In Spring of 2017, Bitter Leaf Teas released a series of teas called ‘Plum Beauty’, Mensong Sheng Puer. Plum Beauty comes in three different grades which are bronze, silver, and gold. Plum Beauty did exceptionally well, and was highly praised for their taste and energy. However, Bitter Leaf Teas decided to take their Plum Beauty Silver and make a shou from it! And I was fortunate enough to find a small sample of it in my last order from Bitter Leaf Teas. So is Plum Beauty Shou just as good as its sheng counterpart? Lets find out!
Water Temperature - Boil
Dimensions - I used 4g of tea in a 60ml gaiwan
Beeng Price - $80.00 for 200g
Number of Steeps - 12
Steeps 1 - 4
Plum Beauty Shou first started out very light earthy tasting note. After a few more steeps, it continued to open up to the mouth watering tasting notes of dirt and a faint wood. There was a sweetness to it, and with the combination of flavors, these early steeps reminded me of a black tea.
Steeps 5 - 8
Plum Beauty Shou continued to open up with the base tasting notes of earth, but with a undertone of tree bark. This tea’s texture was smooth and malt-like, which still reminded me of a black tea. After a few more steeps, a light sodium aftertaste made itself known which lingered in the sides of the tongue.
Steeps 9 - 12
The tasting notes of tree bark were much more noticeable than the previous infusions. The notes of tree bark took over the notes of earth, and still left a light sodium aftertaste on the sides of the tongue. Plum Beauty Shou’s texture was still very smooth, but light nonetheless. It was evident that this tea was still very humid, and after the twelve infusions it was time to say goodbye…
Plum Beauty Ripe is a shou puer, yet to be released by Bitter Leaf Teas. This tea is predicted to be released by January of 2018, and is being released late due to this teas humidness from pressing. One thing I liked about Plum Beauty Ripe was how smooth the texture was, and if it wasn’t for the earthy tasting notes, you could have convinced me I was drinking a hong. Another thing I liked about this tea was its energy, because despite this teas humidness, it made me feel tea drunk.
Overall, Plum Beauty Shou is a shining exemplification of how much quality a shou should possess. I think this also makes for a fun experience if you were to drink this and Plum Beauty Silver (source material) side by side. Given that this tea is so young, it looks like it has a bright future ahead of it…