Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crimson Lotus Tea Xiaguan T8653 2014 Sheng Puerh

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: dark green, tightly compressed
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold

You all know how much I love my sweet and mellow Yiwu but sometimes I need a puerh that packs a punch. +Crimson Lotus Tea describes this as an "iron cake" and the name seems apt as even my sample size was hard to break apart. One of the things I love about puerh is that I'm still discovering it. This is the first tea that I've tried from the Xiaguan Tea Factory, one of the oldest in China. My first infusion was on the lighter side but that was a bit deceptive because the leaves were still very tightly packed, even after a couple of rinses. I missed their warning to handle this tea gently so I went with my usual 30 second infusion. Holy cow is this stuff strong! I shortened my infusions a bit and it settled back down. The taste was vegetal and earthy with plenty of astringency. In the later brews I was surprised by an interesting floral note that popped up mid-palate. Tightly compressed cakes like this one take longer to age and mellow. If I had a whole bing, I'd probably let it chill out for a while.

Xiaguan T8653 Sheng Puerh sample purchased from Crimson Lotus Tea.