Red Blossom Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

91

I missed reviewing the 3rd steeping of these leaves yesterday, as I was running late to work and barely had enough time to pour it from my tea press into my travel mug.

But no worries, I went for a 4th steeping today! Same leaves, day 4, 4th steeping. I upped the steeping time to 2:30, up from the recommended 2:00.

And yeah, these leaves are still kickin’. The aroma as the same as it was on day 1, big and bold, with a strong malt smell. The taste is still great, although the flavors have mixed a bit more and are harder to notice individually. The clean sweet malt taste is still there, but not as eye poppingly clean and crisp as before.

Still a damn good tea, even on the 4th steeping. 4 steeping in a 32 oz press is pretty damn good, in my opinion.

Flavors: Drying, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 9 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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91

2nd steeping of the same leaves. I did not add steeping time, instead keeping that at 2:00. I probably could have gone up to 2:15 or even 2:30, but it still came out great.

Aroma: Brilliant. The first thing you notice is the big, malty, slightly chocolaty smell. There is a hint of dryness, but only slightly. You can tell right away, before it even hits your tongue, that it is bigger and more complex than that.

And then it hits your tongue. The balance between the dry, sweet, clean initial feel and the complex, rich, thick, almost creamy malt taste is amazing. That’s really all I can say. It’s a great, super solid, all around very well balanced Pu-erh. I might just stash some somewhere, or buy some more and leave it bagged, and let it age a few more years.

Oh, wait. The Red Blossom website says they are out of it. DAMN!

For the third steeping tomorrow, I will add a bit more time, maybe up it to 2:30. It can take it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 9 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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91

Time to get more familiar with the thing called Pu-Erh. Here is the jem I bought when I was in the city last weekend and stopped in to see the good folks at Red Blossom tea company. They recommended this on, and I can see why!

The aroma is so big and bold, with hints of smoky chocolate and malt. It smells dry, but still has that sense that there is so much more to it.

The very first taste is subtle and non-assuming, but 1/2 a second later all those flavors hit your pallet and soar. Slightly dry tasting and finishing, with a big malty middle.

This is one hell of a tea! Glad I stopped in and picked it up!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 9 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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75

Finding this tea strangely… not as satisfying as I’d hoped, considering the cost, how much trouble I had getting it back to my place in Canada (from San Francisco’s Chinatown), and then how much the staffer raved about it.

It’s a standard puer, with a bit of a sweet, almost bitterly so aftertaste. It’s smooth and medium-bodied, with that je-ne-sais-quoi that makes it a puer… that earthiness, without being really smack-in-your-face about it.

Do I love it? Nope. Will I reach for it? Maybe. I doubt it. This was REALLY expensive tea, too, so… yeah. Going to try re-steeping it at least a few times to see if I enjoy it more.

Flavors: Earth, Sugarcane

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Ubacat

I like doing the 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, & 25s rinses before I even drink a puerh now. Hope you find the right steep for this one.

TeaBrat

hmm, I’ve never had this before but it’s never good when an expensive tea falls flat. Did you try it in the store?

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78

Delicious! I will say that this has a very thick, buttery mouthfeel. The first time I drank it after coming home from San Francisco, I literally thought “wow, this is feels like butter in my mouth!” The taste itself is lightly floral and slightly creamy. I wish it wasn’t as expensive as it is, but it’s worth it. Very, very good :)

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85

I’m very bad at describing teas, but I got this one not long ago at their store in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It’s so yummy! Very light with a nice mouthfeel, it reminds me of the very first ‘nice’ tea I tried, which was a Silver Needle. I don’t know if this is the correct terminology, but it has a nice earthy minerality to it. My second steepings sometimes have a bit of a lemon-y, citrus taste as well. Delicate. Delicious.

Flavors: Floral, Lemon, Mineral

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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91

This is the second tea I ordered from Red Blossom and I am excited to finally do a tasting and prepare my notes.

Dry leaf aroma: Sweet potato with a malty background.

Dry leaf appearance: http://instagram.com/p/rnyl0zlcCK/

Preparation: Brewed western style in a glass infuser cup (which I also purchased from Red Blossom – and love – I think it is a Bodum).

First steeping: 1 minutes 45 seconds at 200 degrees. The aroma stays true to the dry leaf – sweet potato and malt, with a slight suggestion of orange. The liquor is a beautiful amber brown which seems appropriate paired with the aromatic suggestions of malt and sweet potatoes (perhaps I am ready for autumn; this color and fragrance combination is lulling me into nostalgia this evening). The flavor is multifaceted and at first it is hard for me to separate the different layers. Foremost is a pleasant maltiness with a delicate sweet potato undertone and I find as I let the cup cool notes of brown sugar appear. I was a bit disappointed I did not detect any raisin or maple syrup in this steeping (as per their website tasting notes). However, when I smell my empty cup the aroma is a heady raisin. The aftertaste is a reminiscent of sweet potatoes, with a slight starchy mouth-feel.

Second steeping: 2 minutes 5 seconds at 200 degrees. A sweet potato and malty fragrance still prevails. I do not detect any scent of orange with this steeping but as the cup cools I pick up notes of raisin. For this infusion the brown sugar and raisin notes are shining through the base flavors of sweet potato and malt. The aftertaste is also sweeter, with a refined raisin finish.

Third steeping: 2 minutes 35 seconds at 200 degrees. The third brewing has a much weaker aroma; sweet potato and malt again. The flavor is much the same as the second steeping though not as strong. The aftertaste is malty raisin and the starchy mouth-feel is still present.

The fourth steeping was unremarkable though not unpleasant. I think three steepings is a good cutoff for me.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Cameron B.

Wow gorgeous leaves! Sounds delicious, I love Yunnan teas. :)

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95

This tea intrigued me with its description so I am pleased to finally be able to taste it for myself and post notes.

Dry leaf aroma: Sweet and slightly malty with a mild trace of tobacco.

Preparation: I prepped the leaves with an initial 1 second rinse and then proceeded with my session western style (my gaiwan is on the way, so for now I am steeping western style).

First steeping: 2 minutes at 205 degrees. The aroma is basic, a moderate black tea scent with the ever-so-slight hint of something more intricate which I cannot describe accurately. The taste is much more complex and the initial mouth-feel is extremely creamy. I’ve not experienced a black tea quite this creamy before; very nice! Buried in the creaminess is a hint of honey and a very subtle aftertaste of baked bread and banana. At the end of this cup, after it had cooled quite a bit, I detected a citrusy aftertaste in addition to the bread and banana essences. Interestingly, the creamy mouth-feel lingered after each sip. Very unique.

Second steeping: 2 minutes at 205 degrees. I am detecting a subtle baked bread and banana scent along with the straightforward black tea fragrance. This steeping is not as creamy as the first but is still quite rich. The flavors are less complex but the brew still retains the initial profile of cream, honey, baked bread, and a trace of banana. While the cup is hot I am experiencing more of the citrus aftertaste.

I’d like to try another session using a gaiwan and multiple short steepings to experiment with influencing the flavor profile.

This is a tea that I will add to my permanent stock. Well worth the price and experience!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Banana, Citrus, Creamy, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
boychik

Sounds amazing!

Cameron B.

Yummy! :D I’ll have to get some samples from you at some point… After hiatus, lol.

Blodeuyn

This is indeed one amazing tea. I wanted to try it again today but my head is all stuffy. :(

TheTeaFairy

Very nice review!

Blodeuyn

Thank you :)

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90

First day of Fall today, yeah? Good day for a Formosa Oolong. Steeping #2 for this Charcoal Roasted Tung Ting.

Same leaves as yesterday, I little more than normal since I didn’t want to leave a single teaspoon in the bottom of the jar. Although, now that I think about it, I probably should have saved it to try a little mixing and blending. Oh well. I’ll probably be buying more of this, so no worries.

Anyway: This is such a big, roasted tasty brew, I did not up the steeping time for the 2nd go, I kept it at 2:00. Here we go:

The aroma is exactly the same. Big and bold, very sweet charcoal roasted smell with hints of coffee and caramel. A bit of a dry feel.

The taste is much the same as yesterday. The roasted charcoal taste is not quite as heavy today, allowing the coffee and caramel colors to shine through more, and the whole flavor pallet is more balanced. It’s also not quite as sweet as the 1st steeping, and it has turned more towards the dry feel away from the sweet.

The natural Earthy tea flavor and feel is more apparent today as well. I think now that the roasted charcoal flavor has subsided some, those flavors are just more apparent.

Yup, this is a good one. I’ll be buying this again sometime soon, in hopes and dreams of sipping this while reading a book with rain pattering on the window and hockey on the TV.

Flavors: Caramel, Coffee, Earth, Roasted, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 9 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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90

I had almost forgotten about this one. I’ve been rotating through my most recent Red Blossom Tea Company purchase, and I guess I skipped this one!

I had a little more remaining than the normal 2 heaping tablespoons for my 32 oz Bodum Assam tea press, so I just put it all in, not quite 3 tablespoons but probably close. I kept the steep time to the short end for a Formosa Oolong, and hot damn did it turn out good!

The aroma is nice and complex, with an initial burst of charcoal roasted goodness, followed quickly by sweet, caramel, almost coffee hints.

The taste is just as complex. The roasting process is definitely the first taste and feel, I can actually imagine Mr Chen controlling the longan fruit wood fire in order to get the perfect amount of roasted taste. Big, but not at all overwhelming, and certainly plenty of room for the sweet, caramel second tastes.

I’m sad that I used the rest of these leaves in this batch, I’ll definitely need to steep it 4 times to enjoy this incredible brew the next 4 days.

Flavors: Caramel, Coffee, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 9 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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90

3rd steeping. 1st steeping went too long, 2nd too short. Today’s was right around 3 minutes. Let’s see…

Aroma is great this morning. Nice and earthy, just a bit of bitter sweetness. Beautiful golden brown color. The taste… Yep. Spot on. Might be a bit overdone for some, but it’s right where I want it. Big and bold, bright and earthy. Just the right bitter to sweetness balance.

Good stuff.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90

2nd steeping: Finally got the steep time right. 2 minutes. And to be honest, it could have used another 30 seconds to a minute. (But not the 5 or 6 minutes yesterdays got left at…)

Subtle but smooth aroma of earthy charcoal, and a nice rich, sweet taste. This is a damn good Oolong.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

Screwed up this batch. I got to reading the opinion pages again, and let it steep for 5-6 minutes. Oops.

Oh well, it’s still really good. Smokey charcoal aroma and taste, but much sweeter than Red Blossoms Lapsang Souchong, which tastes like a campfire. This Tung Ting has a much more complex taste. Still big and bold, but the earthy, nutty, wonderful sweetness is much more present.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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90

4th steeping. Aroma still there, just a bit more subtle. Coffee and woodsy, earthy, nutty scent still noticeable. The bold tastes of a few days ago have blended together more, and while each individual flavor is more subtle, the flavor all together is still bold and big.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Let it steep a little longer for the 3rd steeping of these leaves. Totally on purpose. Totally. That’s a lie, was reading the opinion page and forgot about it. It went around 4 minutes. Oh well.

The coffee aroma isn’t quite as strong as yesterday, not sure if that’s due to the longer steeping or the 3rd use of these leaves. Taste is a little more bitter, as expected. Still a great tea, still hints of smoke and earthy nuts. Have to remember the timer tomorrow morning.

That being said, screwing up the steeping time didn’t make this tea undrinkable. It’s still wonderful, and I’m still enjoying each sip. It’s that good!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

2nd steeping. I noticed a stronger coffee aroma today. Still full of earthy, smoky flavor. Even better the second steeping!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

Wow, some serious bold flavor here! Strong smoky feel from the charcoal roasting, with hints of caramel sweetness.

Roasted the traditional way, using charcoal made from longan fruit wood, the thickness of the ash layer over the charcoal controls temperature, and the aroma and appearance of the tea determines roasting time, all controlled by a master tea roaster named Mr. Chen.

Well, very nice work Mr. Chen. This is an amazing brew!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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88

2nd steeping. It’s official, I’ve figured this one out. If you like your tea like I do, of course. Big, bold, and beautiful.

Start with a rinse. It really does make a big difference, but for reasons other than the 1st steeping rinse. That one cleans them off and opens the leaves. The 2nd steeping cleans them a bit, but more of getting the last of yesterdays water off, as opposed to cleaning off the dust before first steeping, while sort of waking them up some. The aroma and taste are so much brighter, crisper, cleaner. And they finish cleaner and smoother as well.

Yesterdays 1st steeping was pretty big, so today I decided to not add more steeping time, I left it at 1:30. I think that did the trick. It’s a bit less bitter and more subtle.

Aroma: Aroma is clean and crisp. Hints of grass and earth. Very smooth.

Taste: Taste is even more balanced than yesterday’s 1st steeping. The grass and earth tastes are a bit more subtle, but still there. The slight roasted hint from yesterday is nearly gone. Mouthfeel is crisp with a dry feel.

Finish: Finish is super clean and fresh. No lingering aftertaste, no different, unintended flavors popping up. Just super basic, super clean, super consistent from aroma through taste to aftertaste.

A good green tea collection would need something big, bold, and in your face like a Gunpowder and something more smooth, subtle, and clean like this here.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec 8 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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88

A green tea with a huge flavor! Perfect!

I think I nailed it this time. The pre-rinse really brought out the bright, golden, grassy feel and flavor. I’m not super great with steeping times, often getting caught reading something and forgetting for several minutes, but I pulled this one at 1.5 minutes.

Perfect.

The aroma is a great balance of earth and grass, with a nice roasted touch, nice and bright and potent. Then the taste. It’s even bigger than the aroma. That classic grassy, earthy, crisp, golden green tea flavor is perfectly balanced in this tea. Big and bold, almost like a gunpowder but less bitter. The finish is clean and a bit dry.

A perfect example of a really good, straight up, basic, extremely well balanced green tea.

Flavors: Earth, Grass, Roasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec 8 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML
TeaBrat

nice, I should try this when I go back :)

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88

Yesterday I used these leaves to make sun tea. The result:

The aroma is super light, almost non existent. I don’t notice any of the smokey, earthy hints that I got when brewing with hot water. The taste is good, but way too subtle. It doesn’t taste like much more than a regular old green sun tea. I think that has more to do with how I made it, though. Net time…

I really miss my old sun tea ball. I haven’t been able to find one that large, and the replacement just doesn’t hold enough leaves. Next time I will either use two sun tea balls, or just let the loose leaves free in the water.

Preparation
9 tsp 72 OZ / 2129 ML

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88

3rd steeping. Still kickin. Still tasty, full and bold. Still earthy and nutty with a slight ocean aroma. Still awesome.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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88

2nd steeping. Still great taste. Not as bold and bright as the first, but still has that same earthy, full flavor. Got a bit of an August sprinkle outside this morning, this tea fits right in with that peaceful, serene mod.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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88

Mmmm big greens! The first smell reminded me of the ocean at first, although that wasn’t quite accurate. It was the feel of driving up the coast from Santa Cruz in cold weather. That feeling you can’t quite put words to. That was the first thought. It does have an earthy smell, with a slight hint of smoke. Taste is big and bold, with hints of nuts and smoke, similar but not as bold as gunpowder.

I have a feeling this will be a great late Autumn evening green tea. It’s got that calm and tranquil feeling, as well as a sort of distant peace to it. Like things are starting to settle down, the air has that crisp, tart mood, and it will soon be time to prepare for the coming weather.

My favorite time of year!

Flavors: Nutty, Ocean Breeze, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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