Hey there Teacups! It’s time again for another Let’s Talk Tea post, this time around I’m going to be featuring Crimson Lotus’ 2014 ‘’Cloudy Days’’ Shou Pu-erh. Before I get into this review if you haven’t checked out my pervious Crimson Lotus review you can find that here. I’ll be completely honest the start of this year was the first time I ever tired Pu-erh and from the moment I first tried it I knew I had to make trying more of it and learning all about it one of my main tea goals for the rest of this year. It’s only the end of march and I’ve already tired so many new Pu-erh’s I really can’t wait to see what else I end up trying as the months of 2018 go by. If you’ve read my previous posts featuring Crimson Lotus, then you’ll already know that they very kindly sent me a selection of both sheng and shou Pu-erh’s from their What Is Pu-erh collection to help me learn more about Pu-erh and achieve my Pu-erh tea goal for 2018. Having a selection of 4 different Pu-erh’s to choose from has really helped me to understand what kind of Pu-erh is my favourite and has enabled me to learn so much about both sheng and shou Pu-erh. I can’t wait to try more of what they have to offer in the future.
2014 ‘’Cloudy Days’’ Shou Pu-erh
The dry leaves of this tea were dark brown and black and very tightly packed, they smelled very woody, earthy and slightly sweet. You can smell the fermentation on it though it wasn’t strong enough to affect any of the other notes especially the woody and earthy notes which were both very strong and overpowered almost everything else in terms of aroma. I did get a slight nuttiness in the aroma which carried through into the taste and made this tea an instant favourite for me. The dry leaves were incredibly dark and because I did so may steeps with them they only notes that really came through were muted and hardly noticeable that’s not a bad thing thought as I did do a lot of steeps with this.
Tea Tasting Notes
This was the first Shou Pu-erh I had ever tired and I will admit that because I didn’t know what to expect I was a little bit nervous. With how many new teas I try on a regular basis you would think I would be best the point of being a little bit nervous when something new came along wouldn’t you? As per usual I was wrong, and you’re all probably used to me saying that by now as well, no new tea I’ve ever tired has failed to prove me and my worries wrong and I think that says something about how amazing the companies I feature are. Crimson Lotus is one of those amazing companies every single one of their teas I’ve tried so far has completely blown me out of the water and this specific one if my favourite of them all so far (I have one left to go). For this specific tasting session, I used just shy of 4g of tea and filtered water (trust me it makes a huge difference) and I managed to do 18 steeps. Yep you read that right 18 steeps. I used my tea repertoire glass gaiwan for this tasting session I’ve used nothing but that for tasting sessions these past few weeks (it may sound silly, but it makes every tea I steep in it taste so much better). This tea is simply amazing, and a perfect way to start to my journey with shou Pu-erh. It’s a very well balanced and well rounded shou no taste takes over another and it remained incredibly soft and smooth throughout all my steeps.
Having done a little bit of research into shou Pu-erh before trying this I was a little worried that the fermentation flavour would be strong and unpleasant, but it was actually rather moderate and didn’t affect much at all. There was little to no bitterness to this and I could see this becoming an everyday tea for me. It has a nice earthiness and nuttiness to it with a subtle wet wood/earthy tone too. I was surprised by the natural sweetness that it had which really rounded off each mouthful of nicely making for a tea that’s incredibly smooth and easily drunk. Like I said I managed to do 18 full steeps with this, while it was pretty much done at 17 I had to push it just one steep further to see what I could get from it. I wouldn’t suggest pushing this further than 15-16 steeps as my last few steeps were very flat. This tea did get me rather tea drunk though, and I could see it being an everyday tea that I have while trying to wake up in the morning it gave me such a giddy buzz that helped me get so much stuff done.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want to find out more about Crimson Lotus and purchase this shou Pu-erh for yourself, you can do both here. As always If you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on twitter (@teaisawishblog) and I’ll answer them as soon as I can.
Speak to you all on Monday. Happy Steeping! – Kimberley