I recently wrote about a Sichuanese green tea and how much I enjoyed it. This time I am reviewing a black tea from Sichuan, and it is a spectacular one.
I do not think I was so satisfied with any black until I tasted a great Dian Hong Cha. This tea is very aromatic, slightly sweet, and it carries complex layers of honey, floral and caramel flavours. It stayed on my palate quite long (especially for a black tea). I do not know, it is just the depth and complexity of the flavours that amazed me. I did not expect that at all.
I could not find a lot of resources about this tea. Even in my Chinese tea profiles book, it did not exist. An online retailer claimed that it was the only black tea produced in Sichuan. It may be right or wrong. The seller mostly talks about the environment and the taste. They describe the taste as ‘sweet flower honey’ fragrance and ‘rich layers of fragrance mixed with roses’. It’s just lovely. The only downside is that it is only suitable for 2-3 infusions.
As we say in Turkish, every rose comes with a thorn.
Origin: Mengshan, Sichuan, China
Harvest time: 2020
Leaf colour: Tones of dark brown with some golden tips
Liquor colour: Beautiful amber (the photo shows a faint brew)
Tea aroma: Floral
Tea taste: Sweet with honey, floral and caramel notes
Steeping/brewing: Place 4 g of this tea in a teapot or gaiwan and add about 100-120 ml water at around 90°C. Rinse after 5 sec. Steep for 30 seconds for the second time and increase the consecutive steeping time by 10 seconds each time. You can steep this tea up to three times.
Shelf life: Up to three years.