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It took Verdant Tea 4 months of sampling to find a Big Red Robe unique and delicious enough to really justify importing. This incredible tea from the rocky cliffs of Wuyi mountain offers a side of Big Red Robe that most people have never seen. Usually all you get is caramel, chocolate and floral notes. This goes far beyond. In early steepings, there is an intriguing sensation on the tongue, almost like the metallic vibrations of a bronze cast bell, or the idea of fast moving water flowing over slate. As the tea opens up, there is a perfectly synthesized note of orange and elderberry that dominates, and lingers in the back of the throat. In middle steepings, the elderberry orange flavor splits into fruity wine grape notes, hibiscus-infused dark chocolate, and molasses cookies with crystalized Thai ginger. In late steepings, the thick beany and malty flavor of Laoshan green comes through, combined with the lilac sweetness of Tieguanyin. One of our favorite aspects of this tea is that it was expertly roasted in a way that lets so much complexity come through the caramel notes of any darker oolong. If you are interested in oolongs, or seek a very comforting yet engaging tea, give this a try for a new perspective.
When I see a tea with the word Mountain in the name it really makes me want to travel to the place of origin. I would LOVE to travel to far away lands to see, smell, and touch the leaves, the soil, before, during, and after. I guess in a way it’s much like a Fairy Tale of Tea…but this one is a dream come true!
I think this is another reason I am a fan of Verdant Teas overall! David is an amazing story-teller! I LOVE reading his descriptions. If you post comments about a Verdant Tea over at Steepster it’s common to see a thoughtful response from the man himself. I enjoy reading about the personal connections he has with the people he buys the tea from…the farmers themselves!
With Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe from Verdant Tea you can tell he searched high and low for this quality of tea. He didn’t settle! I appreciate that. This truly is a lovely Oolong!
At first I could smell a bit of charcoal in the aroma of this tea. It made me wonder if that is what it was going to taste like – which would have been completely fine – as I do like a nice charcoal type tea – but this morphed. The taste actually morphs from start to finish, too! At first there was a woodsy/earthy type flavor but then it turned sweet! I could taste slight fruity notes as well as sugary notes, too! The fruity notes did change-up to a more defined berry-type taste for a few seconds. It left a pleasant roasted aftertaste, too!
This is special. It shows it – from start to finish – and then some! It’s more than a tea…it’s a journey!