Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Chocolate, Fruity, Hot hay, Earth, Floral, Roasted, Tart, Umami, Wood, Malt, Mineral, Rainforest, Cocoa, Fig, Smoke, Sweet, Honey, Marshmallow, Baked Bread, Dust, Hay, Dark Chocolate, Rose, Flowers, Wheat, Raisins, Berries, Plums
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 6 g 13 oz / 370 ml

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47 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Free sample from Angel at Teavivre. Thank you for this and apologies for taking so long to review it. Life does not always comply with one’s need to taste and write up teas, sadly. I am...” Read full tasting note
    Roughage 267 tasting notes
  • “A sample from Angel at Teavivre, and a long overdue tasting due to various winter illnesses. At least now I’m fully recovered and able to appreciate tea once again! I used 1...” Read full tasting note
    Scheherazade 1320 tasting notes
  • “This was one of my initial tastings through Teavivre. It was very smooth and balanced with a great color. Excellent flavor in the second brew as well. I just added an additional minute to my brew.” Read full tasting note
    scheumee 1 tasting notes
  • “I regret being forced to rush through this one this morning in my frenzy to prepare to substitute teach today. It was my first day ever, and I know most subs suck, but I am really intent on making...” Read full tasting note
    Zimaleah501 582 tasting notes

From Teavivre

Enjoy this cup of top grade and elegant Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea
•Origin Place: Yunnan Province, China.
•Harvest Time: May 15,2014

•Dry Tea: tight and wiry with plenty tips, even shape, dark and smooth.
•Tea Liquid: bright in orange yellow color.
•Flavor: strong floral fragrance, tastes mellow, rich and full with strong sweet aftertaste.
•Tea Leaf: after brewed, the tea leaf is complete and glossy.

A cup of Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea will not only attract you by its taste, but also by its appearance: so dark and strong with tight and long tips. This tempting appearance is produced in Yunnan. While if you want to describe its taste, you can use the word elegant. It can serve you a cup of elegant gongfu tea or afternoon tea.

High mountains and proper environment produces good tea. Chinese Red has a price of high value. Its special tea tree and superb making skills make this tea carrying a unique fragrance as rich as perfumes. The top notes make you delighted; the middle notes fresh your mind; the base note of strong floral fragrance make you intoxicated.

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47 Tasting Notes

267 tasting notes

Free sample from Angel at Teavivre. Thank you for this and apologies for taking so long to review it. Life does not always comply with one’s need to taste and write up teas, sadly.

I am always pleased to write about teas from Teavivre because I have never had a dud one yet, and this did not break with tradition.

The dry leaf gave off an instant chocolatey hit when I opened the packet. I tipped the whole sample into my 250ml pot and set to, starting off at a 1 minute steep and adding 2 minutes to the time for each of two subsequent steeps. The liquor was a dark red brown colour and tasted fruity and light when I first sipped it. A dark chocolate taste developed like a high cocoa butter content chocolate (up in the 85% range for the chocolate fiends). Like the chocolate, the taste was thick with cocoa and a bitter edge to it, but it also had an note of warm hay. This developed into sweetness in the aftertaste that I really liked. The resteeps were similar, although the depth of flavour very quickly dropped off despite the large amount of leaf I used. This is another tea that I would happily buy several packets of.

Flavors: Chocolate, Fruity, Hot hay

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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1320 tasting notes

A sample from Angel at Teavivre, and a long overdue tasting due to various winter illnesses. At least now I’m fully recovered and able to appreciate tea once again! I used 1 tsp of leaf for today’s cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. No additions.

The liquor is a medium brown with a reddish cast, which I suppose is par for the course with a western style brewing. The scent is baked bread with a hint of chocolate -absolutely delicious, and so enticing. I was a little surprised by my initial sip, which held more sourness than I was expecting. It reminds me a little of sourdough, actually, and complements the baked bread note that’s also detectable. The mid-sip is where the chocolate lives, and it’s a bittersweet, high-cacao sort of chocolate flavour. There’s a strong kick of malt here, too, which helps to sweeten things up a little. The maltiness lingers into the aftertaste, where it’s joined by a light grain flavor. My overall impression is of a full-bodied, bittersweet tea with strong bread and chocolate notes – cups like this remind me of how I came to love Chinese black teas so much! There’s so much depth and flavour here, it’s impossible to be disappointed.

Yesterday’s cup of this tea was brewed similarly – 1 tsp of leaf for around 4 minutes in boiling water – the exception being that I added milk. Based on today’s cup, I can safely say that milk isn’t required – it’s such a smooth tea, with no astringency whatsoever. It does change the flavour profile a little, though.

With milk, this makes for an equally wonderful cup. The initial sip holds the same bread and chocolate notes, but they’re rounded and smoother. The malt is more prominent in the mid-sip; this and the creaminess of the milk make this into a slightly sweeter cup, with the chocolate coming across more as a high quality milk, rather than the darker, more intense chocolate of the cup left black. There’s also a light smokiness in the aftertaste that helps to replace some of the depth that the milk erased.

I’m happy to drink this one either way, as both work equally well. Milk isn’t required by any means, and possibly it’s a little surplus, but it makes for a sweeter, creamier cup and sometimes that suits my mood. Today’s black cup is just as fulfilling, though, proving that this is a versatile and forgiving tea with plenty of flavour to go around. I’d recommend this to anyone, and it’s certainly one I’ll look to repurchase in future!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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1 tasting notes

This was one of my initial tastings through Teavivre. It was very smooth and balanced with a great color. Excellent flavor in the second brew as well. I just added an additional minute to my brew.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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582 tasting notes

I regret being forced to rush through this one this morning in my frenzy to prepare to substitute teach today. It was my first day ever, and I know most subs suck, but I am really intent on making sure I break that mold.

This was perfect this morning. A bit sweet, not bitter at all, and very earthy and woody. There was a thick fruitiness, but I’d need to drink it again to be sure. But drink it again, I most certainly will!

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698 tasting notes

Long overdue tasting note on this tea…

This sample comes from Angel at Teavivre…and I think it is probably my first red tea. When I first tried this I git a little sour, but in a bittersweet chocolate sort or way, that eventually turned into an earthy any or grassy feel. It’s an interesting tea for sure. I don’t think this is my favourite black (red) tea, but it is not bad. I did brew this western style and add milk and sugar to it. It may have been a different experience gong fu style, but I don’t have my gaiwan set yet….probably not for a few more weeks at least. I’m not sure if I would recommend this or not just because it is a certain flavour profile, but it is a good one…so I’m sure some would like and some would not.

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707 tasting notes

After several weeks of illness, I feel well enough to actually review this tea. It is one of the five that Teavivre sent me for free, and I really wanted to get to it (and the other two I haven’t had yet). Unfortunately, I got back-to-back colds and have not been at peak tasting performance. Even today I still have some symptoms, but I don’t care! I need good tea!

The dry leaf is skinny black wires, not very broken up but maybe 1 to 2 cm long…hard to measure curly things. :) There is the odd leaf that is much lighter, but this isn’t a golden tea. It smells very strongly of chocolate, maybe like a dark hot chocolate or a chocolate cake batter before it hits the oven. There is some sweetness, so it isn’t all dark and bitter in aroma. Really nice smell!

I used water slightly cooled after the boil and steeped half the sample packet for approximately 3 minutes. Hard to say, really. I’m at work, so it’s harder to be sure. The steeped aroma reflects the dry aroma strongly but also has a brisk almost bitter smell. I don’t know if other people get that too, but I sometimes smell that a tea is or will be bitter. It’s not a guarantee but that is what I have found it to most often represent. The Teavivre brewing suggestions were 1 to 5 minutes, so I went with my usual time.

This has cooled for about 15 minutes now as I was called away to actually work. Funny how they ask that. Despite that, it is still warm and drinkable, sipping in more gently than I expected. I do get cocoa right off the bat, and some sweetness on the tongue after the sip. It builds up with every sip, increasing the flavour and the depth. This is definitely a tea that is improved by drinking continuously, and maybe a little consciously. I was definitely typing away all happy and then realized that the sweet and the cocoa linger deliciously. It sort of forced me to pay attention and be friends. I like that in a tea.


I hope you recover fully soon.


Thanks Kitty! Unfortunately it seems I have infected my colleague and she is now miserably sick. This is what happens when you don’t have sick days. Luckily for her, she does, and will be home tomorrow to recover. On the plus side, this tea was really good!


Feel better Uni!

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328 tasting notes

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Trying the third black tea from a sample pack that Teavivre sent me recently. Yet again, I’m using short steeps as suggested on their website to taste test it. Black tea is often prepared western style with long steeps. I prefer to short steep black tea, especially if it’s of good quality because it will yield many good short infusions to taste.

Straight from the first sip, this tea blew me away. The flavours are far from what I expected. Just glancing at the name of the tea I figured, ‘oh ok, here is another yummy Yunnan Dian Hong tea to try’. Sipping the tea and smelling the cup, there is a distinct umami aroma. I’ve yet to try a tea I’d consider to be savory. There is also a very enjoyable woodsy, floral and roasted flavour. Also a bit of earthy, and mild sweetness in the background. The tea base mixed the savory flavour makes for a very bold first cup of tea.

On the third steep, there was more of an almost sour and tart flavour. It wasn’t strong enough to make my face pucker, but because it’s unusual to taste in tea it tastes strong to my senses. As I resteeped all the way to a seventh cup, the tea maintained a consistent bold flavour. It tasted a bit weaker on the sixth and seventh steeps, but the flavour and liquour colour is much stronger and darker than I anticipated.

Overall I was very pleased with this tea. I’d like to use the recommend option on Steepster for this one, but it brings such bold and unique flavours that I know that would be off putting for some people.
I’m used the word bold a lot to describe this tea, and even that doesn’t really fully describe the sensations it brings. It has a balance of potent flavours (roasted, woodsy, earthy, savory, floral, sweetness, spice, and tartness) that you usually don’t taste in tea. Usually if a tea is bold/potent it’s in a bad way, such as being off balanced, bitter, or too pungent (the opposite of what a well balanced, delicate tea would be). If I had to compare this tea with any other, it would be similar in sensation to a strong Sun Moon Lake black tea. Both of them have bold flavours, but still maintain a good balance and are not recommended for tea lovers that want a subtle tea.
On recommendations, I think the savory nature of the tea makes it a good one to sip during winter. Where I live it has been brutally cold the past couple of months. The bold savory characteristics gave me a pleasant feeling of cozy warmth, similar to what I feel when I drink strong chai or Lapsang Souchong.

Short steeping as suggested by Teavivre’s website: rinse, 15s, 25s, 35s, 45s, 60s, 75s, 90s

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Roasted, Tart, Umami, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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6564 tasting notes

Sample from Angel – thank you as always for your continuous generosity. this is one of those mineral like teas for me. there’s a bit of sweetness here but mostly it’s that mineral like taste that, in roasty ooolong teas develops in to that taste that i don’t like. However, in this tea it’s pleasant…making for a very light cup. I don’t think i’d pick this one up but i’m really glad for the chance to sample it as would have been one that i would have likely ordered to try out. I see this finding it’s home with someone who likes those sort of roasty mineral like teas….though this is certainly got a sweetness to it that is very pleasant.


YES! “Mineral” – I thought that when I tasted this one too, but didn’t mention it because I figured I didn’t know what I was talking about.



hahahaha at least we’re both potentially crazy together


And that is good enough for me! haha


If you have additional packets of this, I’ll swap you my Superfine Keemun for one? Curious to try.


I have at least one packet you can have!


that works..or i can pull my extra packets out of cavo’s box… lol


Either or! I’m curious to try this tea, and I didn’t much care for the Keemun (which other people did).


I don’t mind sending you one of mine! I’d like to keep my other one for round 2 though :)

Just PM me so I don’t forget, unless you would rather go the Sil route!


I’m happy either way!! Maybe Cavo wants a say?

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630 tasting notes

Another sample from the generous Angel!

Before brewing this (Western style for me), I had finished a mug of the Superfine Keemun Mao Feng that I have recently been super impressed by.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of a “red black” tea.

First sip, I was surprised at how…sour (?) it seemed to taste on my tongue!

Not BAD, but nowhere near as sweet as the aforementioned Keemun.

It was a light color, and it had sort of a strange taste that felt somehow familiar to me, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. The closest I came was like kind of a bitter raisins taste. But I’m not entirely sure.

I appreciate the opportunity to try this one, but it’s not one I would purchase.
Perhaps gong fu style would make a big difference overall.

I’m not rating this time around because I feel like I need to try my second sample first :)

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251 tasting notes

Thank you to Angel at TeaVivre for the generous sample!

Dry: Longer twisty dark leaves, though much lighter to touch and almost wiry in the bag. They make an elegant sight in the stainless steel infuser and the fragrance is attractive with a hint of cocoa and heady malt.

Steeped: Brewed this Western style in spring water, the tea takes on a mahogany clear liquor. The scent is warming still with a hint of something chocolate, but with added wood and mineral playing around the edges. I did not expect these notes from the dry leaf, so we will see what happens.

Taste: While it is still quite pleasant, I think I was looking for something more striking initially from the steeped aromas. Steeped at 1 min and then at 3 minutes, the taste of the tea is somewhat muted overall. I don’t really detect any cocoa on the palate, but after 3 minutes, there are flavors that remind me distinctly of walking in the woods after it rains. I grew up in the tropics, so the smell may be different for me than for someone that grew up in the North. Do you know what I am taking about? There is a fragrance that develops when the raindrops land on the trees and the earth and this also has a flavor of wood with mineral, malt, and flowers. I had to sit and think about it for a while before I could put my finger on what I was tasting, though the tea is outstandingly smooth. Of the two Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong teas I’ve tasted, I find the Ancient Wild Tree Black Tea to be superior in presence so far. That is not to say I am not thoroughly enjoying this cup, but it is less striking on the palate overall. Next time I may try 3-5 minutes for the initial steep and see if I can coax more flavor out of these pretty leaves. I still suspect this tea has more secrets to share.. for those willing to listen. Happy Tuesday Steepster friends! :)

Flavors: Floral, Malt, Mineral, Rainforest, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

Temperatures may be contributing to this also- I brewed it at 195F per the bag (closest I could get to 194F), but I just saw on the vendor’s site that they recommend 203F for Western style if that helps.


Where I grew up, the smell could be categorized as “petrichor”… that ‘after the rain’ smell. There’s nothing like it, and I love it, honestly.
This sounds like such an intriguing tea!


Yay- now I have a word for it! Thanks! This tea was certainly different than many other Yunnan blacks I’ve tried. I actually like Ancient Wild Tree Black better (just personal preference though for notes), but this was also quite tasty and very unique. :)


I’ll have to add both to my ‘wish list’. They sound terrific! :))

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