I will definitely have to restock this, as it is a delicious roasty wuyi oolong, with yummy chocolatey maltiness, very rich & fruity.
“Another Sipdown! I will definitely have to restock this, as it is a delicious roasty wuyi oolong, with yummy chocolatey maltiness, very rich & fruity. ” Read full tasting note
“*Thanks to Claire for this Sample Tea!* It's a beautiful Spring-like morning...one of those throw open the window beginnings that lift the spirit. I rummaged past my boots and the ever-ready...” Read full tasting note
“SIPDOWN! So i'm "pretty" sure this is the version that Terri sent me, though there are a few version so she'd better correct me if this WASN'T the version she sent me because OMG I LOVE THIS. ...” Read full tasting note
“I LOVE Mandala tea, and this one is no exception. I haven't been drinking a lot of oolong lately, they have been pushed aside by my new love of blacks. I need to let this one back in. This is...” Read full tasting note
Big Red Robe is an open leaf, or twisted, oolong tea. It is more heavily oxidized which make the leaves look darker brown in color in their dried form. It produces a smooth, malty, full-bodied cup of tea. Hints of chocolate with an overall rich and roasty flavor.
Known in China as Da Hong Pao, it is one of the most famous oolongs in their country. The tea bush is grown in the Wu Yi Mountain area which is very rocky. Over centuries, developing methods to grow tea bushes in such difficult conditions has created a specialized style of oolong tea (“rock tea”) that is highly revered and sought after around the world. Try some today!
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Thanks to Claire for this Sample Tea!
It’s a beautiful Spring-like morning…one of those throw open the window beginnings that lift the spirit. I rummaged past my boots and the ever-ready close-toe shoes of Winter to find ‘SANDALS’!
It’s inspiring to make tea in a Gaiwan on such a day.
I’ve become obsessed with warming my Gaiwan with boiling water, dumping the water out…then putting the tea leaves in to sit with the lid on for a minute.
What comes from this one step of preparation is tea seduction. It is what leads to wanting the tea so much that you can hardly contain yourself.
The next step was actual steeping which was short.
When I smelled the scent of the leaves they were fruity and sweet, but soon changed to the aroma of light curry. Going back to check the scent later, I could still smell the curry resting in the leaves.
The flavor was roasted freestone peach with the tang of guava membrillo. (Another way to discribe it would be the taste of peach leather and plum if you’re not familiar with membrillo?)
Sweet and tangy, luscious and smooth with a dripping honey quality to it.
Ah, the color in my glass cup. I had almost forgotten.
Polished brass flickering in candle-light. It reminded me of looking into a stream on a bright Summer day with the sun reflecting back glints and sparkles of gold.
This was a worthy tea, a Big Red Robe without the cinder taste that some dark roasts have. No burned flavor or smoke, just smooth stone-fruit and juice.
SIPDOWN! So i’m “pretty” sure this is the version that Terri sent me, though there are a few version so she’d better correct me if this WASN’T the version she sent me because OMG I LOVE THIS. Yeah… that’s right. In contrast to the verdant oolong from this morning, i could drink this all day…and sort of have. I really like the fruity cocoa of this one. Seriously! yum!
I LOVE Mandala tea, and this one is no exception. I haven’t been drinking a lot of oolong lately, they have been pushed aside by my new love of blacks.
I need to let this one back in. This is everything I think an oolong should be. It rich, roasty (without being too smokey), smooth and woody. IMHO This is everything I love about dark oolongs. I’m not getting any of the metallic taste that some have. I’m just going to stop buying oolongs, drink what I have then just restock this as my PERFECT oolong.
As always, thanks Garret for providing such amazing teas.
Dexter3657 was generous enough to send me a sample of this tea – Thank You!! I am grateful that I was sent enough of the sample to try this again with different steeping parameters.
I got distracted and let the tea infuse longer than it should have, but it was still a very enjoyable tea. Smooth and roasty, with a lingering taste that reminds me of tobacco. Despite the long infusions, the tea was very tasty.
Inspired by the “Mistakes you made with tea” discussion, after duly noting that most of distinguished participants confessed to oversteeping as the biggest mistake, I resolved to steep shorter and first experiment with what looks like a decent tea.
Oh, short steep – but 30 seconds?!! Seriously? Do I trust Garret enough? OK, he is a fellow runner, he can’t be too bad…:)
I would not dare to assign any rating numbers to anything I am so unfamiliar with – but – pleased to say – it does taste good! The package says “roasty, and full-bodied” – maybe next steeps will taste that to me, after Garret allows at least a 2-minute steep… the first I perceive as more jasminy.
30 seconds? Who would have thought?
brewed this up right before taking the kids over to my MIL house….baby John’s first photo shoot…
I had visions of watching him coo at the cameras while I sipped on tea…much like my 4 years old did when she was a baby….
Not the case.
It went cold before I could sip…..
Well, from the cold sip….I could tell enough that it would be worth trying to steep it another time because it can’t be wretched….
This tea is impressive – its a doppleganger, bringing forth many familiar tastes and combining them into something quite enjoyable. The first few infusions taste like a certain Laoshan Black… hmmmm… So much so that I did a double take to make sure I had put the right tea in my gaiwan. Yep! Not to be overshadowed by the aforementioned steepster juggernaut, this tea can certainly hold its own. The primary flavor is “Roasty” but there is something else there… a fruity/nutty note reminiscent of an assam… and there is a subtle background of roasted florals and buttery grain to remind you of its former, greener oolong days.
Initially I was quite surprised at this oolong. It is quite dark and the flavor profile really falls closer to the true black tea spectrum in my mind. This is not a bad thing, just not what I had expected from an oolong. This tea is capable of multiple infusions, trading the strong roasted taste to more subtle autumn fruits towards the later infusions.
Quite enjoyable in the Gaiwan. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to experience a dark roasted oolong. My only criticism here would be a relatively thin mouthfeel… while hard to put into words, compared to similar tasting teas, this one is lacking a bit in texture.
I’m looking forward to trying the lighter roasted version of this next and will probably end up ordering more of whichever one I like best. So far, the Dark Roast does not disappoint!
Used my Yixing for roasty Oolongs for this one. Has a very roasted flavor. This flavor is dominant. The third steeping started bringing some cream notes.
Nice wake you up in the morning tea. Coffee lovers would really enjoy this tea.
Thanks Terri H for this sample!!!!
So, going into this one, I knew it had a lot to live up to as it’s Dexter3657’s favorite, go-to, accept-no-substitutes Holy Grail Big Red Robe. I was a little nervous too, because frankly I’d yet to have any Big Red Robes I adore—they’ve never been bad or anything, but they’ve also never really stood out (and I’ve tried some from excellent tea companies) despite being such a famous and revered tea type. Very grateful for Dexter3657’s willingness parting with some, thank you!
As it turns out, I can breathe a sigh of relief—this is delicious, far and away the best BRR I’ve tried. It’s roasty, cocoa-rich, smooth, and despite all that roasty delicious sweet flavor it’s not a bit heavy in an unpleasant way. I want to say it reminds me a little of Herbal Infusions’ Moose Tracks, that delectable sweet but not sugary, roasty coffee quality, but it’s been a while since I’ve had that one so I may be off…would definitely purchase this. Not quite the same as coffee, but would make a great early evening substitute nonetheless because it hits similar pleasure center buttons while still staying true to tea and its strengths (for one, that magic minerality that’s compelling, interesting, but not so strong as to be weird, just sort of melds with impeccable subtlety with the other elements, comes out at the end of the sip…and as it cools a fruitiness, I’m thinking stone fruits, the tendrils of flesh that cling to a peach pit, emerges). Hooray to Dex and hooray for my first hit with Da Hong Pao!