I may have to write a second tasting note for this later brewed with western parameters, but I wanted to use the same method I used yesterday with Verdant’s Shui Xian Wuyi to see how it compared and the verdict is that it just doesn’t. No vanilla, no cinnamon, no wow factor.

That is not to say that this is a bad tea, it is just a much lighter wuyi, lighter than Adagio’s Wuyi Ensemble that I got to try at the Chicago store. However it was the challenge of brewing this up gong fu (that worked out favorable for their Fujian Rain, but that was dark and heavy in the western sample) and the tiny little tin that sold me (okay so we all know it was mainly the tin, I’m a sucker).

I used lots of leaf like yesterday, but instead of getting a flavor explosion I got astringency. There are some nice notes as well that come out to play in later infusions, a hint of lemon, some veg and wood and a touch of mineral sweetness. But they are all so thin feeling and the brew is rather dry. Will attempt another day and see if I can find those ripe peaches. Saving the rating till then.

Edit: Silly me this is a Da Hong Pao aka Big Red Robe, so while it’s not fair to compare to the Shui Xiang: Water Sprite, this is also no where close to the two Big Red Robes I’ve had, nope.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

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Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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