My first is a tea I bought labelled only by hand, giving no information, not even the company I bought it from, 'Da Hong Pao' and I don't care for it. I think it's from Life In Teacup as they use the same brown bag type paper, but this is totally unlabeled, maybe it was a sample? Uncertain with so much tea coming in the past couple weeks. But wait, isn't this the fabled Big Red Robe? I have started it well, although perhaps too many grams for my four ounce gaiwan, using five grams of tea. The heat is my preferred 185f. I warm the gaiwan, and rinse twice, I don't know why aside from I felt it seemed to want it. So dry and crispy! In any case, three steeps with short flash-brews and I gave up on it, and will save the rest for another day.
Still in the mood to be blown away, I open a Teavivre tea labelled, 'Yunnan Dian Hong Ancient Tree Black'.
I chose this as my free sample tea with purchase based on the words 'Ancient Tree'. I don't if it's just a nomenclature or really true but as a marketing technique it's brilliant for people like me, who desire to taste the old world!I prepare just as I did for the prior tea, first rinsing out my gaiwan, cha hai , cup and strainer with boiling water.
This Yunnan Dian Hong smells strongly of bourbon when I open the small foil packet. What? I don't know if that is accurate at all, and I do not like bourbon, maybe it's whiskey, which I also dislike, but in any case, my first associative thought is 'hard liquor'! Huh! What do you make of that?
I rinse twice and have a cup using a SMALL sample at 3.5 grams as the Da Hong Pao still has me nervous.
And it's warm, and buttery and does not taste like liquor I am glad to add, and the aftertaste, which five minutes after finishing is continuing to linger is strong fruit. Wow. This is Nice. Nice with a capital 'N'. This tea is totally approachable and somehow affordable even though the trees are over 800 years old (Yes, it's true!).
I dash off to Teavivre's website now to learn more...