Monday, September 22, 2008

A Sampling of 2004 Red Robe

The dry leaves carry a rich oxidized creamy odour. The smell is similar to that of lotus leaf tea. Dark browns and greens cover longish shriveled leaves. One is so happy with just the look and smell of the dry leaf.

This tea has a deep rich roasted taste and aroma found in most oolongs of Taiwan. It tastes spicy and slightly acidic like cinnamon and orange and is tasted in the nose as much as it is in the mouth. Astringency courts these flavours under roasted tones. A floralness is also stealthy underlying, but forever present. Its aftertaste is of the roasted variety and stays around for a long time.

As the sessions progress the orangey taste drops off a bit as the roasted, floral, and spicy elements are more apparent.

The qi of this tea is felt as it energizes the lower parts of the abdomen and the shoulders, relieving any tension as one sits cross-legged on the floor, sipping happily from a small ceramic cup with friends.

It is unknown how many steeps this tea underwent because one had to step out for some time, allowing a friend free reign on this tea. Either way, one came back and sealed the pot for the night anticipating a week of good sessions with these leaves.

As the week went on with this tea, one encountered sweet, spicy flavours backed by a taste that seemed fruity, maybe apple or Asian pear. The mouthfeel was the highlight and always treated the tactile sensors of the tongue with reverence bestowing a feeling that was a bit dry, grainy, yet watery. These sensations played themselves out for days.

Thanks Toki for providing one with the materials for such a rewarding session.



T.alain said...

-Red robe...what a beautiful tea...Wu Yi Yan Cha ones my preffered teas.I'm always happy to read about them.Nice post, nice photos,as always...Thanks

green tea lover said...

Interesting post, particualarly with regard to the orange and cinamon notes you tasted in this tea. I'm also a big fan of Wuyi Da Hong Pao teas.

Matt said...


As one's notes subtly suggest, one wasn't sure exactly what kind of tea this is, a Wuwi Yancha. Puerh dominates as far as Chinese Tea goes in Korea. It must have been many years since one tried a yancha.

One could only compare it to oolong. Thanks for the reminder.

Green Tea Lover,

Thanks for stopping by. The subtle tastes are one of the important elements of tea, embracing these subtleties is not always easy.


Bret said...

I was also a little confused. Is this " Big Red Robe" the Wuyi tea we are all aware of? It looks much greener than any Yancha Ive had. Usually much more roasted than that.

Matt said...


“This tea has a deep rich roasted taste and aroma”

The grayish wet leaf also quite resembles that of a well roasted tea. One now believes that this sample must have been the famous Big Red Robe Wuwi Yancha. Thanks for clearing that up.


toki said...

Matt-I am glad that you like this Big Red Rode from the Tea Gallery. This was a rare gift to Michael from a Taiwanese Tea Master, and Now, as a gift to you : ) Is it difficult to find this kind of tea in Korea? I wonder - Cheers Toki

Matt said...


Yes, this kind of tea, a yancha, is very hard to track down in Korea. In fact any kind of tea that isn't green tea, Korean made semi oxidized tea, or puerh tea is hard to come by especially if your not living in Seoul. So one appreciated the Big Red Robe even more.