Imperial Red (Da Hong Pao)

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by SoccerMom
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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8 Tasting Notes View all

From Silk Road Teas

Imperial Red (Da Hong Pao)

Each year, our supplier in the Wu Yi Mountains provides us with a new version of this tea. The leaves are very dark, sometimes small and flat, at times thick and curled. Yet be assured, it will be consistent in its flavors of earthy cocoa and light smoke with a rich, red cup color. Steep at water temperature of 185 – 195 degrees for 2 – 3 minutes.

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8 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

Goodness gracious I love this tea!!!

If some Imaginary Person said, “JacquelineM! You must choose one black tea to have every single morning at work, and only one! Which would you choose!!???!!”

I would say, “Imaginary Person! I would definitely choose Imperial Red (Da Hong Pao) by Silk Road Teas!”

So smooth and roasty. Three delicious steeps – none of them weak or uninteresting. I love the nut butter quality.

Thank you so much Soccer Mom for introducing me to one of my all time faves :) This is where the Steepster Magic comes in – I wouldn’t have had the inkling to even try this one if it wasn’t for Steepster. Chinese teas of this nature were TOTALLY off my radar before now! Warm Fuzzies!!!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Hooray for tea love and Steepster magic and imaginary people! :D


Wouldn’t it be nice if said Imaginary Person then said, “Why, I just happen to have a spare tin in my bag of tricks. Enjoy it—my treat!” (Sigh…)

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6770 tasting notes

2nd infusion.

Still a little confused by this one. I understand the idea and in the 2nd infusion I am ‘getting’ the earthy cocoa comparison but it’s still a little bitter…and this time a little musky. I will say I like the 2nd infusion better than the first. It’s still very dark in color. I think I am going to try for another infusion since there was a major difference in the 1st and 2nd infusions. Based on this difference I am going to say there is a 5 to 10 point increase with my rating. So…I am going to officially rate it at 75 but no higher at this time. However, I am going to continue to try and figure this diddy out.

Yes, I am giving it a few points for being tricky and messing with my head…lol…it’s MY review and I can do that if I want! LOL teahee…the FUN of Steepster folks! It’s all what you make it! I love a challenging tea (good, bad, or indifferent – great conversation pieces!)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Uhmm Hmm glad it got there safe and sound? LOL

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111 tasting notes

So I finally got the Breville One Touch Tea Maker for Mother’s Day! All I can say is Thanks guys (to my hubby and son) you finally listened to all my hints and did the right thing. The reason I say this is because usually I am given a card (which I love and cherish) and told to go buy myself something. While this sounds like a good deal (and I admit it’s not SO bad) it’s just kinda become boring I wanted a gift and I knew what I wanted and to their credit I sometimes do not know what I want.

So on to the tasting note I am in a constant search of black teas that will taste good to me and kick my butt into gear in the mornings. So in come’s this one Imperial Red by Silk Road Teas I have to start out by saying that it doesn’t have much smell to the dry leaf. In my search of the perfect black wake up tea I need little to NO astringency I don’t like astringency and certainly do not want to taste astringency upon waking up.

I preset the Breville and when I walked in from dropping my son off from school there sat my tea ready and waiting gosh was that nice. So I pour my tea into a teapot (note to self need to buy a two cup teapot) and here I sit looking over email and posting tasting notes. This tea is very good while I hate to compare it to the Simple Leaf’s Dawn it’s the only thing I can think of that may somewhat compare so here’s what I taste I taste black tea with NO astringency YES! I get a very light whisper of smoke and cocoa but I can see where one may not it does not have the natural flavors of a tea like Dawn but it is an excellent morning to mid afternoon tea in that it is a great black tea you can just tell it is a high quality tea from the taste and from the lack of bitter black tea taste. It is a good tea I will happily finish my 1 ounce bag not sure if I will order more but if I don’t find anything I like more I could see me reordering.

I’m not sure if I have done this tea justice in this tasting note but I do want to make it clear that black tea lovers would probably really enjoy this tea. I could see someone like tea=bliss loving this hmmm maybe I should send her some so she could give it a review.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Awesome! Happy belated Mother’s Day to you, and I’m so happy for your gift. I am going to be getting the same thing (a Breville!) in a couple of weeks as a combined gift, and I so look forward to it! I look forward to reading about your adventures with it in the meantime.


What a lovely gift!!!!


LiberTEAS, I cannot wait to read your tasting notes with your new Breville too!

JacquelineM, They knew they better not show up without one or they’d be eating healthy foods for the next several weeks LOL when I threaten my Hubby and Son with healthy meals they miraculously are able to hear and remember what I say.


You’ve stumped me with this one!

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328 tasting notes

Thanks to Soccer Mom for this sample. In fact, I have been SOOO CURIOUS to try this tea to be honest as I have heard so many good things about this Da Hong Pao/Big Red Robe-
But after tasting this, I would say this is a “Dawn-lite”…

Honestly, Soccer Mom’s review is on target. When compared to Dawn, the cocoa flavor is not as strong. In fact, it is only noticeable after swallowing the tea. While the liquor is in my mouth, I mostly detect a toasty flavor and certainly not smoky. No astringency so no sugar is needed. This is not bold enough to be a morning tea but great drink for after work. Not sure if I will purchase this as Dawn is soo much better


Ignore the deleted line…


I enjoy this one as it goes down so smooth. I’m glad you liked it too!:)

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