While Yunnan’s famous Puerh tea has been in production since the Tang Dynasty, over a thousand years ago, Yunnan Black Tea, called Dian Hong in China, first came into production in 1938. The first batch of approximately 2,500 kilos was sold to England via a Hong Kong trading company. (It is said to have been greatly prized by the royals.) However, shortly thereafter tea production came to a halt due to war with Japan and China’s civil war. It was not until 1987 that China’s tea production resumed, with Dian Hong accounting for approximately 20% of the total. Dian Hong translates literally as 'Yunnan Red. (Dian is another name for Yunnan Province). In China, black tea is referred to as “red' tea” because of the reddish brown color of infused liquor. The main difference between Yunnan Black Tea (Dian Hong) and most other Chinese black tea is the varietal—Camellia sinensis var. assamica rather than Camellia sinensis var. china—as well as its tightly rolled leaf and oily, blackish luster together with a profusion of fine leaf buds, or "golden tips." It can be easily identified by its luscious soft, downy leaves, and a unique malty, peppery, spicy taste. Dian Hong yields a robust ruby-red liquor and a unique fragrance and taste notes that are, quite honestly, unlike any other black tea in the world.
Premium Yunnan Black Tea (Dian Hong) is hand crafted in areas starting from the Feng Qing County to the south of Dali in Western Yunnan. This is a tea that can stand up to several infusions. To those who are unfamiliar with Yunnan Black Tea, we say it is similar in flavor to the tea from the Assam region in India. In fact, Yunnan province is located just north of Assam, India. Many tea experts speculate that this geographic proximity is the reason for Yunnan black tea's tippy character. Many tea experts and tea lovers think Yunnan Black Tea (Dian Hong) is arguably the most underrated Chinese tea.