Da Hong Pao 大红袍

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Ash, Astringent, Bitter, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Espresso, Mineral, Oak, Osmanthus, Raspberry, Rum, Sweet, Tannin, Vanilla, Wet Rocks
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 5 g 6 oz / 168 ml

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From Old Ways Tea

Some of you may remember the “2015 Da Hong Pao” that we sold for a number of years. It was a good tea. The quality I valued the most in that tea was how reliable it was, it was never great, but also never bad. We used up all of that 2015 batch of tea on our first issue of the tea club.

This 2020 Da Hong Pao reminds me quite a bit of the 2015 version. It is “yancha fragrance” which I guess is the essence of Da Hong Pao. The tea is roasty, but not overpowering, and has some of what I thought of as “vanilla” in the 2015 tea.
As you can see in the photos, the tea brews quite dark. The tea is sweet and full, though the lid fragrance is not that good. That is expected given the location the material comes from, it is known to produce a poor gaiwan lid fragrance. The soup is nice.

About Old Ways Tea View company

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3 Tasting Notes

143 tasting notes

(2022 harvest) Crisp, attractive roast & rock notes, some ripe stone fruit aroma, less floral. Very smooth, good resteep.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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1548 tasting notes

2020 harvest

Wow, this has an intense taste! I imagine it as rum balls filled with a blueberry-raspberry-vanilla bean-dark chocolate liqueur. The Wuyi ‘wet rock’ character is at a good level, letting the sweet and rich aromatics take center stage. There’s a playful oaky tannic-bitter feeling that gives some extra textural taste; later, that turns more prominent along with an astringent-drying quality but still with plenty of flavor. Not until 5 or 6 steeps in do I notice a vibrant osmanthus-brown sugar-vanilla aftertaste. The tea’s a slow bloomer in that regard. Very nice blended tea that I can see aging well!

I started working on my tea tray project again. After a year on the back burner. Bunch of salvaged white oak. Looks like I can make at least 5+ trays once I rip all the pieces. Hoping to have everything sanded this weekend :)

Flavors: Ash, Astringent, Bitter, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Espresso, Mineral, Oak, Osmanthus, Raspberry, Rum, Sweet, Tannin, Vanilla, Wet Rocks

Boiling 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Sounds like an amazing project! Would love to see pics when you are done, or even work in progress ones!


Maybe once I start assembling them but definitely when they’re finished!


Repurposing is such a good thing to do with stuff people toss. Yah, I want to see the pics too. Oak is a good wood to use.

Evol Ving Ness

Me too, please!


Following our big storm a few months ago, some of the wood sat for a week in water that found its way into the garage. White oak has a great grain for my purpose. None of the wood warped and a little sanding took off the water stains. I think I’ll coat the inside of the trays with lacquer and only oil the visible wood to retain its natural modest character.

Martin Bednář

Not sure which oil are you going to use, but my father did a little experience with boiled linseed oil and it is wonderful. Not sure how it will look like on white oak though!


Yup, that’s the one! I’ll test it first. But first I have to learn how to make joints!

Lexie Aleah

Ooh a tea tray project? It sounds beautiful already would love to see some pics at some point. (:

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226 tasting notes
*2020 harvest

This is a very charming Da Hong Pao. This type of tea often comes out too dry or too smoky. This one from Old Ways has just enough of quality smoke. And it is so juicy and sweet, with notes of flowers, pear, peach, apricot… The taste is very oolong-y as being somewhat muted and not in your face.
Mellow and so smooth.

If I am forced to find the worse sides this would be the absence of a long aftertaste, but somehow I cannot fault for the lack of it with this flavor profile.
I usually like more pronounced, drier Da Hong Paos with the long aftertaste but I am ready to be convinced that this is a better way to make it.


I think it’s funny that the folks at Old Ways Tea often undersell the quality of their tea. I remember that 2015 Da Hong Pao they referenced in the description of this tea. It was very good and very consistent. Sure, it may not have been a super high end Da Hong Pao made from the highest quality leaves from the oldest, purest, and most storied plants, but it was a stunning example of a basic commercial Da Hong Pao. Things don’t have to be expensive to be great.


Agreed on all counts.

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