Friday, January 4, 2013

Dianhong Cupping

I recently cupped two Dianhong (滇紅) black teas that are currently available at Cinnabar's and my tea shop, Phoenix Tea. One is called Golden Dianhong and the other Dianhong Needles. Both of them were produced at the Fengqing (鳳慶) Tea factory, a nearly 75 year old operation, in Lincang (臨滄) region of Yunnan, China. These leaves were grown at an altitude of 6000 feet and are of the "big leaf" (da ye) (大葉) variety.

I have had many great solo sessions with these two teas in the past but I had never tried them together. My hope is to learn more about how they differ.

Needles = Top Left
Golden = Bottom Right

I steeped 2 grams of each tea in two identical ceramic tea cupping sets for 5 minutes. After decanting the tea soup it was very hard to tell them apart. They both had a lovely red color and sweet, alluring aroma. In this photo the Golden Dianhong is on the top and the Dianhong Needles is on the bottom.

I took my time sipping back and forth and came up with a few subtle differences. Golden is a little stronger, sweeter, and maltier while Needles is brisker. Needles has a tiny bit more smokiness and a complex "wild side" with note of pinewood, dried fruit, and nuts. Golden has a creamier, thicker mouth-feel. Both are very smooth, satisfying black teas with loads of wonderful dark chocolate flavors.

This cupping left me with a comfortable, happy tea-buzz and a major chocolate craving.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Oh wow, I absolutely love Dian Hong - I'm definitely going to check out your store.