Crimson Lotus TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
2016 Sheng Olympics
Thinking that this would be just like its cousin I drank yesterday, I was in for some surprises :)
Interestingly enough: This tea has a strong resemblance to cooked squash. While I’ve had some sheng taste like a roasted zucchini, it doesn’t surprise me but it is also some new notes. The vegetable taste for this light sheng are dominant and I’m loving it. This is atually more subtle than what I was drinking last night. I even went ahead and steeped one steep for a whole minute and it wasn’t jumping off and on my taste buds.
This is such a wonderful raw puerh that I’m unsure if there are negative remarks because it brews easy, it has a great feel, the aroma is pleasant, and the vegetable notes pop right out during each sip. While the Midas Touch still makes this one seem normal, this is an example of a raw puerh that even those who are new to the tea variation would absolutely love. I’ll probably look into using this for a taste session in the future because it offers something a bit unique in regards to the taste it provides; as opposed to a lighter tea with a floral touch and not a vegetable touch.
2016 Sheng Olympics
After checking on the shipments and seeing they have been scanned, with many already in different states, I decided that I could finally begin. First up was something I knew was going to be light because it had to be able to pair with dinner and continue throughout the night. I had one tight beenghole for this session.
At first I didn’t know if it was going to work out because it wasn’t breaking up, but then I decided that I needed to give it a little help so I did.
The first few steeps had a nice roasted vegetable tone to it like a bang dong. After brewing it out I realized that it wasn’t as light as a bang dong because the beeghold decided to let me in a bit and taste what it was hiding. A little bit of astringency came out but then faded as I continued on. The lightness of this tea was consistent and that is how I like my sheng. There might not have been much texture to the liquid itself, but it has a proper vegetable taste throughout the session.
This is a great raw tea to drink, but the Midas Touch puts it to shame. That being said, damn you Midas Touch for selling out; but also thank you to those who have offered to sell me one, I’m still thinking about it. I’m curious how this one will compare with the other Baiying cake that was in the 2016 Sheng Olympics.
All of this is to say that I don’t have any negative remarks for this tea besides the beenghole being deceptive on its notes from not opening to fully opening. That issue is something that others won’t experience because I am rather confident that I broke all the material up well and for those who got some dust… it had to happen, but I am pretty sure it’ll be good dust :)
Got this with the Crimson Lotus “What is Puerh? Three Tea Educational Tasting Set”. I haven’t had a lot of ripe puerh yet, but this is by far the best. Came on very earthy and dirt like, with the 2-3 infusions almost black. It then lightened up, mellowed out, and became sweet. A little fruit in there I couldn’t recognize. It reminded me of drinking coffee with Guatemalan Mayans around Lake Atitlan. I can see why this is popular!
Flavors: Dirt, Earth, Fruity, Sweet
Um, wow. I think maybe nope. It’s definitely musty, wet smelling and tasting. On the second steep it’s musty with a touch of fresh string beans when you string them. Or maybe fresh Lima beans. Some bitterness, a beautiful amber liquor—like a light bourbon.
I don’t think this is my thing, but…it’s honestly not totally unpleasant after it loses that “wet rag” smell and taste with additional steepings. Drying to my mouth though.
Probably I wouldn’t choose to drink this again.
Definitely interesting! No clue how to rate this, as it’s my first aged sheng.
So I’m new at pu’ehr—bear with me here…
This is part of a sample pack I got from Crimson Lotus (who, btw, has amazing packaging!)
This is one of my first shengs, and the first one I enjoyed. I think it’s delicious, and so interesting.
There’s a hint of smoke, some oddly mouth refreshing bitterness, and a bit of cooked asparagus. On the second steep, there’s a bit of tobacco. But the mouthfeel is the shiz! It’s refreshing, cooling and pleasant. Not minty, but cooling nonetheless, and it lingers after the tea is gone. The water I drank afterwards was even more refreshing and cooling than usual.
I don’t know how seasoned pu heads like this tea, but I think it’s fascinating and delicious.
My stupid iPad won’t let me rate this, but at this point I’d say 90? I really dig it.
EDIT: I’m 4 (5?) steeps in. Just wanted to say that this is bitter, so if you don’t like that, this won’t be your fave.
OMGsrsly was generous enough to send me one of these orbs. Thank you so much.
I’ve been finding that I like sheng better with less leaf than is normally recommended. So yes, I broke this in half.
About a week ago I used one half and did a gongfu session with it. It was nice and light. I didn’t take detailed notes – but it was good. Maybe just a hint bitter with a little grassy – but not excessive.
Today I’ve taken the other half and dumped it into a steeping basket and a Davids perfect mug. I know, I know – but western steep works for me sometimes. This is one of those time. This is really good with short – 15/20 sec. A little creamy, really smooth, just a hint of the sheng mustiness. With this preparation, this is right up there with my favorite shengs.
Thanks to Crimson Lotus Tea for supplying this as a sample in a recent order. I enjoyed this last night. Didn’t pay super close attention to it as I was busy stoking a fire and engaging in conversation/reading a horror book out loud while drinking it. Did that sound pretentious? I guess it kind of did… But honest to goodness that was what my night consisted of. It was lovely.
Anyway, this tea was very smooth. It didn’t seem as dark as I imagined it would be. The first steep after two rinses was still pretty light. The sample chunk opened up on the second steep so the second and third were a bit darker in color and flavor. It lightened up a bit after that. The main thing I noticed about this tea overall was the creamy smoothness with no overt smells dominating. I enjoyed it quite a bit and could see it being a really good every day type of drink. Overall, I was able to get about 8 steeps out of this one.
Received this today. Pretty excited as it is the first sheng I’ve bought at the suggestion of Crimson Lotus Tea to pair with an 80’s style horror book for my tea book club. Giving it a test run tonight.
First rinse, 3 sec. Wet leaf smells a bit like a smoky seaweed.
First steep, 10 sec. Liquor brews up a nice golden honey. Faint smokey flavor on the front of the tongue with perhaps some… menthol bitterness? Is that the camphor people speak of?
Second steep, 10 sec. Same color on the liquor. The menthol bitterness is a bit subdued but still a numbing on the tip of the tongue. Scent of the liquor is slightly sweet. Leaves now certainly have that medicinal camphor type scent.
Third steep, 15 sec. Scent coming off the liquor remains sweet, almost floral this time. Could just be my imagination but might be feeling some of the stomach agitation that some have mentioned as famous of young sheng.
Skipping some steeping notes. Talking and drinking this with the wife has distracted me…
5th steep 30 sec. Slight bitterness but overall good smokey flavor that both my wife and I are enjoying. My wife reports no stomach irritation. I feel like there might be something that almost makes it feel like I have hunger pains but I’m not hungry. It is not painful or bad per se but it is there.
6th steep, 35 sec. It’s strange. I feel like the bitterness is fading but is it? I mean, it is certainly still there. It doesn’t FEEL as strong but is that due to a tea buzz? A weakening overall of the tea? Maybe it is just better rounded at this point versus being more pointed in the first few steeps up front.
7th steep, 45 sec. So, my buzz has made me REALLY interested in examining the leaves in my gaiwan. So cool how some leaves have opened up and yet there are still some fairly tightly rolled tube shaped leaves. One thing is for sure. This tea is making my wife feel extra sassy tonight. Haha.
8th steep, 1 min. This is my favorite steep thus far. Bitter harshness is gone. Drink goes down easy. Still has that smoky camphor which I am beginning to really dig. Almost like a cool eucalyptus type vapor is enveloping my upper body, if that makes sense. WTF am I talking about. Of course that doesn’t make sense. Unless you are a tea head, probably.
Wife and I took a break after the 9th steep to relax and enjoy the energy given from the first hour and a half with this tea.
10th steep, about 2 minutes. Super smooth. Really enjoyable. I was just instructed to add that if you stick with this tea that you will be rewarded with a smoothness in the later steeps.
11th steep, 2 minutes. This one, the leaves have a sour/tart smell. It shows up in the taste of the liquor as well. Not sour patch kids sour… Just tart. Still drinkable.
12th steep, 3 minutes. Pretty thin. Calling it a night on this one.
My first real experience with a compressed sheng. It was fairly enjoyable with a mild effect on my stomach (wife reported no such discomfort) though that is probably to be expected for someone with Ulcerative Colitis. This (and other shengs) will probably be a once in a while type enjoyment but nothing I drink too often, given my ailment. I’m sure more age/better quality would be better. Either way, this was an enjoyable evening with my wife so that is the most important.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Floral, Smoke, Tart
This shou is nicely fruity, without any bitter or dry notes. I did get the chocolately notes, along with some fruity dates. There is some sourness in the first 5 steeps, but once you get passed that the shou is quite nice. I would buy this one to drink later, it needs some time to lose that ferment essence.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2014-gu-ming-xiang-bulang-gushu-2-0-shou-puer-crimson-lotus-tea/
A very fine aged tea. There is a consistent mouthfeel that persists well after my cup is empty. The energy overflows steep after steep, my head races back and forth as my body cools to a soft chill.
The main taste of this tea is somewhere in the middle of astringency and bitter, but not either one more than the other. Grass, mild smoke, tobacco flavors stand out to me as the dominant flavors. It almost tastes like a burnt flower would, a little charred but full of beauty and underlying fruitiness.
This is stronger tea in almost every facet of it. The liquor is browner than most teas this age. The thick liquor leads for a superb mouth buzzing effect. Lastly, the feeling behind the tea is an energetic and clear headed one.
I am back from vacation!
This is my second attempt at brewing this, for the first time wasn’t all that great.
This session was much better. I got a new teapot as a gift while on vacation, and it seasoned very nicely. I dedicated the yixing to large leaf fresh spring sheng. I opened up the wrapper and reveled a very tightly wound little orb. The planet has a slight spiced green scent. I warmed up the yixing and popped this orb inside. i let it sit in the pot for some time to soak up the steam. I opened the lid and took in a wonderful fresh sweet scent. I washed the orb three times to allow the leaves to begin opening up. The taste began light and sweet, with a nice golden color. The brew progressively grew darker and yielded some more deeper flavors. The beginning of these tastes were intensely fresh; this orb is pure spring. I tasted some strong grassy notes with a wonderful sweetness. The brew has a brief peppery kuwei and a nice huigan that follows the drinker. The brew grew into some light roasted tones with a warm slight nuttiness in the aftertaste. The grassy tones kept consistently strong throughout the entire session; however, I also noted some woodiness in a later steeping. The drink has a beginning bite and then soothes with a sugarcane sweetness. The final steeping had a dry grass tone covered with a wet wood and warm sweetness. The qi is nice and warming with an alert effect. The sensation begins behind the eyelids and flows throughout the body. This warming feeling cools down to a percolating stimulate and gives the drinker a nice buzz. I liked this little orb. I would categorize this as a nice treat for traveling, but it isn’t something I’d keep for a staple. The price point is a little high for this tea. I enjoyed my session, and I’m happy that I gave this another chance.
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Sugarcane, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal, Wet Wood
No notes yet. Add one?
This one was on my wishlist and dexter did me a favour by sending my a little to try…or maybe it’s not a favour since i think i really enjoy this one. I’ve been drinking it this morning while doing some things around the house. We’re trying to decide if we want to go to niagara for the later afternoon/evening :)
My first steeps of this one were creamy., smooth and dark and delicious. In later steeps i get a litle more cacao, that same smooth strength and a bit of sweetness coming through. Going to keep going with this one over the afternoon i think. thanks dexter!
I wanted to write about how I was surprised with a beautiful new teapot, gifted from the aether, or how Ben got me a book from one of my favorite authors (Randall Munroe, if you are curious) or how my sunlamp seems to be working and I am feeling better…but, all of these pieces of awesome news are dulled but sad news. The other day music and acting icon that helped shape my childhood David Bowie passed, and then today I woke up to Alan Rickman, whose acting I have been watching since I was tiny (I was raised on Die Hard!) having passed, these losses to the arts are sudden and tragic. They were not just icons of nerdity ( as Jareth and Snape) they were icons! They have left this life, but left us a lifetime of entertainment that has cemented their immortality.
I have had several teas from Crimson Lotus Tea, own a small army of tea frogs from them, and have had many excellent conversations with them, but I have not written about any of their teas and that is kinda terrible of me. So I am rectifying that today with 2008 Bulang Imperial Grade Shou Puerh! From my experience (limited as it is compared to the real Pu-heads) Shou from Bulang is usually quite sweet and rich, so let us delve into the tea notebook and see! The aroma of the leaves is indeed quite rich! Notes of loam and wet leather mix with burnt sugar, wet bark, cedar loam, and a distant touch of dates. It blends sweetness with earthiness in a rich dance that is pleasing to the nose.
Into my shou pot the leaves go for their rinse and short steep. The aroma of the wet leaves is super strong and intense, I lifted the lid off my pot and poof, face full of forest floor, with wet loam, a bit of peat, some wet pine loam, and a finish of leather. The liquid is sweet and rich, with notes of pine loam, mushroom soil, burnt sugar, molasses, and a finish of dates.
For the first few steeps, the real focus of this tea was its mellow loam and earthy notes. It has a subtle sweetness and a touch of mushroom soil, but as my notebook says, it is loamtastic. Blending pine loam and more deciduous leaves with gentle notes of distant molasses. It has a thickness which is nice but not overpowering.
Several steeps later and the aroma and taste really become intense, very strong earthy notes of loam and mushroom soil, wet wood, leather, and a deep heavy sweetness in the aroma. Sniffing this tea reminds me of sinking into a nice nap in a sun warmed forest. The taste is loamy and rich, but there is also a creamy sweetness like molasses candy and dates. It is thick and heavy, definitively a very rich shou!
Towards the end the aroma is still potent and loamy, notes of pine soil and molasses blend with oak wood and a touch of leather. This tea outlived me, I stopped at steep ten but I know it could have kept going for more steeps, please don’t think less of my stamina. The finishing steeps bring in more sweetness, molasses and brown sugar with dates and a resinous pine sap finish. It oddly reminds me a little bit of horehound candy on the finish with more of an earthy leaf loam and mushroom soil note. This was a wonderful shou, one I could see myself buying a brick of to slurp on cold nights.
From the Pu’er TTB (I think it was 2nd round?)
A really floral sheng! Early steepings were fruity pineapple and floral, with middle steepings developing a bitterness, steamed greens and even more floral. The last steepings, around 12 or so (I lost count) was creamy fruity and guess what, more floral.
Very much a spring inspired tea session. This one isn’t a gentle sheng either, it’s got a good amount of punch to it, perfect to pull you out of any winter blues.
Admittedly, I am far from a pu head. I normally drink green teas and light oolongs. Cannot stomach black tea and the few times I’ve tasted puerh I spit it out because it tasted like dirt to me.
So it was with great trepidation that I tried this sample received in a recent swap. I have to say this one was actually quite nice. It tastes like a strong white tea with prominent hay, grass, and marine undertones. The earthiness is there but it isn’t off putting nor offensive and starts mellowing at the 3rd infusion. The seaweed taste also fades away at this point to make way for light vegetal notes and a hint of pleasant bitterness. The earthiness tamed down by the fourth infusion which was most enjoyable one yet. I wondered if perhaps I was starting to acquire a taste for puerh? Fifth infusion was a lighter, green tea-ish flavor and the final two steeps tasted metallic.
I got a little hopped up after drinking it (in a good way), so this is a good one if you’re looking for caffeine. Overall, this was a great introduction to sheng for a beginner like me. While I doubt I’ll turn into a puerh aficionado any time soon, it’s opened up my tea experience and made me more willing to try other puerhs in the future.
Thanks to Stephanie for a great sample!
Flavors: Dirt, Dry Grass, Hay, Vegetal
Last 2 days i spent on Planet Jingmai by Crimson Lotus Tea. I think its my 3rd orb since i got it last April. its developing nicely. its thicker,leaves are getting darker. so sweet,almost no astringency, just barely. i used off boil water, that what i do for any sheng, young or middle aged. It was opening slowly and i was patient. ive had some other teas in between. it made me very mellow and relaxed.
i started in 90ml shiboridashi and ended up in 150ml yixing pot. i had to give a room for the leaves explosion!
This review is based off of my third time sitting with this shou. Had a gongfu session with a ruyao gaiwan. 30 second rinse (this piece was tough to decompress). I didn’t bother to keep track of steeping times. It kicked the bucket at around number 10 (ten minutes).
Why?? Why does it have to be overcast/rainy on weekends and when I have time off, but sunny when I have work?? I was planning on finishing off my sample this morning. I guess the timing couldn’t have been better. Other than damp earth and loam, the wet leaf aroma has a note of intense cocoa. The burgundy soup has a full and rich body, and a thick, creamy texture. It’s a bit cloudy for about seven infusions but clears becomes clear afterward. Super chocolately – one of the most chocolate-filled shous I"ve had. Later in the session I also taste prunes and raisins, especially prominent in the aftertaste.
Consistently rich, chocolately, and creamy – this is my kind of shou. I’m in a good mood today.
Starting the morning off with this baby, though to be honest, i should have just stayed up all night. I’ve mentioned it before, shengs are not always my favourite. Give me a fabulous shou most days. I followed the instructions for loosening up this beautiful ball of tea. Thankfully, i read a few notes before to figure out how to manage this one.
Initially this is vegetal with a little bitterness at the end of the sip – i get a sense of sweetness but it disappears. In some sips it’s almost like the memory of smoke, without being smokey. It’ll be interesting to keep on with this one for the next little while, as i test and see where it takes me. more to come, and thanks omgsrsly for sending this one along!
I received one of these as a gift from CLT (they are quite generous)
Brewed it up today after some 90’s HK from W2T. What a perfect transition that way. A dark soupy sheng for the morning to wonderfully light sheng that opens up as the session continues.
My experience with smaller compressed raw material is that they are always strong when opened up. Thankfully, this one kept it’s calm/light taste throughout the session. Though it was a bit stronger during the ending steeps, this continued to stay pure and to my liking. This makes me curious of the material prior to pressing. I’ve yet to have a non bitter maocha. Now that I’ve drank it, I feel a little upset because I don’t have another. Most of my sheng is wild or darker. The only two raw from CLT I’ve had were light and reminded me of the pureness that a Japanee tea gives off. Looking forward to the two Bai Ying cakes… they looked so beautiful before I broke them up.
Wishlist tea from dexter holy we are being productive today. Tree down, house being dusted, vaccumed, floors washed etc while i work on release testing and copying all our CD’s over to digital. woot woot!
I’ve been sipping on this one for the better part of the afternoon – puerhs are great for busy house weekends i think because if you forget about what you’re drinking, just make another steep lol this is a really nice, smooth puerh. more to the woody side of things than earthy, sort of like hiking in the woods in vancouver ;) really enjoyed my time with this, and may have to put it on my wishlist, though i suppose it’ll likely sell out before i can get to it.
note: was able to do a significant number of steepings with my little sample from dexter – 10+ before it ran out of steam
Another great sample from Kieblera5. Thank you!
Brewed in a ceramic gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 10, 15, 10, 10, 15, 15, 20, 40, 120.
The dry leaf smells of leather, and in the heated bowl, of chocolate and blackberries. The leather and chocolate notes are strengthened after the rinse. The first couple infusions are sour and lightly colored. Beginning with the third, the liquor suddenly darkens to garnet. This shou is dense with a chocolately sweetness and creamy texture. Fruity notes appear at the end of the session. Like a dark chocolate bar with fruits! (berries, raisins).