My first excursion into Da Hong Pao. I brewed this pretty light, with a slightly higher ratio of water to leaf then I would normally use. The first infusion is hard to recall because of how much the tastes have changed. It had a lot of “roasty” flavors, a little more reminiscent of my favorite (so far) rock tea Tie Luo Han than say a more floral oolong. By the second infusion I was surprised to see that this took a huge backseat to, as Rishi says in the description, a “uniquely complex floral” flavor. The 2nd and greater infusions were much more delicate than I was expecting, but re-reading the Rishi description I see now that this is a less oxidized version of Da Hong Pao, so I guess it makes sense. I suspect I would be more immediately attracted to a higher oxidized lot, but only time will tell. By the 3rd infusion I started really feeling the after taste with a creeping sensation in the back of the throat, more so with this tea than any other I’ve ever tried. I’m going in for the 4th infusion momentarily! Next time I try this I’ll go more gong fu and use a lot more leaf. Right now I’d say this tea is super enjoyable, but I don’t see myself craving it daily. It is a bit pricey at $35 for 50g, if I were to brew this the way I brew my Tie Lou Han (~10g for a session gong fu style) it would put me at about $7 per session, which isn’t terrible considering you’re getting many infusions, but since I frequently brew alone it’s hard to justify a $7 session on a regular basis. I’ll report back when I try this again.
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec