Ye Sheng Hong Cha (Yunnan Wild Black Tea)
This black tea was produced entirely from one of Yunnan’s wild growing Ye Sheng (wild) varietal tea plants from Longchuan County in the Western part of Dehong Prefecture. These Ye Sheng varietals are distinct from the Camellia varietals traditionally used in the production of orthodox teas both botanically and from a flavor/aroma perspective. The tea factories of the region (most notably Xiaguan) use Ye Sheng varietals in some of their productions, and the ethnic groups in the Yunnan/Myanmar border region have been using these varietals to make tea for centuries.
Appearance, Flavor and Aroma:
This black tea has a distinctive appearance with its mix of long, twisted black leaves, brownish-purple buds and the occasional greenish brown young leaf mixed in. The aroma of the dry leaves is difficult to describe, but I get a mix of floral sweetness, some of the evergreen aroma I associate with other Ye Sheng tea (like our Ya Bao, which is produced from a similar varietal) and a bit of something like camphor (but not quite). When infused, this tea produces an aromatic, crystal clear, reddish-amber infusion. The flavor incorporates the floral sweet and “evergreen” elements from the aroma with more classic, malty, “black tea” type flavors into a complex, moderately mouth-coating infusion that leaves a lovely, lingering floral aftertaste in the mouth.