Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Char, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Leather, Lemon, Mineral, Moss, Orange, Plums, Popcorn, Roasted nuts, Sugar, Tobacco, Vanilla, Berries, Caramel, Red Wine, Roasted, Black Currant, Nutty, Tart, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Berry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Cotton Candy, Grapes, Honey, Raisins, Raspberry, Malt, Musty, Apricot, Baked Bread, Molasses, Stonefruits, Chocolate, Honeysuckle, Melon, Wood, Bitter, Grass, Roasted Barley, Brown Sugar, Smoked, Toffee, Winter Honey, Toasted Rice, Vegetal, Creamy, Camphor, Dried Fruit, Spices, Butter, Smooth, Cocoa, Metallic, Soybean, Burnt Sugar, Oak wood, Rum, Smoke, Cherry Wood, Nuts, Walnut, Rose, Pine, Powdered sugar, Sweet, Apple, Chestnut, Wet Earth, Spinach, Tangy, Espresso
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Patrick G
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec 4 g 10 oz / 293 ml

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144 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea

It took Verdant Tea 4 months of sampling to find a Big Red Robe unique and delicious enough to really justify importing. This incredible tea from the rocky cliffs of Wuyi mountain offers a side of Big Red Robe that most people have never seen. Usually all you get is caramel, chocolate and floral notes. This goes far beyond. In early steepings, there is an intriguing sensation on the tongue, almost like the metallic vibrations of a bronze cast bell, or the idea of fast moving water flowing over slate. As the tea opens up, there is a perfectly synthesized note of orange and elderberry that dominates, and lingers in the back of the throat. In middle steepings, the elderberry orange flavor splits into fruity wine grape notes, hibiscus-infused dark chocolate, and molasses cookies with crystalized Thai ginger. In late steepings, the thick beany and malty flavor of Laoshan green comes through, combined with the lilac sweetness of Tieguanyin. One of our favorite aspects of this tea is that it was expertly roasted in a way that lets so much complexity come through the caramel notes of any darker oolong. If you are interested in oolongs, or seek a very comforting yet engaging tea, give this a try for a new perspective.

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144 Tasting Notes

57 tasting notes

Just got my big oolong order from Verdant (I’m excited to try their spring Tie Guan Yin!), I ordered an ounce of each of their oolong teas, but somehow, I forgot to add an ounce of this to my order. Thankfully, I got a nice sample pack of this tea with my order.

This tea gives you an incredible rocky mineral taste that fills your mouth in the first cup with hints of chocolate. I brewed this in a quick gong-fu style doing only 4 steepings. The rest of the cups were not as strong in the mineral sensation, but lightly smoky and with a really subtle hint of cinnamon.

I will re-brew this tea once I have time to do a longer gong-fu session and post a more detailed tasting note. Overall, I enjoyed this Da Hong Pao very much, especially the first cup.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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35 tasting notes

Got a sample of this one with my recent purchase and all I can say is: WOW. I’m really starting to fall for wulongs. It has so many notes that it’s really hard to describe. It has a great smell, kind of spicy (but lovely) taste and wonderful rich aftertaste. Gotta order it ^^

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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16 tasting notes

This tasted like a typical high quality dark oolong. That’s not a bad thing since I’m starting to love oolongs, but I was expecting a bit more given the description.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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5 tasting notes

I had this tea the other day at a co-worker’s tea gathering. I’ve had the big red robe several time before. Some of them were costly premium ones brought over by relatives from Singapore. Compared to what I’ve had, this tea not as heavily roasted as my other big red robe. The one is a bit sweeter but is missing the thick texture in premium batches. Overall this is a decent tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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35 tasting notes

Brewed western style. 4g of leaf rinsed once with 208F water then steeped in 8oz at 208F for 1 min. The aroma is… Interesting. A little off putting to me. Notes of marijuana and brass mixed with roasted nuts. Quite a thin mouthfeel with some astringency throughout. Very earthy flavor, roasted nuts, some black coffee. I’ll have to revisit this one later.

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4 tasting notes

This was my first experience with Big Red Robe. I’d heard a lot of hype about it, and was skeptical as to whether it could deliver, notwithstanding. It did. Furthermore, this tea has salvaged my interest in oolongs. I recently experienced a few that were underwhelming. This one changed that. I’m usually not given to fanciful descriptions, but this tea seems to warrant it. The scent is earthy and soulful; reminiscent of the smell of hot iron and rain on the horizon (if you can imagine those two). I’ve enjoyed three cups, thus far, and it has held up swimmingly. This is another tea that I’ll be repurchasing. It is absolutely worth trying.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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9 tasting notes

This is my first Big Red Robe. The aroma is rather toasty/nutty.
Reminds me of roasting pine nuts when I was young, only without any of
the sap. The flavor is less toasty, but still nutty, and a bit like
salted butter. As the tea cools, the salt fades somewhat, and a
sweetness makes an appearance.

This is a difficult tea to rate. The flavor isn’t really what I want
in a tea. But there’s something about the taste that keeps calling
for a deeper exploration, as if, should I taste it just once more, I’d
realize that salted butter and toasted pine nuts is exactly what I
should want tea to taste like. It seems you can have good teas, and
interesting teas, and they’re not necessarily the same. This is an
interesting tea.

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42 tasting notes

I had an opportunity to compare this Big Red Robe back to back with Amazon vendor GOARTEA. Everyone has their own personal preferences, but for me, there is no contest. This Big Red Robe is much smoother and more delicious. Even brewing it gong fu style with 30+ seconds steeps doesn’t introduce any bitterness. I could make this a daily drinker. It’s very good oolong.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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436 tasting notes

Before I begin this review, allow me to state that I have something of an inexplicable attachment to this tea. I’m not sure why, but I always look forward to its yearly release. I’m finally finishing up the last of the 2016 harvest. I’ve been brewing it in the Western style off and on for the past week or so, but tonight I wanted to try it gongfu. This may sound curious, but this was the first time I ever tried this tea gongfu.

To prepare the tea, I rinsed 5 grams of loose tea leaves and then steeped them in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 11 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of dark wood, char, roasted grain, mellow spice, and indistinct fruits. The rinse brought out aromas of rock sugar, vanilla, cream, and some kind of citrus. The first infusion then brought out touches of leather and mild tobacco. In the mouth, the tea led with notes of char, roasted grain, dark wood, dark chocolate, earth, moss, and tobacco underscored by touches of rock sugar, cinnamon, and watermelon candy. Subsequent infusions brought out subtle tea blossom, yuzu, candied lemon peel, candied orange peel, sour plum, roasted nut, cream, vanilla, and pomegranate notes. Sharp Wuyi minerals also began to make themselves known while the notes of rock sugar, cinnamon, and watermelon candy also strengthened. Verdant’s tasting note led me to believe that this tea would be intensely fruity and that there should have been notes of nectarine, sage, and honeysuckle in there, but quite frankly, I never even came close to finding anything along those lines. The later infusions presented a more pronounced minerality and retained their earthy, woody character, though I could still find traces of cream, vanilla, and citrus. Naturally, the buttered popcorn flavor I almost always get out of Da Hong Pao popped up at this time as well.

This harvest was not quite what I expected, but I found it enjoyable. I wish the tea had not been so roasty and woody up front because the fruit notes were legitimately fascinating. I especially loved that tart watermelon candy impression I kept finding on the finish.

Flavors: Char, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Leather, Lemon, Mineral, Moss, Orange, Plums, Popcorn, Roasted nuts, Sugar, Tobacco, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

I’m the opposite, never tried Big red robe western style. What parameters do you use when you do so? Could be interesting for those days where isn’t opportunity for gong fu brewing.


Sqt, I use pretty basic brewing parameters for Da Hong Pao. I start off with about 3 grams of leaf per 8 ounces of water and start off with a 2 minute steep followed by 3, 5, and sometimes 7 minute steeps.


eastkyteaguy: interesting, thanks. As much as I enjoy gong fu brewing, it just doesn’t work when I want a cup of tea to sip on as I work!

What I’ll currently do is use a 100ml gaiwan, and combine 3 steepings into a 300ml cup. Western style might be easier (what I use for my morning daily drinker dian hong)


This tea sounds like a lot of work but it was obviously worth it!


Stoo, it was a lot of work. I rather enjoyed it, but I have a little left (I thought the 5 gram sample pouch was the last of it, but I discovered I had a 25 gram pouch in the back of the cupboard) and want to squeeze in another gongfu session before I commit to a numerical rating.

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15 tasting notes

Notable citrus and berries, with a more subdued caramel and floral (lilac?) aroma. First steep shows roastiness or maybe something acrid (in the best possible way) which in the second steep gives way to mineral flavors with more red wine flavors coming through. Minerals and roastiness give way to toast, flowers, berries later on. Brewed western style, 205F 30s + 10s per steep.

Flavors: Berries, Caramel, Citrus, Floral, Mineral, Red Wine, Roasted

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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