drank Wuyi Da Hong Pao by Adagio Teas
2036 tasting notes

Yesterday I tried this in the gaiwan and it was so unremarkable I didn’t even bother writing a note about it.

In was, in fact, so uninteresting that I decided I was doing something wrong. So I spent some time reading about Da Hong Pao.

As a result, I upped the leaf to 5g for a 100ml gaiwan. I also upped the water temp to over 205F.

It’s better this way for sure.

The tea is an apricot color. First steep @15 secs. has some roasty notes, but also something floral and fruity, which was all but lacking yesterday.

Second steep @20 secs is amber colored with a stronger floral roasty scent and a woodsy flavor. Also, for the first time, I understand the “wet rocks” thing. It’s a hot mineral-y note sort of like rain on hot pavement.

Third steep @ 25 secs continues to have a floral aroma, similar to what I usually find in much greener oolongs.The flavor has a woodsy note with some fruitiness, like sucking on a peach pit. And the wet rock thing again. The aftertaste has a surprising sugary note.

Fourth steep @30 secs is a little less strong in the floral aroma, with a sweet toastiness in the flavor. I’m not getting plum, but I can see why people do. The aroma turns a bit plummy/raisiny as it cools.

Fifth steep @35 secs has a similar aroma and flavor to 4. The empty cup smells of plums/raisins. The wet leaves smell like hot minerals.

It wasn’t as interesting to my tastes as the JK Teashop one I had recently, but based on this experience and the other I had recently with hotter water for an oolong, I’m thinking I could go a bit hotter than 195F with the water for all my oolongs at least as an experiment and see what happens.

I might try this in the dark oolong yixing next time, which I fear still needs to suck away a fair amount of flavor before it can start giving back.

Flavors: Floral, Peach, Plum, Raisins, Roasted, Stonefruit, Toasty, Wet Rocks, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C
Sami Kelsh

Mmm, I do love wet rocks!


It’s a really interesting flavor, for sure.

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Sami Kelsh

Mmm, I do love wet rocks!


It’s a really interesting flavor, for sure.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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