2010 Black Gold

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Pu Erh Tea
Flavors
Burnt Sugar, Camphor, Cocoa, Coffee, Cream, Plums, Thick, Wet Wood, Bark, Cacao, Roasted, Sweet, Wood, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Bamboo, Brown Sugar, Hot hay, Mushrooms
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Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by TJ Elite
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 oz / 157 ml

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8 Tasting Notes View all

  • “A really complex and tasty shou. More than I would normally pay for a shou, but if I was more into them overall, I could see myself going for a cake. Aroma is woody, spicy, molasses. The flavor...” Read full tasting note
  • “Gong Fu, sorta. 7g in an 85ml shiboridashi. So, I did twelve infusions total with this one – but I ‘stacked them’ three infusions at a time in a large yunomi style cup, so even though there were...” Read full tasting note
    81
  • “Been looking forward to this for quite a while, thanks fidgetiest! Steeped 7g/100mL, 100C I ended up drinking the rinse because I didn’t want to waste a drop of this black gold—as expected there’s ...” Read full tasting note
    84
  • “If I blindly tasted this shou I would have thought it was a 30yr sheng. It seems to be accepted that shou is a shortcut for producing something that tastes sorta like a well aged sheng but rather...” Read full tasting note

From Crimson Lotus Tea

This shou puerh is made from the same Jingmai big tree material that is in our Midas Touch sheng puerh cakes. This material has aged loose for 7 years. This shou is smooth, aromatic, dark, and delicious and very drinkable.

About Crimson Lotus Tea View company

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8 Tasting Notes

486 tasting notes

A really complex and tasty shou. More than I would normally pay for a shou, but if I was more into them overall, I could see myself going for a cake.

Aroma is woody, spicy, molasses. The flavor is definitely woody, but not the forest-floor sort of woodiness I get from a lot of shou. This one was cleaner, but definitely a bit “old” tasting if that makes sense. It brought to mind images of a well cared for antique chest and/or spiced wood. Texture is pleasantly thick, and there is zero funky pile taste or anything like that. Not musty or even particularly damp tasting.

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81
7528 tasting notes

Gong Fu, sorta.

7g in an 85ml shiboridashi.

So, I did twelve infusions total with this one – but I ‘stacked them’ three infusions at a time in a large yunomi style cup, so even though there were twelve steeps total I only drank four ‘cups’ of tea. If that makes sense. First impression of this one was something along the lines of “damn this is a really thick and full bodied shou!” The liquor, almost from the very beginning, basically brews up black. Perhaps where the name is from? I don’t know. It’s so thick, and has one of the most velvety, lush mouth feels that I think I’ve experienced from a shou in like… maybe over a year!?

First set of three steeps was sweet and woody, with decaying wood, mineral, mushroom, nutty, camphor, and slightly coffee likes notes to it. And of course very earthy. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I wanted a little more sweetness, and more of a “wet wood” sort of taste over decaying wood – but the fact woody notes were present at all was still good.

Second set of steeps was my least favourite, but still wasn’t bad – it was a little bit bitter but one of the three steeps that made up this set was pretty over steeped so that could have been the cause. Strongest note in this was a sort of “black coffee” taste, which is probably why it didn’t appeal to me as much – I just don’t enjoy the taste of coffee. Other than that, same ‘dryer’ wood notes and notes of resin, almond skins, and camphor.

Set three and four were pretty similar to me; the smoothest of all the sets, with more of a creamy wood/nut/coffee sort of profile and a lighter and cleaner finish. I liked the creaminess and bigger focus on nutty notes – definitely made for a sweeter and more well rounded feeling overall profile. Also, all four sets were earthy/woody but the woody notes in this particular set were the least “decay” tasting of all of them, and the closest to my ‘ideal’ wood note preferences. Maybe a little cedar-esque?

Really happy with this overall; but I don’t think I like it enough that I’d want to cake it. No matter how cool looking the cake wrap is…

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84
61 tasting notes

Been looking forward to this for quite a while, thanks fidgetiest!
Steeped 7g/100mL, 100C
I ended up drinking the rinse because I didn’t want to waste a drop of this black gold—as expected there’s wo dui funk up front, but gives away to incredible sweetness later but I was only able to drink a few sips of this. I was curious!
I only wrote minimal notes on this tea but what I did write down was that this is thick, and dark like coffee and burnt sugar in the back of my throat. Whenever I took a break in the early steeps (1-3), there were some distant plum aromas in my nose which gave this a tiny bit more depth. Also in steeps 2-5 there were some really intense camphor notes, and I felt super relaxed but hyped at the same time. This tea reminds me of a mocha latte now: thick, creamy, dark chocolate going down with only very slight sweetness. As the tea faded into the very late steeps, there were some sweet cocoa notes too! To note, this tea lasts forever unlike some of my other shou puerhs, giving me about 1.5L off of the 7grams. Super impressive!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Camphor, Cocoa, Coffee, Cream, Plums, Thick, Wet Wood

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58 tasting notes

If I blindly tasted this shou I would have thought it was a 30yr sheng. It seems to be accepted that shou is a shortcut for producing something that tastes sorta like a well aged sheng but rather misses the mark yet if it’s good shou is its own thing. When I first tasted a sample of this I was instantly reminded of a 1985 tuo of gushu sheng made of Nanuo and Banzhang material I was lucky enough to procure . The elegantly woody, tobaccoish autumn forest notes were all there. The only thing it lacked was the sink into your chair and grin at the floor for the next 4 hours qi of the tuo. The qi I got from this was the calm but energetic qi I expect from a Jingmai. Bottom line…to my palate this stuff tastes not like a shou but a well aged sheng. If these folks could figure how replicate the qi of a 30yr sheng they could retire quite comfortably… as for now, they got the taste nailed.

Crimson Lotus Tea

Note to self. Next time more qi! :-D

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82 tasting notes

I was fortunate enough to receive a free 20g sample of this tea with a teaware order. I used 11 grams in my 160ml Jianshui clay teapot and after rinsing the tea for under ten seconds and letting the leaves rest for twenty minutes I proceeded to do a total of nine infusions. The timing for these was around 12s, 12s, 15s, 17s, 22s, 30s, 45s, 75s and 2 min. according to my mental clock.

The first steep brewed a dark, murky red. The tea was… interesting, different. It carried a certain mature confidence about it. The tea had strength, but expressed itself in subtle ways. The taste was that of wood and bark, with maybe a faint hint of chocolate. Some of the typical shu sweetness was already present as well. The flavor lingers in a pleasant way. For a first steep this was very promising.

The second steep brewed darker as is to be expected. The tea was smooth, tasting of woody cacao. The soup wasn’t that viscous, but it felt big in the mouth. Again the aftertaste lingers nicely even though it’s subtle. The tea was very drinkable and had a nice calming effect that made you want to stop and take a moment for yourself. The next steep brewed even darker and was the best infusion up to that point. Words cannot really express what was great about it. It’s not the taste that made it shine; it’s more of a feeling. Attempting to describe it in terms of simple flavor notes and other such things would be doing a disservice to the tea, so I will refrain from doing so. I will simply say that it was very good.

The tea started to get sweeter in the fourth steep. It was very pleasant to drink and felt slightly warming as well as still quite calming. I was beginning to feel the qi. The tea started to get simpler in the next steep, which felt somewhat premature. It was still quite nice, with maybe the faintest note of dark cherry, but not as nice as before. The flavors continued to get lighter in the following steep, but despite this the tea was still in a place where many other shus would be happy to be at this stage. I could still detect some small hints of qi.

For the seventh steep I pushed the tea a bit harder and this brought some life back into it. It still wasn’t complex in terms of flavor, but boasted a very full taste to it once more. There was perhaps a roasted note to this steep, especially in the finish. Despite extending the time by full thirty seconds for the eighth steep, the tea brewed a lot thinner than I’d expected. It was also super simple now despite still brewing reasonably dark. The taste was slightly woody with mostly basic sweetness. It wasn’t weak, however.

The ninth steep was the last one I did. To my surprise it brewed stronger again, with a bolder, darker flavor instead of the basic sweetness from before. I’m assuming the tea could have still gone on, but I decided that I’d most likely seen most of what it had to offer so I decided to call it here. I was sessioning this tea alone and nine pots of tea was more than enough tea for me.

Shu pu’er is a category of tea I still struggle with. Crimson Lotus’s Lucky Cloud was the first one I ever liked and that one is from Jingmai material. This one also being from Jingmai material, but from older trees and with more age on it, I was excited to try it. I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed. This marks the third ripe pu’er I can say I genuinely like. I like the flavor profile, but at the same time the strengths of this tea lie elsewhere. I could be influenced by knowing the age of this tea, but this feels like the first shu where I can actually taste the age on it and this one isn’t even that old. Looking at the leaves at the end of the session, they aren’t totally black but instead a dull brown, which based on what I’ve heard would indicate that they haven’t been fully fermented and there’s still some room for the tea to evolve. Even though this is already seven years old, I see potential in it to improve. I’m not sure about the exact longevity of this tea, but I’d say I didn’t push it quite enough in some of my steeps past the first few. It came across as rather forgiving, so I’d probably recommend pushing it a bit too much rather than cutting it short, but this tea tastes great almost regardless of how you brew it.

I ordered a cake of this based on this session, so if you’re looking for a recommendation, I can’t do much better than that. The only issue here is the price. Is this tea worth the price? If ripe pu’er is a very casual tea for you, then maybe not. If you are looking for something special, however, this might be what you’re looking for. Order a sample and taste for yourself.

Edit: Based on my recent experiences with this tea, I’ve decided to change my original rating from recommended to neutral. You can read more on my current thoughts in a comment below.

Flavors: Bark, Cacao, Roasted, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
TJ Elite

After a short break from this tea, I’ve had three sessions with it over the past couple months. Two were in a Yixing zini teapot and one in a silver lined gaiwan. My first session in the zini pot was dominated almost from start to finish by a very prominent mushroom broth flavor as well as what I’d describe as saltiness or something close to it. The second session in clay was similar, although this time instead of the saltiness I got a very prominent mineral taste – real mineral water galore. The mushrooms were there in the silver as well for the first few steeps, but after that were replaced by more of a dry wood taste. The session in silver was my least favorite as the tea seemed to have even less sweetness than the zini, but was also more drying.

I’ve heard people describing certain shus as mushroomy, but this was the first time I’d tasted something I’d describe as such. While interesting, I didn’t personally find this flavor profile all that pleasing or rewarding. Considering the number of people who seem to dislike mushrooms, I would wager a flavor profile like this being rather niche and an acquired taste. I don’t know if the tea has changed in my storage or if the differences come from difference in clay (Jianshui vs. Yixing zini) or if my palate for shu has simply developed over the past year or if all these are true, but originally I recall this tea tasting a good kind of woody, right now it feels like something different. At least in its current state, the flavor profile isn’t my favorite, but hopefully it will continue to evolve.

As one last note, after drinking many high-end ripes since first trying out this tea, my horizon in terms of what ripes can offer has greatly expanded and while this tea is leaps above most shus on the market in terms of quality, I would now consider it more of a mid-tier ripe than a high-end one. I think Crimson Lotus Tea’s own Storm Breaker at ten dollars less for a bing blows this tea out of the water. For me a phenomenal ripe offers many of the same qualities I’d look for in a good sheng and in that respect this tea doesn’t really deliver.

I will continue drinking through my cake and if my thoughts on this tea change once more I will revisit my notes and rating.

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90
1758 tasting notes

This is a very nice tea made, it is said , from higher grade materiel than shou is usually made from. It had a nice flavor from the start with a moderate amount of fermentation flavor left. It had notes of what you could call bittersweet dark chocolate. I had ordered a sample of this with my last order. Now I have ordered a bing. It is too bad this is not a 357g cake but that is the only thing I don’t like about this.

I steeped this ten times in a 160ml Jian Shui Teapot with 12g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 minute.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 12 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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1110 tasting notes

First ripe purchased in almost a year! https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ4pBGLgrBG/?taken-by=liquidproust

When you see quality leaf being fermented without the use of shovels and feet, it’s got to be worth trying right?

Well today I went into this tea after it settled for a few days and I really enjoyed it’s subtle notes. The rinse was clear and by time I hit the first brew, there was a nice ruby red tint to the liquid. Brewing this was really fun because it wasn’t harsh on the mouth. From my experiences, this will become a very lovely tea for someone with my sort of taste buds in just a few more years. As someone who enjoys aged sheng, this will approach that taste a lot better than other shou have that I have tried.

Really looking forward to trying this once a month to track it’s ability to drink on cold nights and with certain foods!

Natethesnake

I’ve never been big on shou but I got a sample of this and was quite impressed. I immediately got hungry for Peking duck.

Shine Magical

I have this one too… just broke it up and put it in a crock

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83
24 tasting notes

Dark, woody, shitake mushroom. Smooth and delicious. Glen recommended that I try this one and I got a sample. A full cake of this is in order.

Flavors: Bamboo, Brown Sugar, Hot hay, Mushrooms, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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