As you know if you’ve been reading us for a while, China is one of the world’s largest tea producers. In fact, it ranks first on the list. Its production not only surprises in tons but also for the enormous variety of flavors it presents. Today, we will discover Dianhong black tea.
Also known as Yunnan black tea, Dianhong stands out for its body, its intensity and its aroma. Without a doubt, it is a tea that you should try if you have the opportunity.
Dianhong production in Yunnan
Yunnan province is located in southwestern China, a mountainous area criss-crossed by gorges and lakes.
Data on the start of tea production in the region are controversial. While some historians hold that the people of Yunnan began producing tea as a tribute to the emperors of the Shang and Zhou dynasties between the 11th and 17th centuries, others hold that production began in the early 20th century.
Those who support this theory say that, despite the fact that the teapot tradition dates back many centuries in China, this province was incorporated into production in 1938, when the Japanese invaded the country.
At that time, the Japanese blocked Chinese commercial activities in the occupied zone. Therefore, the resistance began to trade through the western region of the country, closer to Indochina.
To get money to support the war, the Chinese government began to export the virgin mountain lands of Yunnan. Thus, Dianhong black tea was born.
Tea leaves are grown in the mountainous area of Yunnan province, more than 1,000 meters above sea level. The cold climate and the presence of snow cause slow growth of the leaves, which thus acquire a different and unique flavor.
The elaboration of Dianhong does not differ from that of other varieties of Chinese black tea. The leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, are harvested manually or mechanically, depending on the producer.
In the first case, a greater quantity of whole leaves is obtained, which will lead to a higher quality tea and, therefore, a higher price.
Once harvested, the leaves undergo light tearing processes. These favor the oxidation that is so necessary to obtain the characteristic intense flavor of black tea.
Subsequently, the leaves are subjected to an oxidation process with controlled temperatures and humidity levels. In some cases, the leaves are flavored in the process with lychee and roses to obtain a variety
Finally, the leaves are dried in woks placed over large fires in order to preserve the color, flavor and properties of the tea.
Now, even though the brewing process is similar to other teas, Dianhong differs from other black teas in that it features some fine leaves with golden tips that look curious (and very beautiful) when steeped.
Varieties of Dianhong
Dianhong Coungou tea is the most consumed and is made with whole buds and leaves; while the Dianhong HonSuiCha is produced from lower quality broken leaves.
Finally, the golden Dianhong is considered the best of the Dianhong teas, and also, unsurprisingly, the most expensive. This variety contains only leaves with golden tips and when observed dry, it stands out for its bright orange color.
The taste of Yunnan tea
In general, Dianhong stands out from other teas for its malty aroma, typical of black teas, but with a fresh, woody, fruity and floral touch.
Its liqueur shows a golden-orange color that can reach reddish and in the mouth, it is light and sweet, with low astringency and hints of pepper. The truth is that it is a rich tea that pleases the palate. As it loses heat, it gains in earthiness. Keep that in mind for when you taste it.
In addition, their prices are usually much more affordable than those of other varieties of Chinese black tea.
Health Benefits of Dianhong Tea
Ayurveda medicine recommends the consumption of Dianhong, as well as other varieties of tea. In fact, its health properties do not vary much compared to other black teas.
Its caffeine content gives it a stimulating effect, while the presence of polyphenols makes it an antioxidant drink. Remember that antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals to prevent oxidative damage that generates all kinds of degenerative diseases and premature aging.
On the other hand, it would help lower blood pressure and the presence of blood sugar, as well as protect teeth from cavities.
If you have the chance to taste Chinese Dianhong tea, don’t miss it. Its flavor is different from other varieties and we are sure that you will enjoy it.