Yum! This is so exciting for me because the little yixing clay teapot that I’ve been patiently seasoning specifically for Da Hong Pao is at long last giving back to the flavor of this tea. Gosh, I think it took six or seven extended brewing sessions for the pot to stop gobbling up so much of the flavor (greedy little teapot!). But my, oh my, this time the tea is just delectable, fascinating, deep and rich… And I’m only on the first steeping after the rinse! I’ve been holding off on writing a tasting note for this Big Red Robe because I knew I wasn’t really receiving it’s fullness until now. Hold on… [leaves to brew more].

Yes! Second steeping is soooo good. Oh, this tea is just getting started. Beneath the lovely light roast of this infusion I am surprised and wonderfully pleased to find an unmistakable fruit note that calls to mind luscious dark cherries. I love it! Aftertaste is rich and scintillating, a cooling waterfall mist floating in my mouth. And I can feel the tea generating a warmth further down, resting in the region of my heart, which is a fascinating contrast.

I imagine I probably would’ve been quite impressed with this tea earlier if I had started brewing it in my gaiwan, but I was really endeavoring to not get distracted from the task of feeding my teapot. I’m so delighted now that my little clay teapot is satiated, happy and generously sharing the bounty of this tea with me. I’m looking forward to many years of brewing Big Red Robe with this teapot.

I’m quite impressed by this tea, and I can see why it captured David’s attention. I’ll be very happy to make this my regular Big Red Robe. I have designs on a different Qilan Big Red Robe that I had the chance to try recently for brewing on special occasions. That one is in another category, and far more expensive, but it set my current benchmark for the best Da Hong Pao I’ve had the opportunity to taste. I’d consider this one the second best I’ve tried, and I think the quality to cost ratio of Verdant’s Big Red Robe presents a very high value offering.

Super good! And now I’m off to brew some more. . . .

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Tea drinking, tango dancing, rock climbing, and reading are my main activities of interest.

Currently obsessed with Fenghuang Dancong Oolongs and Wuyi Yan Cha. My fascination with Pu’er is steadily growing, and I imagine it will take over one of these days.

I typically don’t feel ready to say anything conclusive about a tea (and thus, say nothing) until I’ve tried it three or four times, which helps prevent both false positives and false negatives, and offers a more comprehensive sense of a tea’s dimension and character.

As of 01/12/2012, I’ve accepted full-time employment as the Business Development Manager at Verdant Tea. From that date forward I’ve decided to stop rating teas on Steepster due to my professional stake in the tea business. I have no interest in manipulating the rating system in our favor or against other tea businesses. All my ratings on Steepster were made before my employment with Verdant Tea, and reflect nothing more than my personal opinions as a tea drinker.

I want to continue writing tasting notes without ratings from time to time, for both our teas and teas that I enjoy from other businesses; but as my life has now become much more busy, my activity on Steepster will be lessened. And in any case, my future contributions here will have to be made on my personal time.


Minneapolis, MN, USA



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