Black Tea: Yunnan Black Tea(Dian Hong)
Dian hong 滇红 "Yunnan Red", is a Chinese black tea which is used as a relatively high end gourmet black tea and is sometimes used in various tea blends. The main difference between Dian hong and other Chinese black teas is the amount of fine leaf buds, or "golden tips," present in the dried tea.
Dianhong has large plump leaves and a thin layer of white fur on the surface. However, most of the Dianhong available on the market has been compressed into tea cakes and broken into small pieces. Dianhong has an intense reddish brown color. Fermented with lychee, rose and longan, Dian hong teas produces a brew that is brassy golden orange in colour with a sweet, gentle aroma and no astringency.When brewed, the tea tastes smooth and deep. It has a substantial body and a lingering earthy aroma. Even after adding milk, one can still clearly taste the true flavors of Dianhong.
History and Culture
Dianhong is a type of black tea native to Yunnan Province in China. It grows in the Southern and Southwestern parts of the region. The average sea level of the tea plantations is above 1000 meters. The climate is warm throughout the year, around 22c. The land is blessed with fertile conditions perfect for tea growth.
Teas grown in the Yunnan Province of China prior to the Han dynasty were typically exported in a compressed form similar to modern pu-erh tea. Dian hong is a relatively new product from Yunnan that began production in the early 20th century. The word "Diān" (滇) is the short name for the Yunnan region while "hóng" (紅) means "red (tea)"; as such, these teas are sometimes simply referred to as Yunnan red or Yunnan black. However, such references are often confusing due to the other varieties of teas produced in Yunnan as well as the ambiguous nature of the color classifications.
Tasting and brewing
Dian hong teas are best brewed with porcelain gaiwan or yixing teaware using freshly boiled water at 90°C (194°F) to 100°C (212°F), and are suitable for multiple infusions. It is important not to overbrew the teas as they will easily go bitter or exhibit astringency, especially the cheaper varieties.