Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Cocoa, Fig, Malt, Smoke, Sweet, Wood, Floral, Honey, Marshmallow, Baked Bread, Dust, Hay, Earth, Flowers, Wheat, Fruity, Raisins, Berries, Plums, Chocolate
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 6 g 14 oz / 419 ml

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29 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thank you *Angel* for this sample. In appearance the leaves are: dark brown, thin and curly with some golden tips present. Also has stick/stem pieces. It has a sweet wood and malt scent with a...” Read full tasting note
    KittyLovesTea 1193 tasting notes
  • “I don't think I've reviewed this tea yet! It was a free sample from the lovely *Angel* at *Teavivre* from a while back, I think in my second round of free samples. Thank you for all the lovely...” Read full tasting note
    misslena1221 1014 tasting notes
  • “I ordered this sample with my *TeaVivre* order. I figured since this was the only one of their Dian Hongs that I hadn't tried, I should order a sample. The leaves are extremely dark, and they're...” Read full tasting note
    CameronB 966 tasting notes
  • “Backlog: This is an AMAZING black tea. As I said in my full-length review: this is one of those...” Read full tasting note
    LiberTEAS 4787 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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29 Tasting Notes

1193 tasting notes

Thank you Angel for this sample.

In appearance the leaves are: dark brown, thin and curly with some golden tips present. Also has stick/stem pieces. It has a sweet wood and malt scent with a touch of cocoa and smoke.

Once steeped the colour is golden red/brown and bares a rich but sweet malt scent with sour cocoa and fresh wood.

Flavour is medium in strength with sweet malt tones that lighten to reveal fig and prune notes. The fruit lingers in the after taste with some wood and dryness. As it cools it becomes slightly more sour and smoky.

Overall: Other than some sourness it is rather smooth and lightly creamy which makes the delicious malt and fruit flavours linger. Strength remained consistent and pleasing.

Flavors: Cocoa, Fig, Malt, Smoke, Sweet, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 7 g 20 OZ / 600 ML

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1014 tasting notes

I don’t think I’ve reviewed this tea yet! It was a free sample from the lovely Angel at Teavivre from a while back, I think in my second round of free samples. Thank you for all the lovely teas!!

Onto the review! This one smells very chocolatey in dry form. I steeped it with ~194 degree water for 2 minutes. This may have been too light for my tastes, as the steeped smell is a faint floral aroma but very light and fresh, almost a fruit note in there as well.

As for the flavor, wow this is such a light tea for a black tea! It is super mellow, with the only really discernible notes being something floral and something sweet, almost like a marshmallow, in the aftertaste. As it cools, the marshmallow flavor takes on more honey notes. The middle notes are definitely floral, and to my palate there is a slight linen note at the first sip. It is quite bizarre, as it’s a light tea but there definitely is caffeine in here, I feel a warming buzz coming over me.

Overall, this is a different type of black tea than I’m used to, but I am really enjoying it because it’s so light and sweet. I may try brewing it a bit stronger next time, or if I resteep these leaves, to see if I get a bit more prominent flavor. But this is a nice light tea on this sunny morning. It feels more like an afternoon tea, one to have with light pastries in a flower garden. I wish it was still summer now :( haha, but a very tasty tea! Thanks again Teavivre for the free samples!

ETA – as it cools, the texture becomes a bit maltier, and notes of milk chocolate are coming out in the middle of the sip. Strong linen like notes to milky cocoa to marshmallow/honey – this tea is confusing, but it all works. I am enjoying this!

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Marshmallow

Terri HarpLady

You just reminded me that I also have a sample this that I need to get around to. :)


It’S a very yummy tea! Try it soon :)

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966 tasting notes

I ordered this sample with my TeaVivre order. I figured since this was the only one of their Dian Hongs that I hadn’t tried, I should order a sample. The leaves are extremely dark, and they’re long and twisty. They kind of remind me of a smaller-scale version of the “creepy tree branch” Taiwanese teas. Dry scent is sweet honey with malt and some cocoa notes. I did a 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.

The brewed aroma is quite light, with grainy bread and honey scents. Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed with this tea brewed western-style… It was kind of just vaguely bready/grainy with a little bit of honey and a bit of a mineral note. And overall, it felt kind of dusty in my mouth, like it should have been rinsed first. I’m thinking this tea either needs to be steeped longer, or it just doesn’t lend itself well to western style preparation. I’ll definitely try it gong fu style when I get the gaiwan that I ordered recently. For now, I’m not going to rate this.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Terri HarpLady

I also got a sample of this one, for the exact same reason you did :)
It just came yesterday, so I haven’t tried it yet.

Cameron B.

Well, I hope it comes out better for you! :P Can’t wait to see what you think of it.

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4787 tasting notes


This is an AMAZING black tea. As I said in my full-length review: this is one of those “memorable” type of black teas that I think every tea lover should try!

Thick, silky and full-flavored. Notes of dark, bittersweet chocolate with a caramel-y undertone. (Hey, you can’t go wrong with chocolate and caramel, can you?) There is also a rich, bake-y, cake-y like flavor to it, like a freshly baked loaf of bread. Mmm!

Malty. Very, very little astringency. If you’re someone who shies away at the mere mention of astringency, I think you’ll find this tea very much to your liking. This tea reminds me a lot of Dawn from the Simple Leaf. I miss that tea … but this one makes a suitable substitute for that extraordinary tea as this too is quite extraordinary!

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254 tasting notes

Several months ago Angel at Teavivre sent me five black teas to review. If I had known how absolutely nummy this one is, it wouldn’t have taken me until now to try it out! It’s slightly toasty, with a rich, creamy maltiness that I can just sink into. This tea is a new favorite, and hopefully I can talk hubby into getting me some for my next birthday!

For some pretty pictures, you can visit my blog at:

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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593 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday:

Maybe I was really spoiled from last week’s sample of Premium Taiwanese Assam from the GCTTB3, but I didn’t enjoy this tea as much as I had the first time around. I think I messed up the steeping parameters on this one, as the flavour wasn’t as deep or fruity as hoped it would be. It was a bit more leathery this time.

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160 tasting notes

When I think of nonpareil, I think of sno-caps….those little chocolate candies you get at the movies that have the white beady-balls on one side. With this tea, the similarity isn’t very far off with the chocolate note, but this simplistic comparison needs to end here, because this is one complex tea!
The dry leaf had a chocolate and woodsy note that was surprising when expecting a usual Dian Hong (or at least something like it!) After a 5 minutes steep western-style, the liquid was a beautiful golden amber color, not the mahogany I was expecting after smelling the leaf! This tea smells organic….and what I mean by organic is “of the earth”. The taste was also very organic with a dark woodsy note coming to the forefront, then warm hay, wheat….then cocoa, flowers, and a touch of parched earth. It certainly doesn’t taste like any other teas I’ve had before! There is also a slight astringency, that makes you want another sip…and another, and another…..
(5 minutes later)
Now that I’ve had some time over this cup to change my expectations (from Dian Hong to the unexpected), I can understand why this is a considered to be a coveted tea. Reminiscent of Bailin Gongfu, this is a deep, rich, multi-layered tea. The bottom and mid-notes of dark wood, earth, chocolate and hay marry well with the floral and wheat top notes. It almost seems like a “Man’s tea” …. A great deep flavored cuppa for sitting on a small fishing boat on an early chilly foggy morning, not being in any kind of hurry for the fish to bite. Nonpariel Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea is an unusual, extraordinary cup for when you’re craving the unusual, extraordinary places that a cup of tea can take us. Recommended!

Flavors: Earth, Flowers, Hay, Wheat, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 502 ML

I always think of that too. I think I read somewhere that in tea it means unparalleled.

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818 tasting notes

Thanks to Angel at Teavivire for another round of samples!
This tea is delicious, I wasn’t sure what to expect as a red tea, but I quite enjoyed it.
I found floral, sweet, and tiny cocoa notes to be present.
I will try resteeping next time and see how it stands up to that.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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498 tasting notes

Yesss, another Teavivre yunnan. I absolutely love their complexity and brilliant flavors. Teavivre’s selection has really changed my taste in black teas. While I used to prefer bitter, strong blends, my eyes have now been opened up to Fujians. It’s been like going from a black and white world to a life in vivid color.

As I always do, I took a moment to look the leaves over and smell them. They’re very dark brown, in mostly uniform pieces. Simple and fragrant. Once steeped, you can see that they’re all new growth. The leaves are pointed at the end and narrow, having been harvested before they had time to become more rounded. It brews up to a bright orange amber, perfectly clear. I smell notes of honey, dates, raisins, and maybe baked goods.

The flavor is a satisfying treat. Perfectly smooth, without any astringency. The fruity notes are especially noticeable on the exhale. I can taste honey also. And yet, there’s a touch of floralness, too. Basically, there is a lot going on in this tea, but it’s a harmony.

Flavors: Fig, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Raisins, Wheat

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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3091 tasting notes

I’m having a laid back day at home, with the agenda of getting a lot of desk things done, but to be honest, I haven’t really accomplished a thing, LOL. Except breakfast & students.
And tea!
I don’t remember if Angel sent me this sample, or if I requested it.
The dry fragrance seemed familiar in that, “I know this scent, but can’t quite place it” way.
I preheated my tiny teapots, then pre warmed the leaf, & the aroma bloomed to a sweet fruity floral that immediately said, “Lychee” in my sinuses & mind.
I went with the gongfu suggestions: rinse/15/25/35/45/60/75/90
Yup, lychee!
What makes this tea particularly special is the fragrance & after aroma of lychee & honey.
What’s an after-aroma, you ask?
That’s when you breath out after the sip & you can feel & smell the aroma up in your soft palate & sinuses. I love it. I love teas that have it, especially roast oolongs.
This feature was especially prominent in the first couple of steeps. The 2nd cup featured a bitterness & the tea energy went right to my head, like I could feel the tea energy moving around in my head, opening sinuses so that my ears started popping. By the end of the cup I also had that tongue buzz going on too.
This tea transformed into rye bread, with lychee still in the background, & continuing on, a hint of spice, cloves perhaps? The texture was a little powdery, kind of odd.
The later steeps had a creamy quality, a sweet agave liquor, with a hint of lychee still in the background.
An interesting tea!


I love after-aromas! I get interesting ones with sheng and oolong sometimes, as well as blacks.


Excellent review!


I love lychee but haven’t found a good lychee flavoured tea yet.
I’ve had days like that at home too when I’m supposed to be working. Then at the end of the day, I realize I didn’t get anything done! LOL

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