When Teavivre offered to send me more samples, I immediately had to request this one. Both because the school I went to had a mascot named Big Red (think McDonald’s Grimace, but red) and because our newest baby, a little redfoot tortoise, is named Da Hong Pao! We have three cats and a tortoise, and after the first cat, we got into the habit of tea names. We’ve an orange cat named Pekoe and a grey cat named Earlie. So, of course, when we decided on a red foot tortie, Da Hong Pao made perfect sense! We call her Pao or Pao Pao for short. For the record, our first cat is a brown tabby who is named Rosabella, but would have been Chai if we had been thinking of tea names back then.
Anyhoo, I don’t know that I’ve ever had a Da Hong Pao before this, and I’m not going back through 1000+ notes to figure out if I have. But dang, I should have! This is roasty, toasty goodness and I think I’m in love. Reminds me of home, with tobacco smoke and an underlying nuttiness that takes this tea to another level. I’m on my second steep of a sample packet in a Bubble Teapot (24 ounces) and, as is my habit, I dumped the leaves into a DT Mason Jar (25 oz) to coldbrew overnight. I want to get every last drop of goodness out of these amazing samples, but I’m way too lazy to gong fu. But I see an order in the near future, once the moneytree comes into bloom.