The dry leaves of this tea are beautiful and aromatic, which I noticed as I opened the sample. The gold tips are distinctly visible before steeping. Since it’s a delicate tea with a recommended steeping temperature of 176 degrees, I allowed the water to cool for a couple of minutes after boiling before I lowered the infuser in. For the first steeping I allowed three minutes in about 8 ounces of water. It came out not exactly reddish but not super dark either, more of a dusky amberish. Quite a nice color. The scent was sweetly fragrant and a little bit floral. When I took a sip I discovered a surprisingly light, sweet flavor. It’s relatively smooth and not bitter, with just a bit of astringency, mostly in the aftertaste. The aftertaste was also quite pleasantly floral, which I liked.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Teavivre
Dian Hong black tea, also known as Yunnan black tea, is one of China’s most famous black teas. This is the highest grade Dian Hong generally available in China – called Golden Tip Dian Hong. It has lots of orange pekoe in the dried tea, and brews into an absolutely great tasting, golden coloured tea, with very rich taste and aroma.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tao Tea Leaf
Well known throughout the world, TangYang GongFu is a fully oxidized black tea from the Fujian province of China. The tea was created in the year 1371 during the dawn of the Ming Dynasty. This tea has a thick and heavy body and tastes bold and slightly sweet. The brew is a perfect balance between the bitterness, sweet, honey and fruit like flavors.
Learn more about this tea here.
I may be ruffling some feathers of you Chinese black tea lovers out there, but I just want to put my honest opinions out in the open. Fujian Province makes the best black teas. Hands down. My favorite black tea of all time is Jin Jun Mei, (also known as Beautiful Golden Eyebrow) which is also from Fujian. Must be something in the water. Or the dirt. Or the air. Yup. It’s gotta be the dirt. Just looking at this dark chocolaty brown leaf of this tea is making me thirsty. I love seeing the little golden fuzzy twirls hiding out within, that coy, delicate bud just waiting to hit me over the head with its rich deliciousness.
Of course, I whipped out my trusty porcelain gaiwan and got down to it. I just had to gongfu brew this tea. I mean, it even has the word in it’s name! I used 3g of slender, lightly twisted, leaf in my 100ml gaiwan. I gave it a quick rinse for about 3 seconds before beginning. Even the rinse had already become a deep, rustic brown. I knew I was in for a treat.
The tea was gracious enough to brew up all of it’s goodness slowly, letting me enjoy every last drop to it’s fullest. The soup was thick and broth, and a brilliant red. The taste was heavy in my mouth, and the flavors lasted long after each sip. I got no astringency whatsoever, it was so even and smooth. The aroma is similar to fresh baked whole wheat bread, with perhaps some dried fruit snuck inside. Upon further inspection, I detect creamed honey and thick malt coating my throat. It still retains that bread quality without becoming toast. This would make for an excellent breakfast tea!
Where to Buy:
Origin: Fengqing, Yunnan, China
Ingredients: orange pekoe colored buds
Harvest time: Hand-picked in April, 2011
Taste: A rich, complex but smooth and fresh taste
Brew: 1-2 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 185 ºF (85 ºC) for 2 to 3 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)
Health Benefits: A good source of antioxidants and so will help reduce the risk of cancers and lessen the affects of aging. Black teas such as our Dian Hong also are considered to help prevent tooth decay and help lower your cholesterol levels.
I love the way the tea leaves look! I know you aren’t supposed to judge a tea by the way the leaves look but I just love them! I love the different colors, textures, shapes! They are truly a work of natural art! They look JUST LIKE the picture!
The first infusion ‘brewed’ very dark with a light fibery texture to the eye but not to the taste. It was rather malty and quite tasty! I decided to do an infusion test with this one and am glad that I did. Multiple infusions with this black tea are fun and delightful! I will say the overall malt-like flavor I mentioned wasn’t NOT over the top at all…it was just enough to give it some Umph! The 2nd and 3rd infusions were less malty and a mellower toned-down black tea taste. Still nice tho! As for the 4th infusion – the tea color was MUCH lighter and the malt was near gone. It was like a very gentle black tea but the neat part about the 4th infusion was that I could pick up on some fruity notes. It was a nice surprise!
I really like this tea. I would consider it a nice, solid, SHARING tea. A good go-to when you have people over. It’s tasty stand-alone and has a great flavor but isn’t overly dark or strong either. It’s a goodie!