Shou puer, especially aged shou puer, is one of those things where you either love it or hate it. Sometimes it’s really hard to turn other tea drinkers on to the idea of aged shou, especially because its already been composted for forty five days. However, despite that shou isn’t for everyone, there are really great examples of this tea that are so good, it’s almost guaranteed that everyone will like it. Now I know that’s a strong statement, but not so outlandish when referring to 2000 Old Warrior by Crimson Lotus Tea. Old Warrior ended up being one of my favorite aged shous, and was awarded the best Aged Puer in 2016! So come find out why Old Warrior still has fight left in it, and will continue to fight for your tastebuds in the coming future…
Steeps 1 - 4
For this session I used 6.6g of Old Warrior for a 100ml vessel. Before starting the session, I gave this tea a quick rinse — which washes away any debris left on the tea from pressing. Anyways, the first thing that became noticeable when sipping this tea is the tasting notes of tree bark and fresh mulch. After a few more steeps, the taste of dirt and wood became more prominent as this teas smooth body was overshadowed by its strength.
Steeps 5 - 8
Old Warrior kept on fighting, despite its wise old age. The body of tree bark began to smooth out as the compost and mineral notes held its strength. As the steeps went on, this shou went from sharp to smooth in just two steeps. With the smooth body, this tea’s liquor became visually darker with an amber tone. Old Warrior was crisp to the sight, and smooth and rich to the taste. Surprisingly, this aged shou was coming out crystal clear, and held a beauty that most other shou puers don't get the chance to radiate.
Steeps 9 - 12
Old Warrior’s powerhouse notes of mineral and compost progressively mellowed out, as the light base of tree bark began to settle in as well. However, the tree bark left an aftertaste that resembled a damp forest. With that, this tea’s soothing and velvety palate came together to resemble something light and medicinal, as this tea was taking me through the last bits of its journey. After the twelfth infusion, this Old Warrior was ready to take a break as it already fought the good fight…
There is a clear indication why Old Warrior won Best Aged Puer in 2016. Not only is it a great example of how relaxing and enjoyable an aged shou can be, it was also preserved exceptionally well. However, when describing a shou, it can sometimes be difficult to describe something that tastes like dirt and tree bark to be remarkable and appetizing. We as humans don’t associate tree bark with something that taste delectable, but shou puer is completely different. The tasting notes in Old Warrior were presented in such a way that it made the mouth water just by the thought of it, and at its price point it’s almost insane to think that this tea isn’t more popular.
In conclusion, Old Warrior is a great tea for all tea drinkers alike, and yet very easy to drink. There are many reasons why this tea is a gem to add to your collection (in part due to the fact that a ruby was actually found in a beeng of Old Warrior!). May this Old Warrior be remembered by many tea drinkers to come, and maybe you’ll get to find out why this aged shou was rated one of the best in 2016…
Rating - 9.0