I forgot I had this sample until I went digging around in my stash the other day – anyway thanks for this one Garret!
I don’t believe I’ve ever had a light roast red robe before so I was eager to try this one out this morning. I used my xiying teapot that I have reserved especially for wuyi oolongs. This is how you know you have fully entered the realm of tea nerd-dom! lol.
My first two steeps of this were very light. I only used a pinch of tea but the teapot is pretty small, about 6 oz. After a quick rinse, My first two steeps were around 30 seconds. I got a very light yellow colored infusion. The flavor of the tea reminds me of peaches, with a light mineral quality and just a tinge of roastyness from the charcoal. It is very delicate compared to the darker roasted red robes (or da hong pao).
Steep #3. I have noticed now that the wet leaves smell absolutely incredible, like roasted fruit. I decided to go for a steep of 1 minute. The infusion is still very light but the longer steep seems to have brought out a sweeter, thicker flavor in the tea. Compared to the photo on Mandala’s website my tea liquor is still fairly light and does have a bit more of a floral quality than a darker red robe. Still not sure I used enough leaf.
Steep #4 – 3 minutes. This is my favorite infusion so far. More fruit notes coming up in the tea. Lots of minerality in this one which seems a bit earthy and almost sparkling.
This is a really nice tea, I think I may prefer the darker red robes, or maybe that is just what I am used to? I will definitely use more leaf the next time I try the experiment. This was neat, I’m glad I got to expand my horizons a bit. :)