|"This tea tastes like a special occasion. It is elegant and flowery."|
One look at Teavivre's Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea Full-Leaf and I knew it fell into the "fine wine of teas" category.
"A classic Chinese black tea Dian Hong from Yunnan. This tea is about half golden “pekoe” colored buds and about half black mahogany colored leaves, When brewed it makes a highly aromatic black tea, with a rich, bold taste with no bitterness. Can be drunk as-is, or with a touch of sugar or milk," says Teavivre's website.
The leaves and buds are large and full. Sure enough, at least half of them are orange, which strikes me as exotic for a "black" tea. The steeping leaves smell fruity and clear. My guess is, this will be an bright, astringent brew, unlike the bold and rich Assam's and breakfasts blends I usually drink.
I followed the instructions on Teavivre's website to the letter when preparing this tea. Although its a black tea, I did not pour boiling water over these leaves and let them steep for five minutes. They called for a precise and fussy 194 degrees Fahrenheit and only a 2 to 3 minute brewing time. I even got out my cast iron teapot because Tevivre said it holds the temperature best--ensuring an even brew.
After performing a near ceremony to prepare this Prima Donna of teas, I sat down with my tiny, handle-less cupful. The color was golden, like a Darjeeling. The smell? Like perfume. Like roses in fact. And a little bit of jasmine. The taste was similar. Clear, floral, astringent. This is a sipping tea, which is hard for me because I like to gulp tea by the mouthfuls. But I'd miss the dance of the flowers going on in my mouth if I did that with this concoction. Drinking Yu Nan Dian Hong conjures up images from Alice in Wonderland, (the animated, 1950's version. No Johnny Depp in this tea!)
I love Yu Nan Dian Hong. I even love the name. This tea is worth its price and the work required to prepare it. It is elegant and it makes me feel so. I give it a 9.8.
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