Review: Canton Tea Co. Big Red Robe Oolong

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Samantha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea is more of an afternoon pick me up, it would go well after a nice coffee cake. It features floral and cocoa flavors along with a toasted flair. "
Samantha’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 7.5/10, Shaiha gave it 5.5/10, Geoff gave it 9.3/10
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cantonbigredrobeoolongDa Hong Pao, or Big Red Robe is known as the ‘Emperor of Teas’. It is grown in Wuyi Shan, Fujian Province on Wuyi Mountain. WuYi teas encompass a small category of oolong grown on this mountain. Most tend to be a darker roast and contain a mineral flavor. True Wu Yi tea grows out of the rocks of the mountain, rather than nearby hills.

Da Hong Pao tends to be a bit complicated in the tea world as there are many “fakes”, meaning the tea bush is a genetic clone or grown from a clipping of the original ancient tea tree. Even though there are some “fakes” out there, by no means does it mean these teas are any less enjoyable, if you find one you enjoy, don’t let the fact that it’s not 100% authentic ruin your experience.

According to Canton’s website this Da Hong Pao seems to be the real deal, it’s grown in the right area, the price is right ($$), and it is stated that it is from one of the ‘Four Famous Bushes’, though it could be grown from a clipping. Either way this tea is the real deal when it comes to taste.

I chose to follow Canton’s instructions and brewed 1 tablespoon of leaves at 210°F for 3 minutes. My first cup was a surprise. A unique taste compared to the light spring flushes’ I’ve been enjoying. The liquor is deep orange and the scent off the cup is sweet, slightly floral and roasted.

The infusion is warm and tastes of biscuits, cinnamon and roasted cocoa (can you even roast cocoa?). I had this tea in the morning while outside over conversation with a neighbor, my first sip was quite surprising and definitely woke me right up! This tea is more of an afternoon pick me up, it would go well after a nice coffee cake.

Overall, the flavor is enjoyable, I loved the strong cinnamon flavor in the first steep. The cocoa flavor develops strong in the second steeping. Thumbs up!

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Big Red Robe Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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