Product Review: Art of Tea’s Big Red Robe – Da Hong Pao

“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.”

– Chaim Potok

I drink tea… a lot of tea. With Mr. Wonderful’s gift of a personal Keurig for my office I drink probably more tea than I should. This tea was ordered from Art of Tea, it was one of my first sample sized buys

Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao) is not fair trade certified. While the fair trade certification does nothing substantial in the flavor of the tea, it does tell you that the quality and standards of life of those that grow and harvest this tea are greater than those who earn below living wage for what they produce. This is neither the time or the place for standing on a soap box… so I will not digress further at this time into the definition of fair trade. There are wonderful explanations on the Art of Tea website and you are more than welcome to go view the videos and learn about what they are doing to ensure a higher quality product. Why is Big Red Robe not fair trade certified? I have no idea… maybe it is the ingredients or… who knows.

Please also note that my Keurig is not the recommended way to brew this tea. While it might be the easiest way for me to enjoy tea throughout the day… they recommend steeping 1 teaspoon for 4 minutes in 195 degree water. The fill line on my eco-cup is about 2 1/2 teaspoons and I get the best flavor from my 1st and 2nd cup. And yes… I do brew the same leaves all day at I believe is 165 degrees, but I have no setting control for the temperature. Pot of Gold is a loose tea. You can order empty teabags from Art of Tea or from Amazon or go to the grocery store and get them there if you do not have a strainer or a eco-cup/my-k-cup… I have bought a tea strainer… I figured Art of Tea would like for me to taste their teas properly… although my Keurig still brews water at the same unknown temperature as before.

This tea is organic Oolong Tea from the Wuyishan Mountain Reserve in China. While this tea is a bit on the woodsy side it is still crisp. It also has a slight malty aftertaste which I do love. This would make fabulous ice tea… especially if you like unsweetened tea as I do. Maybe with a hint of lemon or a spring of mint. The options… endless.

You will like this tea if you like like a woodsier tasting tea that is still crisp. I do not know what to compare an Oolong Tea to as I have not had that much experience with Oolongs. The only other Oolong I have had the option to try was a mass produced Oolong from a large Chinese grower. Art of Tea’s Oolong does not have the nasty chemical taste of the other… I am assuming it is how the organic tea is grown.

Will I buy this tea again? Probably yes. I would like this tea as an iced tea as I sit out on my deck… maybe later this summer when I run out of the sample.

~Emme

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