? It smelled and tasted like Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmicha on the second steep if it were left too long (slightly bitter/astringent).
8th steep: 30 seconds. No discernible aroma or flavour. Not much for the leaves to give without ramping up the time/temp and we’re tea-ed out. I know it could go further but it has more endurance than I do. Off to the compost with these leaves. What an interesting experience!
Flavors: Mineral, Smoke
First of all, a huge thank you to Crimson Lotus Tea for the opportunity to try this tea as a free sample! I am so sorry that I am so late reviewing this tea, but I am finally getting to it now!! Very excited as I’m craving a shu today, even though it’s ridiculously hot outside again.
I am also doing this with my gaiwan, which I haven’t used in AGES!! So nice to have a gongfu session again! I used the large piece from the sample pack and still have a bit left, as my gaiwan only holds about 4 or 5 oz.
The dry smell is deep and rich, a bit fermented, some wet wood and earthy notes. I did two short rinses of about 5s each and then first steep was about 5s as well. The cake piece started breaking up on the second rinse, so the first steep is quite dark!
The steeped smell has a caramel note to me, along with damp wood in the rain. Rich and yummy smelling. Also heady, it could be the heat, but my head spun a bit from just smelling it :P
As for the taste, mmmmmm shou, it’s been far too long. The flavor is thick and rich and grounding. Not too much fermentation to me, just smooth, with some dark wood notes. The aftertaste is sweet, a brown sugar melding into burnt caramel flavor. It’s cozy and warming haha, not that I need that today, but it’s just the flavor I was craving, even on this hot day.
The second steep is even darker than the first, and also smells thick and luscious. Tastes very good as well, maybe a bit mellowed but still very deep and delicious.
Overall, this is a great shou, not too strong and not weak, just right for me! I will continue steeping this throughout the afternoon, I wanted to try a sheng but this one might go for too long for me to try that today :P thanks again to Crimson Lotus Tea for the free sample! This is a great tea, and I definitely will consider it for purchase in the future, it’s just so mellow, rich, and delicious. Oh, and so far, a more calming chi than energizing. I like that :D
6g of tea, gongfu, water just about boiling, two short rinses, then 5-10 second steeps. This came as part of an “intro to pu’er” set from Crimson Lotus. The first thing that really hits me is the aroma of the dry leaves. They smell delicious, like candy or fruit (mangos). Wet leaves have the same aroma, plus a note of tobacco. Light soup, looks like a roasted oolong. The aroma of this tea is amazing. This is unlike any other sheng I’ve tried: the aroma and the flavor don’t match up. You expect sweetness, but it’s not really there. The flavor is more smoke, pepper, tobacco, with a fair amount of bitterness.
EDIT: Drank this again a month later. Yes, there is sweetness. Plenty. I just couldn’t taste it before. Go figure.
I got this shou as part of an “intro to pu’er” set from Crimson Lotus. 6g of tea, 200 degrees, gaiwan, two short rinses and 5-10 second steeps. The wet leaves smell kind of funky at first (is that fermentation? I don’t know, but it fades). Dark soup. Flavors: smoke, sweet, grass, oak.
EDIT: drinking this tea again about a week later. Noticing more complexity in the brew now. It’s really a nice shou. I would purchase this again.
I am enjoying this sample from Crimson Lotus Tea immensely. The dry aroma is hay and barnyard. That used to make me nervous. Now I rather expect it. I did two rinses. The first cup was at 10 seconds. It is root beer colored with a pink tint. The first thing I notice when tasting was the thick creamy feel running along side the initial bite. Kind of opposing sensations but they work together. After the bite settles, I get mild horse tack that drifts into a sweet smooth finish. Cup two was much darker, pouring ruby red. Similar in taste to the first. The difference is this introduced a cedar note at the beginning and moved the bite to later in the sip. I also caught a light smokiness when exhaling. I only noticed the smoke after ‘testing’ a hot out of the oven chocolate chip cookie made with sugar free chips. Did the cookie bring the smoke out or add it? Who knows. Both the cookie and the tea were very enjoyable. Highly recommend both.
Purchased as part of an “Intro to Pu’er” set, along with one other sheng and one other shou. This is the first one I am trying. About 7g of tea, boiling water, two rinses, starting with 5 to 10 second steeps. Interesting. Reminds me a lot of the shou I had last night (2002 Gu Fo Aged), maybe not as sweet though. It’s really dark, definitely the darkest sheng I’ve ever seen. Grassy, but also a bit peppery in the back of the throat. Interesting, I’m about 9 or 10, or maybe 100 steeps in, and my mouth is getting reaaaally dry. So bizarre. It’s like drinking grass, and then suddenly hey, I taste hay. HEY! Is this what tea drunk is? The brew is so, so pretty. Hay, I bet I will not be sleeping tonight. Changtai: 1, Curly: 0. BOOM.