2014 Gu Ming Xiang “Bulang Gushu 2.0” Shou Pu’er – Crimson Lotus Tea

I was waiting for Crimson Lotus Tea to have a sale, and during Cyber Monday I put in an order for a bunch of their shous. My love for shou pu’er is growing stronger and stronger. I love Crimson Lotus Tea’s 2008 Bulang Shan Imperial Grade a lot and the 2012 Bulang Shan Gushu was awesome too. When I saw they got a new Bulang shou, 2014 Gu Ming Xiang “Bulang Gushu 2.0” I ordered a sample. It was really hard for me to not order the 1kg brick. 1kg size entertained me greatly but I managed to talk some sense into myself that I need to try the brick first, as well as I don’t know where I’d store a brick that large.

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Dry Leaf

My sample was broken up in nice big chunks, so it was easy to pick out 6 grams of leaf. I bet breaking up a 1kg brick into 40 x 25 gram samples must be a pain in a butt for a seller. The tea has a light earthy scent in bag, but outside not much scent.

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Steeping Instructions

I decided to steep the Gu Ming Xiang in my 90ml ruyao teapot. I used boiling water, 1 gram to 15ml ratio, starting with two rinses. I did a bit longer of a steep to start, 20 seconds.

My assistant Tea Owl was helpful in pouring tea out of the tiny tea pot!

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Tasting of Crimson Lotus Tea’s 2014 Gu Ming Xiang Bulang Gushu 2.0 Shou Pu’er

First and Second Infusion: These first steepings of 2014 Gu Ming Xiang Bulang Gushu is light and sweet with a milk chocolate fish. Despite being really sweet, it’s too light so I steeped on.

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Third, Fourth, and Fifth Infusion: Opening up in flavor, yay! Gu Ming Xiang shou is still really sweet. The flavor has a crisp rich dark chocolate with a tangy sour vibe in the end of sip. There is also a bit of a date essence to it. Date as in the fruit, not dinner date. I asked the Tea Owls on whether shou is a good date tea, they simply said, “Whatever goes with Prime rib, hoot.” I don’t think this tea would work with prime rib, it’s too sweet.

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Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Infusion:  The sour notes cleared up, leaving a clean taste of dates, chocolate, and spice with an earthy floor finish. These steepings are the best, and I’m having a great time. I also started getting weird and when I went to sip I would tip the cup the other way. Either the tea has rerouted my brain, or the Owl tea pet has secret powers to make me pour more tea on him.2014 gu ming xiang bulang gushu crimson lotus tea - oolong owl (2)

Eleventh and Twelfth Infusion: The flavor level has reverted back to what it was like in the start, super sweet shift chocolate with bit of spice. I still think there’s more in this tea though. By the way, this entire time there has been no bitter or dryness, these are really easy sips.

Thirteenth and Fourteenth Infusion: I did a 20 minute and a 1 hour steeping. It is pretty light, but I got a sweet meaty chocolate. The colour is quite dark, despite not having really any flavor left.

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Crimson Lotus Tea‘s 2014 Gu Ming Xiang “Bulang Gushu 2.0 is a monster sized 1kg brick and is a pretty good shou pu’er for someone who likes the fruity side. I think it needs a bit of age to remove those sour notes (and that’s gonna take awhile I assume since the brick is huge, unless you go hammer time on it), but the flavor is great and easy to drink for a new drinker, and great for a sweet tooth. If you are a big shou pu’er drinker that drinks a lot, it’s worth snagging this giant brick while its cheap and drinking it later.  They also sell a half brick if that works better for you.

If you want something from Crimson Lotus Tea that you can drink now, I’d get the 2008 Bulang Shan Imperial Grade brick.


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  • physiognomy

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these two. I haven’t had the best experience with ripe puerh in the past, but have found some clean-tasting shu lately. I’ll add these two to my ‘try’ list.

  • Burt Princeton

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I will surely add this to my list this month.