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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I began drinking tea because its complexity fascinated me. I love learning about its history, its manufacturing processes, and its place in various cultures.

Japanese greens were my first love and gateway into the world.

My favorite teas are leafhopper oolongs, pu’erh (shou and sheng), and masala chai. My favorite herbal tisanes are spear/peppermint, lavender and chrysanthemum.

I’m currently exploring pu’erh, and any Chinese and Taiwanese teas in general. I’m not much into flavored teas, unlike when I first started. The only teas I truly dislike are fruity tisanes and the ones that have too much fruit. I do like hisbiscus, especially iced.

I like to write nature essays. I’m a birdwatcher as well as a tea enthusiast. The kiwi is one of my favorite birds. I also like Tolkien, Ancient Egypt, and exercising.

IMPORTANT NOTE, PLEASE READ: After two and a half years of having an account here, I will no longer will provide numerical ratings as an addition to the review because the American school system has skewed my thoughts on numbers out of a hundred and the colors throw me off. Curses! My words are more than sufficient. If I really like what I have, I will “recommend”, and if I don’t, “not recommended”.

Key for past ratings:

96-100 I adore absolutely everything about it. A permanent addition to my stash.

90-95 Superb quality and extremely enjoyable, but not something I’d necessarily like to have in my stash (might have to do with personal tastes, depending on what I say in the tasting note).

80-89 Delicious! Pleased with the overall quality.

70-79 Simply, I like it. There are qualities that I find good, but there also are things that aren’t, hence a lower rating that I would have otherwise like to put.

60-69 Overall “meh”. Not necessarily bad, but not necessarily good.

0-59 No.

If there is no rating: I don’t feel experienced enough to rate the tea, or said tea just goes beyond rating (in a positive way).


Westchester, NY

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