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Big Red Robe

A great example of this famous oolong - smooth, rich and satisfying.
This highly prized Chinese oolong is made from leaves picked deep within the rocky Wuyi Mountains. It is slow roasted over charcoal for a deep, toasty flavour, rich with cocoa nibs and dried fruit.

Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao) is one of the earliest oolongs ever produced and is an ideal introduction to a Wuyi 'Rock Tea'. This high grade oolong tea is handmade from tender leaves, withered, tumbled, curled and baked in small batches over charcoal to create an aromatic infusion with distinctive dark cocoa notes, a toasted, fruity flavour and a long smooth aftertaste.

Produced in the traditional way in Wuyi Shan, the birthplace of oolong tea in China.

Buying Options

39

50g Foil Bag

GBP£19.50 Buy
59p per serving
81

250g Foil Bag

GBP£85.00 Buy
51p per serving

*Based on a 3g serving, infused twice

Big Red Robe

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  • Big Red Robe Oolong Tea loose Leaf (Da Hong Pao)
  • The original Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao) leaves growing in Wu Yi
  • Big Red Robe oolong packaging options

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From £19.50 for 50g
GBP £ 19.50

Reviews (19)

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Black Dragons are cool with me

4

/ 5

Where to start? I first found a version of this tea 40 years ago via Carwardine's as it was then, not quite the same or as good, but I have taken this tea more or less daily for all that time. The reason for a mere 4/5 is the price - if it would take 3 or 4 infusions it'd get the Full Monty on the star front. Other teas at this price give value through multiple cups from the same pinch of the good stuff. However, I can't resist it! And this batch is the best ever - slightly less charcoal-toast than usual letting more 'green' flavours through, even floral hints and the tiniest drop of butter, and despite my infusion remarks, this lot will take a second go, and even a third if you add half a measure more leaf. There is really nothing quite like this tea. Buy it, but leave some for me - it appears to be a seasonal import and runs out from time to time!

Big Red Robe

Awesomely sweet and flavourful

5

/ 5

This tea's first infusions have a strong scent of sweet flowers in a wet forest I think. Floral with some notes of smokiness added in. The flavour evolves in subsequent infusions to become more mellow and the intense sweetness reduces to a more mild level. This was my first Oolong, and I really like it.

Big Red Robe

Divine!

5

/ 5

delectable flavour full of strong malty and nutty aromas. I love it.

Big Red Robe

Wonderful find

5

/ 5

One word, delicious. Will be drinking this tea for a long time to come.

Big Red Robe

Delightful

5

/ 5

I found the tea to be absolutely delicious. The first thing you notice if you smell the loose tea is a wonderful chocolate aroma. I will probably stick with this tea for a very long time.

Big Red Robe

Not a fan

2

/ 5

I'm not fond the malty complex flavour and found it far too heavy.

Big Red Robe

Smokey

4

/ 5

I just tried Da Hong Pao for the first time, and the first thing I smelled after steeping was a tobacco smell. It was like tobacco leaves; the last time I smelled something like that was when I went to a cigar shop and walked into the humidor room where they kept the expensive cigars. It was pleasant. The tea is light, but has slightly smokey taste to it.

Big Red Robe

Fantastic find

5

/ 5

Having tried this tea when in Hong Kong I was overjoyed to find I could now get it here. For me this tea is perfect at the end of a meal as you relax in it's warm and heady aromas whilst enjoying the superb taste.

Big Red Robe

Delicious

5

/ 5

A beautiful deep amber colour, smells of toast and a wood fire. The flavour is superb, roasty, chocolatey and delicate.

Big Red Robe

A hug in a cup.

4

/ 5

This is my first tea sample, having received the subscription as a Christmas present, and I can honestly say I love it. It is like a hug in a cup. I have tasted teas with cocoa and chocolate notes previously and not particularly enjoyed them but I find the balance in Big Red Robe works well for my taste buds. Not sure if the beautiful china tea pot I treated myself to as a present affected the taste but I'm sure it didn't do any harm. I'm looking forward to the arrival of my next sample.

Sian

Big Red Robe

A perfect tea for autumn!

5

/ 5

This is currently my favourite tea. It does what it says on the tin, drinking this tea for me is like putting on a beautifully comforting 'big red robe', it is a very reassuring, 'in a comfy armchair by a fire' kind of tea. It is a perfect tea for this time of year (autumn), very warm and smokey, its colour and aroma reminds me of the deep browns and golds of the leaves as they turn and start to fall from the trees. A truly beautiful tea!

Big Red Robe

Hug in a mug

5

/ 5

I love the cocoa notes - I've had tea containing actual chocolate that was less chocolatey. Perfect comfort drinking for this miserable summer weather

Big Red Robe

The Perfect Oolong?

5

/ 5

Admittedly this is the most expensive oolong I've tried in Canton's range but it's hard to imagine how there could be a better one. The full-bodied, malty flavour reminds me of avocado and oak and the warming amber/red nectar warms me just by looking at it.

For me this tea embodies all the best notes of oolong as a tea and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who's tried oolong previously. For those new to the range I would suggest something a little greener - the Jade Oolong here is more accessible; but ultimately less rewarding.

Big Red Robe

Spicy fruit

5

/ 5

This tea is aptly named - it does wrap round you like a big red robe, all cosy and snug, giving a warm feeling that suffuses down to your fingertips. The taste is spicy fruit with walnuts, raisins and Christmas pudding. My wife is getting fed up with me making mmm - delicious! noises while I'm drinking it. I would get her out of her sniffy habit of drinking only green teas, but it would mean less oolong for me. This tea you can be greedy and selfish about, with justification!.

Big Red Robe

Interesting and complex

5

/ 5

I would say it is more afternoon tea than breakfast. It is plenty of nice cocoa notes and some mando/melon aroma also. rich and fruity, chocolate and roasted bean notes. I love it! For this tea you should just sit and focus on it. And you will get great reward! Medition big time!

Big Red Robe

nectar

5

/ 5

Ah, the nectar that is Big Red Robe. My humble breakfast has become a feast. Thanks again. David

Big Red Robe

Delicious

5

/ 5

This Oolong is rich, dark, and almost chocolatey, but not overpowering. I could drink this all day.

Big Red Robe

A roasty cup

5

/ 5

"It was a roasty cup but with an added apple note that made for an additional dazzle.I’ve liked the Da Hong Paos I’ve tried but never loved them. This made me see why some of these can go for $20,000 an ounce. If only for a split second."

For the full review:
http://www.teaviews.com/2010/12/02/review-canton-tea-co-big-red-robe-oolong-3/

Big Red Robe

exceptionally delicate taste, light mouthfeel, and lasting flavour.

4

/ 5

To brew this tea, I used about a tablespoon of leaves and four cups of boiling water. Steeped in a glass teapot, it was easy to see the leaves as they released a burnt orange liquor. Upon initially steeping this tea, the first thing I noticed was the incredibly light mouthfeel. After the first cup, the flavour continued to linger in my mouth. This oolong has a much lighter taste than other oolongs I have tried. It’s a delicate taste, and very good.

The taste itself…in the first few sips of a cup, one can really taste the leaf, but the flavour seems to fade as one finishes a cup. Perhaps the initial flavour, light as it is, coats the taste buds in one’s mouth so that subsequent sips merely slide through the mouth.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this tea. The flavour was a bit too light for me, but it was still enjoyable to drink. This was very reminiscent of the oolong served in Chinese restaurants with Dim Sum.

I’ve decided that I will give teas that I review an approximate rating, on a scale of 0-100, based on my personal enjoyment of this tea (not it’s comparison in specific areas to other teas). Canton Tea Co’s Big Red Robe oolong receives a 92/100 for its exceptionally delicate taste, light mouthfeel, and lasting flavour.

EDIT: I later tried resteeping these same leaves. This was a major disappointment, as I got barely half of the original body and flavour. This lack of “stamina” in the leaves significantly decreased my rating of this tea (now an 85/100).

See more reviews of Canton Tea products at: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/

Big Red Robe
Rated 5/5 based on 19 reviews

Learn More

The tea myth that accompanies Da Hong Pao concerns four famous tea bushes, whose leaves miraculously cured an emperor's mother during the Ming Dynasty, when she fell ill in the mountains. In gratitude the emperor wrapped the four trees in reams of expensive red cloth to protect them from the elements. Four ancient tea bushes still stand on a cliff in the Wuyi Mountains, which are thought to be those of this legend, and have become something of a tourist attraction. Each year a very small amount of tea is harvested from these trees, and sold for many hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.

Due to this, Big Red Robe is often cited by the media as 'the world's most expensive tea': more expensive gram for gram than gold. Our Da Hong Pao is probably the best you can buy in the UK. While at £19.50 for 50 grams, it's not quite as expensive as gold, it does taste better.

Da Hong Pao is the favourite tea of Benjamin Presland, head of catering for the Tate galleries. Read his wonderful description about why he loves Big Red Robe on the blog.

Other Names - Da Hong Pao

Chinese Name Da Hong Pao 大红袍
English Pronunciation da hong pow
Country China
Origin Xincun, Wuyi Shan, Fujian Province
Tea Farm Mao Yingde
Plantation Altitude 800m
Harvest Date Spring 2014
Varietal Da Hong Pao
Leaf Appearance Tender leaves are carefully processed into even curly striped leaves with deep brownish-green touch at the leaf edges
Aroma Warm roasted aroma combined with layered of sweetness, milky and fresh floral aroma
Liquor Distinctive dark yellow-orange liquor
Tasting Notes Warm and roasted cocoa notes combined with delightful floral flavour, which is creamy and sweet. Its wood charcoal roasted method gives this tea great depth
Quick Brewing Instructions 1 tbsp, 90°C, 250 ml, 3 mins

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