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Yunnan Black Tea

Dian Hong Tea is a black tea grown in the southwest province of China - Yunnan. The name "Dian Hong" means "Yunnan Red". Dian is the shortened name of Yunnan, and Hong means "Red" in Chinese. So, this tea is also called "Yunnan Red", or "Yunnan Black".

Dian hong tea is a relatively high end gourmet black tea. It is sometimes used in various tea blends. The main difference between Dian Hong and other Chinese black teas is the amount of fine leaf buds, or "golden tips," present in the dried tea. Fermented with lychee, rose and longan, Dian Hong Tea produces a brew that is brassy golden orange in colour with a sweet, gentle aroma and no astringency. Cheaper varieties of Dian hong produce a darker brownish brew that can be very bitter.

Tasting and Brewing
Dian hong teas are best brewed with porcelain gaiwan or Yixing teaware using freshly boiled water at 90°C (194°F) to 100°C (212°F), and are suitable for multiple infusions. It is important not to overbrew the teas as they will easily go bitter or exhibit astringency, especially the cheaper varieties.

Broken Yunnan: A cheap tea used for blending which contains very few golden buds and is generally bitter on its own. You can spot this tea easily as the dried leaves are largely black in color with only a few bursts of golden tips. The brew is dark and not brassy but reddish-brown. The taste can sometimes be as strong as cooked pu-erh tea.

Yunnan Gold: A Dian Hong with fewer golden buds and more dark tea leaves. It is on par with the pure gold, and is priced similarly, but makes teas with slightly different characteristics. The brewed tea produces a brassy red color different from other black teas and a vivid sweetness not quite as intense as "Yunnan pure gold".

Yunnan Pure Gold: Considered the best type of Dian Hong Tea. It contains only golden tips, which are usually covered in fine hairs. When viewed from a distance, the dried tea appears bright orange in colour. The tea liquor is bright red in colour and exhibits a gentle aroma and a sweet taste. The leaves are reddish brown after being brewed.

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