2021 Laos Red
2021 Laos Red
2021 Laos Red
2021 Laos Red
2021 Laos Red
2021 Laos Red
2021 Laos Red

2021 Laos Red

One River Tea

Regular price $55.00 Sale

Tea: 2021 Laos Red Tea (Laos Hongcha 老挝红茶) 
Type: Black Tea
Harvest: Autumn 2021
Press Date: October 2021
Region: Bankomen, Phongsali, Laos
Producer: Keosuyaping Family
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The leaves of this tea are a beautiful dark black and red color with large thick stems characteristic of gushu material.  Pressing has done much to make this large-leafed stem-heavy black tea much more manageable when brewing in a small gaiwan or teapot.  The warmed leaves give off aromas of cocoa, tobacco, and leather.  The liquor of this tea is a rich amber which can darken up if the steep times are lengthened.
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Despite the rather earthy aromas which rise from the leaves, the mouthfeel is surprisingly light and sweet.  There are notes of licorice and other spices hidden in amongst the thick tannin soup, finding themselves on the tip and back of the tongue while a pleasant astringency lingers along the sides.   As the tea opens up, the leaves begin to exude more sweet notes of roasted yam, malted barley, and berry skin reminiscent of a tannin rich Qimen red tea from Fujian.  
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This is a very powerful tea that can easily withstand 12 infusions in a session and needs to be treated lightly in steep time and gram-to-water ratio.  For those that love a strong black tea, this is the one, for those that don’t, well, just add less leaves in your brewing vessel than you normally would.  We are excited to see how this tea will mellow out and meld in flavor over the next few months to a few years.
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Although similar in style to a Dianhong, we call it a Loas Red because ‘Dian’ in Chinese is simply a reference to Yunnan.  This is our 3rd time carrying the Laos Red, and every time they make this tea, their production quality improves.  That said, this is certainly the clearest expression of a Laos Black Tea that we have had thus far!  It’s certainly a pleasant session!
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We brew this one a little differently than most, using 5 or less grams in a 100-120ml gaiwan with water significantly cooler than boiling (80-90 degrees Celcius).  You can experiment with different water temperatures, and different tea gram to water ml ratios in order to find the brew that works best for you.  Brewing with boiling water brings out more tannins and herbal mouthfeel, while cooler temperatures give it a velvety sweetness.

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Never bought a tea cake before?  Check out our video on how to break it apart!
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Check out the other teas offered by the Keosuyaping Family here!