So I got my order in today of Crimson Lotus samplers, and really couldn’t resist opening up a bag before putting the rest away to breathe a bit in the pumidor for a few more days. These things are amazing fun-sized pops of flavor. I’m gonna call them nannuo gugu’s in the future, simply because each time I see the name, it reminds me of a fun mobile game I play (菇菇栽培)
Here are the samples! I must say that seeing Crimson Lotus’s packaging in person, the design surprised me in a very pleasant way. Despite how simple it is, I found I liked it more in person than when I had seen it on their site.
I tackled the Nannuo Mini-Mushroom as many others have suggested: one at a time. These little suckers weigh in at 4g a pop, and one was plenty for the little gaiwan I tried it in.
So here’s what I did:
80ml porcelain gaiwan, boiling water, and a 4g mini-shroom. High pour and 2 washes of 2 seconds each to really shake up the shroom and get those leaves unfurled and brewing quickly. Gave the first few steeps ~8 seconds each (from water being poured) until the liquor lightened up, and pushed out an extra 10 seconds for the next few steeps, extending it out a few seconds for each subsequent brew. All in all I hit 12 brews and called it a day.
The first 5 infusions brewed up exactly the color below, later lightening into a deep garnet. These initial steeps presented as one might expect, thick, silky, and glutinous, carrying notes of peat and soil. The buzz around about this tea smelling and tasting like vanilla is absolutely true. Some people get marshmallow, others get cotton candy- I didn’t catch it on the first try, but after a few days of rest in the pumidor the sweet aromas everybody buzzes about hit hard. Perhaps after talking about them with others it’s hard to think of anything other than vanilla, but my taste buds do agree with vanilla bean being an accurate description. I feel like there may be some almond-like sweet nutty scent going on, too. The flavors are so bold that one might truly think this was a flavored shou. Around the 6th-7th brew flavors shifted just a bit to include a very subtle sweetness and a wonderful menthol-like effect in the good ol’ olfactory organ. The shroom’s soup remained silky from start to finish, coating the roof of my mouth, tongue, and throat with a smooth layer of goodness, and scents of petrichor. The tea definitely gave me some burps and a bit of a rumbling stomach, though not in any uncomfortable or unpleasant way. I foresee the ole pipes working well in the near future.
While I cannot say that this was love at first sip, I am also just starting to dive into these samples. I expect that I will learn more as I have them in future sessions. This tea brewed extremely thick and soft, and had no fermented funky scent going on considering its youth – Giving it a few days to rest really brought out a bunch of new flavors and aromas. These little mushrooms are dangerous!