No. 4 – Dian Hong Congfu Black Tea from Joseph Wesley Black Tea

4DianHongCongfuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Tea Description:

At the foot of the Himalayas in southwestern China, the great tea masters of the Yunnan Province have been hand crafting some of the world’s most unique teas for centuries. Yet, not until the 20th century did this region produce the unique Dian Hong Gong Fu (Yunnan Black) tea. Joseph Wesley’s Black Tea No. 4 is a spotlessly clean representation of this newly famous tea. With its crystal clear red liquor, beautiful golden buds, robust and malty taste and exquisite construction, Joseph Wesley’s Black Tea No. 4 is as much a work of art as it is an unforgettable tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Last week when I reviewed Joseph Wesley’s No. 6 – Bai Lin Congfu Black Tea, and loving that tea as much as I did, I found myself wondering how the other two teas that I have from this company would compare because … quite simply I loved that tea.  It was easily one of the very best black teas I’ve tried.

And as I sit here and sip this No. 4 – Dian Hong Congfu Black Tea from Joseph Wesley Black Tea, I find myself amazed yet again by this company!  Another outstanding black tea from them.

It IS different than I remember the No. 6, though.  The leaves look somewhat similar, with their dark, curly leaves and lots of golden tips.  These are really beautifully crafted leaves!  I love that this company doesn’t just sell tea.  They sell GORGEOUS tea.  And it isn’t gorgeous because there are lots of “things” added to the tea.  There aren’t fruit bits or flowers or herbs or spices – not that there’s anything wrong with those things added to a tea, I quite enjoy teas with all of those things in them – but I also like that this company has chosen to focus on the beauty of the oxidized Camellia Sinensis leaf, because it in itself is quite a thing to behold!

But I digress!

This Dian Hong is slightly different from the previously reviewed Bai Lin.  That tea had a slightly more velvety mouthfeel, while I notice a little more astringency to this cup.  This tastes and feels more “clean” and brisk, and there is a certain refreshing aspect to that.

There is a pleasant malty tone to this tea, and a very enjoyable bake-y taste to it with sweet notes that are reminiscent to the caramelized crust of a freshly baked loaf of bread.  There are also hints of a smoky character in the distance, and I find that slurping the sip will help to elevate these smoky notes.

It’s a bold tea, with a strong, full-bodied flavor.  This is the kind of tea that I’d recommend for those mornings when you just can’t seem to shake the sleepies.  You know the kind of day I’m talking about, right?  When you know you have to get up because there are things that need to be done … but you just want to stay curled up under the covers and sleep?  This tea will give you that “get up and go” kind of vigor you need to get your day started.

The sip starts off sweet with hints of malty caramel and a brisk earthy flavor.  As the sip progresses, I notice the distant smoky notes and the warm, bake-y flavor that I mentioned earlier.  The sip ends with a slight dryness, and the palate feels clean and refreshed … and ready for another sip.

Another beautiful tea from Joseph Wesley!  If you like really good black teas, you really should be shopping with this company.  Their teas are top notch!

No. 6 – Bai Lin Congfu Black Tea from Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Bai Lin CongfuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Tea Description:

Made strictly from the early, fresh, tender, and young buds of the Da-Bai tea cultivar, Joseph Wesley’s Black Tea No. 6 showcases the sweet, smooth and slightly toasty characteristics of China’s famous Bai Lin Congfu black tea. This tea is sweet in taste and beautiful in construction with a delicate array of golden-orange buds and a distinct fuzz showcasing the skill used in the complicated hand-crafting of this tea. With notes of caramel and cream, Joseph Wesley’s Black Tea No. 6 is an enduring way to reenergize in the morning, afternoon, or before a night out on the town.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mmmmmmmmm!   Yes, this tea:  No. 6 – Bai Lin Congfu Black Tea from Joseph Wesley Black Tea warrants nine m’s.  It’s that good.

The dry leaf is beautiful.  The leaves are dark brown with lots of golden tips.  The aroma of the dry leaf is earthy, and the fragrance of the brewed tea is also what I would describe as earthy.  There is relatively little here in the fragrance that hints at the flavors that will be experienced with the first sip.

It is incredibly smooth.  No bitterness whatsoever.  Just smooth from start to finish, and it finishes with a slight dryness that intensifies slightly in the aftertaste.  And it’s sweet, and the thought that comes to mind when I think of the sweetness is a warm, silky caramel.  So smooth and rich and sweet.  It almost tastes like I’m drinking something that I shouldn’t be drinking because it tastes that good, you know?  Kind of like licking the mixer blades after you’ve made a chocolate cake, you know you shouldn’t eat that raw cake batter, but, it tastes so good that you just can’t stop.

There are hints of sweet fruit in the distant, with notes of wood, leather and earth that are a little less distant, with a haze of smoke that sort of films over these flavors just a little bit.  Further obscuring these notes are the incredibly decadent sweetness of the cup.  As the tea begins to cool, I pick up on some creamy notes as mentioned in the above description.

A truly remarkable tea.  Put simply … I think I died and went to tea heaven.  If you like black tea – you’ll love this.  And if you love black tea, I caution you:  you may become obsessed with this one.