Shou Pu’erh/Little Red Cup Tea Co

It’s been a while since I have had a decent Pu’erh or even written a review about one. I guess I’m pretty specific in my personal Pu’erh tastes.

Enter Little Red Cup’s Shou Pu’erh.

I have to say I was a little afraid when I infused 1 teaspoon – maybe a little more – loose Pu’erh in my strainer and cup. It was SO dark in color – near black. Normally I would LOVE that for a straight-up black tea – but this was a Pu’erh – and I was pre-judging it before I tried it. Shame on me! I was ‘assuming’ it was going to be SO hardcore and over the top strong that it would be hard to drink. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

The flavor was smooth, silky, somewhat – but not overly – earthy, and down right delicious! It wasn’t wormy like some Pu’erhs. And it had hints of cream or vanilla, too!

As it cools – naturally – at room temperature – sweeter notes came into play.

This was a tasty and surprising pu’erh that I would certainly have again!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Little Red Cup Tea Co

Description

Our Fair Trade Shou Pu’er Tea (熟普洱) is grown and produced by members of the Wa minority in Lincang, Yunnan — about as close to the birthplace of tea as it’s possible to get. This shou pu’er brews smooth and dark, silky and earthy with hints of vanilla. It’s a lovely tea: mellow, moderate, and enormously pleasant.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Planet Kunlu Sheng Puerh/Crimson Lotus Tea

I have a lot more experience with shu puerh than with sheng, but I want to rectify that. What better place to start than with this gorgeous dragon pearl from Crimson Lotus Tea?

This is a really large pearl, but I was not prepared for just how much leaf there is here! Crimson Lotus had a great video telling how to best steep these. Thirty second rinse with boiling water to open it up, pour off the rinse and let it rest for about five minutes. This is great thing to do with any puerh, by the way, not just a tight pearl like this.

Now you can do another thirty second steep and drink it or pour it away, your choice. If the aroma doesn’t appeal to you at this point, don’t worry about pouring it away because believe me, you are going to be here steeping and drinking for a long, long time.

Now that you are on the third steep, shorten your steep to about ten seconds because the leaves are now saturated and the pearl has opened. My gaiwan is full! The leaves are whole, soft, and a beautiful green.

The tea is rich and thick, and has lots of energy going down. The color is surprisingly dark for a youngish sheng, a really deep golden/amber color. The flavor is as rich as the color and stays that way for more than ten steeps, maybe fifteen or twenty. I lost count and have no idea how many steeps I ended up making. For this reason, I am buying a pace counter (ranger beads or range counter) to keep track of future steeping sessions with sheng puerh teas.

This felt like a favorite hoppy beer on the way down, really refreshing and kept me reaching for more. The best part for me was the amazing rising sweetness that persisted.

Honestly I think the tea could have kept going for ages more, and I am thankful that halfway through I was joined by another tea drinker because it just kept giving and I couldn’t hold anymore. The color never lessened, the flavor never got weak. I am really kicking myself for not saving those leaves but it was an outdoor, early spring gong fu session and I couldn’t manage it.

More Crimson Lotus sheng is definitely going on my shopping list.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Puerh

Where to Buy:  Crimson Lotus Tea

Description

“A world of flavor in the palm of your hand!” This is a new planet in our Yunniverse.

Don’t let their small size fool you. These tiny spheres of puerh are made from Kunlu Shan small arbor tree tree material. They were picked and processed in Spring of 2017 and were pressed in the Summer of 2017.

Each of these hand made ‘planets’ weighs around 8 grams. These are called ‘long zhu’ (龙珠) in Chinese; this means ‘dragon balls’. They are hand wrapped and ready to brew. These work great with any style of brewing. You can toss one in a gaiwan or clay teapot. They work great grandpa style, or in an on the go thermos. They are tightly compressed so we give them a nice long initial wash to help them open up. The first steep is longer than normal until the leaves open up.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

photo credit:  crimson lotus tea

White2Tea – 2016 Daily Drinker

White2Tea says that this Daily Drinker is a tea “for the everyday”, “for the people.” I was like “uh, what does that… mean?”

I’m still not sure what that means.

But I *do* know that this orchid/honey tea is incredibly sweet while still not losing that rustic pu erh charm. It’s aged, but in a way that’s not rancid, or fishy, or musty, or cardboard-y, or whatever else you might fear out of pu erh.

It’s like an orchid oolong that’s in a retirement home, still sweet and sharing jokes that have been worn smooth and refined through multiple retellings. She’s the old lady in the nursing home that has a boyfriend (YOU GO GIRL) and slips other people’s grandkids the best candy.

This is one of the first teas I’ve ever drank that came from a cake, which meant it was a little more work. I had to snap off bits and try to crumble the right amount into my steeper. I think I gave it a good whack.

I don’t know what makes a tea a “daily drinker.” I sort of imagine it as an old shoe that you know will fit you nicely, even if you don’t wear it on special occasions. But that seems… somehow disparaging of the tea? Like “oh, this old thing? I drink it daily. I don’t even notice it any more.”

I think that this tea deserves to be a little more special. I shall drink it only every once in a while, until it’s complete.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Pu Erh

Where to Buy:  White2Tea

Description

A blend of raw Puer material meant for the daily grind. Sweetness and a delightful fragrance.  Solid, reliable, affordable, and better quality than you’d expect for the price. Tea for the everyday. Tea for the people.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

JK Tea – Pasha Village Small Tree Raw Pu Erh Tea

This tea has a robust, deep, tart, and woodsy feel. It reminds me, oddly, of some kind of classy alcohol. Maybe, like, bourbon?

Something that a successful CEO would pour out of a crystal decanter. “This is the finest 100-year-old whatever,” he’d puffily boast. “It has spent all that time in the most fancy type of wood possible.”

His other men would gather around and sip it in their fancy glasses and go “ah, a fine year. GOES DOWN SMOOTH.”

Now, as you can tell by this description, I don’t know much about alcohol; but I do know a bit about tea, and I can tell you that it’s distinctly pu erh, in the best way possible. It doesn’t have that tragic fish taste that they sometimes do. It is just a solid, distinctive flavor that keeps it real. It’s masculine, but not so much so that I’m choking on smokiness or bitterness.

I think that this tea is just the right thing to drink at work. Gotta earn those dollars.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Pu Erh

Where to Buy:  JK Tea

Description

Tea tree: small tea tree over 80 years old from one single tea plantation only.   Vintage: 2013 Spring

Picking standard: One bud with two leaves  Fermentation: Raw  Shape: Tight, fat, plump.   Dried tea color: dark yellowish green color  Aroma: high floral aroma, and honey fragrance  Tea soup color: Yellow color  Taste: flowery and honey taste, sweet.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Glutinous Rice Scent Tea Fossil Pu-erh Cooked Tea from AprTea Mall

I will be the first to admit it.  I am intimidated by Puerh teas.  But each and every time I have one, I love it.  Not sure why I have this apprehension but I’m hoping this is the year I tear that wall down.

This particular puerh was a different bird all together from what I’ve had in the past.  Instead of being tea leaves or a cake, the tea looked to be broken pieces of a cake.  The smell of the tea instantly reminds me of sushi and my mouth starts to water.  To really get all my senses involved with this tea, I went ahead and used my Wall Infuser Mug, scooped some tea into the mug and added some freshly prepped water. Probably not the proper way to enjoy this tea, but I wanted to prepare the tea in a more familiar way this first go.

After a few moments, I couldn’t resist the alluring tea anymore and had to take a sip.  This tea.  This tea is really good. And that is coming from someone that isn’t all that knowledgeable in the matters of darker teas.  The first steeping really delivered this thicker sort of sweet liquid that I eagerly took down.  Really delicious and not at all like the puerhs I’ve had in the past.  The smell was similiar but that the taste. Gotta love a tea that smells like sushi but has a sweeter stonefruit taste.

The second steeping and additional steepings resulted in the same style of flavor.  A sweetness with a thicker feel. Such a complete pleasure and such a wonderful tea to drink.  I actually drank this tea for hours and just never felt that the leaves were fully exhausted of their flavor.  Being the first rice scent puerh I’ve had, I’m hoping I can mimic this result with other varieties later on and even later this week with the remaining puerh I have.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Puerh
Where to Buy:  AprTea Mall
Description

Tea Fossil: the soul of Pu’er tea, Ten years of pure dry storage, named as [broken silver], the aroma is very full, fast and lasting Gan Gan, long-lasting high foam resistance, can bubble more than 40 times, especially the taste: the entrance of thick rice soup incense. Can be described as the essence of tea!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!