Review: Chan Tea Hunan Hong Cha

Black Tea, Chan Teas Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's got a fresh, dry taste and I am instantly attracted by the dancing play of flavors in the mouth. Cocoa/chocolate is prominent as are grains, and there are sweet caramel like undertones at play as well. There's a fine sweetness perfectly matched by an elemental dryness that permeates the tea without overwhelming anything. The dryness is not at all overstated. The close is dry and lingering, it sparkles with sweet complexity. Mmmm."
Jamie’s Teaview: 9/10
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This dry leaf is a beauty, visually and to the nose. The twists of leaves are fat and black and resound with a sweet, caramel grainy scent in the nose. It smells thick, even dry!

I used a rounded teaspoon of this leaf to 8 ounces of boiled water and steeped for 3 minutes.

The cup is light copper in color and very aromatic. The scent is of sweet grains. I'm enticed already. I allow the tea to cool slightly in the cup to get the best of the flavors. Given the aromatics, the tea is surprisingly light in body. It's got a fresh, dry taste and I am instantly attracted by the dancing play of flavors in the mouth. Cocoa/chocolate is prominent as are grains, and there are sweet caramel like undertones at play as well. There's a fine sweetness perfectly matched by an elemental dryness that permeates the tea without overwhelming anything. The dryness is not at all overstated. The close is dry and lingering, it sparkles with sweet complexity. Mmmm. This is a heavenly good tea, and one that reminds me why it is so much fun to explore new teas pretty much forever. This would not be an everyday breakfast tea to me, but one that I saved for times when there was ample room to enjoy and get acquainted with all the good flavors that can be expressed in a leaf. Very enjoyable first infusion!

A second infusion is flatter in profile from the first. Dryness jumps out at you first sip, as in the first infusion, but again recedes to a comfortable spot where it augments the flavor profile rather than overbalancing it. The dry and sort of "sparkling" flavor this infusion is slightly (slightly!) darjeeling like with notes that are fruity and cidery as well as dry and wonderfully sweet especially at the close. Sweet and woodsy notes tingle a bit in the nose - this is a great tea!!

I have just gone to the trouble to make this review even having discovered that the company, Chan Tea, selling it appears to have sadly shut their doors to business. I thought about not doing the review as a result but thought in some senses it still made sense to do so. First off, small tea companies need our business. When we find a great tea offered by a small company, they may not be able to offer all the perks of larger outfits - like lots of free samples, free shipping, etc. But these companies can sometimes be headed by people with such a great love for tea that their passion causes them to seek out some real treasures in the tea world. These companies are worth supporting!! Secondly, I know that if I spot a Hunan Hong Cha in some company's offerings, I will certainly be willing to give this tea a try again as it was just a wonderful pleasure to enjoy. If you spot a tea by this name, I would encourage you to do the same!

— To purchase Chan Tea 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: Jamie Jamie
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