Red tea, known as black tea in the west, is a tea that is withered, rolled, then left in piles to ferment before being baked dry. The resulting flavor is smooth and sweet. While it is one of the newest categories of tea it has gained popularity around the world as well as in China.
1. Red Tea
Being located near Qimen, I have tasted many red teas, but only one has truly impressed me. The red tea pictured above is from an 100-200 year old tree near Huangshan. With leaves so thick you would almost think its an oolong, this tea is actually charcoal roasted similar to an yan cha. The age of the tree gives it a smooth body that, when paired with the slight roasting, gives you a depth rarely seen in red teas. What really impressed me about this tea is how it actually improved as the steeping went on. Unlike most teas which peak early and slowly fade, this tea actually starts out only pretty good, but as the steeps go out slowly starts to show its refinement. Sweet, deep, and with a slight black berry note, this is truly a good tea.
One Ounce of Anhui Red Tea
Traditionally Smoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong (Lapsang Sochoung)
Traditionally smoked by burning special type of oak in a two story house, this tea tastes of a peaty scotch. The level of sweet and smoky is just right and it has mouth feel like bitting into a slowly cooked barqueced meat. This is truly a special tea.
(coming January 2019)