Dian Hong Black Tea from Teabook

Hello Tea Friends!

Today I will be reviewing some Dian Hong Cha from Teabook. If you are new to tea then here is some translating: Dian – Shorter version of Yunnan, a province in China known for tea growing. Hong means red which refers to it’s colour, in China it’s known as red tea but in Western countries it’s a black tea. Cha literally means tea. So it’s Yunnan Red Tea. This tea is also known as Yunnan Black or Yunnan Red but as there are many different types of black/red teas produced in Yunnan it can be a little confusing using the generic naming. This is why Dian Hong is most commonly used for differentiation.

Personally I do love a nice Dian Hong, they tend to have more tippy golden buds in general, assuming it’s of a nice quality. For this I have no idea until I open it, so let’s get to it. Actually first before I rip the top off the sachet like a monkey peeling a banana let me mention the sachet itself, Teabook sell these sachets in pre weighed bags to make it easier for drinking and transportation. Each sachet is 3g.

Opening the packet I can see some thin, dark leaves with a couple of golden tips. Altogether 3g is around 10 pieces of loosely broken leaves. They bare a dry, wooden scent with some sweetness. I say 3g but the sachet weight is included in that too.

Steeping this Western style: 2-3g into a 320ml glass cup with infuser for 3 minutes boiling water. Usually I do three steeps with Dian Hong in a teapot but 3g is not enough for me to do that to my desired strength.

Once steeped the tea is golden red in colour and bares a very mild malt and wood scent.

Flavour is very mild at first, further sips reveal a hint of sweet malt. There is some drying in the after taste that coats my tongue somewhat. The strength does not increase but the sweet, honeyed malt remains. It’s only noticeable really toward the after taste.

I am torn at this point. I do not want to write a negative review but I do need to be honest. While there was nothing wrong with the tea I personally (and I stress personally) believe that 2g loose leaf tea is not enough for a cup. If I had some Dian Hong whilst relaxing at home I would use 4-5g for a Western brew and 6-7 for a gaiwan. Both would be suitable for multiple steeps at that level of strength.

So the sachet idea is good but it should be at least 5g of tea in my honest opinion. That way it could be Western steeped or used in Gaiwan/Gong Fu Teapot and would be happy in both instances. Perhaps 2g is good for new tea drinkers adjusting to the taste of loose leaf, though even then I would recommend a higher dose.

Apologies to Teabook but that is my brutally honest opinion.

Until next time,

Happy Steeping!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Red
Where to Buy: Teabook


Dian Hong Red (Black) Tea from Lincang, Yunnan. This Dian Hong tea is misty gold liquor has a lovely sweet aroma that resemble milk chocolate. The Dian Hong enters the palate full and brings soft flavors of cherry and red grapes and leaves a slight mouthwater with a slight dry patch in the center of the mouth making you thirsty for the next warm soft sip.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fox Tail (Ancient Tree Black Tea) 2015 Spring Feng Qing from Bitterleaf Teas

foxTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Bitterleaf Teas

Tea Description:

Dian Hongs are a special breed of black tea, and this 2015 Spring Feng Qing Golden Tip, or Fox Tail as we’ve affectionately named it, is no different. Comprised solely of high quality tips from Feng Qing, this highly fragrant Dian Hong has a sweet, smooth taste throughout. It’s impossible to miss the consistent scent of freshly baked caramel cookie, along with a hint of citrus sweetness. This is apparent from the smell of emptied cup and even the smell of the soup.

This medium bodied tea is very pleasant, but without being overwhelming. We highly recommend this for drinkers who enjoy black teas and are looking for something new. If you are unfamiliar with what a Dian Hong tea is, please have a read here for more info.


This tea comes to us by way of the previous head of production and quality inspection with the formerly government owned Lincang Tea Factory. He now produces his own teas and has been able to work with us to provide this Feng Qing Dian Hong (as well as our 2015 Fall Bing Dao and 2015 Spring Bang Dong raw Puer.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Fox Tail (Ancient Tree Black Tea) 2015 Spring Feng Qing from Bitterleaf Teas…what a mouthful to say…and a mouthful of tea to drink!

First I would like to comment on the aroma of this interesting cuppa!  Fox Tail (Ancient Tree Black Tea) 2015 Spring Feng Qing from Bitterleaf Teas smells rustic but at the same time like a fine, sweet cigar, too!  Not to mention the hints of baked cookies!  I have to say I don’t think I have ever described a tea like that before – with all 3 reminiscent notes to them, that is.

The first impression on flavor of this tea was a combination of mellow, sweet, wet wood and almost a tobacco type note laying underneath to it, too!  I don’t think I have ever tasted a tea quite like Fox Tail (Ancient Tree Black Tea) 2015 Spring Feng Qing from Bitterleaf Teas.  I chalk that up as a GOOD THING because with all of the teas I do try I seem to be on the everlasting search for teas that stand out.

I have a feeling that this is one of those teas where there will be multiple opinions and takes on, therefore, I will be sending it to Nichole to see what she thinks about this tea, too!  You just might see more than one review on this one, folks!  Very.  Memorable.  Tea.  Fox Tail (Ancient Tree Black Tea) 2015 Spring Feng Qing from Bitterleaf Teas!!


Wild Black Tea from Teabook

 TeaBoolTea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Teabook

Tea Description:

Our red tea comes from Yunnan, Fujian, and Hunan provinces in China. The original name for black tea is red tea because of the general color of the infusion; it is still referred to as red tea in China today. Flavors that can define red tea are often robust, woodsy, or toasted and might have notes of walnut, raisin and chocolate. From a health perspective, some studies have established that red (black) tea may help protect lungs from exposure to cigarette smoke; new studies are starting to look at its possible role in helping to reduce the risk for stroke. Black is aggressively rolled/shaped during the processing to bring out its distinct flavors and aromas and are fully oxidized, thus creating darker deeper teas with more tannins (astringency).

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love the idea and concept behind Teabook and have really thought about getting a subscription. I love the convenience factor of having my loose leaf already measured out for me in convenient packaging. Such an alluring idea and so far I’ve enjoyed the teas I’ve tried.

And this one is no exception! This is another great offering from the Teabook. This particular offering is a Dian Hong from Lincang, Yunnan Province, China.

Brewed up with water at 195F and allowed to steep for about 3 minutes, this tea is giving me a gorgeous spot on black tea flavor that is woods, smooth, slightly astringent, with a lovely malty flavor running thru every sip! Such a well balanced tea. Really love how complex the tea is but yet so simple. Crisp and lovely!

This would be fabulous offering for the cool brisk spring evenings that are coming our way. I really like this one! This may have been the tea that gets me to subscribe!


Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea (Red Tea)

Where to Buy: Teabook

Tea Description:

This is a one time purchase of our beloved teabook Subscription box without the renewing feature, makes a great gift! We purposely seek out high-elevation, quality tea from small farms that don’t use pesticides.

Free glass tea tumbler
18 tea packets of two quality selected varieties
1 special collection tea packet

Great tea wherever you go!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook is a great tea.  Whether you call it a Black Tea or a Red Tea it’s sure to impress.  The sample I received from Teabook was perfectly portioned to fit in their tea tumbler that I also received in the box they sent me but the Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook itself also fit nicely into my strainer/steeper to have a regular cuppa as-is, too!

Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook is of Lincang, Yunnan Province, China.  Suggested water steeping temperature was 195 degrees and the loose leaf tea is an impressive, clean black tea (or as they state on the package Red Tea).  Here in the US we tend to call it a Black Tea but many other countries categorize it as a Red Tea.

It has a nice medium strength black tea base that ends a bit sweeter on the end sip.  It also makes a great iced tea.  I was able to get multiple infusions out of it, too!  Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook is hardy and hefty and stands up to many of my black tea favorites!  Two thumbs up!


French Toast Dianhong Black Flowering Tea from Liquid Proust Teas

FrenchToastFloweringTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black/Flowering

Where to Buy:  Liquid Proust Teas

Tea Description:

As my first batch of French Toast Dian Hong, I decided to go lightly on the flavoring because the natural cocoa taste from the tea is pleasant enough to keep the flavoring at a low amount. This tea proves to pull out different taste from different steeps from my experience and I am hoping you find the same to be true.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Some of my favourite tea companies are the ones where you really get a feel for the owners as people; a hand picked sample, signed note added in to my order, and online interactions on sites such as Steepster are all touches that win me over quite a lot as a consumer; and something really cool about Liquid Proust Teas, a retailer which opened quite recently, is that I kind of got a feel for the owner, Andrew, before the company was even hatched since, first and foremost, he was a Steepster member himself and is a consumer as well as a seller too.

Recently, I did a swap with him and he generously included a few of his own blends. Personally, I thought this seemed the most interesting of what he sent me. A few other companies such as 52Teas, both under new and old management, have attempted French Toast teas but I’ve yet to be wowed by one and I think Andrew’s approach here is quite a bit different than the ones they’ve taken so I’m definitely excited!

I brewed this ‘Grandpa Style’ because that’s my typical approach with blooming/flowering teas. I knew that there was a possibility that it would get bitter because that’s a risk you always take when brewing Grandpa Style but this was unwaveringly smooth and silky. The entire time I spent drinking this (a few hours in total) there wasn’t even the slightest hint of bitterness OR astringency. I’m incredibly impressed by that.

The flavour was very fluffy and sweet, but reserved enough to not be cloying or make me feel like I was drinking syrup straight from the bottle. The rich notes of custard, cream, vanilla, cocoa, and, yes, egg hardly waned at all throughout the session. There were also lighter notes of cinnamon that I thought did fade towards the end of my session, and some pretty pronounced malt notes from the tea itself along with more muted floral notes. I likely could have continued to drink this for another hour or possibly longer with very little flavour deterioration. More than that, if it had not have been midnight I would have continued to drink this which is certainly high praise from me given that I dislike resteeping in general (drink as many teas as possible in one day is my philosophy).

My only criticism would be that the “toast” part of “French toast” was lacking; I’d have liked stronger bread notes contributed from the base tea to complete the illusion; but that’s just me getting hyper critical of one of the better flavoured teas I’ve had all month. If Andrew’s other teas are as tasty as this one I’m in for a real treat!