91
drank Red Tea Roanji by Tea Side
306 tasting notes

This Red Tea Roanji from Tea Side says (new) on the little handwritten label on my sample packet, and I can’t find this tea on their website (tea-side.com) so I believe it is not yet for sale but may be soon. Straight out of the bag, these long, broad twisty black leaves smell intensely of cinnamon, with a background of raisin and plum. After a moment in a prewarmed gongfu teapot, they smell like fermented fruit and cherries. After the first infusion, the scent of the wet leaves is rather similar but more intense.

This infusion’s liquor is a vibrant apricot orange. The aroma of the liquid is like cinnamon and dry autumn leaves, while the flavor is kind of like spiced stone fruits (plum, apricot), rather light and reminding me quite a bit in taste and feel to Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) tea.

The second infusion tastes quite similar, a little bit sweeter too, and the spice notes really linger. The color of the tea is still apricot, despite I thought it might get darker after the initial infusion. Again, the taste is surprisingly lighter than I expect from red teas.

On the third infusion I let this sit a little longer than usual to draw out more flavor. I may have used less leaf than I usually do Gongfu style because these leaves are so big and not very dense. I think it looked more full than it was. Anyway, this infusion is really lovely. It has a nice slightly perfumed note like the aroma of plum skin. The flavor is rich and more sweet than the first two, pushing into lychee territory with its fruity-floral combo. The spice notes mostly remind me of cinnamon stick (common cassia cinnamon, not ceylon cinnamon), and add a really comforting layer to the tea. The texture is light, airy and slightly dry.

I’ll tell you what, I was enjoying this tea but not necessarily feeling impressed by it until that third infusion. After that I was impressed. It’s a very nice flavor, so light for a red tea and lacking the cocoa, malt, or tobacco notes you might expect in one. The fruit flavors are so great when its brewed more intensely. I’m glad to say these teas from Tea Side have made me realize that Thailand is a place that produces some great teas!

Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cinnamon, Plums, Spices, Stonefruits, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Bio

Hi there, fellow tea lovers.

My name’s Lion and I’m a Gongfu Cha practitioner, so I usually brew with a gaiwan for reviews unless there’s a more suitable brewing method, like using Japanese teawares for Japanese teas. I tend to stick to straight loose teas and scented teas in general, seldom dabbling in herbal and flavored teas. My favorite tea is Kenyan Silver Needle.

Aside from tea, I’m a generally creative person. I love to cook, write fiction, draw, decorate, garden, and do just about anything creative I can get my paws on.

Animals are really important to me. I’m a lion at heart, and I strive to better understand, respect, and appreciate other animals as best as I can. I advocate for better stewardship of wildlife and captive animals. We’ve still got a lot to learn.

For a long time I rated every tea I tried, but these days I don’t rate them unless they’re exceptional and deserving of a high rating. Here’s my rating breakdown for my reviews with ratings:

0 = Unpalatable, harsh
25 = Unenjoyable
50 = I’m indifferent
75 = Enjoyable, average
90+ = The best, would buy more
100 = Incredible, a favorite

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Kansas City, USA

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