Red Blossom Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

84

More new stuff from Red Blossom. From the Red Blossom website:

“Harvested late spring 2016 in Yunnan Province, our Yunnan Pearl uses the young buds along with two or three more mature leaves from the top of the plant. As the tea oxidizes, the youngest leaves become a bright golden color, while the mature leaves turn a deep black color. These tea leaves were carefully hand picked, sun withered, rolled to bruise the leaf, and then allowed to slowly oxidize before roasting.

The result is rich, deep, and smoky, with a lovely bittersweet finish akin to cacao nibs."

Sounds about accurate. The aroma is sweet, subtle, and velvety. The taste adds a bit of that bittersweet finish in a nicely balanced flavor, a bit malty, but still buttery smooth with sweet overtones, and a hint of smoke on top.

A great black tea, with just a touch of complexity, making it a great sipping tea on cold mornings.

Flavors: Cocoa, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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85

Simply put, a damn good Pu-Erh. Not too overwhelming, and a great balance between sweet and fruity flavors.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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85

Such a great Pu-Erh tea here. Rich and velvety smooth. Not too overwhelming with a shorter infusion, but as the Red Blossom website says, with a longer steeping “the tea becomes richer in flavor with a distinct stone fruit aroma and remarkably smooth body.” I’ll have to remember that for next time.

Even with the shorter 2 minute steeping time, this tea is full bodied, but still on the light and subtle side. It doesn’t punch you in the face, rather it applies a deep massage all across the palate with a velvety smooth malty base and sweet, woodsy-ish overtones.

All the great prerequisites of a great, classic, solid Pu-Erh, nothing unnecessary.

Love it.

My kind of tea.

-E

Flavors: Camphor, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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85

Pu-Erh teas can be tricky, as the flavor they deserve is malty and thick. I have had some that are just too malty, too bitter, and hard to find the right brew length to balance.

This one seems to be different. It has the characteristic deep, malty flavor, but is actually easier to brew, if you go too short, it is light and sweet, too long it gets richer and fruity, but remains smooth and drinkable either way.

I prefer a bigger flavor in my teas by adding a little extra tea than is recommended but keeping the steep time shorter, and this tea works well with that theory. The malt flavor is deep and complex, but not bitter, and it is good for several steepings. I have gone to 4 steepings, but I’m sure it would still be good for more.

Flavors: Floral, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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88

Tung Ting in general is one of my favorite Oolong teas, maybe one of my favorites teas in general. This one is no exception, so big and bold and full of flavor while still light and floral.

Red Blossom mentions notes of orchids and gardenias, making this a great late winter or early spring sipper. Still cold and wet out, but life is returning. Things are turning green, it’s time to head to the garden to get it ready for Spring planting.

This Tung Ting Oolong is a great start to that day.

-E

Flavors: Floral, Gardenias, Orchid, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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88

Red Blossom’s Tung Ting selections are consistently some of my favorite Oolong teas, thusly some of my favorite overall teas, I have tasted, and this is no exception.

Very similar to years past, the 2016 Spring Tung Ting is a solid, straight forward, very tasty and full flavored Oolong tea.

This tea is, as the Red Blossom website says, light, sweet, and fragrant. It also works well with longer step times, giving it a bolder, deeper taste without getting too astrigent. My kind of tea!

If you are looking for a simple, straightforward, but lively and full Oolong tea, this is a great middle of the road, easy to brew, enjoyable choice.

-E

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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92

One of my favorite black teas, the sweetness in this tea, with a velvety smooth base, makes this tea what it is. A super smooth, deep, not too dark black tea with floral overtones and hints of honey, caramelized sugar, and molasses.

As the Red Blossom website says: “was harvested in early April 2015 after this crop was bitten by aphids. As a result, the crop has the sweetest honey aroma we’ve ever tasted.”

That about sums it up. Beautifully sweet with hints of honey and floral overtones. Amazing.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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92

Finally ordered another batch of tea from Red Blossom. My go-to house for really freaking good tea. First up is this Formosa Red, Native Cultivar Mi Xiang.

Maybe I’ve been drinking too many fruit teas, and blends, and cheaper grocery store tea bags. But the first taste of this sweet, smooth tea gave me chills. It is pretty amazing.

The Red Blossom website suggested 205 degree water steeping for 2:30. I used 7 grams of leaves in my 3 ounce Bodum Assam tea pot.

The aroma is wonderful. Sweet, subtle, not overwhelming.

The first taste is amazing. Sweet, subtle, with hints of sugar, molasses, a bit of honey. These flavors put together for a great balance, sippable all morning long.

I’ve missed my Red Blossom Tea, in the future I will not go this long without reordering.

Seriously, it’s so good!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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86

thanks again for letting me try thes dexter. so much fun getting to try new things :) enjoyed this one sometime between today and 3 days ago hahaha

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86

noms. another sample from dexter that i had earlier today. Unlike the other, this one is super tasty and delicious. I steeped it a couple times and while the first steep was my fav (as usual) the second one was also quite enjoyable. Malty, honey, chocolate goodness. thanks dex!

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86

thanks for sharing this one dexter! overleafed this cup a little today and it turned it in to a malty cup of bold deliciousness haha. having fun trying my samples from friends today :)

Final Count: 83

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86

Another one from dexter this was delicious. need to have another cup though since work distracted me!

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81
drank Yunnan Pearl by Red Blossom Tea Company
8155 tasting notes

Sooooooo perfect for this morning’s cup of tea. This is just what i needed to get me going this morning for my running around/cooking/cleaning that i need to do.

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81
drank Yunnan Pearl by Red Blossom Tea Company
8155 tasting notes

i’m back from vacation. While it was a great vacation…i got to drink NO tea because a) the water had a dirt like quality that i wasn’t loving and b, the kettle at the place we were staying at was just…NO.

so i’m happy to be back drinking tea… sadly i got carried away with catching up at work while drinking this one so i don’t have a lot to say yet. the colder it gets, the more chocolate notes poke through, but i for sure need to have this one again. Glad dexter was able to send enough for me to have a couple cups :)

Evol Ving Ness

Welcome back, Sil! I am not going to ask where you were because I have been away from steepster and out of the loop. I will read up and maybe all the mysteries will reveal themselves. And if not, then I will ask.

Evol Ving Ness

And also, no tea! oh, horrors.

gmathis

No tea = no vacation :)

Sil

gmathis = true!

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91

10/10 would recommend. This is a pricey tea but very worth it. Very clear notes of wildflower honey, floral nectar, and cantaloupe. A delicate, floral flavor (hits all of the high notes), yet a ridiculously creamy, smooth mouthfeel and an immediate 回甘 (sweet finish) that just doesn’t end. Do yourself a favor and try it.

NOTE: Just going off the dry scent in my warmed gaiwan, I found that the charcoal roast was a bit heavy for my liking, so I rinsed the tea. Normally I don’t do this for Phoenix oolongs (to make sure I don’t waste any fragrance since that’s the area in which these teas excel), but I would say that this tea actually benefited from the rinse – if nothing else, the flavor was certainly not diminished by doing so.

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Melon, Nectar, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
Rasseru

you dont give high scores lightly either do you

Ben Marcus-Willers (馬維彬)

Haha no, I suppose not – the more tea I drink, the more picky I am too.

I try to judge teas purely based on the scale I list on my profile. I’m looking for complexity (flavor + finish, scent, aroma), texture, how well the tea represents its category (or if it challenges the category – I always love this), and my overall feeling (would I buy the tea again?).

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56

Incredibly aromatic / floral but not sweet at all, this is a very interesting Ya Shi Xiang, or as Red Blossom calls it, “Persimmon Blossom Fragrance”. The dry fruit sweetness typical of Phoenix oolongs is replaced with nutty / cereal grain notes.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bell Pepper, Bitter, Cacao, Floral, Fruity, Leather, Molasses, Nutty, Oak wood, Osmanthus, Wheat

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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91

This season’s harvest is sublime! Incredibly creamy, with a nice balance of sweet and smoky tones. Complex and interesting, but most importantly delicious. If I had to describe this tea in one word, it would be “yummy”.

Flavors: Campfire, Char, Citrus, Coffee, Cream, Grass, Lemon Zest, Marine, Meat, Milk, Seaweed, Smoke, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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80

Lovely tea. The notes are hard to discern, although the “apricot” from Red Blossom’s site does a reasonably good job at getting at the experience. Strangely lacking in vegetal tones despite how unoxidized it is. There’s also a “powdery” vibe, though perhaps that’s a psychological effect of the fuzzy/powdery aesthetic of the leaves themselves.

The more I drink the tea, the more I love it. When I first got it in the mail, I wasn’t that dazzled. But a month or two into enjoying these silver needles, I actually look forward to sitting down to it.

Flavors: Apricot

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 360 ML

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65

Milky in aroma and on the palate, yet very timid in flavor overall. I wasn’t impressed. By no means offensive, it’s also by no means remarkable unless you appreciate watery subtlety.

Flavors: Milk

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec 9 g 12 OZ / 360 ML

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85

I’m not a fan of Indian Assams, so I was excited to try this Formosa version to see if it could turn me around. It did. Gone is the disgusting bitter astringency of the Indian variety. What’s the left is a smooth, delicious Assam that is all you could hope for. There’s not much else to say. It’s a big favorite of mine for the first cup of the day.

Flavors: Fruity, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 360 ML

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75

I purchased the Spring 2016 incarnation of this tea, and have now enjoyed it several times. The scent of the steeped tea is classic high mountain Taiwanese oolong: soothing and slightly milky. On the palate, I got quite a bit of florality, some fresh/vegetal elements, a light brown sugar vibe, and yet little to no milkiness. Very pleasant, but in the same genre, I still prefer Red Blossom’s Mi Xiang Tung Ting.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Floral, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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95

When I took a whiff of the steeped leaves, I suspected I was in for a treat. There was this autumnal quality — not spicy, but clearly warm and milky. And when I took my first sip I went, “Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.” It’s delicious. While Red Blossom’s site says orange blossom, honey, tropical fruit and buttered rum, I got exactly zero of those from it. What I did get was a florality, but it certainly wasn’t orange blossom + there was a flavor of what I can only describe as something exquisitely “comfortable”, milky, and like tonka beans or another baking spice nature has yet to invent. It’s as if I were drinking rice pudding in tea form. Hands down my favorite tea.

Every time I drink it now, I wonder if I’m really going to like it as much as I remember. I do. It’s amazing. And even as I purchase other mountain/high mountain Formosa oolongs, this is still by far the best example of them I’ve yet had. It’s silly how much better this is than all the others.

Flavors: Floral, Milk, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 180 ML
Ubacat

mmmm Buttered rum. Sounds delicious.

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75

The tasting notes on Red Blossom’s site make this tea seem like magic. And for $30/oz., I was expecting as much. Sadly, it’s quite bland. Smooth and pleasant enough, with the light taste of some indiscernible fruit, it’s nothing I would look forward to having again. Yet I bought a couple ounces, have had it a half-dozen times now, and will be clearing it out, little-by-little.

Revisting the tea a few times since I first reviewed it, I’ve found being more heavy-handed with the initial dose makes it much more interesting. It makes for a pricey cup of tea, but the appeal is there.

Flavors: Fruity

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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88

After almost a year long hiatus where I drank mostly puerh, black, and green tea, I thought maybe my love for plain white tea would have simmered down. Thanks to OMGsrsly, I can now put my doubts aside.

I love you white tea. I love you so much. the milkiest Milk Oolong, the nuttiest Dragonwell, and the sweetest black dessert tea have nothing on you. Marry me.

Flavors: Cream, Hay, Lemon, Sweet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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