It took a few months for my taste buds to truly appreciate the complexity of this tea’s flavor profile. As I sip my cup this afternoon at work, I can honestly say that this is the best tea I have ever consumed.
“It took a few months for my taste buds to truly appreciate the complexity of this tea’s flavor profile. As I sip my cup this afternoon at work, I can honestly say that this is the best tea I have...” Read full tasting note
“4/12/16: After more experimenting, I’ve come to the conclusion that you must RESPECT THE BREWING TIME to get the most out of this tea. It does not do so well brewed Western-style. 1st infusion: ...” Read full tasting note
This is a lighter roast Da Hong Pao from Wu Yi Mountain area of Fujian. Teas from this area are typically referred to as Wu Yi Yan Cha (Rock Tea) as they grow on karst-like rock formations. The original Da Hong Pao is from an ancient strain of which only three plants still exist, yielding little more than 400 grams of tea per year! Our Da Hong Pao is less heavily oxidized (light roast) than the other type we sell and has the best flavor profile in its price class. Malty and sweet, with enough green cha qi and a slight astringency to make it memorable!
Production time: Spring 2009
Tea weight: 100 grams
Company description not available.
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4/12/16: After more experimenting, I’ve come to the conclusion that you must RESPECT THE BREWING TIME to get the most out of this tea. It does not do so well brewed Western-style.
1st infusion: 10 – 15s
2nd infusion: 20 – 25s
3rd infusion: 30 – 40s
…and so on.
When you do that, this is an ace tea so I’ll increase my rating to 87. Temperature is less important; it tastes great at 195˚F or 205˚F or 212˚F. It also tastes good cold-brewed into iced tea.
Update: The regular grade “Da Hong Pao” is noticeably better than this tea so I’m downgrading this to 83.
I believe this is the Spring 2014 harvest of this “Light Roast Da Hong Pao Wuyi Shan Oolong” from Yunnan Sourcing. Dry leaf smells very similar to the Teavivre Da Hong Pao (out of the 3 大红袍s I’ve tried), intensely bitter chocolate.
Brewed 5g in 150ml thin porcelain gaiwan at around 203˚F. I skipped the rinse but got a bit nervous because the first infusion was very foamy, with some dark residue on the gaiwan lid
1st infusion: (15s)
Light on the flavour, but characteristic nutty “Da Hong Pao” flavour and is deliciously smooth. So ridiculously smooth I can’t believe it. I guess that’s what they meant by “Light Roast”. I am so happy I bought 100g of this!
2nd infusion: (35s)
Wet leaves have that burnt tobacco smell that is familiar, but also makes me want to try brewing this for 25s or at a lower temp like 195˚F next time. Turns out I needn’t have worried because the flavour is still very light, maybe a tad bit astringent. I can’t imagine how light this tea would taste if I had rinsed it for 10 seconds like they recommended!
3rd infusion: (60s)
It’s pretty light and sweeter now.
4th infusion: (2:00 at 210˚F)
Very light, but some fruity notes came out! I taste plum.
Verdict: Very pleasant, affordable everyday tea. Rating: 85
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Plums, Roasted