Tea: Hunan Red Oolong

An Oolong Tea from Imperial Tea Garden

Picture of Hunan Red Oolong
Brand:Imperial Tea Garden
Style:Oolong Tea
Region:Hunan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Loose?Loose
# Ratings:1 View All
Product page:Hunan Red Oolong

Review of Hunan Red Oolong

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 104 of 54 of 580 of 100
ExcellentGoodGood Value

This is not the sort of tea I tend to like, but I loved this one, which I think is a testimony to its quality. I tend to like stronger-tasting teas with more bitterness. But I enjoyed this tea greatly.

Visually, the loose-leaf of this tea looks more like a Bai Hao or Oriental Beauty oolong than other Chinese oolongs. It also looks a lot like a Darjeeling, with thin, wiry leaves, and ochre-colored tips. However, the flavor of the brewed cup is totally unlike these teas. Both in terms of appearance and flavor, the most similar tea to this is Upton Tea Import's ZP77, Panyang Tippy Golden Needles Imperial.

The aroma strongly suggests a crusty pastry or other baked good, with a toasty crust and baked fruit filling like jam or raisins. In this regard, this tea is uncannily similar to the Upton tea mentioned above, but that tea is a black tea and is stronger and edgier. The flavor of this tea is very subdued. Lightly sweet, and very mellow. Upon drinking the whole cup, some interesting complexity comes out, with tones suggesting cooked celery and dried hay. Slightly reminiscent also of roasted twig tea.

Yet another fascinating tea to come out of Imperial Tea Garden. This is not an inexpensive tea, but I think it offers good value for an oolong as smooth as this one. I personally prefer Upton's tea...it is not really the same style, but it is a lot like this tea aroma-wise with more of a punch to it. However, I imagine people with milder tastes would strongly prefer this tea.

I recommend brewing with boiling water for 3 minutes. I will say, however, this tea infuses quickly and does not handle multiple infusions particularly well; especially if you are used to brewing large-leaf oolongs, this tea may disappoint you. I found it worked best with western-style brewing.

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