Crimson Lotus Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is an excellent tea and perhaps the first shou gushu I have tried. It was earthy in the early steeps with a fair amount of fermentation flavor. Not a huge amount but about what you would expect for a 2012 tea. There were notes of dark chocolate in the early steeps as well. I agree with the reviewer that said the later steeps had a honey like sweetness. I would even say berry notes in the eighth and ninth steeps. This is one I wish Crimson Lotus had a price for the whole 2kg brick. If the price was right I would buy the whole thing to age it. It should also be noted that I never noticed any bitterness in this tea, if it was there I wasn’t paying close enough attention. This was an excellent tea overall.
I steeped this tea nine times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 8.5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, 4 min, and 8 min. This tea was far from played out. Had I not been drinking so much tea already I think it would have gone for another six steeps or so. This was a strong tea. I hope this ages well. I hope I have some of this left when it is ten years old.
Flavors: Berry, Dark Chocolate, Earth
I have a family of these frogs, and I absolutely love them! When Crimson Lotus posted a photo of them on twitter I knew I had to have one…and then a pair…and then five. Yours truly had been hunting a perfect froggy tea pet for quite a while, but since I have limited space, I needed it to be somewhat small, and these guys are perfect. I love that each one has a stamp from the creator (one even has a tiny bit of a finger print) and holes, so if I want to take them on an adventure I can string them on a cord and wear them as a necklace.
For lots of pictures and a more in-depth rambling about tea pets: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-rambling-about-tea-pets.html
I tried a sample of Crimson lotus Tea’s 2009 Xinghai BulangQiaomu Sheng Puerh. This is the first puerh I’ve looked at here although not my first puerh. I wanted to have a short gongfu session, but this tea lasted a lot longer than I thought it would (eighteen infusions in total). The sample I have was mostly in large chunks, each around five to eight grams a piece.
I began with three short rinses with boiling water for six seconds each. For my first infusion I steeped for ten seconds (subsequent steepings I added five seconds). For the most part my first three infusions were pretty similar; they had an earthy scent and it mostly had a woodsy taste, although there were hints of very dark chocolate and some bitterness. I didn’t really care for these three infusions; it was a little too dark for me although the liquor was a very light for the strength of the tea.
For my next three infusions I used boiling water for twenty –five seconds (plus five seconds for each subsequent infusions). This time it had a smokey aroma, although I could still smell wet earth. The taste became very smooth and dark chocolaty, there was a little bit of sweetness now, but it still had some bitterness. Normally I am not a fan of darker teas, but this was very pleasant, it reminded me a little of Mexican hot chocolate without cinnamon. Unfortunately at this point I burned my hand pretty bad so I stopped taking pictures, but I still continued on, for the most part it the liquor became darker as I went on, until the thirteenth infusion when it started to become lighter.
At the seventh steeping, it started to become really interesting. I used boiling water and steeped for forty-five seconds. The aroma was very similar to previous, earthy and smokey, but the taste had a new edge to it. While it still was very chocolaty and woodsy with a little sweetness , but there was new spiciness to it. I could taste a little chili, but I mostly was getting cinnamon and cocoa powder. I differentiate the dark chocolaty taste from before with the cocoa powder taste which was a little drier. There was still some bitterness, but it became very similar to Mexican hot chocolate now that I was getting the spicy notes. This was probably my favorite infusion even though it was still darker then my normal teas.
I am going to skip ahead to my thirteenth infusion, by now I was steeping for seventy seconds. By now the scent is mostly gone, although the leaves are starting to smell very burnt. As for taste it started to have a coffee taste, more like a French roast. Before the tea tasted bitter, but with a sweet aftertaste, this time I would say it was sweet with a bitter aftertaste. I could still taste chocolate in this, but it became very mellow and the spicy notes were still present although the cinnamon and chili started to become murky. After this infusion the brewed tea became lighter.
I liked this tea, while I am normally not a darker teas so I generally avoid most puerhs, but I think I’ll have to reconsider a lot of teas I normally write off. And while I did enjoy the later infusions more so than the earlier ones, I’d definitely try this tea again if I can find it.
These larger leafed shous are really starting to make an impression on me. This tea has hints of honey sweetness that is quite enjoyable. This is a mellow tea but that is not to say it lacks flavor in any way. I thought I picked up hints of vanilla and even floral notes along with some of your usual woodsy flavor that tend to be in shous. It is a really pleasant tea and I thank the folks at Crimson Lotus for including this with my recent order.
This is a great shou from Crimson Lotus. Early steeps are dark and thick with complexity and a good ratio of bitterness and sweetness. Eventually the tea starts to lighten up considerably and the sweetness takes over resulting in a tea you can drink for a long time while still providing plenty of flavor. This tea matched the early morning for me today, starting off nice and dark but becoming lighter and sweeter as the morning progressed and the sun became brighter. Highly enjoyable!
Thank You Mr Mopar for this sample. This is excellent ripe puerh. It is very earthy and thick and sweet. It has a fair amount of fermentation flavor left. I definitely recommend it to anyone who can handle some fermentation flavor. It hasn’t developed dates notes yet but it is good. The earthy ones don’t seem to have developed those notes.
I steeped this five times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 9.5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. This is a strong tea and it didn’t need long steeps at all, short was good. There were earthy flavors throughout all five steeps. This is a tea I would consider buying eventually as it is available for a good price.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
Thank you Mr Mopar for this sample. Overall, this tea was quite good, but not spectacular. It had a nice depth of flavor but was not as good as the best Menghai Tea Factory teas. It was up there in quality though and I might buy it when I eventually put in an order with Crimson Lotus Tea. That being said there were some sweet notes and some chocolate notes to this tea. There was no off flavor or noticeable bitterness or astringency.
I brewed this five times in a 220ml gaiwan over several hours. I used 8.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it one short rinse. I steeped it for 15 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, and 30 sec. It held its strength well and would have taken at least 4 more steepings but I have to be up tomorrow and don’t want the caffeine.
Flavors: Chocolate, Sweet
Bringing this one out myself as the “Chairman” is occupied elsewhere tonight. I looked over these little leaves and thought “Why would someone toss these?”. I know tea lea is sorted to look “pretty” and “Fit for the Emperor” but as to why to not include these would be beyond me.
Tea leaves are tea leaves and I will drink most of these with anticipation to see how they brew. Huang Pian, sounds a bit different but I think these leaves will prove they are worth their mettle. I “officially” tried this a while back and as Steepster was down I decided to do this again. Today is the again.
I shook out 8 grams of this to start. Wow that looks like more than 8 but the scale doesn’t lie. Nice long wiry leaves for sure. I put them in the pot and gave a quick rinse and then a sniff to inhale the aroma. Fresh peas in butter with a little sharp spice in there. I let these sit about 10 minutes to open up in the pot.
Very quick steep on this one. Results nice yellow cloudy little brew. Don’t let that fool you. Very vibrant and mouthful feeling brew. Some bitter and astringent notes up front that seem to mellow nicely at the end of the sip. A nice floral sharpness to this. It is an almost “thick” tea you could cut with a knife. I guess if processors toss out this type of tea and I am still around to drink it I will keep some of this on hand. Years ago I would never touch sheng but as I continue to grow and the buttery , vegetal touches on this one make it nice. The thickness on this is really nice. Yum and yum.
I would say to Gong Fu this but as I used a teapot I will gong fu this with the remainder in a Gaiwan at a later time.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Peas, Spices, Vegetal
Thank you so very much, Glen and Dawa, for including this in my order. The experience is so similar to a shou that I had a week ago and enjoyed thoroughly…(No strong sweetness, good earthy notes, strong, medium body, pleasant throat) I’m considering buying a brick of this. It is just an all around pleasant shou to drink . It could definitely be a daily drinker.
I started a session with this last night at a friends house. Making a tea at a non-tea-drinkers house just isn’t the same. But I really wanted to try my sample of this so I improvised.
6g, 8oz water, boiling water. Two 8 second rinses. 15,30,40 second steeps.
The first two steeps I drank at the friends house. I was distracted while drinking, but I do recall it being a more wet earthy, almost smokey, puerh. Not as sweet and chocolatey as the 2012 puerh I had from them the other day. I also noticed some leather-like notes. This is an almost manly tea.
Third and forth steeps were at home, today, after work. Ahh, so much better making to at home. These steeps are much like the last, but less smokey and leathery, and with an almost fruity note.
The next six steeps, the tea becomes more sweet and fruity and almost molasses like, while still staying true to the manliness of the first steeps. The tea reminds me of a bad boy, all leather and smoke and manly at first, but as you get to know him, he becomes sweeter and softer.
So even though we have take home boxes from both of my birthday dinners (one with my boyfriend and then one with my family), my boyfriend decided he wanted to get subs for lunch. I dot know if it’s all the bread or what, but subs always seem so heavy to me. Nursing a full belly, I decided I wanted shou, and remembered that I had these leaves in the fridge. I had started a session with it on my birthday, but then my boyfriend wanted to go to an early dinner and my session got cut short after only 2 steeps.
6g, 8oz water, boiling, two 10 sec rinses, 10,10,15,15,15
The first two steeps, I remember them being smooth and silky, dark cocoa, which seemed to fill my mouth and make me think of it as more like a good cocoa powder, a little earthy, and a touch of something spicy. I had a sip of the second steep several hours later, after it had gone cold, and there was a sort of smokey note to it.
Third-fifth steeps were less cocoa powder, and more dark chocolate. Along with some dark sweetness, a little lighter than molasses, almost like dark brown sugar.
Sixth-ninth steep continue to get sweeter and the chocolate gets more creamy and milky. I just got back from Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, where it rained all night, and it was opening night and a really busy for September. Now I’m winding down with one last steep of this, and but the leaves in the fridge for later.
This shou is very easy to drink. From the steeping leaves, you pick up the scents of wet wood and leather. Dark brown tea soup yields a sweet and fairly mellow sip – woody and earthy with a definite dark chocolate overtone. Absolutely no bitterness found. The leaf seems to have staying power – 8 steeps in and the cup is still very flavorful with a 20s steep time.
Mmmm, a delicious ripe pu’er! This one is very smooth, rich, melty dark chocolate flavor with spice notes. With later infusions the chocolate goes from dark to milk with a wild honey like sweet flavor. Very easy to drink and desserty. No bitterness, dryness or fermentation funk. I got 17 infusions from 6 grams of tea, prepared gong fu style.
2012 Bulang Gushu also has a gorgeous reddish color that is bright and clear – a pretty pretty tea! Totally for someone who loves a rich chocolate note tea!
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2012-bulang-gushu-ripe-puerh/
Light, sweet, with some slight woodiness. Mouthwatering aftertaste. I have no idea why I sometimes think I taste the tiniest hint of banana in this. (The last time this happened, it was more prominent and with Mandala’s 2009 Bulang Gong Ting shu but I don’t think the leaves are from the same region…)
The first time I brewed this, I used my 150 ml gaiwan. It tasted pretty good, but I wasn’t getting much of an aftertaste or the “mellow sweetness” mentioned in the description. It didn’t really impress me, to be honest.
I decided that I wanted a mug of tea earlier tonight, rather than multiple little cups. Normally, I go for flavoured teas or black teas at this hour (caffeine doesn’t really affect me, which is a blessing as a tea drinker and a curse as a student) but for mysterious and unknown reasons I reached into my box of pu’er samples instead and randomly pulled out a pouch.
So, I brewed it with my infuser and mug (quick rinse x2, 5 second steep). I must have messed up with the ratios in my gaiwan the first time around, because I can certainly taste the sweetness and mouthwatering aftertaste now! Definitely a huge departure from the earthy, dark shus I usually prefer.
I received 3 samples from Crimson Lotus Leaf. I couldn’t decide which one to start with, so I just picked this one at random. The smell is earthy, woodsy, and a touch like pond water.
I rinsed twice, 10 second each. 15,60,45,60,60,60,90,90,120 second steeps. 5g 8 oz water, 200F.
First steep is sweet and gentle. A little earthy, a little woodsy, a little cocoa powdery. Second steep I stepped away and accidentally steeped it for 60 seconds instead of the 30 seconds I intended. The result was thick and yummy. Still sweet, still earthy, still super smooth. It sort of coated my throat and lingered around for a long time. Third steep is much like the last two. Some caramel or honey like notes.
I’m noticing that while this puerh is thick and lingering, it’s not heavy. In fact, it’s sort of up lifting. Forth and fifth steep, the earthy note is a little toned down. And there’s an almost fruitiness now. 7-10th steeps stay smooth and sweet.
This baby can keep going, but I think I’m going to call it a night and maybe cold steep the leaves.
For the last three days I have been having the Crimson Lotus tea’s 2007 Qiao Jun “Huang Zhi” shou pu-erh. The website states: “This puerh brews very light even with longer steepings. This will brew very smooth with a pronounced mellow sweetness. It’s moist in the throat with a pleasant aftertaste.” I completely agree with this note. The tea is simply pleasant, has a certain lightness to it, and has a hint of chocolate in its finish during early steepings. I found it grew on me over the three days it took to go through 10 steepings. Seems like a pretty good bargain for a pleasant everyday drinker at $22 for a 250 ml brick (also available in 25 gram sample size). More info available at http://crimsonlotustea.com/products/2007-qiao-jun-huang-zhi-250g-shou-ripe-puerh-brick. My tea was from a sample purchased last month.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Wood
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: