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Organic Hong Songzhen (Pine Needle) Black Tea
Silky, sweet and pure taste with needle-like shape
Silky, sweet and pure taste with needle-like shape
Cangyuan County, Lincang City, Yunnan Province, China
April 30, 2019
One bud with one leaf
Even and straight with needle-like shape, full of golden pekoes on the tea buds, black bloom color
Flower and fruity fragrance
Clear, bright orange color
Soft and smooth with pure sweet taste, a comfortable mouth feel and nice aftertaste
Yunkang No. 10
Tuanjie Dazhai Tea Base (about 1800 meters altitude)
Less than 40% of a cup of coffee
Store in airtight, opaque packaging; in cool, dry place
The shape as its tea name, organic Hong Songzhen black tea tastes sweet, mellow and pure, which is a “gentle and fresh” Dian Hong black tea.
Hong Songzhen, a kind of Yunnan black tea (Dian Hong for short), is made from one bud with one leaf of the Yunnan large-leaf “Dayezhong” spring tea. The dry leaf is even and straight, much like a pine needle - or songzhen, where this tea gets its name. This is a Dian Hong tea, but it is slightly different from the Fengqing Dian Hong variety. Compared with tea of the same shape, like Yunnan Dian Hong Full-leaf black tea, the Songzhen’s dry leaves are thicker, and its golden tips are slightly reddish in color. After brewing, the tea liquid is particularly clear with a naturally sweet taste, while the Dian Hong full-leaf has a sweeter, more caramel-like taste. The most prominent part of this tea is its pure, clean taste, like sweet spring water from the mountains. This is a fairly light black tea, suitable for both beginners who want an easy introduction to Dian Hong as well as veteran tea-drinkers to enjoy a softer variety.
Chinese Gongfu Method
|Teacup: 12oz / 355ml||Gaiwan: 3.8oz / 110ml|
|194℉ / 90℃||194℉ / 90℃|
|5g Tea||5g Tea|
|Brewing time: 3 - 5 mins||6 steeps: rinse,20s,30s,40s,50s,70s,100s|
The tea leaves of this black tea come from the Tuanjie Dazhai tea garden at an elevation of about 1800 meters , in Cangyuan County. The mild, humid climate and the mountainous geography lead this garden to be shrouded in clouds and mist year-round, and under the nourishment of sufficient water, the leaves from the tea plants here can be kept tender and fresh for a long time. Meanwhile, the abundant rainfall gives this tea its rich color and luster, and superior taste.
Along with the superior natural geography, the managers of this tea garden apply the concepts of modern scientific management - as in, they control the distances between the growing trees, they weed the garden at regular intervals, and they prevent and cure pest infestations by using physical insecticidal methods and lure boards.
The head of this tea garden told us that they have been planting tea here for thirty years, and the trees are now in their stable growth period. This garden also provides a haven for some types of birds, which in turn further lower the threat of pests. Because of all of these traits, this garden is certified by the organic designations of the EOS, NOP, JAS, and China, and can provide high-quality and organic tea.
Do you know anyone who has stuck to doing only one thing, all out of love? Ms. Tan, the producer of this Songzhen black tea, has dedicated herself to making black and ripened pu-erh tea for thirty years.
When we asked why she focuses on black and pu-erh teas, she told us that these are her favorite types, and that the craft is a way of life. She thinks it is good, deep in her mind, and wants to share it with more and more people. Because she makes this tea by herself, it is the most authentic and genuine, and her method of tea production accentuates the natural merits of black and pu-erh tea.
Cangyuan County lies in the southwestern part of Lincang City. It is not a large area, but many people of the Wa ethnicity live here, as one of the earliest people to engage in tea cultivation. Cangyuan is also one of the homes of the original ancient tea trees, and has many regions where these trees flourish hidden in the mountains. According to national records, the best-preserved community of ancient trees in Cangyuan is over 50 acres in size, and contains more than 200 trees all around 400 years old. People here also grow walnuts, sugar canes, and other crops high on the mountains; the superior natural environment and climate provide abundant opportunity to grow high-quality crops.
Yunkang No. 10 is a cloned tea tree species, cultivated by the Tea Research Institute of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 1954 from tea plant varieties from the Nannuo Mountain Natural Population. Today the extent of this type of tree is more than 1.3 million acres, making it the most abundant variety among Yunnan tea trees. It has characteristically strong rooting ability, thrives when transplanted, easily resists cold and disease, and is fast-growing with quick germination and high yield. This tea contains 36.06% tea polyphenols and 44.9% water extractives; it is suitable for making Dian Hong black and Dian green tea, as well as pu-erh, and has been accredited as a “national improved” variety.
Though black teas have been produced in China for close to 2000 years, the history of this particular type of black tea, Dian Hong, only stretches back about 100 years. It was first crafted in the 1930s by a man named Feng Shaoqiu. The first batches of Dian Hong were instantly popular, and quickly exported through Hong Kong to England where it became sought after for its high price and favor with the Queen at the time, who preferred it (somewhat scandalously) over the then-in-favor Indian teas commonly drunk at the time.
Today Dian Hong is one of the most respected and widely-known types of Chinese black tea. Held in extremely high regard in China, it is often presented by the government as gifts to visiting dignitaries.