Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Toasted Rice, Wet Earth, Creamy, Earth, Floral, Grass, Mineral, Nutty, Smoke, Spinach, Tangy, Vegetal, Wood, Roasted, Caramel, Cream, Espresso
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Edit tea info Last updated by Spoonvonstup
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec 4 g 9 oz / 267 ml

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82 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea

It took Verdant Tea 4 months of sampling to find a Big Red Robe unique and delicious enough to really justify importing. This incredible tea from the rocky cliffs of Wuyi mountain offers a side of Big Red Robe that most people have never seen. Usually all you get is caramel, chocolate and floral notes. This goes far beyond. In early steepings, there is an intriguing sensation on the tongue, almost like the metallic vibrations of a bronze cast bell, or the idea of fast moving water flowing over slate. As the tea opens up, there is a perfectly synthesized note of orange and elderberry that dominates, and lingers in the back of the throat. In middle steepings, the elderberry orange flavor splits into fruity wine grape notes, hibiscus-infused dark chocolate, and molasses cookies with crystalized Thai ginger. In late steepings, the thick beany and malty flavor of Laoshan green comes through, combined with the lilac sweetness of Tieguanyin. One of our favorite aspects of this tea is that it was expertly roasted in a way that lets so much complexity come through the caramel notes of any darker oolong. If you are interested in oolongs, or seek a very comforting yet engaging tea, give this a try for a new perspective.

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82 Tasting Notes

63 tasting notes

Just brewed it for 1.5 minutes and I am nervous that it will taste too light. But here goes… The scent of the leaves, pre-brewing, was like chocolate. But now the scent from my steaming cup is an earthy one.

Not being used to oolong, this is an interesting taste for me. It’s mild and earthy, like a green tea with roasted rice.

I let it brew longer (4 mins) and tried again… This time the smell is deeper and even more earthy. The taste is much stronger, but again – so earthy. It reminds me of brown rice tea, which I don’t really like- so maybe I’m not an oolong person.

Flavors: Toasted Rice, Wet Earth

3 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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278 tasting notes

I tasted this tea when I was visiting Verdant’s store, but this time around it’s quite different from how I remember it.

A rinse with boiling water, and then very short steeps (pour on and immediately pour off.)

On the nose I’m getting minerals and a whole lot of lilac with some earth and smoke.

The start of the sip is woody, almost getting into nutty, but that quickly shifts to spectacular amount of the characteristic mineral taste, so much that I can feel the minerality on the back of my teeth.

With subsequent steeps there’s a bit of creaminess on the back of the tongue developing, and a very tangy vegetal finish, that includes some grass and spinach (which is reinforced by the mineral teeth feel.)

I really like the experience of this tea, even though the woodiness at the start of the sip isn’t a flavour I’m really into. But holistically, this is lovely.

Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Floral, Grass, Mineral, Nutty, Smoke, Spinach, Tangy, Vegetal, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 3 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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437 tasting notes


I’m not so impressed. I don’t even have the energy to describe this tea, but it’s not doing anything for me right now.

Maybe it’s the time of day, or my mood, or my stress level. Sorry I couldn’t give it a fair shake.


I wasn’t impressed by this one either

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1700 tasting notes

(162) I enjoyed this with breakfast this morning. I like it – it’s dark and roasty – but I couldn’t tell you what makes it different from the one i bought from Teavivre!


I wasn’t that impressed with this one either. The Da Hong Pao from Whispering Pines, on the other hand, is a whole different story.


Really? I’ll have to remember that!

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444 tasting notes

Having oolong seems to make me want more oolong. So, now I’m drinking this while watching Stargate Atlantis. It smells nicely, a bit maltly and a bit roasty. The flavour is very sweet and creamy. Makes a nice smooth and mellow cup.

Flavors: Creamy, Roasted

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48 tasting notes

My Sunday afternoon pick me up. Not sure why this is called big red robe….. Better look that up…
I’m not tasting any flavors at all. I used the recommended amounts of tea and water…
Will reevaluate later

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696 tasting notes

This was a sample Verdant sent along with my recent order of LB. I haven’t had an oolong in quite some time. I sort of fell out of love with them a bit, because they are a wee bit high maintenance.

I figured I’d waited long enough, and I’ve been bothered by my box of need-to-sipdown teas lately. This one is tasty, but it doesn’t seem extraordinarily different from many other oolongs, AKA nothing makes it stand out against the rest. This is one of my friend’s favourites, but it’s just another tasty tea to me. Perhaps when another oolong mood rolls around, I’ll re-try this one to see if I can get the magic.

This is a sample sipdown.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

That’s exactly how I felt about this one

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242 tasting notes

Super. This tea is just excellent!

I like finding finer teas that do well with a Western-style brewing. I admit that I tend toward laziness, and there’s just no time in the AM to pull out the gong fu set. While I expect that this tea would potentially be even more amazing brewed with short steeps, it was also wonderful with one longer steep in the french press.

The aroma was nutty and roasty. It had a very smooth taste, and I was a little sad when the cup was finished, since I didn’t bring any of this particular loose tea to work. I will get around to trying this gong fu style, but I think I’ll also bring some to work and try it grandpa style tomorrow. It had zero bitterness and I think it would be a good, non fussy tea for work.

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268 tasting notes

This was one of the teas set out for samples today at Verdant. I guess I don’t have a sensitive palate (also I don’t have a ton of experience) because I didn’t get a lot of complexity from this tea. It tasted mainly roasted to me and was pretty good, but not my favorite oolong.

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20 tasting notes

This review is from the Autumn 2013 crop.

I’ve steeped this Western style and it was good but did not blow me away. So I broke out the gaiwan and used the parameters on Verdant’s web page. ZOMG! It’s like a completely different tea :)

My palate is too uneducated to do complete justice to this tea. To mangle an old phrase, I don’t know much about oolongs, but I know what I like. And I really liked this!

Intense in the early steeps. I perceived the initial flavors as a super-intense loquat, but Verdant calls it “tart cherry and juicy nectarines”. OK, I guess I could also call it that. Also got a hint of cloves in the first steep and distinct cinnamon in the aftertaste throughout the middle ones. Stone fruits in the retro-nasal and sweetness in the cooling cup. Citrus notes emerged at the end.

I took this through 16 steeps over three and a half hours, and it was an incredible ride. I remembered seeing an email a week or so ago from Verdant that it was back in stock, so I headed over there to order some more. Oh noes! They’re out :(

Well I have enough for a few more sessions so I will sip it sparingly until the new harvest arrives.

4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

«I don’t know much about oolongs, but I know what I like.» The beauty with tea is no one needs to be an expert to appreciate it :-)
Isn’t it amazing how you can achieve different results just by changing brewing methods/vessels?


TheTeaFairy: Isn’t it amazing how you can achieve different results just by changing brewing methods/vessels?
Absolutely, yes!

With many teas I can usually pick out notes in a Western cup that are isolated or magnified in the gaiwan. This tea, however, took me completely by surprise. Flavors came bursting out during Gong Fu that I never detected in the Western cup.

I’ve also noticed a slight difference when using the same parameters on a given tea but switching between a Gong Fu pot (Kamjove type) and a gaiwan.

And so, less than a year into this incredible journey, all I know is that I truly know nothing. And I’m OK with that :)


Great story about how changing the brewing parameters made a huge difference. I think I got this tea as a free sample last time I ordered from them (over a year ago), and I remember thinking I wasn’t impressed with it. But, I must have brewed it Western style, as I didn’t have a gaiwan then. Sixteen steepings, huh? Amazing!

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