I love black teas from Yunnan Province, and they are collectively known as Dian Hong teas. Both one of my guests and myself reviewed them as part of this challenge. As I explained earlier, these teas do not have a very long history. Nevertheless, they offer such complex flavours that are not matched with other well-known black teas easily. One of the reasons is that the tea plants are assamica varietal of Camellia Sinensis which have much larger leaves.
Indeed, I steeped these beautiful leaves in the gongfu style. And I enjoyed the first steep. The second steep was also good. But starting from the third steep, no matter how long I steeped, I did not get much flavour. This annoyed me because I wanted to keep going. I am so used to drinking good pu-erh, oolong and even white teas (mostly aged ones) that I can multi-steep until I want to stop. How funny as I remembered an anecdote of a pu-erh drinker to whom I offered a brilliant Dian Hong. He drank it and said, meh it is an excellent black tea, but it’s just a black tea. I think looking down on black teas are not unknown by Chinese tea drinkers. But I think my friend’s ‘dissatisfaction’ was due to the lack of endurance of black teas. He would drink the same pu-erh tea throughout the day and tell me how economical pu-erh is. I now get him, not for the economy but I like to re-steep if I like that tea. You may think, for God’s sake, steep more leaves. Well, it is not always possible. This tea, for example, was just a sample pack. Annoying, isn’t it?
Harvest time: 2019
Leaf colour: Dark brown with som fuzzy yellow tips
Liquor colour: Dark amber
Tea Aroma: Fruity and woody
Tea taste: Brisk, fruity with a woody finish
Steeping: Place 5 g of tea leaves in a gaiwan/teapot. Add 100 ml water at about 90°C. Steep for 5 seconds and rinse the liquid out. Steep for 15 seconds. To the second infusion add 15 seconds. Try for the third steeping, but may not get a good result.
Shelf life: 2-3 years