Review: Chan Teas Hunan Hong Cha

Black Tea, Chan Teas, Yunnan Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This makes for a good all purpose, reliable black tea. Its finish is particularly impressive, sometimes channelling peach, brown sugar or raisin notes. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 7.8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9.5/10, CJ gave it 8/10
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I love the mix of robust sweet and savoury notes Chinese black teas provide. “Hong Cha” simply translates to “red tea”, which to Westerners means black tea. The ebony-coloured leaves are large, fluffy and loosely twisted. They have an exciting spicy, smokey and sweet scent to them.

Unfortunately Chan Teas is going out of business and has now run out of this tea. As a result, it's no longer listed on their website. I had to rely on my usual parameters for brewing black teas instead. I steeped a generous teaspoonful of leaf in 8 ounces of boiling water for 3 minutes. The cup presents a malty, smoky scent and a bright coppery tangerine-coloured hue. The top notes display a good balance between malt, toasted bread and peat notes. The lingering finish is very sweet, almost to the point of being sugary. The mouth feel is predominantly smooth and light, with just a touch of astringency coming from the smokey tones. Overall this tea is pleasant and effortless to drink.

After 4 and a half minutes, a second steep is equally good, with lots of sweetness to the finish and no roughness to the body. It's even slightly less smokey and astringent than the first cup. I also tried a third steep, following a 5 and a half minute brew, which was far less successful. The tea is still sweet and smooth but very watery. Extending the brewing time by a minute did little to change this unfortunately.

I wish this tea had a bit more robustness to it. Otherwise it makes for a good all purpose, reliable black tea. The sweet finish is particularly impressive, sometimes channelling peach, brown sugar or raisin notes. It's sad when good quality tea shops go out of business. Here's hoping that we haven't seen the last of Chan teas.

— To purchase Chan Teas Hunan Hong Cha, 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: Sophie Sophie
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