I purchased a cake of Crimson Lotus Tea’s 2016 Midas Touch Sheng, since I enjoyed the 2015 one so much. The 2015 Midas Touch sold out so fast that I didn’t get my hands on it! That said, I bought this cake blind, not risking on losing out. I did review the 2015 Midas Touch, however it was a comparison piece with another Jingmai sheng… and I found that tea session most legendary for how tea drunk I got, so not the most accurate of reviews. I had to sit down at one point as the room spun.
Owning the cake is lovely as Midas Touch’s wrapper is beautiful – the gold print adds a nice touch!
The cake is also beautiful with olive tones with silver ripples of leaf. The scent is soft and a little vegetal.
I went the standard 1 gram of leaf per 15ml of vessel. Despite being young sheng, I boiled Midas Touch, but I did flash infusions for awhile. I decided to also use my lovely jianshui cup and steep counter, both from Crimson Lotus Tea.
Tasting of Crimson Lotus Tea’s 2016 Midas Touch Sheng Puer
Hot leaf smells like hot summer grassy. The tea steeps up a pale cream yellow with some nice clarity to it.
First and Second Infusion: Midas Touch sips in soft and gentle. I can’t believe I just boiled this hahha! The tea is crisp yet soft and creamy, with a soft floral of buttercups and daises. The sip going in is very thick, like drinking pepto bismal, if it was a pretty gold. The finish has an interesting brightness to it, like the sun breaking over the horizon. I paused for a few minutes and the aftertaste sneaks in of fresh apricot.
Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion:
The tea is opening up more, I am getting an apricot floral with a buzz of honey and buttercups. The flavor is floral, creamed honey sweet – with the flavor being quite light, but the aftertaste grows stronger than the flavor of the actual sip of tea. The aftertaste still creeps in, but a floral incense taste in my mouth. I am getting a buzzy feeling on the tongue, which spreads with each sip making my jaw feel fuzzy. After 6 infusions my mouth feels like it is coming off being frozen at the dentist, but I feel so sappy sunny happy.
So far I find this tea really easy to slam down – the notes of soft, fruity and sweet. It is easy to drink, and the mouth numbing makes me forget the temperature. However, slamming Midas Touch is bad as you miss the fragrance after each sip, and it is really easy to miss as it slips in so slowly.
This steep bracket was the best of Midas touching – with the most energy of summer florals, ritualistic owl dancing, and numb face. More likely I danced into a tree, face first, which numbed my face.
Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Infusion:
The flavor switches up losing more floral as it goes on and going more towards the buttery side. It isn’t as strong as last years, but the flavor is creamy and a hint of osmanthus floral (which tastes a touch citrus). I started going 5 minute steepings at the end, as the flavor finally lost the floral, leaving a citrus bean taste. The final infusion breaks the creamy texture and jumps to a dry cheeky feel in the mouth.
Twelfth Infusion: Extended infusion here, about 15 minutes. This is a nope – do not power steep the Midas of Touching, it is bitter in a bad way that I did a sip and pour out.
This tea got overcooked by my efforts, I would stick to short steeps to slowly milk this tea out until it dies, or opt to cold brew the leftovers.
Crimson Lotus Tea’s 2016 Midas Touch is a delicate, bright, and sunny tea with features you will miss if you drink it too fast. The best part of the tea is the early steeps and aftertaste of floral. It was more delicate, floral, complex and soft than the 2015, which the recipe was changed. There is less vegetal flavors this time around, with more concentration of more floral and apricot features of Jingmai than savory.
Midas Touch, at this time, is a good drink now for you type that love a sweet, floral, soft tea. A similar, soft tasting teas I’d compare this to would be White2Tea’s Bosch. You might not get it if you are a crazy chugger and don’t feel texture and complexity. However, Midas Touch is pretty light, probably too light for some sheng drinkers and could be too subtle for someone new to sheng.
I feel since the flavor is so light and delicate, you don’t want to go under the parameters I used of 1 gram/ 15ml and boil. I am glad I didn’t start at 200F as that would of been too light unless I leafed it harder. Midas Touch did survive boiling temperatures well, especially shining for that thick texture in the first 9 infusions. It has a limit of you can beat it up so long before it goes bad – Midas Touch turns things into gold, but in the end goes back to a face punch of bitter steel.
Thinking to Jingmai Love, a cheaper sheng offering also from Crimson Lotus Tea, I’d peg it as a “Farmers Choice” tea vs Midas Touch being competition style vibe – it’s more robust in flavor and greener vegetal in taste, whereas Midas Touch is delicate, complex, and floral. Both are great teas, so if you aren’t able to shell out for a $89 cake, Jingmai Love is your cheaper $45 cake option.