Most really young raws don’t tend to offer me a lot in terms of aromatics, but when they do, it seems to often be a sign I’m in for a treat. This Hong Ni Tang was one such occasion. After the rinse, the leaves have a complex, deep aroma. Foresty, campfire embers, perhaps even a touch of vinegar. This is reflected in the taste, and it’s great.
I love this tea. I state that twice in my notes. It has a lot of character. Scott’s description says the character of this tea is between Jinggu and nearby Mengku and I agree. It has the complex yet deep foresty character of certain Mengku teas together with the sweetness and added extra character of Jinggu. The aforementioned campfire embers are there in the most enjoyable form I’ve come across in tea. After the first couple steeps it also develops a pleasing tanginess. Somewhere in the middle I started picking up on some grape leaves. Towards the late infusions the tea gets more fruity and floral. There’s a touch of astringency but no bitterness to speak of.
The Hong Ni Tang is such a complex and unusual tea I immediately fell in love with it. And not only is it complex but has great depth as well. The mouthfeel is also good and cha qi noticeable but not too potent for my liking. While not one of Scott’s strongest teas, the strength is also very good and longevity excellent. This is a tea I would warmly recommend to any sheng lover, especially given its rather affordable price of $0.20/g. I’m definitely picking up a cake in my next Yunnan Sourcing order. While it’s too early to say, based on first impressions at least this might just be one of my personal favorite young raws.
Flavors: Campfire, Charcoal, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Pine, Resin, Sweet, Tangy, Vinegar