Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea Full-Leaf

Tea type
Black Tea
Yunnan Black Tea
Chocolate, Honey, Wheat, Earth, Fruity, Malt, Sweet, Creamy, Apricot, Hay, Pepper, Baked Bread, Grain, Oats
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by sherapop
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 11 oz / 316 ml

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68 Tasting Notes View all

From Teavivre

Origin: Fengqing, Yunnan, China

Ingredients: A mix orange pekoe colored buds with black leaves

Harvest time: May 8, 2014

Taste: A rich, complex but smooth and fresh taste

Brew: 1-2 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 194 ºF (90 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: Being a fully oxidised – or fermented – black tea, Dian Hong does not have the same level of antioxidants that our White and Green teas have, however it is still a good source of these and so will also 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.

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68 Tasting Notes

1338 tasting notes

I’m watching a generic Christmas film and I got the sudden urge to drink a gaiwan of black tea. So my hand goes into my large bag of Teavivre samples and I pulled this one out. My husband is having his work party tonight so I am on my own all day :(

The tea is made with small leaves that have been thinly rolled and dried. They have a dry earthy smell.

Gaiwan 3oz Tea:7g 6 steeps: rinse,15s,25s,45s,1m10s,1m30s,2m 90ºC/194ºF

Steep one – 15 seconds
The tea soup is honeyed brown in colour with a sweet, earthy and slightly floral tone. It does taste sweet and malty to my delight with no bitterness and of fair strength.

Steep two – 25 seconds
I’m starting to pick up a musky deep fragrance now. Malty and sweet still and very rich but still smooth.

Steep three – 45 seconds
Increasing in strength and becoming maltier and very thick and earthy.

Steep four – 1 minute 10 seconds
The colour reminds me of pu erh as it has that brown/red glow. Very sweet …reminds me of marmite a little.

Steep five – 1 minute 30 seconds
This has weakened somewhat and has increased it’s floral flavour again, it’s like jasmine but earthier.

Steep six – 2 minutes
No malt or richness to speak of anymore but it’s still sweet and floral.

I love Yunnan tea’s and straight away I could tell that this was one of them. It has the lovely strong, malty trademark that Yunnan’s usually have which is a pure bonus. On the most part it was rich and smooth but very balanced and clean.

Admittedly not one of my favourite Yunnan’s as the smell is a little too musky for my liking but it was a pleasant and smooth drink. It’s amazing to think that such small leaves can create such large flavour and aroma.

195 °F / 90 °C

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212 tasting notes

This was the 4th tea in the comparison today. I enjoyed it but it isn’t quite what I was looking for. It would be a pretty nice morning cup if you wanted some thing rich, smooth and sweet. Very well behaved and full bodied but I thought it didn’t have quite the character that the other 3 did. So while I enjoyed it, it won’t be a keeper for me.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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185 tasting notes

The other side of the coin, yet again my friends!

The full leaf yunnan brews into a notably lighter colored beverage than the ‘standard’ black tea (now referred to as half-full). To match, the flavor is lighter as well. Less bold than the half-full, it still has some of the same maltiness, but where the half-full leaf ends in a very apparent smoky finish, this has a light fruitiness at the end of the sip. A little sweet, somewhat indecipherable flavor that kind of creeps in while you’re drinking.

A little less economical, at about $3/oz, but could be preferable to folks that like more refinement and subtlety from their tea. We brewed these both a little on the strong side (7g for 16 oz), so I’m not entirely sure how that would change the character.

I can’t really pick a clear winner between the two, they’re just different.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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300 tasting notes

I realize I’m probably the odd one out brewing this with such short infusions, but I plan to try this longer as well with the husband, if I can ever get him to agree to sampling. Conversation last night: “Hey sweetie can I brew you a cup of really good black tea, I promise I won’t do short steeps”, husband: “No.” How do I work with that? (apparently by just brewing them and bringing them to him). So between that and me and the toddler not feeling well, these samples have been going slowly, my apologies.

I do think I am learning more about tea through this. Like I finally understand what people mean by a Yunnan having a linen like texture and for me it relates to the feeling, not the taste of pepper and cinnamon, though there are hints of those tastes in this too. The texture also reminds me of waffles, good whole wheat waffles like the ones I had for breakfast, which are really kind of linen like themselves. There is a soft sweetness here, but it does not speak to me as honey, nor as rock candy, but as sweet cream butter. However the tea is not yet buttery in this first short infusion, it does not coat the roof of the mouth until the second steep (perhaps if I did one longer infusion it would be there). Rather this is like licking a stick of unsalted butter and really tasting it.

I did brew the three Dian Hongs this evening at two and a half minutes each and got my husband to try each. All three are very nice black teas, each is different. Not so surprisingly the husband liked the lowest grade as it tasted the most “tea-like” more tannins I suspect and personally I think more malt, it had a cooler quality. What is surprising is that I preferred this, the middle. I think it was actually the most complex, but the golden tips is revealing more character as it cools. I will resteep each of these tonight at least once.

I also want to share how comforting opening the bag of this was, it smelled so rich and familiar, like opening up a huge canister of Golden Monkey and wafting it, which is saying something for such a tiny foil packet. The quality of the leaf is very good. I have not brewed the Golden Tips gonfu style yet so I will wait to review it as I am trying to figure out exactly what effects more buds have on the flavor, smooth, sweet and more high pitched are my initial thoughts, but I was getting some yam notes once it cooled. Thank you Angel and Teavivre

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

That’s more or less opposite of our house. I don’t like just making tea for myself without at least asking, and when he then says yes, because he almost always does, I usually end up making a large sharing-pot, rather than going through the difficulties of making him just pick one! and then making two separate pots of tea. I only do that if I’m very sure of what I want and it’s something that there is either very little of or something to do with short steeps. Most of the time, I tend to have to drink those when I’m home alone. :)

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471 tasting notes

i really like this tea. Its great everyday tea, not as sweet as Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea – Golden Tip, but enjoyable nevertheless. I dont find those teas similar. i see myself drinking it in the morning. brewed according to Teavivre

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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6 tasting notes

Very nice. I think people who favor green tea, but want to venture out to more black teas would really like this one.

1st steep- very mild, vegetal like green tea.
2ns steep- more of the maltiness of traditional blacks.
3rd steep- still very dark, a slight astringency coming through this time. But still getting a bit of the vegetal.

Anthony Bazic

Yunnan teas are probably the most famous Chinese teas known for its earthy, complex and almost peppery like spicy notes. I’m glad you loved this type of Yunnan tea, its quite like drinking Pu-Erh yet its not as minerally or earthy but has a good balance. Love teas like this, naturally flavored so there really nothing else you can put in it.

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13 tasting notes

Well, this certainly tastes like tea…ummm, let me clarify that, I love this tea, not because its sweet or exotic or complicated, I’ve had plenty of teas that are amazing, white/black mixes, oolongs with fruit or edible flowers, ,y last two reviews here spring to mind, tea’s that I love none the less but are so complex they lose that one fantastic aspect of tasting like… well tea.

Yun Nan Dian Hong from Teavivre is probably the best tea I’ve had in a long time, and its all due to the simple fact its uncomplicated, delicious, and amazingly unrefined, its simply good black tea. Simply good if not simple, there is a lot of flavor to this tea, a subtle taste, that’s neither as heavy as my other favorite (second favorite now?) black, Yunnan noir by adagio, a little more delicate, a light smoky almost burn sugar taste, but is still well in the confines of a delicious morning black. I struggle to describe it honestly. One of those things that’s better experienced in the first person rather then the third.

As for the technical I followed the advice of the lovely Strayer (Who also sent me this tea in the first place, and therefore will be loved forever) and steeped for less then four minutes at a nice high temp of 180-185, it steeps into this rich golden brown, amber color that is nearly as pretty as it is delicious, and the aroma of the drained leaves is amazing as well, definitely a good morning tea something to take your mind off the fact you had to roll out of bed before noon.

You do need to watch your time and temp though, this is actually my second attempt at the tea and its well, sensitive, my first attempt was only about a minute or two longer, and ten or 15 degrees less and it didn’t quite ruin the tea, but it wasn’t nearly as good, it may be a black but it behaves like a green, a few misplaced seconds or degrees here or there, steeping it in glass instead of insulated ceramic, this all seems to make an actual difference, its more then worth the effort, but don’t be surprised if your first attempt isn’t exactly prefect, on that note I’m going to toy with the time and temp a bit, and see if I can get even more out of this tea.

In short, because I might of over cooked this review, if you want a pure strait forward, but none the less uncompromisingly delicious black tea, you need to do yourself a service and at least try this, it really is amazing.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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160 tasting notes

Smells like a good Yunnan should right out of the bag, fruity and maybe a little cocoa-esque as well. Brewed up dark pretty fast. This Yunnan tea is particularly fruity tasting and smelling, like sun dried apricots and figs. Nice and smooth. I was originally planning to ice it after I tried a few sips warm, as it has been a hot Summer, but this cup is so good hot the ice will have to wait. I can already tell this is worth ordering again.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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37 tasting notes

This tea begins with rich, fragrant malt and sweet potato, and leads into a sustained note of caramelized brown sugar. Smooth and bursting with flavor, this is one of the best Dian Hongs that I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.

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342 tasting notes

Part three of four in my Teavivre Dian Hong series.

Prepared gongfu style, in a ceramic gaiwan. No rinse. Steeping times: 5, 5, 5, 5, 8, 12, 15, 20, 30, 20, 35, 60, 90; 2 minutes, 5, 12.

Quick side note: Even though the temperature in Teavivre’s directions say 195, I had to lower it to 190 because my kettle doesn’t have that setting. Then I bumped it up to 200 because the liquor tasted weak.

This Dian Hong is also visually appealing. Truly full leaf, many almost up to an inch long. Needle-like. The leaves are mostly dark, a few have golden downy hairs. They smell like a milk chocolate bar. After sitting in the heated gaiwan bowl, the leaves give off an aroma of freshly baked marble cake. (I wanted the real thing….) The wet leaf, at first, smells of malt and herbs. In the middle of the session, the chocolate comes back in the form of brownies.

The liquor is clear and orange-gold in color, having a full body. The texture starts off silky and smooths out by the end. It takes a few infusions for this Dian Hong to decide what it wants to taste like.
1: malt.
2: malt and oats.
3 through 5: chocolate on the tongue, a tangy note on the roof of the mouth.
From the sixth infusion to the end,tThe flavor is consistent – a light sweet potato.

I liked this. The quality is good, but for me it’s OK like the “regular” Dian Hong. So far, the golden tips is my favorite. Aroma-wise, this one is a blast. Taste-wise, I had difficulty distinguishing the different flavors throughout the session. I’m pretty sure didn’t overbrew the first few infusions because they were practically flash infusions. Even so, I enjoyed the session from the middle and onward. Despite the sample being slightly more expensive than the sample for the golden tips, this is actually cheaper – almost the same price more double the amount.

7 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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