I received this tea as a free sample with my order, since the team over at Verdant Tea is so awesome.

If I had to describe this tea in one word: complex. When I first sipped the tea, I tasted a chilly, autumn evening from the view of my parents’ porch in the mountains of North Carolina. Was I actually there? No! But that was the experience this tea gave me as I sipped it up in my small apartment in Gainesville, FL. Quite remarkable.

On to the specific flavors, the first thing I noticed was the mineral taste. It had a good bit of astringency, but given its complexity the astringency was well-balanced. I also tasted a dark sweetness, like maybe a dark chocolate-covered orange or something. There was definitely a subtle woodsy-fruitiness as well, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I think I’ll need to order some more of this stuff to figure it out ;)

I brewed this Big Red Robe Western-style in my IngenuiTEA, so I used 2 tsp. / 8 oz. water. The tea yielded three strong cups, then it pretty much lost all flavor. This is about what I expected, so it’s definitely worth the price. Although I’m sure one could get another cup or two with more leaf or less water.

One thing did surprise me – it had absolutely no vegetal aftertaste that I find in so many oolongs (especially in the other Wuyi I’ve had before). You know how it’s often normal for oolongs to coat the inside of your mouth? I barely noticed that with this tea. It’s not a bad thing at all, I was just surprised by it.

Given the price of Da Hong Pao on most other websites, it seems like the quality and price from Verdant is a great deal. I’ve never had Big Red Robe before, but Verdant’s blend makes me want to come back for more!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I started drinking tea in February 2011, so I’d say I’m still pretty new to all this. What with all the flavors and health qualities of tea, I’ve fallen in love with the hobby!

My favorite teas are blacks from China’s Yunnan Province, but as I try more and more oolongs I notice that I’ve got a big taste for Wuyis and Dan Congs.


Columbia, MO

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