UPDATE: The Indonesia Pouchong Black Tea is now available at The Tea Journeyman Shop! Click Here to view and purchase this unique black tea imported directly from Banten Province of Indonesia!
Today’s review is focused on the Pouchong Red Tea from PT Harendong Green Farm, located in the Halimun Mountains of Indonesia. This will be the final review of a product from PT Harendong until future samples are received. I have truly enjoyed all of these samples, as they have all had very distinct characteristics. This final review of the Pouchong Red Tea is certain to follow that mold of distinction.
Pouchong tea usually comes in the very lightly oxidized form as a green wulong, and some Pouchong is marketed as a green tea. This Pouchong tea has been fully oxidized, yet maintains the same general leaf shape and size of the Pouchong Green from PT Harendong.
The sample packet has been opened, and this tea is incredibly aromatic. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves are dark brown to black in color, with some reddish-gold tips. The leaves are long and lightly twisted. The leaves appear to be mostly large fragments and whole leaves with stems intact. The stems show a three to four leaf pluck. The aroma is potent, with scents of molasses, wood, light cinnamon, and light brown sugar.
Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 195°F (90°C). The leaves were infused for three minutes.
Update Note: When brewed at 205°F (95°C) for three minutes thirty seconds, this tea has a quite different aroma and taste. Aroma: Baked apple, brown sugar, light cinnamon, light wood. Taste: Green apple, lemon, light spice, light mineral.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a golden-orange color and a reddish tint, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of fresh papaya, sweet wood, black licorice, and light honey. The body is medium, with a juicy, smooth texture. The taste has notes of papaya, sweet wood, light honey, light mineral (wet stones), and has a moderate brisk character. The aftertaste is sweet, fruity, and has an almost jam-like hint. There is a very unique essence left on the breath, resembling more of a sweet wood essence that the usual flowery essence.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a very slightly lighter shade of golden-orange color and a light reddish tint. The aroma retains the scents of papaya, sweet wood, and black licorice. The body remains medium, and the texture has thinned some, but remains smooth. The taste has lightened slightly on the papaya note, and a light black licorice hint has developed. The sweet wood and mineral tastes have retained their respective strengths. The aftertaste and essence have thinned some, but remains more sweet than floral.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a nearly identical color to the second infusion. The aroma has lightened some, but retains the scents of papaya, sweet wood, and black licorice. The body remains medium, and has not lost much character from the second infusion. The taste has lightened very slightly, and has plenty of flavor. For a red tea, this third infusion is quite satisfying.
The infused leaves have a uniform copper-dark brown color. The leaves are mostly large fragments, with about a 25% of the leaves being whole, some with stems attached. The stems show anywhere from a two to four leaf pluck, some with small buds developed. The leaves are long and fairly narrow, and have a wet thin leathery feel. The aroma has scents of sweet charred wood, papaya, cocoa, and light black licorice.
This Pouchong Red Tea has become an instant favorite of mine with regard to red (black) teas. It most reminds me of the OP1 black tea from Amba Estate in Sri Lanka, due to the papaya and black licorice aroma and taste notes. The aroma of all stages of this tea was potent and impressive. The appearance of the infusions was bright and attractive. All three infusions produced satisfying and impressive results. As mentioned earlier, the aftertaste and essence of this Pouchong Red Tea were quite sweet, thus making them unique. For those who enjoy the greener version of Pouchong tea, give this Pouchong Red a try. It is a very pleasant experience.
Thank you, again, to PT Harendong Green Farm for providing me with these samples and the great experiences that have come with them! Cheers!