Grand Shou Pu-erh 1997

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Pu'erh Tea
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205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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From Red Blossom Tea Company

In the mid-1980s, we imported a rich shou pu-erh we called simply “Grand Pu-erh”. It was the tea that we weaned our pu-erh connoisseurs on. In 2006, with only a small amount left, we decided to reserve that original Grand Pu-erh for our personal collection.

In 2008, we found a tea that we felt could hold up to the reputation of the original Grand. Harvested in 1997 and aged for over a decade, the new Grand Pu-erh comes from the tea mountains of Yunnan Province. It was crafted as a “shou” tea, which means the maocha (or “raw tea”) was taken through a process of controlled accelerated fermentation. The acceleration increased the rate of aging and in the process created a rich, malty tea.

The intial aroma is one of fresh earth and malt. Brewed, the tea exhibits an underlying sweetness and clarity of flavor that is surprisingly delicious, with a complex finish that reflects its dry storage.

About Red Blossom Tea Company View company

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10 Tasting Notes

2816 tasting notes

I haven’t had this tea in ages… everytime I see it, I feel sad since I got it as a Christmas present from the ex last year. It really is an excellent tea though.

I’m also in no hurry to drink it since it doesn’t go bad. I steeped some up today in the koi teapot I have.

I really have come to enjoy loose leaf pu-erhs. After 30 seconds, I am getting sensations of fruitiness, nuttiness, in addition to a touch of sweet cream on the finish. I did write an extensive note about it months ago, so you can read that if you’re interested.

This reminds me that I need to pay a visit to Red Blossom Tea soon!

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

Your teapot is beautiful, I bet it’s amazing to use. :)


Thanks… I do like using it. ;)


Nice review.Got to love the Mandala Tea Phatty Cake. LOL!


Yep – it’s good!


It’s that good? I’m in SFO next week. Can’t wait to try it.


You need to pay a visit to Red blossom!

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294 tasting notes

OMG. Wow. This is one of those teas that open everything up. The dry leaf had that ancient aroma that is absolutely mindbending. My first thoughts after a quick steep were that I am going to be in for more than a treat. Very true. The aroma that hit me at first seemed to be of anise if it were locked away for 15 years. This is true of the flavor too. It is giving me those awesome tea chills. It is so full of ancient flavor yet it is very clean and inspiring. Teas like this really open your mind, body and soul. Everything seems more intense. Music, I am listening to The Chieftains " The Bells of Dublin ", an album I have heard a hundred times before and all of a sudden I am hearing it as if it was the first time. Teas like this will take you on a journey. An escape from the humdrum. To another time and another place….

Nathaniel Gruber

Lovely tea :)

Charles Thomas Draper

Still not on the level with ’98 Xingyang


There’s something extraordinary going on at Xingyang workshop… like fairies and elves live there. I’m sure of it! Imagine the tour… “Here’s a room we use for extended leaf drying, and around back we have the unicorn stables.”

Charles Thomas Draper

@ Geoffrey, That got me laughing. I hate to say you may be right….


Did you perhaps confuse this with the sheng ? I don’t remember this smelling like anise.

Charles Thomas Draper

No. I got this sweet anise that was locked up for 15 years that took on the flavors of the dark cellar that it was kept in. It was, to me, a sweet old aroma that I just could’nt seem to place other than a licorice-anise. Next time it will probably taste like something different altogether.



Charles Thomas Draper

PS, I opened up the Sheng just to smell it after my comment last night and I smelled the plums but no licorice. I may brew this today.

Nathaniel Gruber

Yeah, fascinating stuff. I love all of the old pu’ers from Red Blossom. I will agree with Charles in saying that it doesn’t quite live up to the ‘98 Xingyang from Verdant. But Red Blossoms’ do have that “ancient” quality to them which make them so appealing to me. These posts are making me want to make an order to them sometime very soon… :)

P.S. have you guys seen Red Blossoms new website? I like it a lot! Definitely a step up from their old one.


I liked this better than the xingyang from Verdant but they are very different.

Charles Thomas Draper

Very different. Taste and the buzz.

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13 tasting notes

Good tea but not aged, certainly processed.

One of the better Shous out there for sure though.

I recommened drinking it after the 4th or 5th steeping when it settled down a bit. They did a good job with it. BEST with boiling water

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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3 tasting notes

Dirt in the rain, slight butterscotch marshmallow…

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5 tasting notes

One of my favorites. I steep this many times over (learned this from Chaikhana, presently Hidden Peak Teahouse), and the sweetness resonates beautifully. It is a complex puerh that has earthen notes. Hailing from 1997, this tea really is Grand! It’s a high quality puerh. One that you feel may have transcendental affects…like float out your window on a cloud…a tea that makes you glad to be alive. Ok, ok, it’s my favorite. I accept that now.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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