82

Wow, this is so incredibly different in appearance and dry fragrance from the past couple years! It is no longer a tightly balled tea with the looks of an old-style dark Tieguanyin and is no longer evocative of dried apricots prior to brewing. Now it’s a wiry, dark, twisted-leaf tea with the looks and smell of a small-leaf, charcoal roasted Wuyi Yancha or a particularly roasty Yixing Gongfu Hongcha. Now it is immediately identifiable as a red/black tea the moment the bag is opened. I really thought I got the wrong tea in the mail and even called them up to verify that this is what this year’s is like.

So why am I okay with this having the same name and not bothering to create a new entry to accommodate a different style? Well, first it’s because it’s by the same producer from the same plants. Second… I would have a hard time telling the two versions apart by taste. Color is a bit more crimson in the first infusion but back to the red-orange brown coloration of its previous incarnations in subsequent infusions. Aroma, taste, tactile impression, nose… they are all right in line with tasting notes I’ve made before. Sweet, perfumey with ripe apricot and prune qualities, and lingering woody spice notes. Charcoal fragrance does not appear in the cup at all. Won’t change the score since this is still really good. I’m impressed that the flavor isn’t obviously different after the rolling style has changed so much.
Brewed 4g/100mL with 95C water for 1min-1min-1min.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I have to say the name of this amuses me, it sounds like something you would get from a pot dealer. Sounds yummy though!

Azzrian

Sounds great!

Geoffrey Norman

I wonder if it uses anthocyanin-laden leaves like the Purple Bud pu-erh from Yunnan.

Thomas Smith

Yup, and it definitely has similarities in flavor when said Yunnan is processed as a Dian Hong.

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TeaBrat

I have to say the name of this amuses me, it sounds like something you would get from a pot dealer. Sounds yummy though!

Azzrian

Sounds great!

Geoffrey Norman

I wonder if it uses anthocyanin-laden leaves like the Purple Bud pu-erh from Yunnan.

Thomas Smith

Yup, and it definitely has similarities in flavor when said Yunnan is processed as a Dian Hong.

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Bio

Tea Geek.

My focus is on Chinese Wulongs and Pu’er but I’m all over the place. I tend to follow a seasonal progression of teas, following the freshness curve of greens through summer and rounding the cooler months out with toastier teas and Masala Chai.
With the exception of Masala Chai milk tea I’m a purist at heart. While I was originally snagged by Earl Grey with bergamot and make blends for gifts, I very rarely go for scented teas or herbals and can’t remember the last time I bought a tea that was blended. Pure tea is just more interesting to me than the product of mixing flavors. I do understand and appreciate their existence, though.

I upload some blends I make or special prep teas I nab under the company name “Green Raven Tea and Coffee” and the vast majority of these posts will be blends crafted to create flavors/characteristics not inherent in any one particular tea.
I’ve worked as a tea buyer for a smallish cafe and try to keep apprized of shifts in offerings even when not selecting for a business so I wind up sampling a ton of wholesale samples from a couple companies in particular but try to branch out to as many companies as I can find. Until Steepster integrates some form of comparative tasting feature, none of my cupping notes will make it onto my reviews unless wrapped up into something I feel compelled to drink multiple times on its own.



Since all the cool kids are doing it, here’s my big fat ratings scheme:

0-12…..Ugh, don’t wish on anyone
13-25….Bad, won’t touch again
26-37….Huh, not worth the effort
38-50….Meh, unremarkable
51-62….Okay, good tea
63-75….Tasty, really good tea
76-87….Yum, wonderful
88-100…Wow, really spectacular

There shouldn’t be many postings at all from me ranked 26-50 since unremarkable teas are unlikely to make me remark on ’em but to “earn” a score 37 or below I have to be disappointed to the point where others may ask for a refund or turn down offers even when free or offered as a gift (beyond stale).

I’ve got a ton of respect for anything rated 63 or higher.

For a tea to get 71 or more, it has to be pretty special and kinda blow my socks off.

The 90s are reserved for wonders that make me reevaluate my views of the world of tea as a whole.

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Santa Rosa, California, United States

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