One of Yunnan's best kept secrets, Shaihong or "Sun-dried black tea" is a gem that deserves showcasing.
In contrast to mainstream black teas that are oven-dried, Shaihong leaves are simply left under the sun to dry. A natural process that results in a mellow black tea with raisin-like sweetness and velvety consistency.
Our Yunnan Black is hand-picked from wild tea trees (between the age of 50 and 100 years) in Zhanglang village of Xishuangbanna. Gifted to us by a tea producer in the village, the moment we opened and brewed this magnificent Shaihong cake back home, we were hooked. With rich notes of dark chocolate and dried fig, this tea brews a deep, cherry red liquor and can be brewed up to 8 times in one sitting. As you continue brewing, you'll notice the different layers emerging - spice, cacao beans, raisins.
Just like a fine wine, this tea also gains complexity and value with age. A must try for wine connoisseurs, especially those who enjoy silky red wines like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sourced directly from a tea producer of the Bulang tribe in Zhanglang village, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan.
- CATEGORY Black tea
- NET WT 200g
- PICKED Oct 2017 PRESSED Mar 2018 (Aged)
- ORIGIN Zhanglang, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan | Bulang Tribe
- LEAF Da Ye Zhong varietal, Da Shu (big tea trees 50 ~ 100 years old) | Bud and 3 leaves
- CRAFT Picked, withered, rolled & sun-dried. Pressed into cakes.
- NOTES Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon, Red Date, Honey
- BENEFITS May aid digestion
- CAFFEINE Yes
We recommend using a small clay teapot or Gaiwan to brew this black tea. Use a tea knife to help you break off pieces of the cake seamlessly.
- Chinese Brew (Gaiwan): 5g | 150ml | 95°C | 20 sec | +5 secs for additional brews | Can steep ~ 8 times
- Western Brew (Mug / Teapot): 5g | 350ml | 95°C | 1 min | + 20 secs for additional brews | Can steep ~ 4 times
Bordering Myanmar, Zhanglang village is home to the Bulang ethnic minority who have been practicing their age-old puer-making traditions for thousands of years.
We met this producer, along with his wife and family by pure chance, or Yuanfen as it is called, simply stumbling upon their modest processing facility during our stay in the tea village. Like many of the tribes in this tea region, this family has owned and protected its ancient tea trees for several generations, cultivating its precious leaves using age old traditions together as a family.
We observed as the family processed tea until the evening when the owner came to fry puer leaves over a wok. It wasn't until the next day when he gave us a ride into town that he gifted us this magnificent Shaihong cake, wrapped in an adorable paper depicting the colorful traditions of the Bulang people.
This tea's complex flavors and digestive properties and are enhanced with age. Store it in a dry, shaded place and enjoy the changes in taste and benefits over the years. An ever-evolving and transformative black tea, unlike any other we've ever experienced.
Don't let the cake form intimidate you - Once you practice breaking pieces off a few times, it's actually a very convenient way to store and drink tea.