1239 Tasting Notes
When Teavivre offered to send me more samples, I immediately had to request this one. Both because the school I went to had a mascot named Big Red (think McDonald’s Grimace, but red) and because our newest baby, a little redfoot tortoise, is named Da Hong Pao! We have three cats and a tortoise, and after the first cat, we got into the habit of tea names. We’ve an orange cat named Pekoe and a grey cat named Earlie. So, of course, when we decided on a red foot tortie, Da Hong Pao made perfect sense! We call her Pao or Pao Pao for short. For the record, our first cat is a brown tabby who is named Rosabella, but would have been Chai if we had been thinking of tea names back then.
Anyhoo, I don’t know that I’ve ever had a Da Hong Pao before this, and I’m not going back through 1000+ notes to figure out if I have. But dang, I should have! This is roasty, toasty goodness and I think I’m in love. Reminds me of home, with tobacco smoke and an underlying nuttiness that takes this tea to another level. I’m on my second steep of a sample packet in a Bubble Teapot (24 ounces) and, as is my habit, I dumped the leaves into a DT Mason Jar (25 oz) to coldbrew overnight. I want to get every last drop of goodness out of these amazing samples, but I’m way too lazy to gong fu. But I see an order in the near future, once the moneytree comes into bloom.
That’s really just about all I have to say about this blend. Meh
It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it was just kind of there. And it’s similar enough to the Pumpkin Chai that I have to wonder why it was necessary? My wife and I shared a pot and couldn’t remember anything about the tea afterwards. I’m making vegan butter “chicken” later this week, the rest of our sample will be used to flavor the rice.
Teavivre contacted me to do another round of tastings and of course I agreed! They arrived yesterday and immediately I had to try this one.
Holy cow this tea has staying power! I dumped my whole sample package into one of my 24 ounce bubble teapot. First steep I let go for only two minutes and it was light and delicious strawberry flavor, but the oolong was present as well, which I always like. Next steep, four minutes. Still strawberry goodness, though there’s a bit more oolong. Then my wife steeped the leaves in a 12 ounce mug for 6 minutes and enjoyed her cup, even if she had let it steep a touch too long. THEN we dumped the leaves into a 25 ounce mason jar to coldsteep over night and that’s my treat for today. I love how much tea I got out of maybe two teaspoons worth of oolongs. By the time we put them in the mason jar, they had uncurled to completely fill the infuser to overflowing. I think one of my other samples will have to go in my glass teapot because the leaves are just too beautiful.
This tea stinks. I don’t mean like it doesn’t taste good, I mean the leaves themselves stink. Ugh. Like…like dirty, sweaty socks, it’s awful. It is three years old, but it has been in a tin and I remember the running gag for that outing was that a fair number of the teas we smelled from the tea emporium had a “backhint of ass”. They tasted good, but they stank. I have a strawberry shortcake from the same outing that has the same stench, so I don’t know what’s going on. Only my tea emporium teas stink like this, none of the others have changed in odor at all. I don’t think I’ve be returning there any time soon. And unless this tea tastes AMAZING, I don’t think I’ll keep it around. I can’t imagine giving this stinky tea to anyone, so I’ll likely just toss it, which makes me sad.
It tastes awful. AWFUL. Down-the-sink bitter and awful. Rest in peace, awful tea.