Dian Hong 滇红
Sweet and dry, a hint of malt and touch of Oak.
Last year at this time I was still reacquainting myself with the US and the English language. I was also basking in the glory of fresh teas I brought back to share with my Tea Family.
Now, I have finished off some of these teas, mostly the greens (although I still have plenty of Liu An Gua Pian) while I have been savoring the longer lasting teas like my oolongs, puers and a few Hong Cha.
On my trip to China, We spent 2 weeks in Yunnan exploring the tea markets in Kunming, the culture in Dali, the Teahorse Road in Shaxi and the Hong Cha in Fengqing. Of course there was plenty of vast land to explore and gardens to peruse but we wanted to drink fresh tea whilst doing all of these things.
In Fengqing we were treated to some fantastic teas, some green but mostly Hong Cha. In days of yore ‘Dian Hong was designated strictly to teas coming from Fengqing. My friend and fellow teasmith, John (who is in China right now!) from Stoneleaf Tea has collected a few Hong Cha from some other mini-meccas for tea in the Lincang region. Wu Liang and Dehong have produced some fantastic tea that may not have the fame quite yet but certainly the flavor! I will refer to these places as the Dian Hong Trifecta from now on. There are other villages/regions that produce Hong Cha, Jinggu being a more widely known example, but these places are more known for their puer production.
As I drink the Dian Hong from the Da Bai Tian Factory, I recall the memory of sitting in a hot and crowded (czechs are big) teashop in Fengqing as we tasted this tea for the first time. The weather was hot but not Humid like it is in VT right now. We were definitely getting tea-drunk but with the heat is seemed like we could just drink and drink and we would sweat the liquid out.
I have often neglected Hong Cha since my return and I’m not exactly sure why. Everytime I come back to it I am rewarded with delicious flavors and waves of cherished memories.