2017 Lily Flower Pressed Shu Pu'er

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Lily Petals, Pu Erh Tea
Flavors
Ash, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Leather, Mint, Molasses, Pepper, Popcorn, Smoke, Tea
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 g 7 oz / 219 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thank you so much for passing this along, derk!  derk wasn’t thrilled with this one and we had a swap we were building, so I requested this one.  I love these types of pu-erh that look like a candy...” Read full tasting note
    82
  • “This was likely never intended to be brewed Western-style, but yet, owing to my gaiwan-less state, that’s how I made it. The strangest things happen when you put things through what they weren’t...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “Another longer morning day, so I picked up something to gaiwan again. Derk, you wanted another opinion so here it is and TY for sample. Unfortunately, I had to make it stronger than usual, 8 grams...” Read full tasting note
    65
  • “This was a two-fer session. Last night and tonight. I bought this why? idk. Probably because of the awesomely orange daylily flower and I ran out of shou. Comes as a scored brick. I think the...” Read full tasting note
    60

From Verdant Tea

Xingyang Workshop was inspired in 2016 to start pressing a series of pu’er bars based on traditional Chinese medicinal fruits and flowers. Their workshop’s famously clean fermentation process yields a rich sweet and crisp shu pu’er base to press with beautiful bright orange lily blossoms that unfold in the gaiwan with a heady deep aroma. The brick is scored to break into easy single brewing portions.

About Verdant Tea View company

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4 Tasting Notes

82
3125 tasting notes

Thank you so much for passing this along, derk!  derk wasn’t thrilled with this one and we had a swap we were building, so I requested this one.  I love these types of pu-erh that look like a candy bar that you break a piece from.  This one just happened to have lilies in it.  By the time the fourth steep had unraveled in the basket, there was an entire big lily blossom floating at the top, not to mention the smaller petals throughout.  Wow!  It’s amazing how tea unravels sometimes.  The flavor was very consistent throughout all four steeps.  A very dark shu — I couldn’t really taste anything floral per se, but the pu-erh is very delicious on it’s own.  The main note being starchy and bakey like a good rye bread.  Nothing offensive here at all. But also not terribly distinct.  I do like how dark it is though! Now that it’s cooler weather… let the great chai avalanche commence!
Steep #1  // 1 square for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling  // rinse // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 18 minutes after boiling //  2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 5 min steep
Steep #4 // just boiled // 11 min steep

ashmanra

Tea-sipper: Speaking of chai avalanche – Cuppageek has released a TON of chai blends, and a lot of the blends benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital where her son is being treated. I should have them in my hands in just a few days, so I will try to get some notes posted quickly!

tea-sipper

Oh cool, I’m looking forward to your notes on all of those!

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80
38 tasting notes

This was likely never intended to be brewed Western-style, but yet, owing to my gaiwan-less state, that’s how I made it. The strangest things happen when you put things through what they weren’t meant to be; this was the most confounding thing I’ve found in a cup.
The tea is pressed into a candy bar style brick, which gives easily along the score lines, and smells like dark molasses. The lily petals plump up as soon as water hits them. Another thing that happens as soon as water hits these leaves is the smell of fresh buttered popcorn immediately permeates the air. It caught me entirely off guard and I back stepped away from my teapot. With trepidation I took it upstairs to drink it, hoping the popcorn note would fade away, as I can’t say I was in the mood for it. Fortunately it left, and by the time my cup was cool enough to put to my lips the scent coming off of the water was molasses again, and brown sugar.

It tastes of that. It tastes of other things, too. Before the deep sweet flavor settled in something else hit me, something I still can’t quite place. Summer. Automobile, my memory put to me bluntly, and elaborated no more. It might be hot leather, or spilled gasoline on still-warm evening asphalt, or the vinyl interior of my mother’s long-gone El Camino. It swam in and out of the sugar alongside a simple and almost out of place tea note. It felt like it and I were meandering through a field of fog.
This tea leaves a syrupy residue on your lips and the rim of your cup. After long enough in the mouth, it produces a cooling sensation not uncommon to tea, but it changes to an anesthetic prickle. There is a hint of smoke in that crackle.

Disorienting. Memories of summer nights spent sitting by the roadside, trips to the dentist for molar sealant, baking brownies and visits to movie theatres vied for dominance in my mind. Disorienting. Time felt lax.
At the same time, invigorating. While mentally dislodged, corporeally I was keen.

All in all, a strange tea with evocative effects, and likely all because I brewed it wrong. It sounds much more straightforwards served as it’s meant to be, and is reusable then too. Unfortunately, a second steep my way yielded a toast-and-molasses brew that lacked the fireworks of the first. This tea is thus on my list of things to retry when I get a gaiwan, but I think I will do it the ‘wrong’ way at least once more. There’s something about the wild, walloping strike against the senses Western steeping brings out of some aged teas I find myself helplessly addicted to.

Flavors: Ash, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Leather, Mint, Molasses, Pepper, Popcorn, Smoke, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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65
728 tasting notes

Another longer morning day, so I picked up something to gaiwan again. Derk, you wanted another opinion so here it is and TY for sample.

Unfortunately, I had to make it stronger than usual, 8 grams for 85 ml gaiwan. Maybe has got my gaiwan bigger volume, but this is usual volume I get when it tea is broken. Preheated gaiwan, 15 seconds rinse with freshly boiled water.

1st steep; 20 seconds:
Dry tea reminds me dates, while wet leaf smell familiar, though I am not sure what is it. Maybe bit birch wood in Finnish sauna. It is broking quite quickly. Colour of the liquor is quite brown with red notes. Lily flowers, as they are light are coming to mug too. Taste is some generic pu-erh, maybe bit salty? But it is smooth.

2nd steep, 15 seconds:
The tea is dark, opaque, thick. Aroma is soil. I am not good in naming different soils so just soil :). In taste it became bit alkaline, metalic. Unfortunately not tasty for me. Let´s see another steeps.

3rd, 20 seconds:
Still dark and opaque. Aroma did not changed at all. I like more the wet leaf aroma than liquor aroma. Wet leaf really reminds me birch wood. It tastes really metallic, though now it is bit weaker and hopefully smoother. I think I prefer more sweet ones. Or fruity.

4th, 30 seconds.
Colour still same, aroma changes bit to wet leaf (so birch), but still some metallic and/or soil. Taste changed to more chocolate, wood. Definitely sweeter than previous. Much better now. I tried to search something about the taro flavour, but I am not much clever from descriptions, so I am keeping it simple.

5th, 30 seconds.
The liquor is clearing, red notes of colour are starting to dominate.
Aroma of birch is again bit stronger, and it starts to appear in taste. More woody flavours, with metallic aftertaste. But certainly better than first few steeps. No signs of dying.

6th, 40 seconds.
Colour is really clear (compared to first brews), dark red as some hibiscus teas. Aroma is strongly woody, pleasant. Flavour is wet wood with bit of soil aftertaste.

7th, 50 seconds
Yup, it is clear. And red. Maybe dark copper. Certainly woody in matter of scents and flavours. Those last brews are certainly more lovely than first ones. Still somehow not so perfect.

8th, 1 minute
My thermos is running out. Maybe I will make another. Anyway, one minute steep!
Okay, this is running weak. So no another thermos. Colour is red-brown. Taste is same, but quite weak. I will try 1 minute 15 seconds next steep. Or 30 seconds extra? I dunno.

9th, 1 minute 30 seconds.
Quite light liquor, bit more orange. Somehow reasonable, but it is gone I guess. In thermos I have water for last cup. Just in time I guess. It is really like branches brew. Really woody, I do not recognize anything else.

10th, probably over 2 minutes.
The lily flowers are very pretty. Some of them are expanded fully, maybe they are making the flavour notes? Who knows; I do not. Liquor is light orange, clear. Aroma is more floral, so does taste. But somehow boring.

So, 10 steeps, while it changed from very soil taste to floral through wooden notes. Generally, I do not liked it so much, it was really muddy and alkaline. Then it changes to wood; but still it was not so pleasant. I enjoyed much more the wet leaf aromas than taste of all 10 steeps. Anyway, it was nice to try, but it does not became my favourite tea. Maybe it is hard to compare with puerh I had from Crimson Lotus Tea last time; as this is not just pu-erh vendor. There were not any really unpleasant flavours and aromas; but not my cup of tea. Maybe too “dirty” for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 85 ML
derk

Thanks. Strange tea isn’t it.

Martin Bednář

Indeed it is. I expected something more light and floral.

mrmopar

I should have you try some of this 2004 Ye Sheng I have. Very different for sure.

haptiK

i learned here that i should each steep in my gawain should be just a bit longer than previous steep. this might explain why i am not getting good flavours 3rd… 4th steep in and feel like the leaves are finished. i think i have been wasting leaves by not steeping them long enough as you have clearly demonstrated in this post. thank you learned something here! great review!

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60
704 tasting notes

This was a two-fer session. Last night and tonight. I bought this why? idk. Probably because of the awesomely orange daylily flower and I ran out of shou. Comes as a scored brick. I think the chunk I snapped off was 8.5g but it might’ve been 9.5 I was a little leery of placing the whole chunk in a 100mL gaiwan but it turned out pretty well.

Gave it a 10s rinse at 205F then had 12 steeps: 7 at 20/10/12/14/16/18/20s last night and 5 tonight at 25s/30/45/1m/1m30.

Dry chunk smelled like blackstrap molasses and red miso. After the rinse, which was pretty light, I picked up on that lily, freshly tilled dark soil and molasses. The first steep produced a very thick and dark liquor, like used motor oil. It tasted of molasses, dark wood and taro (from Verdant’s notes but I totally got it) with some moist, dark soil. Subsequent steeps were kind of muddy but smooth and carried the same tastes. Those moved into a clearer liquor with notes of an alkaline taste, metal like both iron and steel, a faint orange spiciness and a very light bitterness. The final 5 steeps tonight were pretty light but still good. It was a good tea for the nighttime but it’s a sneaker. I started to feel the caffeine effects ramping up an hour into last night’s session and was awake later than I wanted to be. The lily flower is darker than in the pics but it really brightened up during the brew. They’re whole, large and very pretty flowers that float to the top of the brewing tea. I’m not sure how much they contribute to the flavor of the brew since I’ve never had anything daylily before. I’m only familiar with white and calla lilies.

Last night, I also tested out a new silver-lined cup I bought. I was using my 100mL clay gaiwan to brew and tested the difference between a clay cup and the silver-lined one, splitting the liquid between both cups. The silver one produced a noticeable effect, clearing up the muddy notes that I got in the second through seventh steeps. Finished the session tonight with the clay cup. The tasting notes are entirely based on the clay cup.

Overall, this a decent shou. Nothing spectacular, nothing offensive. Not fishy at all. This isn’t for those who enjoy sweet puer as it’s more of a savory tea. Not sure if the light muddiness will clear up with some short aging. I went in blind and was not disappointed, which was nice considering this vendor doesn’t specialize in puer. I can’t say I’d buy it again, but I am now willing to try the other flower-pressed shou bricks offered by Verdant.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 OZ / 100 ML

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