A couple of months ago, I received a package from Chen Sheng Hao. There were three teas in the package and the 2018 Rong Pu Ripe was one of those teas. The weather has been dreary the last few days so I thought it would be nice to drink a shou puerh again. If I want to experience a warming earthiness, I usually go for Liu Bao nowadays. That’s why this tea was a perfect opportunity to drink another shou puerh.
2018 Rong Pu Ripe
The 2018 Rong Pu Ripe is shou puerh tea from 2018. It’s a blend of different regions so I cannot really tell where exactly it comes from. It’s produced by the Menghai Chensheng Tea Factory. I also know that the tea trees that were harvested for this tea were less than 100 years old. I don’t have much more to go on, so this will be more or less a blind session.
The fact that this is shou puerh tea means that it went through artificial fermentation during the production process. This process results in a deep and usually earthy flavour profile.
- 5g for a 90-100ml Factory 2 Zini teapot
- Water 99°C
The leaves have an interesting colour. I see tints of really dark brown on one hand and bright copper on the other hand. It’s mostly smaller and medium-sized leaves. The aroma of these leaves is super creamy. It reminds me of a bakery! I’m getting aromas of freshly baked bread and some wood as well.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): unlike most other shou puerh, this one is gentle at the start and slowly increases in intensity. There is a certain sweetness in combination with dry wood. No dank flavours at all!
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the colour is darker and the flavours are a bit more intense. I do feel the finish is stronger and that the undertone comes through more. Still getting flavours that remind me of freshly baked bread. It feels thick and lubricating.
Infusion 3 (25 sec): the flavours are edgier but it’s still really enjoyable. The undertone has a certain sweetness to it like a sweet kind of milk bread (is this a thing?). Towards the finish, it gets more intense and this goes on into the aftertaste.
Infusion 4 (30 sec): not as intense anymore so the next infusion will be a longer one. It’s subtle but enjoyable. There are still hints of freshly baked bread noticeable. The infusion itself is subtle but the aftertaste is the most intense one of this session.
Infusion 5 (45 sec): the colour seems to be darker again. Flavours are similar to previous infusions. I do feel they die out fairly quickly in this one.
Infusion 6 (long): more of the freshly baked bread right from the start. Some of this carries on into the aftertaste.
Infusion 7 (long): again, more or less the same. Good but simple infusion. Subtle flavours of freshly baked bread without much else. No real finish or aftertaste.
The 2018 Rong Pu Ripe is a decent tea for starters. It’s a good entry point into the world of shou puerh. Most shou puerh teas are super intense and fresh when they are young, but this was not the case with this one. The flavours I got were enjoyable but I didn’t get a whole lot of them. Not really complex and a fairly basic tea.
Basic isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a complex and multi-layered tea, I don’t think this one will satisfy your needs. If you want a basic but nice shou as a daily drinker, this one is definitely it.
If you’re interested in the 2018 Rong Pu Ripe, you can buy it here.