Hong Tao #1

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From Upton Tea

This is a reasonably priced organic Chinese black tea. The leaves are broken and look typical for black tea, and have an aroma similar to the brewed tea.

The tea, when brewed as instructed, is a dark brown with a slight greenish hue, less opaque than some black teas. I like to brew it stronger, which yields a slightly more opaque and reddish-brown color. The aroma is lighter and more planty than is typical among black teas, with a hint of olives. There are some nutty tones that are also somewhat unusual for a black tea. Very smooth and not very bitter at all.

This would be an outstanding tea for someone who likes some of the characteristics of black teas but does not like the bitterness or overpowering qualities of some black teas. Overall, it's not among my favorite black teas, however.

Upton recommends brewing one teaspoon per cup for 5 minutes with boiling water. Do not brew this one for less time or at a lower temperature than instructed: it will be too bland. You might want to consider using more leaves, however, if you like something stronger. I prefer this tea when brewed with more leaves. There is however a mild unpleasant aspect of the aroma that comes out when you brew it more strongly.


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