Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: Crimson Lotus Tea
This is a very special puerh prepared by the Yunnan Changtai Tea Industry Group. The blenders who work for Changtai are true masters of their craft. The leaves in this puerh are a blend of 15 mountains, Spring picked in 2005. The name for this cake “Yun Pu Zhi Dian” means “Top of the Clouds”. Since Yunnan means “Southern Clouds” this name has a double meaning. It refers to the heavenly experience and also that this puerh contains the best from Yunnan.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’ve often thought of pu-erh as a cooler weather type of tea because it’s a tea that I prefer to be served hot. As the tea cools, I find that the flavors begin to mute and become lost.
And yes, I do drink hot tea even in the summer months, in fact, I drink more hot tea than I do iced tea in the summer months, but, I don’t drink as much hot tea in the summer as I do in the cooler months.
So when I drink a pu-erh, I’m often reminded of the cooler days of autumn and winter, but as I sip this 2005 Changtai Yun Pu Zhi Dian “Top of the Clouds” Sheng Pu-erh from Crimson Lotus Tea, the tea seems to be evoking thoughts of late spring and early summer.
Perhaps it’s the lovely notes of fruit that develop throughout the infusions, starting off with a soft hint of apricot and in later infusions, I notice that the sweet apricot notes are accentuated with a contrasting sour note of tart apple.
Perhaps it’s the lovely background note of flower that seems to bring to mind thoughts of floral aromas filling the air in the spring. Or maybe it’s the delicate woodsy notes and hints of vegetative earthy tones that remind me of the trees as signs of their springtime foliage begin to grow.
This tea is beautifully smooth and sweet with notes of fruit and honey. In the earliest infusions, the fruit notes are strongest, but as I continue to steep, the honey develops and the fruit begins to wane somewhat.
Meanwhile, the woodsy notes are developing. These aren’t musty wood notes, but clean, vibrant woodsy tones. The tea has a sweetness to it that is balanced with the aforementioned notes of sour apple.
I’ve only just been introduced to this company – Crimson Lotus – but I am quite impressed with this tea. They specialize in Pu-erh teas. Those new to Pu-erh will find this a fantastic resource of teas that are good ‘starting out’ Pu-erh (and since they specialize in Pu-erh, they’ll be a great resource of knowledge for you too!) And for those of you who are more experienced with Pu-erh, I think you’ll find that Crimson Lotus has an amazing selection of intriguing teas.
As for me, I highly recommend this Top of the Clouds Sheng! It’s delightful!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!