Saturday, July 18, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #29 - Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe)
The sample tin of this tea was so lightweight when I picked it up, I was briefly worried that I had received an empty tin by mistake! Mercifully, that wasn't the case, and I had another quite tasty tea experience.
Category: Oolong Tea
Purveyor: Harney and Sons
Dry leaf appearance: Extra long, mostly dark (green-black dark) leaves. I don't always get a distinct scent from the dry leaf, but this one had a very vanilla/camarel/sweet thing going on.
Wet leaf appearance: Dark, whole leaves scattered with bits of brown, resembling cooked spinach.
Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 205 degrees, 3 minutes.
Scent: The steeped tea's scent reminded me of some of those earlier toasted/roasted Japanese greens.
Color: Deep amber (even though my photo turned out lighter than that).
Flavor: This tea was very tasty and struck me as quite different from, and stronger than, the other oolongs. It had a nice mouth feel and only the tiniest bit of astringency afterward. The tea had a nearly sweet and almost nutty taste that made me think of fall. (Or maybe it's just the hot, sticky Georgia weather that has me longing for fall!)
Additional notes: "Fans of the smoky Chinese black tea Lapsang Souchong or the charcoal-tinged Chinese green tea Gunpowder will find much to love in Da Hong Pao," says Michael Harney. Now I don't care for Lapsang Souchong myself, but I still enjoyed this tea. Indispensable as always, the Harney book also has a nice account of the myth behind the tea's name.
Next week's tea: Formosa Oolong