Red Blossom Tea Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Good morning Steepster!
This is a sipdown, I’m all out of this tea but will certainly get more at some point. It’s one of my favorite black teas at the moment. I’m not really looking forward to the work day today… it’s not very much fun trying to type when your hands are in pain. I might just stay at home today.
This is one of the Red Blossom samples CharlotteZero very kindly included in our swap a couple of months back. It’s very roasty and very sweet, with a pronounced honey flavor when hot. There’s that deep woodsiness (or maybe that’s not it, but I’m not sure how else to describe it…) that I love in Wuyis and similar dark oolongs. Thanks very much for letting me try this, CharlotteZero!
I’ve had this tea for far too long, well everyone on Steepster knows I have way too much tea as it is — so no surprises there!
I decided to cold brew this in the fridge overnight and it’s really good that way. this one isn’t as delicate as some white teas I’ve had and the cold brewing definitely brought out a lot of sweetness in it. Drank an entire glass in practically one gulp! I’ll have to remember this for the summer time. I seem to have better luck with cold brewing whites than I do in drinking them hot. :)
A bit sweet, a bit of gold, a little darkness. Some green bitterness at the back of the throat and roof of the mouth.
The sweet wraps lightly around the front sides of the tongue and the gold is a feeling throughout the mouth. I like the sweet touch to this. I’m not usually much for oolongs but this is nice.
Two of my favorite sheng pu’ers are from Yiwu, so when I came upon a shou from Yiwu I just had to try it. Am I ever glad I did. The taste is everything that I love in a pu’er. Steepings 1 thru 3 were earthy but not overpowering. Steepings 4 thru 6 had a very delicate and pleasing smokiness to them. Steepings 7 and 8 were actually woodsy. I am noticing a trend. If you buy a tea from a company that is passionate about the quality of their product, you will be getting an excellent tea.
This is a very light, mellow black tea with no noticeable astringency. Flavors of toasted grain and a hint of earthiness make it a nice “warm” cup. Steeps well twice, a third steeping unfortunately results in very little flavor. I don’t recommend sweetener as it could easily overpower the tea rather than enhance, and there isn’t anything to mask with sweetness. Every now and again I will add a splash (about 1 Tbs) of milk
not cream just for a different flavor.
I find this a lovely anytime tea. The jasmine is very forward initially, and the tea flavor starts very light but soon mellows into a smooth sipping tea with soft tannin astringency. To me, the second steeping is the best as there is a nice balance in jasmine and tea flavors. Re-steeps well about 3 times before the jasmine fades significantly and a few slight bitter notes start to creep in, but note I use a longer than suggested steep time because I like the heft in tea flavors I get.
This was definitely an impulse buy for me as I’m not normally a big white tea fan or a jasmine fan, but I really just wanted the big red tin + I have no teas like this in my cupboard currently.
I’ve had two steeps of this so far and it’s a nice soothing afternoon tea. The white tea brews up to be a medium yellow color and is very clean tasting. The jasmine in this blend is definitely strong but it also seems natural. Some jasmines seem artificial and soapy tasting but this is lovely.
By the third cup of this, the jasmine flavor is starting to fade a bit and you’re left with more of the white tea flavor which is slightly peachy and ever so flowery from the jasmine. I’m not sorry I picked this up, it’s truly a nice relaxing tea which is what I need now trying to prepare for my physical therapy appointment!
I received a sample of this when I purchased a teapot from Red Blossom. It’s a really nice tea. Nicely floral, buttery, a bit vegetal, and maybe very slightly grainy. It’s not grassy, bitter, or vegetal in any unpleasant way. Very nice if you like very floral green oolongs.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers
This tasted weirdly like roasted beets to me. Very earthy, almost dirt-like, and slightly sweet. It was strange. Not good, not bad. Just strange. I’ve never had a tea that made me think of beets before—but why not, if there are teas that taste like squash and sweet potato and spinach (and, according to the flavors dropdown, bok choy and green bell peppers)? This was an interesting one to try, for sure. Thanks for the sample, CharlotteZero!
This is my favorite Red Blossom Wuyi oolong tea. The first steeping tonight brought back the smell of my friend Meghanne’s plum kuchen- a dense cake covered in plums and cinnamon glaze. I have to say goodbye to this, as the rest of off to thegreenteafairy.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cinnamon, Plums
Yum. This one is delicious. I only had about 14g left, so I used 6g of it for a gong fu session so I could finally log this tea, and the rest I will send off to thegreenteafairy. I will have to order more of this someday, but I am trying to work on not hoarding tea…
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Cream, Espresso, Plums
This is smooth, not at all fishy, and has some pleasant “river rock” mineral notes. The first steep made my throat feel somewhat dry. The second steep was darker and had a slight sweetness. There’s also a bit of a saltiness to it as well. Ok. My mind is going blank. That’s all I’ve got!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Mineral
Sipdown no. 61 of the year 2014. A sample. I am now sure that the Gold Thread of last weekend was a Red Blossom Tea as it used the same sample packaging as this.
I was reminded yesterday while drinking the Golden Moon Imperial Formosa how much I love oolong. I have a bit of time between getting home from work and the kids and BF arriving home from kung fu to sit with an oolong.
The dry leaves are medium green and rolled into balls and oblongs of various sizes, some rather large. The have the characteristic winey smell of dry oolong.
Steeping opens the aroma out into a floral, somewhat buttery fragrance with some green notes. Liquor on first steep is a clear, golden yellow.
I went a bit longer than I’d planned on the first steep because of a phone call, about 6 minutes. This is delicious. The company describes this as a “green Formosa oolong” and it has a green-oolong buttery creamy floral thing going on but at the same time there is a fruity almost toasty quality. The description says tropical fruit—pineapple. Yes, I totally get a pineapple-like note. At first I thought it wasn’t sweet, but as it sits on my tongue it becomes moreso.
Second steep. I’ll go for 4:30 this time since that’s what I meant to hit the first time.
The leaves have unfurled from small balls at the bottom of the Finum filter to long, green, somewhat twiggy vegetation that fills the entire filter. Liquor is lighter yellow. Lovely floral notes. The pineapple is still there! A fresher, almost a tad astringent mouthfeel but with a contrasting butter/cream note still present in the tea. Sweet, somewhat toasty aftertaste.
Third steep. 4 minutes. I wish I had more of this so I could try short steeps in the gaiwan and see how they compare. It is possible I overleafed now that I read about this on the Red Blossom web site about the 2013 harvest. But that’s okay because I’m liking what I taste here. I wonder whether and how it would have been different if I’d drunk it earlier rather than saving it? I also think I should have pulled farther back on time for the subsequent steeps, because I’d pretty much drained the flavor from the leaves by steep 3. All the previous notes were still present, just less so.
I really enjoyed this. It’s clear I need to work on my oolong preparation skills, which if they were ever good aren’t any longer. But even given my rather bumbling western steeping of this it was just delicious. I’d recommend this except that it’s no longer offered. The 2013 version might be worth a look, though.
Sipdown no. 50 for the year 2014. I wanted something special for the 50-mark, and I don’t believe I’ve written any notes on Red Blossom teas before.
I should mention that I can’t be absolutely certain that this note is about this tea. The sample is in a silver packet, and it says “Gold Thread” on it, with some characters on the next line, and then the words “Black Tea.” But there is no company name. I did order from Red Blossom, though, and theirs are the only teas named Gold Thread in the Steepster database. A cursory Google search brings up only the Red Blossom products in the first couple of pages. So I’m 99% sure this is theirs.
When I poured the leaves from the sample packet, I could already tell I was likely to enjoy this. The twisty, golden leaves are lovely and the smell of the dry leaf is that malty Yunnan smell I love so much.
I checked the Red Blossom web site and used their steeping suggestions for time and temp, albeit for the Gold Thread Reserve. This was a bit of a challenge because the sample is only enough for 1.5 cups and the Breville makes a minimum of 2. I used less water than the minimum but the measurement wasn’t overly precise.
This yielded a peachy yellow liquor, very light in color. The aroma is tantalizingly malty. I am wondering whether I should have steeped this longer just because I’m used to longer steeping for black teas. I’m getting an interesting, sort of salty marine note with an undercurrent of malt. I am not tasting the orange or yam notes in the description, but there’s a really pleasant mouth feel-soft and silky, and the brown sugar comes out some as the tea cools.
I steeped it again at a full four minutes just for contrast. And yes, this is more like what I expected. A darker liquor, reddish-orange, and a deeper flavor. Here is where I start to get something like yam, a hint of starchy vegetable. And if I cross my eyes and squint, I can almost get to orange. In any case, I taste what I think is what they mean by orange. A medium note on the front end the ends as a high note on the back end.
The wet leaves have a fascinating, spicy aroma-I’m reminded of caraway seeds and pepper. Mine don’t look as blond as the picture, they’re more of a light olive green (no. 2 says “brown”), but long and pretty.
I wish I’d gone with a longer steep the first time as now I’ll never know what that would have been like. Red Blossom does not have this listed on their web site at present, though they have the reserve version. I’ll stick it on the shopping list just in case it ever comes back. I’d love to experiment with this one some more.
ETA: No. 2 says, “I love it. I think it’s better than the flavored ones.” (He tried the American Tea Room Caramel this morning, too.)
Also, after comparing the sample packaging of other samples to the database here, I’m now sure this is from Red Blossom.
Sipdown! Thanks Sil.
I got distracted by my computer (AGAIN.), and so this tea got steeped a wee bit longer than intended… but luckily, still within a reasonable infusion time for a black. I think.
Anyhow, there’s very little aroma… maybe this is too old? A quick sip points in that direction as well, although it’s too hot for me at the moment. Weird that a black would age badly… It’s specifically in a box with other unflavoured teas to prevent contamination, but I suppose that doesn’t simultaneously reduce flavour loss. I’ll update this note once the tea cools… I thought I’d have more to write, haha.
ETA: Well, I’m sad to say that this doesn’t have a great deal of flavour, and does taste a bit off – although I see that my original note also mentioned the same thing, and I’m pretty sure I tried this one soon after receiving it, so it’s unlikely that it’s a product of age. Ah well, there are plenty of black teas that I adore; no need to add another to that pile. It is decent enough that I’m going to drink it, though (unlike that pu’erh… eek…). My best guess is that my brewing parameters were poor – I think a rinse may have been recommended, and that could have helped, and perhaps more leaf or a longer infusion time.