Dianhong Cha (“Dian” 滇 = “Yunnan”; “Hong Cha” = 紅茶 “black tea”) is the Chinese name for Yunnan black teas, worldwide famous for their fresh and full-bodied taste and high sweetness, yielded from the Yunnan native big leaf tea variety and produced in the southern and south-west regions of Yunnan province, such as Lincang, Baoshan, Fengqing, Xishuangbanna, Dehong and other places.
In Fengqing area, the production of black tea dates back to the late 1930`s only, and was mainly initiated and developed due to the growing offshore demand for black tea from countries such as the UK, the US, and others. Despite this rather young history, Fengqing black teas became popular very quickly, mainly due to the bold, chocolate-like sweet taste and high freshness that are characteristic for Fengqing black teas. Fengquing “Classic 58” black tea was awarded the first price in the prestigious 1958 London Tea Expo, and the name “Classic 58” has since established as a label for high grade Fengqing black tea processed in accordance to the award-winning classic recipe. While better qualities of the most classic Chinese teas usually come at a price, Fengqing Black Tea is available at very moderate prices even at best picking and processing standards.
Fengqing Classic 58 Black Tea is also often referred to as “Gong Fu Black Tea”, once hinting at the great skill and complexity involved in the traditional processing of this tea, and once at the “ceremonial” use of this tea in Gong Fu Cha (tea ceremony) settings. In Yunnan, there is a tradition of offering Fengqing Classic 58 Black Teas to high profile visitors in business societal and/or political contexts (and, of course to less high profile visitors, such as the common tourist, too). As an example, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited China in 1986, Deng Xiaoping, then chairman of central military commission of China, sent the black tea from Dianhong tea factory as a gift to Queen Elizabeth II.
Our IMO organic-certified Imperial Grade Fengqing Classic 58 Black Tea – a premium grade selection with a high ratio of golden tips due to its high picking standard of 1 bud with only 1 adjacent leaf each, comes from the tradition-rich Yunnan Fengqing Dianhong Tea Factory founded in 1939, which is famous for producing the highest quality Yunnan black tea. The manually picked buds and leaves are rolled into tight, slightly curly shape. The tea’s clear and bright orange-red liquor pleases with the distinct fresh and mellow, intensely sweet cocoa/chocolate-like aroma and taste that is characteristic for this tea. In distinction to lower quality Yunnan black teas, our Imperial Grade Fengqing Classic 58 Black Tea from Dianhong Tea Factory has only little or no astringency at all even with longer infusion periods, making it tempting to get the full taste from a longer (3-5 minutes) infusion rather than infusing it Gong Fu style aiming at a larger range of mellow, but nevertheless tasteful infusions.
This Imperial Grade Fengqing Classic 58 Black Tea really is what in tea lovers’ circles is often referred to as “forgiving”, basically meaning that no matter how long you are going to infuse this tea, it will still be fine. As common for black tea, the water temperature to infuse Fengqing Classic 58 Black Tea should be 90C° or above. We recommend using 3-5 grams on ca. 250ml water and try both ways of preparation: the western style, employing a 3-4 minutes infusion period for your first steep, followed by another 5 minutes for a full taste second infusion, and the Chinese “Gong Fu” style, starting with no more than one minute for a first infusion and producing a sequence of 5-6 infusions by adding ca. ½ minute for each consecutive steep.