38 Tasting Notes
I think this is a good basic, straightforward dianhong. It has the classical, smooth caramelly profile and is robust. The leaves look cool. I would also say that it is a bit boring though. I also have a Yunnan black bi luo chun from Yunnan Sourcing that looks very similar to this (and is pretty cheap as well), and that one is so much more interesting and aromatic, with much more flowery, spicy and peaty notes going on. So I don’t think this deserves the name ‘top grade’. Nice tea for grandpastyling at work though.
Flavors: Caramel, Honey
Another Yunnan bud red tea from Ebay. As described, this tea has a sweetness of honey. The texture is nicely thick. Aromatics are a little nutty/spicy, in the department of pistachio and muscat/nutmeg. I think I can now say that I am more of a fan of the more leafy Dianhongs, I like a little more body and something towards bitterness/astringency when I drink a red tea. Good tea though.
Some tobacco, somewhat herbal, no basement notes, unlike the other Liming Bajiaoting teas around the same age that I have had (it came from Moylor, I have no idea about the storage). Gentle astringency that feels pleasant yet nicely substantial. It is grippy in the mouth without drying. I like it, especially for the price (I payed 19$ per cake, it seems they have doubled that price now yet still claiming it has a discount of 50%. Funny webshop.).
Flavors: Herbs, Tobacco
I really like this. It is sweet and fruity and has a thick, sticky mouthfeel that makes it feel engaging and substantial. Over subsequent brews it gets pretty vegetal or hayish, which I don’t really like. I’m clearly most enjoying the first infusions. Good tea for its price I think (I got one for around 30$, and another one for less on 11/11).
Flavors: Fruity, Hay, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal
Wow. This is a strange dianhong. These buds are huge, similar to silver needles. They are very hairy, the inside of the bag is covered in a thin layer of bud fluff. Smell of the dried leaves is not so strong, fresh, eucalyptusy.
The brew is a very bright yellow, with hardly any of the reddish hue of `normal’ red tea. It is very transparent. The brewed leaves appear very lightly-oxidized, with a lot of greenness coming through.
This tea lacks the body of classic dianhongs. Little maltiness. This drinks quite like a white tea in fact. It is sweet and aromatic, in a piny way. Eucalyptus or pine needles perhaps. There is some resemblance to the typical caramelly dianhong aroma but much more in a fresh, spicy way. The finish has spices and nutmeg but is a little short to my taste, it doesn’t really linger in a sweet way, unless you brew it pretty strong. But maybe that’s the way to go anyway because big buds like these don’t give of their flavour so quickly.
Nice. This can’t replace the ‘real’ dianhongs and I wouldn’t have it for breakfast, but it’s good on its own. At 10$/100g with free shipping I think this is good value.
Flavors: Caramel, Eucalyptus, Green Beans, Nutmeg, Pine
So, a 20-year-old old arbor tea. For €35. I bought a 50g sample of this just to try. It is actually not a bad tea to my taste. It is sweet, somewhat savory and there is a smokey sweetness that lingers. This sweetness isn’t really deep or warming, it’s more of a high, citrusy sweetness, almost acidic. This tea isn’t weak or unsubstantial, nor is it overly strong or astringent. Perhaps it’s even a nice budget raw, although I think it would get boring pretty quickly. . The leaf and liquor color are really light. I’m no expert but really can’t imagine this having been stored for 20 years.
Flavors: Astringent, Citrusy, Smoke, Sweet
Nice and interesting tea. Dry leaves smell of hay and honey. Washed leaves first smell a little smokey and somewhat savoury, with a weird resemblance to Dutch smoked eel. After some time the smell is more honeyish and vegetal. The liquor is nicely smooth and honeyish. Leaves are surprisingly well-oxidized for s silver needle and this tea doesn’t have that very crisp and vegetal asparagus/spinachy profile of some other silver needles. It leans more towards darker white tea types such as moonlight white.