2021 Yunnan Feng Qing Old Tea Tree Black Gold black tea

Yunnan Feng Qing Old Tea Tree Black Gold


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Black Tea


Yunnan Feng Qing Old Tea Tree Black Gold


Grade: mao feng pluck (a bud and two leaves)
Manufacture: traditional hong cha manufacture
Oxidation: fully-oxidized


Appearance: long, elegant, twisted leaf with very few russet-colored tips
Flavor: rich, full, nutty, creamy & sweet; Yunnan dian hong flavor characteristics
Aroma: smooth and soft with a hint of grassiness
Liquor: rich russet-amber-colored tea liquor


Feng Qing Tea Factory
Feng Qing County, Lincang Prefecture,
Yunnan Province, China

2021 Spring Pluck (May)

Use 1 Tablespoon (2-3 grams) per 6 oz water
Steep 1 infusion at 3-5 minutes
Water temperature should be 190°F-200°F


Steeping Tip:


Definitely steep this leaf a second time if the first steeping is on the short side of our suggestion.
This leaf is extremely large so if you are measuring by volume be sure to use a generous amount. The volume quantity of it by weight yields a particularly large quantity of leaf so keep that in mind when measuring!


Is Yunnan black tea dian hong or hong cha?


Terminology for Chinese teas can be confusing. For example, in China hong cha is the term for ‘red’ tea –  what we in the West call black tea. It can be used to describe any tea from any of the black tea producing regions of China. For example: one might refer to a Fujian Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong as a northern Fujian hong cha or a Keemun black tea from Anhui Province as an Anhui hong cha.


Conversely, hong cha teas of Yunnan Province are called dian hong instead. Dian is an old historical name for parts of today’s Yunnan Province, so dian hong is still how Yunnan black tea are referred to. Some say that dian hong should just refer to the modern-style plantation style teas and not the forest teas made from indigenous varieties of old tea bush varietals.


We, on the other hand, generally use the term dian hong to mean the opposite. Yunnan has such a long history of producing both Pu-erh and dian hong that we think dian hong should be reserved for tea in the historical since –  the traditional, small village teas made from forest gathered leaf materials.
On rested and aged Yunnan Dian Hong:
New harvest seasonal Yunnan black teas are delicious – but rested or aged versions of these teas can be twice as rewarding! Tea Trekker’s Yunnan black teas are plucked in various types of tea gardens – older plantation gardens and forested arbor bushes and trees (wild to semi-wild plants). Not all black tea ages well, but we find that hand-crafted teas from both Yunnan Province and regions of Eastern China keep and age wonderfully.


The bushes and trees that are plucked to make out Yunnan teas represent different generations of plants and are comprised of many unique cultivars found growing throughout the heavily forested mountain tea growing regions of Yunnan. These varietals and cultivars are broad-leafed varieties – known collectively as dayeh – that produce large, long leaves that reflect the richness of their forested habitat and the plants close genetic connection to the wild tea trees of Assam India – Camellia assamica. This habitat and size is one of the reasons why Yunnan black teas are so rich and full in the mouth.


Tea such as this offers the luxury of time as they will store well and maintain and develop flavor complexity for several years.  We love Yunnan dian hong and prefer to drink them when they have mellowed a bit – one or two years after manufacture. In most cases, the teas can be kept for much longer.


The key to ageing these teas is proper storage (cool and reasonable airtight – a ceramic jar is ideal) which will serve to underscore and preserve the inherent concentration of flavor elements that premium Yunnan leaf has in abundance.


We are quite fond of this elegant dian hong and have just recently switched to the 2021 harvest production, which shows great promise as a ‘keeper’. You can choose to drink it now and appreciate its youthful bright flavor, or hold it and age it for a period of anywhere from 6 months to 2-3 years, and enjoy it as a more mature dian hong. Or you can do both!

Opening with the fruity, nutty, and cacao-like aroma of the dried leaf, the tea liquor then yields a slightly spicy, chocolate aroma in the cup that is rich and appealing. The flavor of this ‘lot’ is very similar to that of last year’s harvest, which is wonderful because we liked that harvest!.

The leaf is large and there is a nice scattering of contrasting-color tip present that is equal in length to the pluck – indicating the maturity of the trees from which the leaf materials were plucked. The long, elegant, twisted leaf has the beautiful dark brown color typical of Yunnan dian hong. The minimal russet-colored tips (far fewer than most recent years) provide a subtle counterpoint to the dominant percentage of darker leaf (including many dark-colored tips).

The flavor of the steeped liquor is not the usual rich and hearty style of premium Yunnan dian hong. This tea has undertones of sweetness that suggest ripe melon and roasted nuts. There is a hint of grassiness in the top nose that lightens the inherent richness of the leaf and gives this tea some hay-like and bright qualities usually associated with a fine Chinese green tea.

This dian hong is an easy steeper – it is not challenging, but rather forgiving and satisfying. It has a thinner body than some dian hong, which many tea enthusiasts, especially Indian black tea drinkers or those who add whitener, will find intriguing.

We think it should be best drunk plain, but some might add a full-fat dairy such as cream or half-and-half. Drunk plain, it is mouth-filling and not dry.

Harvested in the heart of the Yunnan old-growth area of tea production, this leaf is plucked perfectly, and carefully manufactured into dian hong by expert tea makers. Feng Qing County in Yunnan’s Lincang Prefecture is famous for producing delicious dian hong tea from local variant old tea trees. Here, in remote areas, tea bushes thrive in the perfect climate for producing great tea.

This leaf was plucked in the spring from sub-varietal tea bushes that send out some of the earliest-season leaf of any of the Yunnan gardens. Therefore, due to its early start and long growing season, its leaf is slightly larger in size than the spring harvest of many other tea bushes in Yunnan Province. Some years all this leaf is snatched up for the region’s highly-regarded Pu-erh manufacture; but for us here at Tea Trekker, we are glad that this raw material has been spared that fate, as we can never have too many dian hongs from the Feng Qing area.

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