5
drank Da Hong Pao by Tea Drunk
84 tasting notes

Tea Drunk
Spring 2019 Wu Yi Shan Da Hong Pao

TL;DR: No, I didn’t buy this myself. And I’m glad I didn’t regift it, because this is a rather poor example of “quality” oolong.

212 f, Whole Foods distilled water roughly mixed (+-.005g for each ingredient) (consumer grade mg scales are finnicky) to Arby’s (Empirical tea) Simple Syrup water recipe.

Whole 8g packet

1x 5s rinse

dry leaf: smoke, and roasty, with caramel & dark chocolate notes, slight spices

wet leaf: sweet tinged smoke

5s: Bitter woody and slight medicinal. Something cinnamon-like, and edges/aftertaste is sweet then a slightly mint-edged vegetal. Brown sugar smell in empty cup.

5s: similar to before, with crisp edges & lightened bitterness.

7s: smoky, but lightened. Crushed mint & sugar finish per usual. A burp here and a couple later but I forget which steepings exactly. I won’t pretend to understand all the abstractions & nuances of cha qi, but this seems definitely impacted by the water, as this water was also bringing this reaction from a Chinese mini white tea shou mei cake/gifted by mom’s relative (not reviewed here as I’m too lazy to figure out the rest of the chinese on the label). Slight hint of dried fruit somewhere.

10s: similar, nothing exciting. Quite disappointing for the price tag. Far better teas out there for far cheaper.

18s: Nothing wrong w/ tea, but it has lightened significantly.

23s: Going to stop writing here. Poor longevity/performance downwards given how it’s dropped off thus far.

Based on the other two reviews here, there must’ve been a huge drop in quality vs. previous batches, or I just got horribly unlucky with a crappy pack. This is not a straight-up bad tea, but I refuse to believe that anyone sane is willing to shell out $28 for 8g of this more than once. It’s not that this tastes disgusting or whatever, but this is absolutely one of the worst performing oolongs I’ve ever steeped in terms of longevity, especially for something obviously not just lightly roasted, and has already been sitting for two years. Taste-wise, this is palatable, but not exceptional in a single way, be it mouthfeel, aroma, taste, aftertaste, or any other metric. The only reason I will probably remember this tea by is for how lame it was for the price. The numerical rating reflects my annoyance that I wasted my time mixing water for this tea and brewing this tea in particular, and since Steepster skews every rating to a high average anyway.

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while this site is mostly inactive, the organization and formatting is convenient to add notes without the hassle of making a blog. Yes, people leave reviews elsewhere, but it’s convenient to have them all in one place when you’re deciding whether to purchase. Tastes are subjective, but hobbies tend to be universally expensive and time consuming; tea is no exception. Learning as it relates to perception is largely individual and thus these reviews represent my own experience, but also are my small contribution to reducing inefficient blind buys (ahem, tuition, as it were) universally.

As of 4/21/21, I will no longer assign numerical ratings to a tea unless it is terrible enough to warrant one. There are a lot of solid teas out there, so it’s hard to differentiate. I prefer reading mildly subjective reviews from others, over a very subjective numerical rating that gets skewed by Steepster’s calculating system anyway.

Not too into 红茶, too light or burnt-roasted oolongs, or gyokuro.

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