Some people think that the more the golden tip, the better the quality of a black tea. For a real connoisseur, however, it is the taste profile made possible by properly managing all the variables throughout production that matters. Don’t be convinced by the rich dark chocolate aroma of the dry leaves either. What matters is the round and complex body in the clear deep golden red liquor possible only with the first flush leaves from the deep mountains in Fengqing, the origin of Dianhong.
Strong aroma of dark chocolate in a smoky overtone. Flowery impression with accents of peach and honey. Light peppery notes. Clear, deep amber colour infusion with bright yellow brim. Smooth, flowery body with silky texture that can be dry when infused at proper strength. Malty undertone with pleasant bites of peppercorn. Clear citric accents and sparks of lemon zest dependent on infusion strength and temperature. Slow but steady sweet aftertaste with rolled oat overtone.
Gongfu approach yields quite a different taste profile from the conventional one. So does infusion temperature as well as infusion strength. Citrus level increases as the temperature nears boiling. Optimum between 95~90°C. Do experiment with this tea and see which suits your preference.
A little note about the cultivar for Dianhong
Although most Dianhong varieties and selections from Fengqing are produced with cultivars directly or indirectly related with Camellia sinensis variety assamica, the general taste profile is quite different from black teas from Assam, or the rest of India, for that matter.
Note also that the indigenous cultivars in most of Yunnan are of the assamica variety but very different from from production cultivars used outside of China. Locally, such cultivars are grouped under the concept of “Da Ye Zhong”, or Big Leaf Variety. It is a whole family of trees different from what are used in neighbouring India or Nepal, but related. Certain production cultivars in China have been crossed with plants from India though. Plant development in tea production is a crucial and ongoing process.
Taxonomy of the tea plant drawn in the early days when the West discovered tea needs quite an amount of work for better accuracy. Do compare the taste difference to discover the diversity and facts.
Those who prefer white tea as their daily drink but want a bit more stimulations in taste, White Peony from Zhenghe is a great choice. It is air dried for a longer duration from a different cultivar, Zhenghe Dabai. The resultant tea tastes slightly sharper and longer than Silver Needles or Fuding style White Peony. A fine tea that is most affordably priced.
The fine mastery that produces Tea Hong’s Honey Orchid has to be coupled with select first flush harvests from high grown tea bushes in order to deliver the kind of quality only a restricted circle of tea aficionados have known and kept to their secret. The overall production volume for such quality in the whole Phoenix region is only a few thousand kilos after all. Most will go to local elites, and the rest to the few hardcore Phoenix oolong fans that are also tea merchants, like us.
No this is not the beer but 100% pure oolong. Wuyi classic oolongs in general distinguish themselves from other oolongs with a stout, rather immediate and powerful impact. Tea Hong’s Cream Stout differs from the crowd with a soft creamy finish and a light tone of cream that is developed naturally in the tealeaves themselves. This is possible only with a new pedigree of tea cultivar, Aijiao Wulong. We believe you’ll like the oolong much better than the beer, as we do.
A great showcase for why the name of the tea came about centuries ago, great discipline in the use of fire distinguishes Cassia Extraordinaire from most other Wuyi varieties with a supple, deliciously floral and delicate scent balanced with a full, lively body. This is Wuyi Cassia at its best.