drank Red Robe Da Hong Pao by teasenz
3318 tasting notes

This sample was provided for free in exchange for review. You can find this tea here: http://www.teasenz.com/da-hong-pao-oolong-tea#.U_ZTaPldXX8

I’m using the gong fu parameters suggested by boychik for this one. The dry leaves are large and loosely twisted. They look so brittle and fragile! Very dark in color, almost black. Dry scent is autumn leaves but there’s also a honey sweetness and dried fruits. I did a 10s rinse and then 10/10/15/15s steeps. The water was 200 degrees.

The brewed aroma was pretty similar across all steeps – mostly autumn leaves and roastiness with a touch of honey and sometimes fruit. I found that the flavor also didn’t seem to change much, except for one steep which was unexpectedly heavy on the earth and mineral tastes. The overall flavor was fairly roasty with that familiar dry leaf taste along with some sweet and somewhat floral honey notes. I also got some elements that reminded me of white tea – namely grain and hay flavors. There was some dried fruit that poked its head in once in a while, and a nice baked bread and creamy nut (cashew?) aftertaste.

Overall, this seems to be of good quality compared to other similar teas I’ve tried, but I am by no means an expert. I did enjoy the experience, but I think this genre of teas may not be for me. :P

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Earth, Grain, Hay, Honey, Mineral, Nuts, Raisins, Roasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
boychik

I’m no expert;). At least you didn’t dump the cup

Cameron B.

I don’t hate these teas, I just don’t love them either. :P

boychik

Don’t know this particular tea but some I’ve tried recently fr Jing Tea Shop and Tao Tea Leaf completely blew my mind. They are not created equal.

Marzipan

Maybe you would like Oriental Beauty? They are a notch lighter.

TheTeaFairy

I’m no expert either, but I do know there are a lot of “wuyi teas” out there, that aren’t really from the wuyi mountains. Not saying this isn’t though..I checked their website, good da hong pao teas (big red robe) are usually on the pricy side, wonder how they can afford to sell theirs at only 9.95 for 70g. Maybe it’s just a lower grade?

I second what Boychik said, haven’t tried JTS, but Tao Tea Leaf Da Hong Pao is just amazing :-)

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Comments

boychik

I’m no expert;). At least you didn’t dump the cup

Cameron B.

I don’t hate these teas, I just don’t love them either. :P

boychik

Don’t know this particular tea but some I’ve tried recently fr Jing Tea Shop and Tao Tea Leaf completely blew my mind. They are not created equal.

Marzipan

Maybe you would like Oriental Beauty? They are a notch lighter.

TheTeaFairy

I’m no expert either, but I do know there are a lot of “wuyi teas” out there, that aren’t really from the wuyi mountains. Not saying this isn’t though..I checked their website, good da hong pao teas (big red robe) are usually on the pricy side, wonder how they can afford to sell theirs at only 9.95 for 70g. Maybe it’s just a lower grade?

I second what Boychik said, haven’t tried JTS, but Tao Tea Leaf Da Hong Pao is just amazing :-)

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Profile

Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby-related things… ;)

~ 2023 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- February Sipdowns: 5
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 41

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I’ll also often use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, and honeybush. I love matcha and drink it often! Fruit tisanes are not a favorite, but I’m always willing to try them.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura, chamomile, and elderflower. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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