The dry leaves are black, twisted, and fairly long. They have a vanilla, toasty aroma.
Brewed, the liquor smells of sweet cream and a caramel dessert. The color is a beautiful auburn jewel shade.
The flavor is a roasted dark toast when drinking in and then subtle sweetness comes when breathing out.
I tried three different steep times (and one temperature lowering) for this Da Hong Pao, each with fresh dry leaves, to learn from.
The first steep time that I tried is noted in the taste note settings here and is what the package suggests, 212 F for at least 2 minutes. (The taste notes above)
My next try was 212 F for a quicker 1 1/2 minutes. I was trying to see if more sweetness comes thru with less steeping but I found that by doing this, you just get a weaker version of the same dominant flavors.
I tried one more experiment with dry fresh leaves (I had lots of tea to share today), I lowered the temperature to 200 degrees for 2 minutes. As this version cooled, I liked it the best but it still had the same flavor notes.
By doing all of this, I wanted to see if the roasting process they perform on the tea causes the dominant flavor or if it can be manipulated by your temps and steep times.
I found that it was the same flavors no matter what I did so the flavor mainly has to do with the roasting or how they process the tea as long as you don’t over-steep. Still learning,,lol!!
So over all, I found that this tea has a very dark roasted flavor with very subtle sweet notes as you breathe out and I enjoyed learning from it too!!!!
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Espresso, Vanilla