Sensational Teas Yi Hong (Mao Feng Black)?

Black Tea, Sensational Teas Add comments
Lynn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavor was smooth and mellow, with strong malty chocolate notes mingled with hints of wood, a bit of astringency, and an amazingly malty sweet finish that lingered endlessly on my tongue and at the back of my mouth. The website suggests "brown sugar" and that is apt. The fragrance was negligible in the finish but this was one of the sweetest blacks I've tasted to date."
Lynn’s Teaview: 9.5/10
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Sensational Teas' Yi Hong (Mao Feng Black)? is grown in the Yi Xing Tea Garden (in the region known for Yi Xing teapots) at 1,600 feet and undergoes 85-90% fermentation. According to another tea website, Yi Hong tea was first produced during the Quin Dynasty in the 1850s, and was a major export item to England, America, Russia and other European countries. "Between 1886 and 1888, the highest output of 15000 tonnes were recorded. This was around 7% of the whole China tea export at that time. The name "Yi Hong" was given because this tea had to pass through Yi Chang County before reaching Han Kou Port for export."

"Mao Feng" is the choicest picking from an early season tea harvest, consisting of two equal length leaves and a bud. The leaves have a broad, flat shape and a sword-like curve. Once steeped, this Yi Hong revealed all those characteristics.

It is a black tea, and black it is. The small, slightly twisted dry leaves are nearly black in color, with a sweet aroma like moist pipe tobacco and dark, bittersweet chocolate. Using a porcelain infuser cup, I steeped a teaspoonful of dry leaves in 208F water for five minutes. This produced a dark amber infusion with the same soft, enticing fragrance.

The flavor was smooth and mellow, with strong malty chocolate notes mingled with hints of wood, a bit of astringency, and an amazingly malty sweet finish that lingered endlessly on my tongue and at the back of my mouth. The website suggests "brown sugar" and that is apt. The fragrance was negligible in the finish but this was one of the sweetest blacks I've tasted to date.

Returning to the pot, I found that those little black leaves were now doubled in size, an inch or more long, slender, curved, and sweetly fragrant. They'd gone from black to a dark brownish red.

I steeped them a second time for six minutes a 212F, just to see what flavor I could pull from them after that great first cup. At first I was sorry that I had, as the dark amber liquor had a rather stewed aroma. This dissipated as it cooled, however, and the flavor held all the same notes as before, but weaker and in a different balance; sweetness had the upper hand now. While it was a fairly nice smooth cup, personally I wouldn't bother with it, as I like my tea stronger than this seemed capable of delivering.

As I said, this is a beautifully sweet black, a self drinker—it would be a shame to add anything to it, except perhaps a sliver of lemon— and would serve nicely as a dessert tea guaranteed not to clash with any sweet food. Highly recommended!

— To purchase Sensational Teas Yi Hong (Mao Feng Black)?, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Lynn Lynn
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