I completely forgot I had a sample of Crimson Lotus Tea’s 2006 Troublemaker Sheng puer fang cha. While I was reorganizing my tea room, I found the sample packet under my couch, so Troublemaker has North Seattle floor storage. My guess is it fell from my sample basket. Tea hoarder problems.
Leaf and Steeping Method
2006 Troublemaker is a bud heavy Bulang, pressed into a 100 gram fang cha square. Troublemaker’s scent is aged, and previously smokey, grandma’s couch. This tea is definitely dry storage here as it lacks that wet basement quality.
I went with 1 gram of leaf per 15ml of vessel size, gongfu steeped in boiling water. As a post-session edit, I could have gone lighter on the leaf. I did a longer than usual rinse time to loosen the brick piece. Steeped up, the scent is peaty.
Tasting of Crimson Lotus Tea’s 2006 Troublemaker Sheng Puer Fang Cha
First, Second, and Third Infusion: 2006 Troublemaker will take some time to open up. This Fang Cha brick starts off light, sweet, charred, and yellow straw in taste. The texture is slick and the feeling is balmy and lightly coating.
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Infusion: Troublemaker has finally bloomed in flavor, finally broken apart from the compression. This tea has a great balance of sweet and smokey, with bright peaty notes and amber incense. It has a lingering but light aftertaste of smoked stone fruits.
I felt I didn’t need to add much additional infusion time for each resteep as Troublemaker is potent! If I steeped Troublemaker too long, it is bitter with flavor intensity, and a bite of astringency in the back of the throat.
Troublemaker is a good candidate for silver teaware. In a silver cup, this tea is still peaty, smoke, and a bit bitter, but the silver increases the sweetness.
Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Infusion: 2006 Troublemaker has finally started to lose steam, but continuing to resteep like a boss. It has lost the smoke and mostly peat and lots of sweet, but still holding onto that charred stone fruit aftertaste. These final infusions were actually my favorite ones as they were easy drinking.
Crimson Lotus Tea’s 2006 Troublemaker fang cha is a potent dry-aged sheng with notes of peat, smoke, and sweetness. This tea will generate many reinfusions and likely you can go a bit easier on the leaf too.
At this time of writing, a 100gram brick of 2006 Troublemaker is $36.99. The price tag is a bit high for a fang cha, but you see Troublemaker earns its keep with incredible flavor potency and quality material.
(Tea provided as a bonus sample or for review, I cannot remember which)