: Cangyuan County, Yunnan Province, ChinaCultivar
: Mengku Da Ye Broad Leaf + Fengqing Da Ye Broad LeafElevation
: April 2021
This tea has a ripe and fruity flavor with deep sweetness and balanced brisk flavors. The unique aromatics remind one of aromatic Kyoho fox grapes, red rose and classic muscatel.
Westerns cultures call it black tea, but in the East, this widely consumed category of tea is called hong cha 紅茶 or “red tea” due to the brilliant red infusion color of the brewed leaves. Shaihongcha means “Sun-dried Red Tea” and is probably the original way of producing red tea using the Sun’s light and energy to finally dry the tea. This natural drying method pre-dates the modern and more wide-spread practice of oven drying tea. The sunlight and slow rate of natural drying creates a uniquely sweet fermentation taste and aromatic profile depending on the harvest season and the selection of tea cultivar.
This Shaihong Sun-Dried Red Tea Cake is from a Wa ethnic village on the border of Lincang, Yunnan and Burma that we have worked with for the past decade for red tea and Pu’er tea. This region is remote and has some very old trees. The local people established a larger plantation by planting the seeds from ancient trees sometime in 1903, so most of the trees are widely spread out and more than 100 years old. Some Yunnan tea experts we traveled with in this area mentioned that most of this plantation is related to the Mengku Da Ye Zhong type of broad leaf tea. Chip the cake carefully with a pick or Pu’er dagger.
Add 7g - 8g to a Gaiwan or Gongfu teapot (per 150ml-200ml).
Use 212°F boiling water.
Briefly rinse leaves for 5 seconds. Decant and discard this rinse infusion. Proceed to infuse the tea using boiling water. Enjoy each infusion individually and savor the flavors of each round.
Decant 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th infusions after 45 seconds. The tea infuses fast and gives out its strength in the beginning of the session. Brew the tea several times until the taste weakens. Increase the infusion time to your taste preference after you become familiar with the tea.