White2Tea’s Big Tree Red [Episode 88]

Denny and James review a very above average Yunnan Red (black) tea, White2Tea’s Big Tree Red.


12 responses to “White2Tea’s Big Tree Red [Episode 88]”

  1. Suggestion for E100.
    Since you guys have tried 100 teas, maybe you guys could each drink your favorite tea and share why you like it the most. It could be a problem if you no longer have the tea and not able to purchase them again. Just an idea, kind of thought it might be a good way to sum up the journey.

    • These types of red teas I find can handle even heavier brewing, higher leaf ratio and shorter infusion times. When I brew them like this the tea gains depth and moves closer to a puerh experience. EoT has two very nice ancient tree red teas, also made from puerh trees, that I can stretch out to 10+ infusions. These are actually my morning/early afternoon teas, because as you noted the caffeine is very noticeable… Very uplifting energy

      • Hi brian,

        Thanks for the comment and sharing your notes. I don’t really have hardly any experience with this sort of tea. I should also note that we were proved wrong in our longevity estimate as this tea ended up going for ~10-12 infusions (far above our estimates).

        But after drinking this tea and ripe pu’erh with higher-grade pu’erh leaves I’m certainly intrigued!


  2. I drank my whole sample of this, but honestly couldn’t taste anything after two steepings. The leaf continued to make colored water with no flavor. But I tend to like punchy black tea, this is maybe too mellow for me. Wild Dehong Purple Black from YS has that puerh flavor and black tea punch in sleepy face for me.

  3. This, along with the “Barb’s Breakfast” represent the beauty of Paul’s monthly club. I personally would have never tried either otherwise and ended up enjoying both.

    I found the other hongcha to be a much heavier slap to the face (and as such liked it a bit more). Both are clearly a black tea to this palate.

    It is interesting the range of opinions on the durability & potency of this tea. Perhaps the leaf/water ratio is rather important here as my own experience reflected Paul’s description of 15-20 sold steepings.

    • Hi Richard,

      Thanks for the comment. I also liked Barb’s Breakfast Black. Was pleasantly surprised perhaps due to the comparatively low cost.

      We were also actually incorrect about the durability of this tea as it ended up going for at least 10-12 solid infusions.


  4. I agree with Richard re Paul’s tea of the month – I might not have explored these red/black teas where it not for the samples sent to me. I have really enjoyed both Big Tree Red and Barb’s Breakfast and I am looking forward to trying the others. Perhaps the cold weather has contributed to my new found appreciation for red tea. I got a lot of steeps out of Big Red. To me the empty cup aroma, lingering feel in the back of the throat and (like you guys said) mouth action in the attack was ‘reminiscent’ of old tree sheng. Its got something going on that that I don’t associate with reds…and that makes it fun and challenging to figure out. I think I got something like apricot from Big Red. I really liked Barb’s Breakfast too; in fact, I had an amazing session with it when everything came together perfectly. I found Barb’s Breakfast to be brighter, more cheerful and refreshing whereas Big Red is more ‘ponderous’ and mellow – different teas for different moods. Haven’t tried to steep out Barb’s Breakfast. I am curious to check out the EoT offerings as well.
    As always, thanks for the great work.

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for the comment. I agree with you both. I find Barb’s Breakfast Black works quite excellent as well.. a Breakfast Black. Big Tree Red is a bit more interesting as a tea.


  5. I agree with you and most of the previous comments that this is a classy black tea, up with the best I’ve tasted (which incidentally I wouldn’t say about Barb’s Breakfast Black, which reminded me of every characterless English Breakfast I’ve endured in cafes in my life). However, I’m amazed no-one’s mentioned the elephant in the room, which is the cost of $US35 for 50g if you buy it as opposed to getting a sample with the monthly tea club. If it were a puer, a 357g bing would cost $US249.90, and the comparison is fair since White2Tea’s recommended leaf/water ratio of 5g/100ml is very much in the puer range. I don’t know about anyone else, but $US250 is way out of my league for a puer bing no matter how good the tea is, and so is $US35 for 50g of a black. There are black teas I enjoy at least as much that are a third to a half of Big Tree Red’s per gram price. Why pay the extra?

    • Hi Kritiker,

      Thanks for the comment. You bring up a good point. This tea certainly isn’t cheap. Personally, I don’t think a 357g is the fairest comparison, mainly because quantity would make a pretty huge impact on the price at those levels. Still, even if one were to lower it to $200 or more generously to $150 the tea is not cheap.

      I don’t really buy black teas, but if I did my rationale would likely be the same.


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