The Chinese have been genius masters in producing and processing teas. Wide varieties of teas are obtained from their territories. One such unique tea is the Yunnan Black Special Tea.
Yunnan Black Tea alludes to teas originated and commercially produced in the Yunnan province of China. The Yunnan province located to the South of China is a birthplace of many exquisite teas like the famous fermented Pur-eh tea, white, black and oolong teas.
However, Yunnan tea is mostly referenced to relatively high-end gourmet Chinese tea the Dianhong tea. Dian is an abbreviated word for Yunnan province and Hong means red tea. It is so-called because the preparation accords a brassy golden orange color. The Dianhong –Yunnan black special tea is distinct from other varieties of Chinese tea due to its fine leaf bud or the golden tips present in the dried tea.
Utilized in many tea blends, the Yunnan black proffers a sweet, tender aroma. The tea bestows a slightly smoky, chocolaty, caramel and earthy flavor. It has light peppery or spicy hints too. Nevertheless, it is much sweeter than other black teas and the chocolate notes dominate to give a sense of flavored tea.
How and where is Yunnan tea grown?
The Yunnan black special teas are made of 3 divergent tea plants- Camellia aliens, hybrid of taliensis and sinensis, and Camellia sinensis var. Assamica. There is clear craftsmanship in the processing of the tea fully comprehensible by the appearance of the tea leaves. They are completely oxidized organically grown in the mountainous region of Lincang, 1680-1900 meters above sea level. The picking process begins in March and may extend up to November. The mild climate drives the growing season to be extensive.
According to a legend, the Chinese Emperor and herbalist of 2700BC, of Shennong Dynasty discovered the tea by accident. The folk tale describes that the tea leaf blew in the pot of hot boiling water and turned it into brown hue before he drank it. Nonetheless, facts state that Dianhong is a relatively new product of Yunnan and its production began in the 20th century.
Benefits of Yunnan Tea
Treatment of influenza
Yunnan fresh young leaves and shoots are picked by indigenous aborigines in the local areas to prepare herbal tea for the treatment of common cold empirically. Two extra compounds, theacrine and chlorogenic acid are abundantly present in the Dianhong tea. These along with strictinin and caffeine are responsible for anti-influenza activity of Yunnan tea, traditionally used for the treatment of a common cold.
The combination of caffeine and other compounds of the Yunnan black special tea help to eliminate toxins and excessive salts. The decrease in salt level is related to hypertension and may effectively aid against heart diseases.
The leaves of the golden black tea of Yunnan gold contain polyphenols profusely. The polyphenols in black tea may aid in the reduction of inflammation and infections. Consequently, the leaves of the Yunnan tea are used in certain parts of China to cover wounds. They may also lessen the severity of the liver by reducing inflammatory and oxidative stress.
Polyphenols, inclusive of flavonoids occurring in phytochemicals present in tea have strong antioxidant properties. They may assist in eradicating heavy metals and alkaloids. The polyphenols may also help regulate blood sugar as they make cells more sensitive to insulin effects. It may also succor in reducing blood pressure and additional content of polyphenols may even aid to decrease cholesterol levels.
Yunnan teas generally have less caffeine than regular Assam black teas. The Yunnan teas are a golden delight. They are furnished with beautiful golden hair. Conclusively, higher the golden tips, higher the caffeine content. Mature leaves have lesser caffeine content than fresh buds. The Yunnan black special tea is little broken compared to black Assam teas which majorly affects the caffeine content. Hence Assam tea bags will have greater caffeine amount than Yunnan leaves.
Types of Black Teas Yunnan
Types of Dianhongs
Yunnan Pure Gold
This is the best quality of Yunnan tea. It is copiously made of golden tips covered in fine hair. They tend to appear orange in color from a distance. It beautifully bestows the brilliant red color, the honey-sweet taste and the delicate aroma.
This Dianhong too has a small number of golden buds and more of the darker leaves. However, it is quite close to pure gold and they are priced on the same lines. Still, they have variant attributes. Although it gives the brassy red color, the sweetness is not as great as the Yunnan pure.
It is a cheap form of Yunnan tea. It carries a few golden buds. The blend offers a strong and slightly bitter taste. They are mostly large black leaves. The steep of this type imparts dark reddish-brown color instead of the brassy golden. It is generally classified as Orange pekoe.
The golden needle leaves are authentic gold color and are of the pure black variety. The brew gives an amberish tinge to the tea.
This type is almost identical to the golden needle but has a mix of different colored leaves. They look like old pine needle fallen from a tree. Non-curved leaves are common for green teas but are unique for black teas.
These are the types of black teas Yunnan.
How to Brew the Wild Yunnan Tea?
- Take 3-4 grams of tea leaves
- 8-10 ounces of spring water
- Boil the water
- Add the tea leaves as boiling water will bring the flavors out quickly
- For better experience use the multiple steeping processes.
- Start with steeping for 20-30 seconds. Subsequently, add fresh leaves and increase the time.
- A 3 minute of steeping time will give a strong flavor.
We have explored the elegant golden delight- Yunnan tea. The different types of black teas Yunnan procure variant colors like golden-yellow, orange, orange-red and sometimes even reddish brown. It has caramel, malty-sweet notes and hints of honey. It is a mellow smooth tea meant for slow enjoyment!