Hong Jing Luo

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by thepuriTea
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 6 oz / 177 ml

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From thepuriTea

Fans of Golden Yunnan will love our similarly rich, sweet Hong Jing Luo black tea (also known as Golden Bi Lou). The name Hong Jing Luo roughly translates to “golden, downy feathers;” it was chosen because the tea’s golden leaves and buds are loosely rolled into small coils that are shaped like tiny, delicate feathers. Its aroma, flavor and aftertaste are all incredibly rich and sweet – anticipate notes of raisins, sweet potato, cocoa, brown sugar, malt, roasted pumpkin, dry wood, tobacco and dark brandy. A balancing astringency makes this black tea ideal for pairing with breakfast foods, pumpkin pie or chocolate. Start your day with a cup of Hong Jing Luo, with or without milk, brown sugar and a chocolate croissant.

About thepuriTea View company

Our mission is simple: to provide gourmet teas and practical teaware. We source all of our teas and teaware directly from China, Taiwan and India to ensure the maximum quality, value and freshness for our customers. By cutting out the middleman in our selection process, we can pass on savings to our customers and guarantee the quality of each and every one of our products.

38 Tasting Notes

3262 tasting notes

For those who haven’t ordered from thepuritea yet, each of their teas are offered as a 1oz sample, or in quantities of 4oz, 8oz, & 16oz.
The sample comes in a little pillow box with 2 foil 1/2 oz packets. I ordered several varieties this way to split with my awesome tea sister, Sil. It will be easy to just tuck her foil packets into the next package I send to her. No baggies required.

To use, I just cut the end off the little bag, remove the amount of tea I want, then gently fold it over & tape it shut. Alternately, you could put it in a baggie, or if you have a little tin sitting around, put it there.
They give free shipping if you spend $50. Also, if you buy 4oz or more of a tea, they send you a free sample of the same tea, so you can try the sample & if you don’t like it, you can send the unopened bag of tea back for a refund. I think that’s a pretty cool deal :)

This tea is a sweet malty golden yunnan curls type. I brewed it twice.

The first time, I used a Tb of tea, steeping for 2 min, & then 3.
The first steep was deeply malty with a little, smooth & fruity. The 2nd steep had a wood element to it, & pumpkin seed essence. Both were richly flavored with a little butteriness to the mouth.

Then I tried a heaping tsp, steeped for 5 minutes. Wow! Malty, fruity, yummy, not a hint of bitterness, & in the background the distinct taste & tongue-feel of licorice root! Totally unexpected! It doesn’t have the sweet aftertaste of licorice, just the forward taste, if that makes sense to anyone, LOL.

NOTE Ignore the licorice comments, & read further comments below. :p


Mmmmm. Sweet yunnan curls! Sounds delightful.
Also, I’m big on licorice.
I saw the pics from the order – the packaging was very pretty!


I like this curly tea too! I’ve only had it once though and I didn’t detect licorice. I’ll have to brew some again later today and see what new flavors arise as the first cup never tells everything. :)


Ooh I like the split half ounce thing :)

Terri HarpLady

OK….now you will all laugh at me…
Turns out, somebody (who drank So Long & Thanks for all the Licorice) didn’t rinse the brew basket well enough…lol, so the licorice flavor, which seemed so amazing, really came from that.
I realized it this afternoon when I was getting ready to brew something. I picked up that basket to rinse it, & it still smells of licorice, even after rinsing a couple of times. Now it’s soaking in hot water. I may have to add baking soda.

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4847 tasting notes

A fantastic black tea – brews up golden/coppery, a bit lighter in color than some black teas I’ve had recently, but, don’t let that fool you. It’s packed with flavor. It is a bit lighter (not so heavy), but, the lightness allows me to explore the complexity of this tea.

It is sweet. The sweetness first comes as an almost caramel-y, somewhat burnt-sugar kind of taste that quickly evolves into a raisin-y taste. That sugar-y, dried-fruit kind of note. As I continue to sip, I notice hints of leather and oak and cocoa.

Now, I’m awaiting my second infusion of these leaves… the first was so good that I just had to see if I could get more from them!


my second infusion is still light and coppery in color. The sweet potato and pumpkin notes are emerging now, with hints of brown sugar in the background. This is one that is well worth the effort to steep twice – I think I like this second infusion even better than the first!


This sounds absolutely amazing!

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8239 tasting notes

TERRI! I love this one! Great choice my tea sister! I had this today as my “what new tea am i going to drink to get close to some more sample sizes tea” and it was super delicious. Certainly not what i expected in my tea mug this morning. Plus i love how cute the curls of tea are :) it’s malty and sweet and just downright delicious. I don’t know what else to say because i drank it so long ago, but this is one i’d order again for sure. I think Cavocorax might enjoy this one a bunch too…maybe :)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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437 tasting notes

This is another bilochun style black it has loosely curled black nuggets with prominent golden tips. It smells of smokey cocoa. Taste wise it is closer to Teavivre’s black dragon pearls than my other bilochun style black tea from Zen Teahttp://steepster.com/yyz/posts/225415. With Teavivres tea having a slightlier creamy texture and taste. I actually prefer this one though.

I steeped this tea 4 times ( 60, 80,110,300s). I found it a little less resilient than zen’s Phoenix Pearls.

The scent is smokey, with cocoa, honey and light nutty notes. It brews to a coppery maple colour.

It tastes of light smoke with a cocoa mole sauce note with later steeps referencing a hint f the flavour of Chile. The cocoa smoke lies over citrusy malt tones and a touch of honey. Later steeps release a light nutty tone as well. Overall a nice savoury, cocoa noted tea.

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2816 tasting notes

I’m back from my travels and am no longer sick so that’s something to be grateful for – Happy New Year everyone!

This is a sample tin I got from the PuriTea. The dry leaf is in the shape coils, I think I’ve had a tea like this before called golden snail.

Package instructions say to steep this between 5 -7 minutes which seems like a lot, but I decided to go for 5 minutes. I got a very dark tea liquor that almost looks like coffee. This is definitely malty with some cocoa and strong tobacco notes in the finish. I can sense a bit of underlying sweetness but I think I would like this better steeped for a shorter amount of time so I will wait to rate it until I’ve had the chance to do that. It did seem to get slightly bitter at the longer temp.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Doug F

I went to look at their site but it looks like they went out of business. Oh well.


Whoa – I wonder if that’s why they were offering free shipping for all of December? too bad, I liked their stuff!

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432 tasting notes

My second time reviewing this tea. However, my opnion on this tea has changed slightly. I am reviewing a fresh batch I just received recently. Although, I enjoyed this I just didn’t as much as before. Not because of the tea itself but because since the last time I reviewed this tea I have tired so many others and have expanded my base of reference. My previous score was 86 and I have reduced it ever so slightly only because my palate has since expanded. It is funny how opinions can change or be fine tuned after trying so many teas.

Full Review: http://iheartteas.teatra.de/2012/01/hong-jing-luo-black-tea-thepuritea/

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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612 tasting notes

Oh man, I really liked this one! It has a DEEP, deep flavor that makes you worry at first it’s going to get bitter, but it doesn’t (might’ve helped that I listened to the Steepster advice about steeping only 4 minutes); instead you get strong cocoa, wood, a little tobacco, and lots of delicious raisin. I love that instead of sweet potato you do get pumpkin. Brandy too, to go with the raisins, yes! I even detect the brown sugar from the copy; for once I seem to get everything described and in spades. This isn’t a tea I could drink all willy-nilly as it’s so intense and there’s a lot going on, but wow what an experience. Something about it, maybe the smoothness and depth of the malt, reminds me a little of Dragon Pearls. Resteeps well too. Seems to be a thing with me, loving Bi Luo-style curls (Bi Luo Chun is possibly my favorite general green tea style). I’m guessing out of my ass here but it seems like somehow twisting and curling the leaves contributes sweet richness. I love the way it looks too. Very bummed I can never restock this one now as thepuriTea is gone. :(

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Looking forward to this one! I have a sample – haven’t tried it yet…

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2246 tasting notes

I had to order a couple SAMPLES from thepuritea with their going out of business sale. So sad! This was a free sample with my order which I really wanted to try, but at that point they didn’t have the samples in the tins. It looks slightly like Zen’s Phoenix “Pearls” (snails). The leaves are slightly wound up with gold color.

Steep #1 // 3 min // around ten minutes after boiling
I only waited a few minutes after boiling because I was undecided about what to have. The cup was nice anyway. It’s kind of between chocolate and sweet potato… not really either… just a really nice black tea. Tough to describe! I wonder if black teas always tasted like chocolate and sweet potato to me, I just never noticed the flavors.

Steep #2 // 4 min // right after boiling
Slightly astringent this time around and much darker in color. A nice robust cup! Malty, lingering, much more chocolatey this time around. There is a leaf in the bottom of my mug somehow that actually DOES look like a snail. erm, ew. Other than the snail, this one is a winner! It will be missed but I will savor the remains of my sample.


Going out of business?? Awws

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511 tasting notes

I saw Terri HarpLady’s recent note for this and decided that I wanted to brew some too. I must’ve used less leave than last time, as it is a bit weak (mostly lacking in the malty department). Nevertheless, this is a very good and naturally sweet black tea. I don’t detect any licorice notes as Terri did, but I can see how the sweetness could possibly be taken as such. I might even notice it too if I brew it with enough leaf next time! Of course, we are all individuals and no tea is the same for everyone :)

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

Shelley, it turns out my licorice experience was due to user error, as the brew basket retained the licorice flavor from “So Long, & thanks for all the licorice”. It is soaking as we speak.


Funny, that so easily could have happened to me to as I just brewed that same licorice tea for my husband not long before. Then we’d have everyone confused how two people were tasting the same ‘mistake’ lol.

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230 tasting notes

This was a great tea to start my morning. It tastes very malty. My first thought was that it tasted somewhat like good Beer! (Besides loving expensive tea I also love expensive beer, but I digress.) As the tea cooled I was tasting less of the malty ness and more of a honey. This is another great tea from thepureitea. Everything I have tried from them has been a success. I just smelled the remainder of my travel cup and the tea at room temperature smells very yeasty

I steeped it as recommended by the sample packet.

The leaves were truly pretty as some other reviewers have suggested. Curly and golden yellow.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I really enjoy teas like this.


I could drink this tea every day. It just has a great complex taste.

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