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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