Lao Tong Zhi Old Comrades 2011 Shu Pu'er

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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11 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea

“A potent and intriguing shu with strong ginger overtones and classic caramel sweetness. . . . "

The smell of this small-bud 250g brick when wet is thrilling- a combination of sweet, salty, pastry dough with vanilla and a touch of crisp refreshing mint.

Steeped, this is a smooth, rich and mild brew in the early steepings with strong spice notes that grow into warming fresh ginger. This shu pu’er defines the classic- caramel notes, medium-heavy body, slight woody undertones, and cinnamon spice.

Later steepings see the unique fresh ginger qualities accentuated with light fruit notes. Impressively, this pu’er yields many steepings and needs only a few seconds in the water to infuse a strong sweet flavor. The edge provided by the ginger, along with the confident sweetness make this an interesting tea to age- just pressed in 2011, it will be interesting to see how this continues to grow.

NOTES: ginger, caramel, vanilla, apple

Date of Picking: Picked in 2006, pressed and stamped in 2011

Location of Picking: An Ning, Yunnan, China

What Was Picked: Small buds and leaves, wet fermented and pressed into bricks

About Verdant Tea View company

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11 Tasting Notes

2855 tasting notes

I enjoyed drinking this throughout the afternoon & early evening. I’ve reviewed it before, & my previous comments hold. To me it doesn’t taste so much like ginger, rather it has the warming sensation of ginger, along with some nice fruity sweetness. I wanted something bold, yet grounding, & this hit the spot.

I’m feeling much better than I’ve felt for a few days, & energized, so I spent the evening starting 2 new batches of cultured veggies.
The first one is a root kimchi: Daikon & Turnips from my garden, carrots, burdock. All are cut in matchsticks (I’ve been known to cut them in much more novel shapes, but I wanted to keep it simple). They’ll soak overnight in a salt brine, & tomorrow I’ll drain them & add ginger, onion, garlic, horseradish, & chilis. It will take about a week to mature. A potent, earthy Kimchi!
The 2nd one is a new batch of sauer kraut, which we eat a lot of around here. This one is a coleslaw style kraut: green cabbage, onion, garlic, grated carrot, dill seed, & salt. Once everything was chopped & mixed together, my son Drew & I ate a few bites. Like a young puer that you know is going to only get better, that’s how I feel about this kraut. Right now it’s a tasty & somewhat nippy salad. A month from now it will be tangy, delicious, & loaded with probiotics.
I currently have 3 in the frig that we’ve been eating:
1/2 qt of pink kraut (we went through almost 4 qts in a month!)
1/2 qt of kimchi (the regular kind)
4 pints of newly ripened Christmas Kraut: purple cabbage, cranberries, apples, cinnamon sticks, ginger root, orange juice, & salt. I’m still not sure how I feel about that one…its VERY tangy…
1/2 qt of green beans, peppers, & garlic cloves.

This satisfies my ‘mad scientist’ tendencies!

Bonnie

I’ve recently been making curried saurkraut with cranberries and apples. Really good! I make a Thai red chili pickled radish thats sweet and savory which is topped with fresh basil in the Spring. yummy on tuna sandwiches! Send your sweet red please…if you don’t mind…I can’t find mine.

Terri HarpLady

Oohhh, those sound interesting!
Send my sweet red what? : )

Bonnie

Feather Boa Terri! Sauerkraut recipe duh!

Bonnie

(purple cabbage is also called red cabbage)

Terri HarpLady

LOL!!
It’s simple! Shred a red cabbage & a green cabbage, mix them together in a big bowl, sprinkling sea salt as you go, about 2 to 3 Tb of salt in all. It should taste salty, but but pleasant. Squeeze & kneed the cabbage, them cram it into your crock, jar, or whatever container you like to use. Press down on it several times in the first 24 hours, & if the liquids don’t rise to cover the cabbage, mix up some brine (1 Tb salt per cup of water). Let it bubble for a month or so, then enjoy! It turns a real pretty shade of pink!

Terri HarpLady

I still have a ton of daikon radish & turnips from my garden. How about your thai radish recipe? That curried kraut sounds good too!

Kittenna

Oh, that sounds so delicious! I love sauerkraut, but have never tried to make my own.

Bonnie

That’s it for the sweet red type too?!

Terri HarpLady

Kittenna, it really is easy! I have had a few failures over the years, but it’s been very rarely a problem. Once you’ve made a batch or 2, then it’s fun to experiment with adding different things to them. I’m adding some fresh dill to the coleslaw kraut, I think that will enhance it even further.

Terri HarpLady

Bonnie, did you mean the christmas kraut?

Bonnie

yep the sweet red cabbage(or purple) that I like to cook with apples,onions and curry (ends up like sweet and savory).

Terri HarpLady

Lets see…that one was a head of purple cabbage, 2 diced apples (if I do it again, I’ll probably use more), a bag of fresh cranberries, juice & zest of an orange, 3 cinnamon sticks, grated ginger (not sure how much, I think it was about the size of my thumb or so), & a couple of T of salt. Mix it all together, put it in the crock, if needed add brine so that it’s covered. Leave it on the counter for a week or so. There are several recipes online, & I combined several to come up with mine. Most had sugar in them, but I can’t do that.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

omg that all sounds so good !

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95
673 tasting notes

Standing on the Rim

When I ordered my brick of Pu’er, I made sure to buy a .7 oz packet for sampling right away.
I’m so new at storing larger cakes and bricks of PU that I never would have had patience to wait before diving in with my Pu’er knife like an impatient tea Zorro.

Having purchased a large brick is a leap of faith. Is this tea going to be one of those special Pu’er’s that will grow richer in time and dazzle me with exceptional flavor?

I’ve waited to read the notes from Verdant on taste until after I had tried my sample.

I used my fat, white 4oz Gaiwan and 4 grams leaf. I always use Spring Water.

The liquor was an intensely rich Auburn Brown color through all 5 infusions.

The infusions were quirky (like me).
I began with 20 seconds on the first infusion which was fine (the first infusion is usually light), but the second steeping was very strong.
I cut back the time to 10 seconds on the 3rd infusion (which is the same as an ‘instant’ steep for me since I’m a bit slow) and that was most successful!
Keep the infusions at 5-10 seconds, not longer, for best results.

Even though I went from light to heavy and back to light strength, the flavor never went weird. (No hidden boxing glove came out on that second strong steeping and popped me in the nose with a bitter left hook.)

Had I drained the energy and flavor from the tea? The oversteeping could have diluted the Pu’er.

Thankfully, the third infusion was very good, and from that point on the shorter 10 second steep times produced smooth, juicy and flavorful tastings.

All along I tasted soft, sweet ginger with a bite on the front of my tongue that lingered long after drinking the tea.
Some might say there’s a cedar wood flavor but I tasted redwood. That redwood taste is warm and sunny with a tang to it and has more body than cedar.

There was a creamy, light saltiness on the last steeping.

When I drink tea I stand on the rim of the memories in my mind. It’s like looking over the edge of a canyon at pictures far below… with signs such as these:
The Grand Canyon, Santorini, Golden Gate Bridge, Rome, Peru, Alaska, Redwood Forests, Monterey Bay.

Under these signs and pictures are sub headings such as:
Golden Gate Park, The Aurora Borialis and Hiking in the Andes. Places I’ve been and things I’ve done…like my own mental NETFLIX.

When I begin to drink a tea, I stand on that rim waiting for the tea to take me to the place it wants to go and the tea always takes me to a good memory, never a bad one.

Today, I thought about the Redwoods. Inside the Redwoods main heading was a subtitle: Santa’s Village (Scotts Valley, CA.)

This place doesn’t exist anymore, but when I was young it was a magical place tucked into the forest with real Raindeer and a Santa House with Santa Claus. The sweet smell of the enormous redwood trees and the fresh baked Gingerbread scent coming from Mrs. Claus’s pastry shoppe sounds like a strange thought to pair up with a fine Pu’er.
But wait… Redwood, ginger, earthy forest…it wasn’t that far removed from the taste of the tea!

You don’t get to choose what the journey will be. The tea does the picking.

Over the rim I gooooo and I look forward to more leaps!

Claire

I love the redwoods Bonnie, one of my favorite places to be, especially around Humboldt. Thanks for sharing your tea thoughts and memories!

TheTeaFairy

Loving this review! Now, when will I be able to watch The Adventures of Zorro Bonnie and the Pu on my NETFLIX Canada?

Bonnie

‘Z’ zip, zig, zag! Pu’er Zorro! By the time I’m done with my Pu’er knife, it will look like Swiss Cheese. I think my technique is early Scots Coal Miner, chip…chip…chip. I can only get better with practice.

steelhead

Fantastic…Simply fantastic!!!

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91
886 tasting notes

So it is my birthday today, and I wanted to have a special tea. I was between this one, Master Han’s Yunnan Black and the legendary Golden Fleece that I have yet to try. However, this one won out because it has been sitting there in my drawer, a nice large brick, just waiting for a special moment. And today seemed like the perfect time to break into it. Also, I decided that it’d be a nice tradition to have a gongfu session of this tea every year on my bday, and I can see how the aging is going in a semi-regular fashion, although I will probably have it more often now that I actually got into it. But this will hopefully be my birthday tea for many years. :)

So I had to break into this beast somehow. I scrolled back through my tasting notes to find Bonnie’s suggestions and also went to Verdant’s site and watched David’s video on how to break into pu’er. So I tried using a flathead screwdriver first to pry into it sideways, but that wasn’t working and was just making dust, so I tried a knife like Bonnie said, and the sharp tip did the trick. I also cut a small corner off. I have no idea how much I put in my gongfu pot, but it seemed like enough to make a good few cups.

I did 2 rinses for about 15-20 seconds with boiling water. Then I steeped for around 10-15 seconds for the first, going to try to keep to that for the rest of the steepings. The liquor is a beautiful dark red, and it smells so good, like caramel and vanilla with that lovely earthy note! This smells nice and rich and tasty, I prefer the scent of this to the xingyang 2007 actually.

Mmmm this tastes so nice and warming. A lot of caramel and sweetness in this one, but there is a nice burst of earth and maybe a bit of fruitiness even to this steeping. Something fresh behind the sweetness. It is also quite smooth and this is making me feel pretty good and relaxed. To me it is definitely sweeter and a bit smoother than the xingyang. I like this.

Overall, this is a very nice shu. I am very happy I finally opened up my brick of this and found that I like it, because I have a lot of it to drink eventually! I’m excited to have more cups of this and have a nice relaxing day drinking this tea and trying to not worry about school. Happy this was my choice of a new tea on my bday!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Ysaurella

Happy Birthday Lena

ashmanra

Happy birthday!

Kamyria

Happy birthday Lena!!! :)

MissLena

Thanks Ysaurella, ashmanra and Kamyria!! :D

Ellyn

Happy Birthday!

MissLena

Thanks Ellyn!! :)

Lindsay

Happy Birthday!

Sil

WOOT! YAY for birthday tea! I hope you had an amazing time.

MissLena

Thanks Lindsay and Sil! It’s been a good day so far, and my sushi party yesterday was pretty good too :)

Lala

Happy Birthday! Sushi and tea, no better way to celebrate.

Bonnie

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOUNGSTER!

MissLena

Thanks Lala and Bonnie! :) Sushi was pretty tasty, my parents took me for fondue tonight ugh I’m still drinking this tea because I definitely over ate and need something to help with my digestion lol.

Claire

Happy belated birthday!

MissLena

Thanks Claire :)

MissLena

Thanks Claire :)

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1195 tasting notes

First, I give you: http://whosthecutest.com/

Ok. This was sitting there staring at me for the past nearly 2 months now and I wanted to try it. I gave it a rinse first and then I’m pretty much just steeping this as: fill with water, put lid on, it steeps until I get myself together and pour it into the teacup.

I would guess that’s 5-10 seconds. And dang this tea gets dark in those few seconds.

1st steep: This is very, very, very much like a forest. There’s a little bit of ginger in there. Mostly though it is very woody, I taste cedar, definitely.

2nd steep: Still woody, but not as strongly. It has a bit more of a spicy bite to it.

3rd steep: it’s getting a little creamy but it’s reminding me of the first steep

4th steep: still waiting for the caramel, but I don’t think I can drink anymore right now haha

MissLena

I have a brick of this just waiting for me to break into it to taste too, I will have to very soon, it sounds quite tasty :D

Alphakitty

This sounds so tasty! I’ve really been wanting to get into pu-erhs but the last thing I need is an entirely new tea genre to spend money on…

Bonnie

Puerh is pretty inexpensive compared to other tea. You can get some good Puerh for as low as $8 for 100 grams which lasts quite awhile (an example is 2009 red aura menghai puerh whic is very tasty and smooth). Mrmopar knows about puerh and I know of some good buys too. There’s a big variety, flavored puerh tuocha’s (orange, honeysuckle, and so on). Quality is always important to me but taste does not equal expensive.

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88
4674 tasting notes

Also drinking this one today….. First steep reminds me of old woods that have just had rain.

Later steeps are even more enjoyable. I can see where people pick up on sweeter and spicier notes. Having fun drinking this throughout the afternoon. Not many sipdowns today but some really enjoyable time with 2 puerhs.

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323 tasting notes

So, I’d finally recovered my health in the wake of my travels to Japan when a business trip to New England during a flu epidemic (not to mention the usual winter concerns of simple head colds and sinus infections caused by forced hot air heat) took my health away again.

But, in the midst of all this chaos I did get my hands on a couple of bricks of this shu. It is true that one of them is being broken up into an unglazed ceramic canister for more aging, but the other will be consumed in the short term. Having tasted a bit of it yesterday, even if I’d intended to store them both away, I don’t think I could at this point.

As much as there isn’t nearly as much of a wide bell curve in flavor profile for shu as there is for sheng, it is always gratifying to taste a shu that reminds you they aren’t entirely the same as one another, either.

This cup was at the same time much darker, much mustier and yet over all much softer than the shu that has been my daily drinker for some years now (Upton’s “celestial tribute”). In a way that I can’t entirely put my finger on, this softer profile allows the cup to “open up” and something more than the usual wet cave stone and forest loam begin to come out.

Be aware this brick is tightly packed and you will want something better than a paring knife to pick it apart.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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82
16 tasting notes

I find the typical Pu’er smell of aged tea from this brick. The first steep brought out the caramel in this tea. A sweet and creamy flavor.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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