According to the packaging this black tea (hong cha) hails from Fuding (which is perhaps better known for its white teas), which is a county in Ningde prefecture of Fujian province. Now this is interesting, because as I understand it Panyang (AKA Tanyang) village itself lies in Fu’an county of Ningde. I guess this is yet another case of a tea being named after a style of processing that originated in another geographical location, although to be fair at least in this case that means a nearby county in the same prefecture.
The packaging goes on to say that the tea is an April 2018 production, and is organic.
After a few moments in the warmed up pot the dry leaves were giving very little away, save a general feeling of a fairly typical hong cha, such as a Yunnan Gold.
|Water Used:||Filtered tap water|
|Weight of dry leaf:||7 grams|
|Steeping vessel:||200 ml ceramic teapot|
|No. & duration:||6 infusions of 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40 seconds duration.|
Given the thin, delicate nature of the leaves I opted for a fast first infusion. The liquor came out a beautiful ruby red, and I have to say I was a little surprised by the overall complexity of taste here.
The base was a kind of classic hong cha malty, burnt brown sugar sweetness, but on top of that there was a pleasant nip of Assam like tartness. Behind that there was a schoolroom white chalk mineral thing, and after swallowing a distinct vanilla note hung on the palate. The body was unexpectedly thick, although it was more milky rather than creamy or buttery.
Just over the halfway mark in the session the tartness became more assertive, and brought with it a hint of dried blueberry.
I was expecting a shortish session given the nature of those leaves, and that’s exactly what I got. After the 6th. infusion of 40 seconds duration we were done.
And to be honest that’s all there really is to tell about this tea.
It’s a good, solid, daily drinker hong cha with some noteworthy characteristics and a fairly interesting backstory.
Can’t say fairer than that.