Hong Ya

hong ya - dry leaf

This was a free 3 gram sample that was kindly included in a recent purchase I made over at House of Tea.

As the name suggests this is a black (red/Hong Cha) tea, which hails from Fuding in Fujian province. House of Tea’s notes describe the tea as small whole leaves of the Da Bai cultivar, which is the same one often used in the production of white teas such as the well know Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle).

As I tend to do with small 3 gram samples these days, I went by House of Tea’s own suggested brewing parameters.

Steeping method
Water Used: Filtered tap water
Weight of dry leaf: 3 grams
Infusion style: Western
Steeping vessel: 200 ml ceramic teapot
Water temperature: 100°C
No. & duration: 3 infusions of 1 minute, 1 minute, and 2 minutes duration.

After warming up the pot I drained it, dropped the leaf in, replaced the lid, and then gave the pot a few gentle shakes. Removing the lid I stuck my nose into the open pot and had a good sniff of the warmed up dry leaves.

I was greeted by the aroma of home-made raisin biscuits, all hot wheat and brown sugar, laced with dried, dark fruit.

hong ya - a cup of

The first infusion rolled over my taste buds in waves. First came a Ceylon-like flinty, crispy bite, then that biscuity thing, and right at the end those raisins slow-rolled in.

The second and third infusions showed nothing new in the flavour profile – the only noticeable difference between the three rounds was the intensity of the flavours in the liquor. The third steeping, although still flavoursome, was clearly the end point of the session. Still, 600 ml of tasty liquor from 3 grams of leaf ain’t too bad a yield in my book.

As always, the usual race conditions for small samples apply, but I think I can still draw some worthwhile conclusions.

hong ya - used leaves

This is an intriguing tea, with an interesting mix of characteristics. I would really love to see how 6 grams of it would fare in a gaiwan.

Definitely one to put on the “must try later” list.

Nice.

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