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I decided yesterday to go through my three Da Hong Paos, so here is the second installment!

Like yesterday, this is brewed grandpa style in a large mug. The color of the first infusion was a nice deep red color, and had a surprisingly light roasted aroma. The taste of the first infusion was interesting, with a very bold roasted taste, with dark chocolate notes that linger along with the typical Wuyi mineral aftertaste. Also, the aftertaste really lingers with this tea, somethings hanging around in the tip of the tongue and the hard palate for up to a whole minute! This is definitely better than the last time I brewed this tea.

The second infusions was surprisingly dark, a nice dark amber instead of a deep red. The aroma also changed so that while it retained its roasted quality, it began to smell a bit sweeter, possibly fruit or caramel. The taste definitely has more of a caramel taste to it, and the aftertaste has mellowed out, and now only contains hints of the chocolate, which linger for about 15 seconds.

The third infusion is a lighter shade of amber, bordering on caramel. The aroma is now definitely caramel and hints of fruit. The taste has really mellowed, with prominent caramel and fruit notes. The roasted flavor is still present, but not nearly as strong as it was. Also, the aftertaste has become purely mineral flavored now. All in all, this was a very balanced and pleasant infusion, and much better than the first and second.

The fourth infusion is actually better than the third. The aroma was pretty much unchanged, and the color was only a little lighter, but the flavors was more balanced. The sweetness of the fruit and light floral notes contrasted well with the weakening chocolate and roasted flavors, resulting in a very nice cup of tea. It wasn’t too sweet or too bold, but it doesn’t have the same variety of flavors that the Big Red Robe from Verdant did during its peak infusion. Regardless, is is a very good cup of tea.

Given how well the tea leaves had been holding up, I didn’t expect this cup to as weak as it was. The color and aroma were greatly reduced, and the flavor had degenerated into a rather bland – yet still surprisingly sweet – generic Oolong. Granted, the tea still retains the Wuyi aftertaste, yet even that has been greatly reduced in intensity.\

The final verdict about this tea is that while it is very bold early, it very quickly loses its flavor after its peak, and becomes quite bland. Still, it is much better than average, and I wouldn’t mind buying this again in the future.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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Bio

I am a university student, studying Computer Science, who found that I really enjoy a nice cup of tea. I finally got into loose-leaf tea in August of 2011. I am currently in the process of expanding my horizons, and have found that I have a particular fondness for Oolongs in general, and Wuyi Yanchas in particular. The unique mineral taste is very appealing to me, as well as a nice Sencha. More recently, I’ve developed a taste for Sheng puerh, white tea, and black teas. The only things I’ve tried that I didn’t like was Shu puerh, but that might have been because it was quite young. Regardless, I’ve been slowly expanding my horizons, so if you have any recommendations, please feel free to send me a PM.

Just for the heck of it, my other interests include classical musics (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Debussy, Shostakovitch, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and Wagner, to name a few composers). I also have a fondness for a bit more modern music, like The Beatles, all Jazz (by all, I really do mean all), Gorillaz (I love Demon Days), and a couple of Indie artists you will never run across unless you play a lot of semi obscure Indie games. Also, I love cats.

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Fairfax, VA

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