Reserve Big Red Robe (2016)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Creamy, Roasted, Apple, Cranberry, Dried Fruit, Malt, Peat, Red Wine, Tannic, Brown Sugar, Chestnut, Dates, Fig, Jasmine, Licorice, Mineral, Molasses, Osmanthus, Peach, Toasted Rice, Wet Rocks, Apricot, Char, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Ginger, Leather, Popcorn, Raisins, Spicy, Tobacco, Wood
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 11 oz / 326 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is the first a sample selection I ordered during the promotion mentioned on one of the discussion threads here. This i s type of tea is a change from the usual blacks I favor. It is good. Just...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “Gongfu Style. 190F 5g to 150 mL water. Reduced temperature to 180F for later steepings (3, 4, 5…) Malt, dried apple, peat, tannic finish. Faint dried cranberry and wine overtones in later...” Read full tasting note
    87
  • “I love this tea! The leaves are large and have a mineral floral profile when dry, but add water and the magic happens. This one is very forgiving also, I have brewed gong-fu, western style and...” Read full tasting note
    95
  • “One of the more recent additions to Li Xiangxi’s collection, this Big Red Robe is harvested from some of the older tea plants in her care. Compared to Verdant’s regular Big Red Robe (a tea which I...” Read full tasting note
    87

From Verdant Tea

This Reserve harvest is picked from older tree stock on the choicest slopes of the Li Family tea garden along the Longchuan gorge in the Wuyishan National Reserve. Her family carefully hand picks every leaf, using only the best of the harvest for the reserve offering. This tea is hand-finished in bamboo baskets over wood embers to bring out the rich deep flavor. This harvest is a great next step from Big Red Robe in exploring the tingling, cooling sensation of fine Wuyi teas that Li Xiangxi describes as Yun. Only several kilos are produced each year.

About Verdant Tea View company

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4 Tasting Notes

80
52 tasting notes

This is the first a sample selection I ordered during the promotion mentioned on one of the discussion threads here.

This i s type of tea is a change from the usual blacks I favor.

It is good. Just different. More woodsy and roasted. As I often do, I added a dab of sweetener and creme. They brought out thee roasted flavor of this tea. I am curious to see how the flavor changes during the next couple of steeping.

It borders on mellow for me though it is not a weak tea. The flavor isn’t heavy, it doesn’t smack you taste bids senseless. Maybe the word I’ looking for is refined?

Flavors: Creamy, Roasted

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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87
16 tasting notes

Gongfu Style. 190F 5g to 150 mL water.

Reduced temperature to 180F for later steepings (3, 4, 5…)

Malt, dried apple, peat, tannic finish. Faint dried cranberry and wine overtones in later lower-temp infusions.

Flavors: Apple, Cranberry, Dried Fruit, Malt, Peat, Red Wine, Tannic

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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95
91 tasting notes

I love this tea! The leaves are large and have a mineral floral profile when dry, but add water and the magic happens. This one is very forgiving also, I have brewed gong-fu, western style and even long steepings ( 5 mins or more ) without bitterness or astringency and have found it interesting each time. The nose has a typical underlying oolong profile, floral ( plumeria, jasmine, some vegetal notes ). The palate is remarkable, same florals ( in spades ), with aloeswood, minerality, allspice, ripe peach, licorice, roasted parsnips, molasses, sweet, it just goes on and on. While the mouth feel is sparkling, spare and dry, it has a sweetness that lingers on the tip of the tongue and at the back of the throat. The finish goes on for hours ( really, not exaggerating here — I even could taste it after lunch! ). This might be an excellent candidate for good aging.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chestnut, Dates, Fig, Jasmine, Licorice, Mineral, Molasses, Osmanthus, Peach, Toasted Rice, Wet Rocks

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87
996 tasting notes

One of the more recent additions to Li Xiangxi’s collection, this Big Red Robe is harvested from some of the older tea plants in her care. Compared to Verdant’s regular Big Red Robe (a tea which I admittedly have not had since March), this one comes across as spicier and quirkier. I found that I enjoyed it, though I did enjoy the sweeter, fruitier regular Big Red Robe slightly more.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 11 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute 5 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted a spicy aroma reminiscent of a combination of char, limestone, and ginger. After the rinse, I detected slightly more distinct aromas of limestone, ginger, char, moist wood, earth, and leather. There was also a slightly floral presence that reminded me a little of osmanthus, though I do not feel that comparison is remotely accurate. The first infusion produced a similar, albeit more mellow, settled aroma. In the mouth, I immediately detected mineral, brown sugar, tobacco, leather, elderberry, earth, moist wood, and char notes. There was an earthy spiciness on the finish reminiscent of ginger and a floral, resinous quality that reminded me a bit of the aloeswood incense I used to buy as an undergraduate. I also continued to pick up a somewhat vague floral note that I could not place. Subsequent infusions were spicier, earthier, fruitier, and more floral, introducing more pronounced notes of ginger, minerals, brown sugar, elderberry, and aloeswood accompanied by notes of golden raisin and stewed apricot. The vague floral character began to merge with a fresh vegetal quality that immediately put me in mind of daylily shoots. Later infusions were very mellow, presenting a mix of minerals and ginger underscored by traces of aloeswood, char, moist wood, and daylily. I also began to note a buttery, starchy quality that I found to be very reminiscent of popcorn.

I’ve had several Big Red Robes fairly recently and this one stood out to me for its quirkiness and complex layers of aromas and flavors. I am not certain that I would feel comfortable recommending this tea to someone new to this style or to Wuyi oolongs in general, but I do feel that this tea made for an extremely interesting contrast with Verdant’s regular Big Red Robe. In the end, I enjoyed this one, but found it difficult to rate.

Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Char, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Ginger, Leather, Mineral, Osmanthus, Popcorn, Raisins, Spicy, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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