Amazing Yunnan – Dianhong
This is a top-quality fully oxidized black tea from the Yunnan province of China. The leaves of this dianhong are tightly curled into small spirals. This shape allows for excellent taste and fragrance conservation. It also preserves the integrity of the original bud, so when you steep our dianhong, you will see unscathed and fully opened leaves. This tea has a very mellow taste with a hint of dry fruit. It goes very well with chocolate, cookies, and many other things.
Why we like it?
We decided to add this dianhong to the Daoli Teaspotting selection because of this tea’s great taste and the unique shape of its well preserved leaves. It is grown in the Yun county of Yunnan province, which is famous for its long tradition of making supreme-quality black teas.
Roman’s personal score: 90/100
Miha’s personal score: 89/100
The scores above represent how the Daoli co-founders Miha and Roman feel about each particular tea. The ratings are given on 0 to 100 scale and are absolutely subjective. We simply translate into numbers our first impression about this tea.
Black or red?
What we know as black tea is called “red” in Chinese. In the western tradition the point of reference is the dark color of the fully oxidized leaves. Chinese, however, call this tea red because of the light brown-red color of the infusion. A thin film will appear on the tea’s surface if it is left untouched for a while. This happens because of a series of chemical reactions involving polyphenols, caffeine, amino acids, and proteins. Therefore, it is recommended that you drink your tea while it’s fresh and steaming. If you you like your tea iced, just add a slice of lemon and the film will not form.
General steeping suggestions
Tea can be steeped in a tea pot, gaiwan, or a strainer placed right in your cup. Feel free to experiment with time, temperature, and quantity. If tea feels a bit strong or bitter, just use less leaves or steep it for a shorter period of time.
The purpose of the first brew is to rinse the leaves, so it shouldn’t last more than five seconds and should be discarded. Pour the hot water again. This time, steep it for longer periods. Avoid leaving the leaves soaking in water between brews, because it makes tea taste bitter and steals a lot of its flavor. If used properly, about six grams of tea leaves can yield several middle-size cups of excellent tea.
Chinese people enjoy the original taste of tea, so they never use milk, sugar, or lemon.
Steeping suggestions for Dianhong
It is particularly important not to oversteep this tea since it will taste bitter!
Start with this, then experiment:
- one serving: 6 grams (0.2 lb)
- water: ~ 85 °C, 100-250 ml (185 F, 3-9 oz)
- time: 30-60 seconds
- number of infusions: 6-7 times
- discard the first brew
The color of the first 2-3 infusions will be light brown – that’s quite normal. In fact, many people, prefer the earlier brews because of their juicy mellowness and lack of bitterness. Keeping infusion time low during consecutive brews will let you keep bitterness minimal, but that will require some practice and a sense of timing.
Have you tried this tea? Do you have any comments? Please use the space below to share your thoughts and ask us questions.