drank Da Hong Pao Red Robe by Steepster
306 tasting notes

This puts the TEA in complexiTEA. (rimshot)

Honestly, this tea made me feel like a novice trying to decipher its complex offerings of layered flavors and aromas. For a while I wasn’t sure how to describe them, but some reflection and time with the tea made it clearer, and the later infusions brought out hidden qualities that were present in the earlier infusions but I couldn’t quite put my thumb on before.

This is my first time with a Red Robe. I had high expectations since it is a rather well-known and prestigious tea. I can say my expectations were well met.

The aroma has consistent notes of cinnamon, and for the first several infusions was very woodsy with notes of amber and hay. The amber notes are especially evident when smelling the wet leaves. As for the flavor, it really evolved a lot from one steeping to the next. The common denominator was the sweet cinnamon taste. In earlier steepings it was very woodsy with flavors of sunflower seeds. Later steepings mellowed out and revealed nutmeg and sandalwood. The sweetness accompanying this tea throughout started out like molasses but gradually got lighter with each steeping, moving to an unmistakable caramel note, then becoming more like honey by the fourth or fifth infusion.

These notes all come together to make a really complex cup that is very warming and very “red”. It’s a wonderful and unique tea. Not exactly my tastes, as I tend to be lured by more bright and fresh tasting teas and this one is definitely deep and bold. I couldn’t see myself drinking it often, but I would definitely like to revisit it every once in a while.

As for preparation, I used 2.5g of leaf per 100ml of water, 194F/90C, steeping for 1’30 and adding 0’30 each time.

EDIT: I have finally gotten around to drinking the other packet of this and I am doing this the more traditional Gongfu way for Wuyi oolong, which I’ve learned is to use more leaf and less time, so I’m infusing 4g in 100ml of water for about 10 seconds followed by flash infusions. I can say this definitely yields a much lighter result. Sweet, but with a seriously thick mouthfeel and still plenty of flavor. I would recommend this method over the previous one I used.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Hi there, fellow tea lovers.

My name’s Lion and I’m a Gongfu Cha practitioner, so I usually brew with a gaiwan for reviews unless there’s a more suitable brewing method, like using Japanese teawares for Japanese teas. I tend to stick to straight loose teas and scented teas in general, seldom dabbling in herbal and flavored teas. My favorite tea is Kenyan Silver Needle.

Aside from tea, I’m a generally creative person. I love to cook, write fiction, draw, decorate, garden, and do just about anything creative I can get my paws on.

Animals are really important to me. I’m a lion at heart, and I strive to better understand, respect, and appreciate other animals as best as I can. I advocate for better stewardship of wildlife and captive animals. We’ve still got a lot to learn.

For a long time I rated every tea I tried, but these days I don’t rate them unless they’re exceptional and deserving of a high rating. Here’s my rating breakdown for my reviews with ratings:

0 = Unpalatable, harsh
25 = Unenjoyable
50 = I’m indifferent
75 = Enjoyable, average
90+ = The best, would buy more
100 = Incredible, a favorite


Kansas City, USA

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