Tea Trekker’s 2012 Yunnan Feng Qing Imperial Dian Hong is a classic dian hong ( very tippy Yunnan black tea ). But it also has several other attributes that make it unique and distinctive.
One of the first we noticed is its enticing aroma that is reminiscent of darkly-roasted coffee or bitter chocolate. While we have tasted Yunnan black teas that have had a preponderance of a biscuit or ‘burnt-toast’ aroma, this coffee-ish/cocoa aroma is much more unusual.
Southwest China is one of the original locations for the tea plant– so it is easy to become enamored with many of the distinctive offerings of our tea gardeners and their master tea artisans. Feng Qing County in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province is famous for producing delicious dian hong tea. Here, in remote areas, tea bushes thrive in the perfect climate for producing great tea.
This leaf is plucked in the early spring from sub-varietal tea bushes that send out new leaf that is smaller in size than that of other tea bushes in this region. The flavor of this tea has a slight leathery, smoky initial taste, followed by the familiar dian hong biscuit, caramel flavor.
Yunnan teas made from mature tea bushes offer the luxury of time as they will generally store well and maintain their complexity for several years. These teas mellow with age and will be best after 12 months to 24 months – heck, we’ve even tasted Yunnan blacks that were ‘just getting good’ 2 years after harvest. The key is proper storage (cool and reasonably airtight: a ceramic jar is ideal), which will serve to underscore the inherent concentration of flavor elements that premium Yunnan leaf has in abundance. We’ve been a big fan of Yunnan black tea for two decades and counting – and will continue to purchase interesting ‘new’ offerings every chance we get!