Still has some wet pile taste
“Brews thick Sweet Still has some wet pile taste” Read full tasting note
“Gong Fu “Sipdown” (592)! Not technically a sipdown, as I’m giving away the last 7g or so that I have of this to someone else in a swap – but it’s close enough. I thought I had written a tasting...” Read full tasting note
“Sample provided by Derk, thank you again! Dry leaves smelled wonderful, though I am not really sure what I noticed. Like air before rain. You just know it is coming, air has specific smell, you...” Read full tasting note
“This is my favorite CLT ripe, and considering I associate CLT with “great ripes” then that says something.. Not cheap, but worth at least a sample, for reference.. If someone asked me which CLT...” Read full tasting note
This is an incredible example of very high quality shou made by true craftsmen. This is from a small batch wodui composed entirely of old tree material from the Menghai area. This tea pushes the envelope for what a shou puerh experience can be. There is a depth of experience possible in this tea that will at once confuse and excite you. This is a special tea.
This material finished the wodui process in the Spring of 2017. It was pressed in late Summer of 2017. This tea presents a very dense cup. It can be a little overwhelming when brewed with a heavy hand. We suggest washing this tea 2-4 times.
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Morning StormTWG Tea Company
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Chocolate StormMurchie's Tea & Coffee
Gong Fu “Sipdown” (592)!
Not technically a sipdown, as I’m giving away the last 7g or so that I have of this to someone else in a swap – but it’s close enough.
I thought I had written a tasting note on this one prior with a lot more detail about the flavours and progression through steeping it Gong Fu – but I’m realizing now that I was thinking of another one of CLT’s Shou offerings and I’ve actually not reviewed this one on Steepster yet. I’m sorta kicking myself for not checking before this session, as I would have kept some sort of record while I was drinking the tea. As I was under the impression I’d already done a thorough review before I did not take notes this time…
Seven infusions – could have done more, but y’all know the drill in regards to evening Gong Fu session on weekdays: didn’t want to be strung out on caffeine and unable to get a good nights sleep. #adulthood
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2TiCkNF610
This is what I had to say, in terms of the flavour of the tea, on instagram: Lovely tea – this last session was relatively heavy handed and it produced a very earthy and full bodied cup w/ an almost woody ‘espresso’ kind of profile, with umami undertones and a sticky sweet raisin and maple finish? So unique!!
I do remember the woody, maple, and raisin qualities in particular because the were super enjoyable – love that combo in any tea, but especially in a good shou. Also by heavy handed I mean I was brewing, like, 11g? So, this really was a THICC session/infusions.
Sample provided by Derk, thank you again!
Dry leaves smelled wonderful, though I am not really sure what I noticed. Like air before rain. You just know it is coming, air has specific smell, you have find some shelter if you don´t want get wet. Preheated gaiwan.
Okay, 10 seconds rinse, 15 seconds first steep.
Bit weak, but yeah, expected. Tastes good, bit of raisins. Wet leaves smell like some shop with construction materials, but it is quite pleasant. Not really funky.
Another 15 seconds, it is starting to break, colour become dark copper and more red than usual “copper” colour. Aroma is woody, strong and pleasant. Maybe bit of cocoa. Taste is wonderful. Certainly cocoa and of vanilla. It is relaxing. Lingers for quite long and it is smooth.
3rd, 30 seconds. Broke completely, colour dark red. Another relaxing aroma, stronger than last one. Taste is going from cocoa to chocolate, still smooth and lingers.
4th, 40 seconds. I am writing a postcard (postcrossing), colour is really dark red, it doesn´t change much. It became bit more bitter though.
5th, 1 minute. It is almost same, no signs of being weak, rather opposite, still smooth, with pleasant aftertaste. I am noticing energy boost.
6th, 1 minute. In a hour my train leaves, so I have about 40 minutes left maximum. Hmm, again bit more bitter, but still it is good. Chocolate notes are dying a bit. No signs of dying.
7th, 1:15. Colour is lighter than last steep. Taste is weaker too. But not so much. Still very enjoyable. More typical pu-erh taste.
8th, 1:30. Wet leaf before adding water smells bit like tobacco with sweet after"smell". Let´s see how is the brew though. Thermos is empty, I am done. I do not have time left too. Anyway, good time with great tea! This steep is again lighter. I guess it is just time to stop it now. As we say: “V nejlepším přestat”. It means something like “when it is best, it is time to stop.” It became quite weak, like second brew or something between first and second. Still pretty tasty with dominant sweetness. Not really sweet from sugar, but complex sweet. Enjoyable!
Conclusion: Well, it took 8 steeps, while last ones were quite long. I have enjoyed the smoothness of this tea, as well the taste of dark chocolate. I have no idea what to expect, as my teaste buds aren´t really so precise as someone else. Anyway, I am glad that I can try it, as getting anything from Crimson Lotus is quite expensive for me as a student, not saying that the shipping is going to be another story as we don´t have e-packets yet here.
I am now full of energy, which is great as I have courses to 7 pm, so I have to stay awake whole day. Now, let´s go to the railway station.
PS: YAAAAY, 50th tasting notes! I wanted something special and this was certainly one of the best teas I ever had I guess.
PPS: Thank you for reading whole, quite long tasting note. If there is some English mistakes, please let me know – I am not native speaker.
PPPS: Really thank you Derk!
Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Raisins, Vanilla, Wood
This is my favorite CLT ripe, and considering I associate CLT with “great ripes” then that says something..
Not cheap, but worth at least a sample, for reference..
If someone asked me which CLT ripes to try out, I’d recommend this one, Iron Forge, and Nannuo Mini Mushrooms.. actually that would be my Ideal “ripe introduction sampler pack” in general
This is elegant. Nose jammy. I would have believed it if someone had told me this was an artificially scented pu. But it just wasn’t what I needed. After a recent raccoon encounter (I’m okay), an exhausting set of repetitive conversations with medical professionals, and outrageously high bills to match despite having a pretty good insurance, I yearned for a tea that tasted like it understood my trials and tribulations. Really, I just needed a strong alcoholic drink, or if it was going to be tea, I needed something that would make me feel invincible against any more unexpected trouble. I needed a liquid mentor who had been through the bitterness of life before me and could show me the way.
Alas, this tea, if it was a person, would be that insufferably perfect and thus holier-than-thou concertmistress or prima ballerina from the suburbs whose parents were surgeons, grandpas senators, grandmas judges, and cousins European/Southeast Asian royalty. It just tastes like straight up inter-generational, oblivious, imperturbable privilege. It’s that guy set to inherit entire buildings in Manhattan who doesn’t understand the local pizza joint owner is joking when he theatrically demands $60 for a regular pie and fountain sodas, causing the poor man to come sprinting after us for 2 city blocks, tomato-stained apron strings flapping, yelling and waving the $40 of change in the air.
I felt this while working my way through the w2t ripe basics set, and I felt it again while finally trying Storm Breaker from clt’s shou sampler. I don’t respond to newer shou made with higher quality material in a way that corresponds to the greater price and hype. The leaves look nicer as they steep, and it’s easier to clean my brewing vessel after. But that’s it.
I know many others really liked this tea, but I found the notes to be too muted and tame. It’s kinda milquetoast. It seems to say, “all is most certainly right with the world, dearie” with such an eerie wtf calm that I almost feel offended. The idealized world where this tea belongs doesn’t exist for 99.9% of people, so I hope whatever is left of it in clt’s storage makes it into lovely silver teacups in someone’s 407th vacation home.
Meh. It’s not the tea’s fault. I’m just in a grumpy mood. Will try again next year.
Flavors: Chocolate, Jam, Sweet, Wood
I grabbed a cake of this almost exactly a year ago. I’ve been letting it chill, but finally it felt like the time to break this bad boy out. The compression is tighter than I personally prefer to deal with and you’ll inevitably end up creating some tea dust. For this session I used a 160ml Yixing zini teapot that’s a fairly new acquisition, but one that I’ve been using a fair bit to try to break it in. Initially when I got it it cleaned up the taste to a ridiculous degree absorbing virtually all of the base notes. I ended up bumping up the normal ratio of 12g that I use for shu to 16g just to get the strength to match my Jianshui pot of the same size. I’ve been gradually able to bring the ratio back down to around 12g and I’m still trying to decide if I need to go even slightly below that on average, because many of the teas are still turning up quite potent even for my tastes. The tea the pot is brewing up is really good now and this was the first time I felt confident enough in using it for a review. The difference between Jianshui and Yixing zini is night and day, but I’m not going to get into my impressions on that here as I’m still discovering them myself.
For this session I ended up using 11.5g. I was considering going with 11g just in case this tea was potent, but ended up with a compromise between 11 and 12g. I did a single 10s rinse followed by a rest of five to ten minutes to allow the moisture to seep in and prime the leaves. I forwent my trusty Jianshui clay teacup this time around just because I felt like it and since I’ve found that with the zini pot I don’t find it an absolute necessity unlike when brewing in Jianshui. I did ten infusions, the timing for these being 12s, 10s, 10s, 12s, 15s, 18s, 30s, 45s, 75s and 2 min. respectively.
The first thing I noticed about Storm Breaker was its smoothness. This tea is very smooth. The body was light to medium to start with and the texture quite nice and unique. While there were some earthier notes present of course, the tea was fairly bright overall. I tasted a subtle sweetness that lay somewhere between a berry and a caramel sweetness. In the second infusion those darker notes became more prominent and there was now a touch of bitterness in the finish as well. The tea became increasingly more bittersweet once it cooled, ending up tasting like the darkest of the dark chocolates, just without the chocolate. The quality of this tea was already evident to me at this point.
The third brew presented a mix between the profiles of the first two by combining the berries from the first with the bitter notes from the second which were also now joined by new roasted notes. The result was kind of like a really gentle and refined coffee, one that as a non-coffee drinker I could imagine the fancier coffees possibly tasting like. This was nothing like the generic shus that are often reminiscent of diluted or cheap coffee, but seldom the good stuff. This was the best steep so far. This is a very elegant tea.
In the fourth infusion we were beginning to lose some of that nice texture. At the same time the background bitterness was quite high now. The tea was dominated by bitter, roasted and coffee notes. A touch of the berry sweetness peeked its head in the fifth brew, but this got overpowered by the bitterness. On the other hand I was noticing some mouth cooling now. At this point it was also becoming clear that this tea can take a toll on the body, especially if brewed strong, and I would recommend keeping some snacks on hand.
Steep six was sweeter, brighter, with less bitterness, but also somewhat weaker than the other infusions because I held back on the time afraid the tea might get too strong otherwise. Texture was good still, feeling very expansive in the mouth. At this point I found myself craving some more development from this tea.
I haven’t talked about the color of the liquor yet, but this tea brews up a dark red. Steep seven is when I was able to barely make out the bottom of my white porcelain cup. The flavor was bright, but still quite bitter. The tea was starting to get creamier, both in taste and texture. The soup was at its thickest now, impressively thick. I was actually finding it very hard to swallow as my commands weren’t getting through. The following infusion was thinner, but smooth still. There was quite an alcoholic tinge to the finish, or at least that’s how I’d describe it as a non-drinker. Overall the general presentation of this steep was quite wine-like, something I associate with certain Menghai area ripes I notice.
The second-to-last infusion was very nice. Sweet and sticky – very reminiscent of a plethora of shus out there, just a much better version of them. I’d likely describe the sweetness as approaching date-like. The tea was so sweet it almost hurt. Mouthfeel and texture remained supreme compared to most average shus. The tenth steep was the last one I did. In it we pretty much returned back to the beginning with the berries and generic sweetness, but this time with a slight alcoholic tinge to it all and thinner texture overall. Mouthfeel remained nice – smooth and lubricating – and there was a somewhat refreshing quality to the tea now. I could tell that we were at the tail end now, though, and I decided to call it there just to be safe and avoid ruining good memories with a bad experience.
I’m happy to report that Storm Breaker’s promises of being made from higher quality material than typically used for shu are very evident in the cup. The smooth mouthfeel is definitely one of the standout qualities and the flavors are very refined and clearly defined. While I found the tea to lack some development and be dominated by bitterness in the middle steeps, this eventually corrected itself and my slightly reserved opinion eventually turned into a positive one. This tea actually brews out a lot like a raw pu’er if you think about it, and looking at the leaves at the end of the session they are actually possibly the lightest I’ve seen in ripe, very similar to Yiwu Rooster but possibly even paler. I haven’t had a raw that’s been dry stored for a number of decades, but I could imagine one that still had bitterness left after all that time being somewhat reminiscent of this tea. While drinkable now with maybe a slightly lighter hand or if you like the bitterness, this is definitely a tea made for the long term, with great care from great material. This is genuinely one of those shus I can easily see people wanting to age for ten years and more – two decades is definitely no joke. I’m not saying you have to, I’m saying you can. That should say something about the tea.
Did I like this tea? I had a good session with it. What does that mean? I think the quality is high and I’m interested to see where this tea will go. There were infusions that I enjoyed very much, but for me the time to drink this tea is not now. This was a nice glimpse into the tea, but now I’m going to be tucking it away in my pumidor for a number of years, to be revisited sparingly to conserve this precious tea. Would I have purchased a cake if this were just a sample? I’m pretty sure I would have. Even among the ripes made from “better material,” this is one of the ones that stands out. I’d consider this a sheng drinker’s shu, as the quality and character of the original material is still being allowed to shine through.
If nothing more, Storm Breaker is definitely worth a sample. As alternative recommendations, this one reminded me in a way of Bitterleaf’s Plum Beauty ripe at least in terms of quality. Hai Lang Hao’s Yi Shan Mo ripe is also of course a personal favorite of mine. All occupy virtually the same price point, so they would make for a great comparison. At ten bucks cheaper than Crimson Lotus’s Black Gold, I prefer this tea over that one.
Flavors: Alcohol, Berries, Bitter, Coffee, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Dates, Earth, Roasted, Sweet
Storm Breaker is quite unique and accurately named as I got plenty of notes of dirt, petrichor, rainfall, and finishing of marine. It’s like a rainfall cleaning away the dirt and the final steeps being cleansed.
However, I would certainly sit on this shou for a year or two to get more tighter texture and resteeps. This tea has a lot of room to age as it isn’t fully fermented. As is, drinking in 2017, you need to rinse it multiple times to get the wet piled funk out.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2017-storm-breaker-shou-puer-crimson-lotus-tea/
Storm Breaker has none of the “off” warehouse/storage/wet-pile flavors commonly found in shou. It also had an impressive longevity. Most shous tap out after ~8-10steeps, but this one just kept going. This tea could easily push beyond 15 steeps, depending on your brewing parameters. It’s insane that, for being so freshly processed, the tea tastes and smells like it’s had plenty of time to rest…
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Wood
I drank this twice in the last two days – once in a porcelain gaiwan and again in a Jianshui pot. The smell of the dry leaf isn’t super impressive, mostly dark chocolate with lots of undercurrents going on that I couldn’t make out. Wet, more aromas come out – dark chocolate with a bright cherry medicinal note. The tea soup also carries a very strong aroma. The leaves are also super burly, probably the most impressive I’ve seen in a shou. Glen recommends 2-4 rinses for this at the moment but I did one for 10 seconds and besides a faint off flavor in the first cup it was fine. The off flavor wasn’t even unpleasant. The first infusions are slightly bitter with a very strong sweet mineral aftertaste. The flavors are very complex and hard to describe but there is a cherry medicinal note that dominates the session and like I said in my first tasting of this it is nothing like cough syrup. I also occasionally get cinnamon like spice notes. The mouthfeel is very nice, super oily and lubricating with a mint like cooling sensation. The qi is also very intense like a young sheng. Honestly, my only possible complaint is price but what can you do about that? I think that if you are willing to pay that much for a tea period, that this is more than worth it especially if you are really into shou like myself.
Flavors: Cherry, Medicinal, Natural Pumpkin Spice Flavor, Wood
Got a sample of this last week and ordered a cake on Black Friday. This is a nice tea if a bit pricy. There was not as much fermentation taste as I was expecting and what was there was sweet at first then a little bitterness as the tea opened up. Overall this was quite good.
I steeped this eight times in a 70 ml teapot with 6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet