Dian Hong Yunnan Black Tea Spring Pick
Mr. Mo and his family come from a long line of growers strictly adhering to the core philosophy that great tea is never sprayed with anything. They use a sustainable pest control strategy with chickens playing a cornerstone role. First the tea trees make highly nutritious tea leaves, which catch the attention of various plant eating bugs. Those bugs then catch the eye of the hundreds of hungry chickens patrolling the tea garden. Those bugs then become fertilizer. The tea trees use that fertilizer to make new tea leaves and this crafty cycle repeats itself.
A family that dedicated to preserving their land has certainly sharpened their hand finishing skills to impressive heights. Their 2020 spring harvest is absolutely bursting with flavor and fragrance. Pleasing notes of freshly bloomed wildflowers peak and then get swept away by robust caramelized sweet potatoes drenched in chocolate. Pine needles, musk and apricot skin finish off the experience reminding one of the characteristic cha qi of raw Puer teas. After all, Dian Hong is a black tea made from the leaves of Puer tea trees. All this happens in Xishuangbanna in China’s southern Yunnan Province-with biodiversity so rich it boasts over 17,000 different species of plants. The mouth watering local food takes advantage of the myriad of available edible items, including many fresh herbs, flowers, tree moss, green papaya and some of the hottest peppers in China.The lightly sweet aftertaste of this tea compliments chocolate, rich desserts and nuts.
Storage: Store unused portions sealed in an airtight bag away from light at 5F/-15C or below.
Brewing water: Poland Spring (called Origin Brand in some areas) brand mineral water produces the finest results. Soft water, distilled water and hard water will ruin this tea. Tap water varies wildly and is best avoided as well. If you don't have Poland Spring (called Origin Brand in some areas) brand mineral water available, please see good substitutions on our water page.
Brewing method: 5g tea leaves (~2 heaping Tablespoons), 100ml (a bit less than 1/2 cup) water each time for 5 seconds in a Chinese gaiwan or a small pot. After the first 10 infusions, increase each infusion time by 5 seconds. To produce lighter tea, either decrease amount of tea, increase amount of water or decrease brewing time. To produce stronger tea, either increase amount of tea, decrease amount of water or increase brewing time. You can easily adjust to suit your individual taste.
Notes: Small quick infusions showcase the changing flavors of each cup. Longer brewing times in larger quantities of water end up more homogeneous, but still very good results.