Came across this tea on the Teasenz blog described as a sun dried Dian Hong that is supposed to get better with age. Since Dian Hong is my daily drinker of course I had to try it. As I understand it, this was never officially sold through their store but was available in a limited quantity if you contacted them. There is a 2015 brick version (which I also have a sample of) though this is the 2017 loose leaf version of the same.
Used 7g in a 150ml gaiwan and steeped for 10 seconds the first 6 times at 85 degrees. The soup is a nice dark red after just 10 seconds, similar to what you would get from a shou puerh. Tastes like a Dian Hong but different. The maltiness is subdued as are the floral/peppery aspects. I would say that all the flavors are mellower and the tea is smoother than a normal dian hong. Slightly reminiscent of a shou in its smoothness. It’s definitely good overall but I almost feel as if all the characteristics that I enjoy in a dian hong are not quite there. Will have to try the 2015 version to see if the extra 2 years have made any difference.
I did get 6 very good and strong steeps out of this at 10 seconds each and maybe 10 or 11 steeps in total whilst staying quite flavorful. Examining the leaf after the fact, there are some whole leaves but a lot of broken leaves as well as stems. Not many buds at all. So definitely not made from the best raw material which may also explain the subdued taste.