One of the challenges of shopping for teas online is knowing whether you are getting the kind and quality of tea that you should expect. This challenge becomes even more compounded when you have never tasted a certain kind of tea, or are not sure if you have formed an accurate impression of that tea to use as a basis of comparison.
Dian Hong is a term often used to describe black teas from Yunnan province.
A few tea references have sought to describe dian hong’s flavor profile:
The Tea Enthusiasts Handbook included descriptors like: “caramel” and “honey-like.”
The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea used “maple syrup,” and “earthy.”
The Tea Drinkers Handbook employed words like “waxed wood,” “chocolate,” and “honey.”
Tea: History,Terrior, Varieties noted characteristics of tobacco, ripe apricot, and exotic wood.
Just as important as the flavor and aroma characteristics are notes about intensity of flavors and textures, and duration of aftertaste.
The diagrams below may help you visualize my records of more ideal dian hong black tea characteristics along various spectra. Note that I use the spectrums universally, so these show dian hong’s place in relation to most other teas, whether they be green, wulong, etc.
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