Thursday, 26 January 2012

2011 Black tea of Dehong (Yunnan hongcha)

Chinesse hongcha (red/black  tea) is a type of tea which is often overlooked. However, the relatively low prize and long shelf life makes it a good candidate for experimenting. In the past year I tried several one with different origins and there were a few really nice supprises. Here comes one of my favorites.

This tea comes from Dehong (Yunnan province) and wild growing purple leaf tea varietal was used to make this tea. Wild growing sounds always attractive for me.

6g/150ml zisha pot (zini clay), boiling water
no rinse, 25s, 20s, 40s, 1min, 2min, 5min, long
The dry leaves have an intense and complex fragrance with hints of grape, elderberry and with the typical sugar cane sweetness. In the wet leaves the grape smell is prominent, more precisely the pressed grape residue from the vine production (I used to help to my father during the grape harvest and vine preparation and therefore this unusual comparison, nice memories though) 

The liquor is thick, sweet and fruity, robust but not bitter or astringent, just like a good tea should be. Scott mentions hints of eucalyptus and I think I can pick up some (maybe :)). The sweetness in the aroma cup is on the low side, with some woodiness. The mouthfeel is fragrant and long lasting, the qi is warming. 

This hongcha is in the complex, fresh – fruity category rather than in the low chocolate-malty one. I like good teas from both of these groups and it depends only on my mood which one I pick up to drink. The price at yunnan sourcing is 11 USD for 100g what is, in my opinion, a very good deal. I am at the end of the bag but most probably I will include another one in my next order. I hope it will be still available. 

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