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Recent Tasting Notes
I think this sample is from JK7Ray
1.5 tsp leaf, 500 mL warm water (~75-80 deg. C)
The whole leaves are really beautiful and fully intact. The brew is initially floral and buttery. Later, it becomes more complex and floral; it is also quite sweet. Notes of orchid and geranium, lightly vegetal, but with no bitterness or astringency at all. I accidentally forgot about my cup and the teabag has been in for an hour and it still is not bitter. It also makes a very pleasant cup of cold tea. Honestly, I’m very impressed with the flavours in this because they are flavourful but balanced. I highly recommend this to oolong and floral/green oolong lovers. I’ll be purchasing a bunch of this for sure…after I finish my sipdown challenge though.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Flowers, Geranium, Orchid, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal
Heavy roast leaf. Medium sized, metallic black with hints of brown at the tips of the leaf. A lot of broken leaf too. Unfortunate. Dry leaf gives off a strong, heavy roast aroma with a hint of heavy metal. Brewed aroma is, unsurprisingly, typical for heavily roasted tea. Earthy, with some baker’s spice.
First brew is a somewhat cloudy brass red. First sip shows a heavy roast character. I think they used modern methods to roast this tea. It doesn’t have the strength of character I typically associate with traditional roasting method. There’s some baker’s spice, mostly cinnamon. It’s got a bit of sweetness to it, but not much. On the finish, the sweetness ramps up a bit. No appreciable minerality. Interestingly enough, there is a bit of a creamy flavor in the finish. Texturally, this tea is too thin. Throat feel is also lacking.
Ditto for second brew.
Third brew sees a huge uptick in minerality. Gaiwan aroma is thick with minerality. Color is also much darker. I think I’ve brewed through some of the roast. First sip is pure minerality. That quickly transitions into cinnamon sweetness. A hint of the roast still remains, but it’s purely as a secondary note now. Creamy taste is missing on the finish. I’m happy to report that the texture of this tea has improved. It’s thicker. By no means is it meaty or lubricating, but it’s still an improvement. Unfortunately, throat feel is still lacking.
So far, I’m not getting any cha qi effects. Nor am I feeling caffeinated.
Fourth brew is a disappointment. Minerality is significantly diminished. In fact, most of the previous flavor is either diminished, or missing. The only note comes from the roast. And even that seems flattened! The only bright spot is the texture. It’s managed to keep its increased viscosity.
Fifth brew seems to be a bit more even than the fourth. Most of the flavors are still flattened, but the cinnamon sees an uptick in sweetness. Other than that, there is very little change from the fourth brew.
For the sixth brew, I decided to increase the brew time by one minute. This is a pretty heavy steep for me. I’m curious to see how it changes the nature of the tea. Sadly, I don’t think it helped. Liquor comes out even lighter than the first steeping. Aroma is almost nill. Taste is dead. I’m calling it, this tea is steeped out.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Mineral, Roasted
I was awoken in the wee hours by two monster trucks on my street doing some sort of noisy ungodly what: monster hoovering it sounds like. I got up because it was impossible to sleep through this and it continues now for hours.Clearly I need some sort of home totem god or goddess to protect the tranquility of my home and guard my sleep. Any ideas?
My first whirl with this sample from Dexter. The scent of the dry leaf is just chocolatey fab. The steeped tea is lovely chocolatey malt and then there’s a flavour that comes up that I don’t particularly like. I don’t know how to describe it. A bit metallic and a bit bitter. Perhaps I have used too much leaf.
The second steep, because I don’t give up, is chocolatey and yammy. The metallic aspect is gone. The third is also still delicious.
Thankfully, I have a bit more to experiment with. Thank you for the sample, Dex.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Metallic, Yams
Well this is quite an interesting tea. I bought this tea to pair with our book club selection of the month, Ready Player One. One of the main themes of this book is the love for anything and everything pop culture from the 1980’s. I finally decided that a tea aged from the 80’s would be a perfect pairing.
The dry scent from the bag smells faintly of an earthy chocolate. When I pour the hot water over the leaves, the chocolate mostly leaves but is replaced with a coffee scent. The earthy, musty scent stays and creates this very earthy coffee type of aroma. It kind of reminds me of a sumatra coffee.
The flavor of the liquid is fairly consistent with this. There is the roasty flavor that one would expect from a roasted oolong. There is that smoky coffee type of flavor. Also some musty/earthy flavor but not dominate or overpowering. And the liquor is smooth. Very drinkable but with that being said, I find this to be a sipping tea. There is some complexity here that makes you stop and contemplate the flavors on each sip.
To top it off, this tea may very well be older than I am. How cool is that? I found it to be a pretty reasonable price point as well, all things considered.
Edit: I forgot to mention that there is a bit of a drying sensation in the mouthfeel. Also, the aftertaste has a certain tartness to it that almost makes me think of an under ripe fruit that makes your mouth pucker up a bit. Nothing too strong but certainly there.
Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Musty, Roasted
For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.
A unique flavor profile, even for an aged oolong. Ridiculously intense almond note throughout. Sour dried plums and walnut bitterness in the beginning fade to an herbaceous, dried fruit sweetness redolent of candied amarena cherries in middle infusions. Slight leather note in the fragrance of later infusions, along with a caramel/flan sweetness. Mouthfeel is quite juicy with medium viscosity. Sadly, the flavor dissipates after three or four infusions, but an enjoyable tea nonetheless.
Flavors: Almond, banana, Caramel, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Dust, Flan, Leather, Nectar, Oak wood, Plums, Sour, Sugar, Walnut
Awesome black tea. Silky, velvety smooth. Super complex, super deep. Slightly sweet, with overtones of smoky chocolate.
The 2nd steeping is just as good, just a bit blended and less deep. But still damn tasty.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Smoke, Sweet
More new stuff from Red Blossom. From the Red Blossom website:
“Harvested late spring 2016 in Yunnan Province, our Yunnan Pearl uses the young buds along with two or three more mature leaves from the top of the plant. As the tea oxidizes, the youngest leaves become a bright golden color, while the mature leaves turn a deep black color. These tea leaves were carefully hand picked, sun withered, rolled to bruise the leaf, and then allowed to slowly oxidize before roasting.
The result is rich, deep, and smoky, with a lovely bittersweet finish akin to cacao nibs."
Sounds about accurate. The aroma is sweet, subtle, and velvety. The taste adds a bit of that bittersweet finish in a nicely balanced flavor, a bit malty, but still buttery smooth with sweet overtones, and a hint of smoke on top.
A great black tea, with just a touch of complexity, making it a great sipping tea on cold mornings.
Flavors: Cocoa, Smoke, Sweet
Awesome Pu-Erh tea. I feel like I still don’t know a whole lot about this type of tea, but I am a big fan,and am willing to learn as much as I can.
This review is for the 4th steeping of these leaves. I’m amazed at how well they have held up. I still get the full flavored, deep, velvety smooth base, with a strong malt flavor and overtones of wood, fruit, and a hint of tropical flowers.
All the depth, all the sweetness, with nearly all the balance of the 1st brewing. I could easily go 2 or 3 more steepings after this one.
Such a great Pu-Erh tea here. Rich and velvety smooth. Not too overwhelming with a shorter infusion, but as the Red Blossom website says, with a longer steeping “the tea becomes richer in flavor with a distinct stone fruit aroma and remarkably smooth body.” I’ll have to remember that for next time.
Even with the shorter 2 minute steeping time, this tea is full bodied, but still on the light and subtle side. It doesn’t punch you in the face, rather it applies a deep massage all across the palate with a velvety smooth malty base and sweet, woodsy-ish overtones.
All the great prerequisites of a great, classic, solid Pu-Erh, nothing unnecessary.
My kind of tea.
Flavors: Camphor, Malt, Sweet
Pu-Erh teas can be tricky, as the flavor they deserve is malty and thick. I have had some that are just too malty, too bitter, and hard to find the right brew length to balance.
This one seems to be different. It has the characteristic deep, malty flavor, but is actually easier to brew, if you go too short, it is light and sweet, too long it gets richer and fruity, but remains smooth and drinkable either way.
I prefer a bigger flavor in my teas by adding a little extra tea than is recommended but keeping the steep time shorter, and this tea works well with that theory. The malt flavor is deep and complex, but not bitter, and it is good for several steepings. I have gone to 4 steepings, but I’m sure it would still be good for more.
Flavors: Floral, Malt, Sweet
Such a great Oolong tea. Sweet, deep, complex, with a crisp and clean finish.
And it’s good for multiple steepings. I’ve gone as high as four, but it could go for a couple more even, just adding 30 seconds to the steep time for each additional pour.
Tung Ting in general is one of my favorite Oolong teas, maybe one of my favorites teas in general. This one is no exception, so big and bold and full of flavor while still light and floral.
Red Blossom mentions notes of orchids and gardenias, making this a great late winter or early spring sipper. Still cold and wet out, but life is returning. Things are turning green, it’s time to head to the garden to get it ready for Spring planting.
This Tung Ting Oolong is a great start to that day.
Flavors: Floral, Gardenias, Orchid, Sweet
Red Blossom’s Tung Ting selections are consistently some of my favorite Oolong teas, thusly some of my favorite overall teas, I have tasted, and this is no exception.
Very similar to years past, the 2016 Spring Tung Ting is a solid, straight forward, very tasty and full flavored Oolong tea.
This tea is, as the Red Blossom website says, light, sweet, and fragrant. It also works well with longer step times, giving it a bolder, deeper taste without getting too astrigent. My kind of tea!
If you are looking for a simple, straightforward, but lively and full Oolong tea, this is a great middle of the road, easy to brew, enjoyable choice.
One of my favorite black teas, the sweetness in this tea, with a velvety smooth base, makes this tea what it is. A super smooth, deep, not too dark black tea with floral overtones and hints of honey, caramelized sugar, and molasses.
As the Red Blossom website says: “was harvested in early April 2015 after this crop was bitten by aphids. As a result, the crop has the sweetest honey aroma we’ve ever tasted.”
That about sums it up. Beautifully sweet with hints of honey and floral overtones. Amazing.
Finally ordered another batch of tea from Red Blossom. My go-to house for really freaking good tea. First up is this Formosa Red, Native Cultivar Mi Xiang.
Maybe I’ve been drinking too many fruit teas, and blends, and cheaper grocery store tea bags. But the first taste of this sweet, smooth tea gave me chills. It is pretty amazing.
The Red Blossom website suggested 205 degree water steeping for 2:30. I used 7 grams of leaves in my 3 ounce Bodum Assam tea pot.
The aroma is wonderful. Sweet, subtle, not overwhelming.
The first taste is amazing. Sweet, subtle, with hints of sugar, molasses, a bit of honey. These flavors put together for a great balance, sippable all morning long.
I’ve missed my Red Blossom Tea, in the future I will not go this long without reordering.
Seriously, it’s so good!