These Tea Leaves Made Me Cry with Happiness
By now I’m guessing you all know that I read and taste test things a couple of weeks before I get around to publishing the article. Having tasted 4 of the 5 Teasenz tea samples I have on hand, I can say with certainty that this brand is a keeper. The leaves are of remarkable quality, and the prices are so low even an unemployed student can afford them.
For the sake of being concise, I’ve decided to make separate posts with pronunciations and gongfu information, because including all of that into each post is a little messy.
This week, I’m focusing on Yunnan Gold, a tea that will probably be forever seared into my memory. Yunnan Gold (云南金芽, yunnan jinya ) is a type of Dian Hong (滇红) tea. I first discovered Dian Hong about a year ago at my school’s cultural fair. After just one sip, my mouth exploded with the different flavors and colors of the tea, and I knew I would be interested in trying more.
When I received Teasenz samples, I was overjoyed to find not one, but two different types of Dian Hong. Until then, I’d only tried medium-grade Dian Hong, which has a mix of gold and brown leaves. Yunnan (Pure) Gold is the highest quality Dian Hong there is, named for the strikingly golden fur on the leaves. Despite traveling across the Pacific Ocean to reach my doorstep, Teasenz’s leaves kept their shape, color, and aroma. I teared up when I opened the package because the leaves were just that beautiful.
Because Yunnan Gold is a red tea, I chose to use 5 grams in a 100 ml gaiwan with water boiled to 100 degrees Celsius.
The dry leaves of Yunnan Gold smelled like artificial strawberry and grape flavorings (which I consider to
be a positive smell), with a lot of warmth and depth. I detected notes of mahogany furniture in the mix. When I added the water, they smelled like I had set berries on fire. The tea liquor was a vibrant yellow-orange/ amber, clouded by the tea’s fur. For some reason, the liquor smelled like a chlorinated pool. I’m guessing that has something to do with my water because several teas have had that smell. At any rate, Yunnan Gold’s tea liquor was much brighter than regular Dian Hong’s tea liquor.
When I took my first sip, I was somewhat disappointed by how thin it felt in my mouth. I expected the fur to give Yunnan Gold a thick, syrupy feeling but that was not the case.
Regardless, Yunnan Gold was super smooth; it slid over my tongue and felt like I was being wrapped in a plush blanket. Yunnan Gold’s flavor was much more delicate than other Dian Hongs I’ve tasted, and it was almost more floral than fruity.
The second brew was more orange than the first. It fell more on the red side of the color spectrum than the previous brew. As I continued drinking, I started to taste a metallic flavor dancing around the tea. At the same time, I discovered hints of mango chutney. The more I brewed the tea, the more the flavor began to resemble an unsmoked Lapsang Souchong. There was no bitterness in Yunnan Gold, but I did taste some of
the saltiness that is common among red teas. Each infusion lead to a slightly more red liquor; I found the transformation interesting to watch.
Yunnan Gold’s aftertaste is like perfume. It reminded me of Marc Jacob’s Daisy Eau So Fresh. That happens to be my favorite perfume, so I was more than pleased.
If you’re looking to try this fantastic tea, head on over to the Teasenz website.