Dianhong Classic, traditional black tea
Feng Qing Golden Tip:
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.
Net weight: 50 g ( 1.8 oz ) in Kraft-alu pack
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.
|Dimensions||18 × 9 × 5 cm|
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My wife and I tried to discern the taste profile of Dianhong Classic 2019 as described by Leo Kwan and reviewer Karen Ager, but our taste buds were not refined enough to match their descriptions to the taste we experienced. Suffice to say that we found this tea delightful and calming, and we enjoyed it very much! We brewed gong fu style and the high quality of tea was maintained through many rounds of brewing, varying the rounds with increasing steeping time and temperature!
Indeed, the experience of taste can be a very subjective matter. As you have pointed out the infusion method matters. A different way will most definitely give you another experience. I am glad you have enjoyed the tea, every batch of which has taken me so much work to finalise.
Complex and Unusual
Acquired tastes can be perplexing or intriguing, depending on your viewpoint. Count me as intrigued after sampling a pre-release packet of Dianhong Classic. The dry tea leaves have a strangely pleasant aroma of roasted cashews and aged cheddar. When infused, the scent transforms into something altogether different, vaguely akin to the fragrant flower, Freesia. Drinking this tea gives yet a third impression, the hardest of all to describe. To my western palate, it’s like stepping onto the moon – uncharted territory and taste adventure combined. Is it blood orange or river stone? Bittersweet or crystalline? I cannot describe this unusual, slowly unfolding taste. Thank you for the opportunity to sample one of the teas from your new line. For me, Dianhong Classic is a riddle that may never be solved.