Black Needle Pagoda Dian Hong Cha

(2 customer reviews)


Wild Black Needle Pagoda Dian Hong Cha from ancient wild tea trees growing at altitudes beyond 2000 meters on Yang Ta Mountain, Yinggu County, Pu Erh Prefecture, Yunnan, China. Handpicked with 2+1 picking standard and manually processed, roasted in a wok pan, rolled and shaped according to millenium-old tradition. The special tea pagoda processing style goes back to a time, when this unique piece of art was created by enslaved tea pickers in the imperial tea garden as a symbol for freedom and a better future.

For more information and illustration please refer to the detailed product description below.


Wild Black Needle Pagoda Dian Hong Cha Black Tea from Yunnan, China

‘Dian Hong Cha’ (chin. 滇 紅茶) is the Chinese term for black tea from Yunnan province.  Since the southern Chinese province is where the evolution of the tea plant started, it is also known as the “cradle of tea”. The exact point in time can no longer be determined today. However, the use of the tea plant in Yunnan looks back on at least 3000 years of history.

Black Needle Pagoda Dian Hong Cha is the manifestation of one of Yunnan’s oldest black tea traditions. According to an old legend, the unusual processing goes back to enslaved tea pickers in the imperial tea garden. These tea pickers allegedly developed and worshipped the pagoda as a symbol of freedom and a better future.

Wild Black Needle Pagoda Dian Hong Cha Black Tea from Yunnan, China

Place of origin and historical/social background

Our Black Needle Pagoda black tea comes from an extremely difficult to access, natural (wild) tea garden. This is at an altitude of over 2000m on a mountain only about one hundred kilometers north of the famous tea-growing areas Pu Erh and Xishuanbanna. On Yang Ta Mountain in Jinggu County, Pu Erh, the residents of a small settlement have been picking leaves from the ancient wild tea trees for 2000 years already.

According to the mountain tribe’s heritage, their ancestors at that time migrated here – guided by a vision of their village elder – from an infertile and arid region on their search for a more fertile habitat. On Yang Ta Mountain, besides a natural wealth of water, flora and fauna, they also found wild tea trees. Again following the vision of their village elder, they began to pick and process the leaves of these trees. Since then, the villagers have cultivated this tradition and passed it on from generation to generation. During this time they have developed the processing of their black tea into an art of highest masterful perfection.

Black Needle Pagoda Black Tea from ancient wild Yunnan tea trees


Proper picking time for our Yunnan Black Needle Pagoda black tea is annually for a short period in spring. At this, the qualified picking standard is 1 + 1. This means one unopened bud each with its youngest adjacent leaf. At picking time these are both about the same length.

Processing and pagoda shape

The processing of our Yunnan Black Needle Pagoda basically follows the scheme of black tea processing. After an initial withering phase, the freshly picked tea leaves undergo their first roasting. This is done in the traditional way by hand in a wok pan over a wood fire. The special needle shape results from a masterful rolling process that goes along with this roasting. During this process, the characteristic appearance of the ready-processed tea leaves also emerges. The unopened shoots take on a golden color, while the leaves turn dark to black.

In particular, producing the pagoda-shape itself involves a demanding and higly artful manual work process. Parallel to the processing of the tea leaves, threads of red silk are tied over ears of corn in such a way that they take on a pagoda shape. Then the unfinished, supple tea leaves are artfully threaded into the structure. Upon completion, the finished pagoda undergoes another final roast. The result, Black Needle Pagoda, is one of Yunnan’s finest black teas.

Black Needle Pagoda Black Tea from ancient wild Yunnan tea trees

Taste and aroma

The exceptionally harmonious taste and aroma profile of Black Needle Pagoda Dian Hong Cha Black Tea reads like that of a candy. Spicy-sweet coconut, honey and chocolate notes dominate the golden brown cup. At this, an unusually smooth and mild roast component, emerging with the gentle manual roasting, complements the overall picture.

Health aspects

To the outstanding taste properties of our Black Needle Pagoda add the alleged health effects of black tea. These include increasing physical performance and concentration, lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, general circulatory stimulation and weight loss support. In addition, the high tannin content supposedly is responsible for therapeutic effects in gastritis and other gastrointestinal diseases. Black tea is also rich in natural fluorides, believed to support long-lasting dental health and longevity of the teeth.

Wild Black Needle Pagoda Dian Hong Cha Black Tea from Yunnan, China


For the preparation of our Black Needle Pagoda we recommend dosing 1 Pagoda (approx. 3g) per 100ml of water. After pouring (90+°C) let steep for 3-5 minutes (3 minutes: mildly sweet; 5 minutes: spicy and sweet). The symmetrical tea flower unfolding from the pagoda has sufficient taste potential for 2-3 full taste subsequent infusions. At his, add 1 additional minute infusion period for each follow-up infusion.

Additional information

Weight N/A

25g, 50g, 100g

2 reviews for Black Needle Pagoda Dian Hong Cha

  1. Sheila (verified owner)

    What a visual and taste delight this tea is!!! The history is long regarding the tribe who handpicks and shapes this wild, ancient and at one time imperial tea….I especially like that it is not dark (and for me sometimes “heavy”)for a black tea but has leanings toward the realm of a ceylon, though not so fruity . Well balanced , clean and artistically portrayed!! A true gem of a black tea!!!

  2. Kim Williamon (verified owner)

    Love this Black Pagoto..not only is it pleasing to the eye and unusual but, the smell and taste are unique. Well balanced and rounded in flavor, no bitterness. Will definitely reorder.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *