4/12/16: After more experimenting, I’ve come to the conclusion that you must RESPECT THE BREWING TIME to get the most out of this tea. It does not do so well brewed Western-style.
1st infusion: 10 – 15s
2nd infusion: 20 – 25s
3rd infusion: 30 – 40s
…and so on.

When you do that, this is an ace tea so I’ll increase my rating to 87. Temperature is less important; it tastes great at 195˚F or 205˚F or 212˚F. It also tastes good cold-brewed into iced tea.

Update: The regular grade “Da Hong Pao” is noticeably better than this tea so I’m downgrading this to 83.

I believe this is the Spring 2014 harvest of this “Light Roast Da Hong Pao Wuyi Shan Oolong” from Yunnan Sourcing. Dry leaf smells very similar to the Teavivre Da Hong Pao (out of the 3 大红袍s I’ve tried), intensely bitter chocolate.

Brewed 5g in 150ml thin porcelain gaiwan at around 203˚F. I skipped the rinse but got a bit nervous because the first infusion was very foamy, with some dark residue on the gaiwan lid
( ̄□ ̄;)!!

1st infusion: (15s)
Light on the flavour, but characteristic nutty “Da Hong Pao” flavour and is deliciously smooth. So ridiculously smooth I can’t believe it. I guess that’s what they meant by “Light Roast”. I am so happy I bought 100g of this!

2nd infusion: (35s)
Wet leaves have that burnt tobacco smell that is familiar, but also makes me want to try brewing this for 25s or at a lower temp like 195˚F next time. Turns out I needn’t have worried because the flavour is still very light, maybe a tad bit astringent. I can’t imagine how light this tea would taste if I had rinsed it for 10 seconds like they recommended!

3rd infusion: (60s)
It’s pretty light and sweeter now.

4th infusion: (2:00 at 210˚F)
Very light, but some fruity notes came out! I taste plum.

Verdict: Very pleasant, affordable everyday tea. Rating: 85

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Plum, Roasted

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Amateur tea enthusiast here. I told myself I would start with studying Chinese teas when I first encountered good tea at Song Tea in San Francisco in 2016, and it’s now 2023 and I feel like I’m still just beginning to scratch the surface of Chinese teas.

Maybe someday I will move on to Indian, Japanese, Korean, etc. teas…

For my day job I work in tech as well as write some fiction on the side.

The next step in my tea journey is to start training my nose with an aroma kit to get a more precise handle on floral notes.

My Tea Rating Scale: (adapted from @benmw)
100 : Unforgettable, life-changing tea experience.
95–99: Extraordinary – Beyond impressive.
90–94: Impressive – Deep complexity, extreme clarity, or unexpected discovery of wonderful flavor. Made me reconsider the category. Would always want to drink this if I had the chance.
80–89: Delicious – Nuanced, balanced, clear, and complex layering of flavors. Would probably buy this tea again.
70–79: Very Good – Nuanced flavors, perhaps not as balanced or complex as the next step up, but clear and very enjoyable. Would consider buying again if the price was right.
60–69: Good – Clear flavors, representative of the category, but doesn’t set a standard. Good as an everyday tea. Would not buy unless desperate (e.g. when travelling without access to better tea).
50–59: Average. Would not pay money for this, but would drink if it was provided FOC.
30–49: Below Average. Would not drink this again even if it were free.
0–29: Undrinkable. Could not even finish the cup.



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