In my last post I shared some information about Ning Hong Jing Hao Tea.
The Dry Leaves…
The leaves were very fine, slender, long and gently twisted, revealing varying shades of browns and golds, with prominent golden tips. They were very much like a high grade Keemun and were quite beautiful – if we can say that about tea leaves! Their aroma was smoky-sweet with a faint scent of pine.
When thinking about brewing basic Chinese black teas – they are really fairly straightforward and easy to brew – basically a typical black tea approach. Although this can vary from person to person. I used 1 teaspoon of the leaves in 8 ounces of water (190 degrees F), then steeped them for three minutes. It was perfect.
The liquor in my cup was a light reddish brown – not quite copper but more like amber. The aroma was somewhat malty with the slight scent of stone fruit. It had a smooth body and was a very satisfying cup with numerous layers to its taste profile – a complex but subtle mix of wood, slight smoke and earth – which sounds over -powering but it was anything but. It was light and really quite delicate – with a great balance of floral/fruity characteristics but with undertones of woodiness. A complex cup that had a pleasing balance of strength and rich flavor, that lingered into the finish.
I think it shared several qualities with many of the more expensive Keemuns, even though it is not exactly like a Keemun. It had all the attributes I love in a Chinese black tea: the subtle dark cloak of smokiness, wood and earth, giving way to a bouquet of floral/fruity notes. I must admit Chinese black teas are number one on my list, so this was a perfect cup for me. It is a 5 for sure!
All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase)