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Discovering Legendary Teas

Want Black Tea that is Ultra Smooth, Sweet, and Silky?

Imagine alluring aromas of caramel and burnt sugar…and thick broth that coats your tongue providing enticing aftertaste insisting on another sip…Black Tea is exquisite...

Black Tealeaves

You are about to enter a path of no return, for once you experience the wonders of China Hong Cha, or Black Tea, it will forever be on your must-have list of life-enriching teas…really.

Fair warning, get ready to make room in your Tea Caddy for some permanent new members you are not going to be able to live without.

But just what is it that makes China Hong Chas so irresistibly smooth, sweet and silky? And…Which is the Best China Hong Cha? Which is the best China black tea?

Let’s start with Hong Cha…What is it?

Westerners call it Black Tea, but in China Hong means Red…not Black.

You see, in China there is another category of tea they refer to as Hei Cha or Black Tea…and it is different from Hong Cha, or what we in the west call Black Tea.

Back to Hong Cha…Why is Black Tea so fabulous in our teacups?

Black Tealeaves

In the tea world, we say that 60-80% of a tea’s character comes from its DNA and growing environment. So, we owe a great deal of the result we get in our infusers to the place the tea grows and the plants it grows from…which of course does not happen by chance…

Since all tea comes from Camellia sinensis, we get to enjoy such a great variety of teas because the tea plant is so adaptable to many different climates & environments. And since all tea comes from that same plant, both white and black teas can be made from the same plant…although they rarely are.

Growers in famous growing regions have developed tea processing techniques that have given them notoriety for certain types of tea, so that is what they focus on…like Hong Cha.

To make great tea soup…start with great tea leaves…

Black Tea Broth

In China what is called Tea is the Leaves…and what we drink is the Soup…or Broth.

Unique micro-climates and lots of TLC make great tea leaves, but then there is the harvesting…

Most of these remarkable China black teas are harvested by hand, a bud, a bud and a leaf, or two leaves and a bud at a time. This is done by skilled pluckers that have learned how to evaluate and select leaves that are just right for the tea to be produced.

You see, most of these great black teas are produced from spring harvests when the newly emerging buds and shoots are tender, delicate, sweet, and hold more sugar and flavor compounds than any other time of year. Many of the prized leaves are harvested Before The Rains or Qing Ming from late April until early May depending on the region.

China Hong Cha style teas are very smooth, non-astringent, often with lots of tip and a winey character.

Black Tea Processing

How do these black teas get that way? Well, we know 60-80% comes from the terroir, so that leaves 20-40% of the tea’s character coming from the processing technique which in its own is both science and art.

During processing of the leaves, the conditions are controlled to develop unique fragrance and tone-down the astringency of the black tea.

Considerable moisture is removed from the plump leaves during a step called withering where the leaves lose a lot of their water content. This makes the leaves pliable so they can be worked, causing disruption of the cells inside the leaf and squeezing ingredients from within to the surface, exposing them to oxygen.

The process of withering then oxidation creates amino acids and sugars in the leaves, creating ideal conditions for the final firing to both dry the leaves and impart unique character by manipulating and altering the ingredients in the dreamiest way.

When they reach our infusers and our teacups, the magic is ready to happen, and happen it does.

The dry leaves of China Hong Cha black teas will exhibit a lot of gold tip and bud. This yields a broth with more golden tones and less dark tones than other teas. The large amount of tip and bud make the teas less dry, juicier and more winey. The aromas will be of caramel, burnt sugar, toast, dinner roll with dried fruit background notes.

Here are a Handful of China Black Teas that will Keep You Coming Back for More...

Black Snail Black Tea…Hong Luo...

Black Snail Black Tealeaves

Golden Monkey Black Tea…Jin Mao Hao

Golden Monkey Black Tea Leaves

Canton Honey Black Tea…Shaoguan Mi Hong

 Canton Honey Black Tea Leaves

Yunnan Golden Bud Black Tea…Dian Hong Jin Ya

Yunnan Golden Bud Black Tea Leaves

Yunnan Golden Needle Black Tea…Dian Hong Jin Zhen

Yunnan Golden Needle Black Tea Leaves

Beautiful Golden Eyebrow Black Tea…Jin Jun Mei

Golden Eyebrow Black Tealeaves 

Ready to go to the next step in your black tea appreciation and enjoyment? Your tea world will be nicer with some of the outstanding China Hong Chas in it.

For Tips on Steeping Perfection Click Here

So what’s the Best Way To Measure My Tea?...Ditch the teaspoon for the Three Finger Pinch!

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