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The Yunnan Province of China is home to some of the finest teas from China. A few years ago the Chinese government even went so far as to give approval to a proposal that limits the labeling of any Chinese tea as “pu-erh” to only those grown and processed in this province. This was in part to protect their reputation in the tea market (success breeds imitators) where their popularity is growing. But aside from these teas, other very fine ones are produced. They are categorized as “Black” (called “Dian Hong” or “red tea” in other countries) and “Golden.”

Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

A couple to get you started:

  • Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea — Considered by many to be one of the highest quality teas available from Yunnan Province. A black tea blend composed of tippy, neat, wiry, and well-made leaves that have a wonderful fragrance and produce a bright reddish cup with a malty flavor and aroma. The leaves are harvested and processed during the last 2 weeks of March and the first 2 weeks of April and so have a brighter golden tip. A tea that is perfect on its own, but a bit of milk or sugar help capture that malty character. Steep for 3-7 minutes in water that has been brought to a rolling boil. (My review)
  • Flowering Tea – 3 Flower Burst – Green Tea — This tea mimics the lush Yunnan countryside as it unfolds from brewing. Lily, Osmanthus, and jasmine blooms are tied together with steamed full leaves of Yunnan green tea. They steep up a full green taste with overtones of peach, and undertones of lily and jasmine. Steep in something where you can watch the show!

Some more to be on the lookout for:

  • Royal Yunnan — A tea resulting from literally thousands of years of tea growing and processing experience. The leaves are picked in early Spring from the first flush, and these young, fresh buds turn gold when oxidized instead of black. The rich flavor  that steeps up from these leaves has lingering notes of honey and smoke. Steep as long as you like to get a stronger, not bitter, brew.
  • Dian Hong (Yunnan Red, Yunnan Black) — Unlike other Chinese black teas, the finest grade of Dian Hong has a higher amount of fine leaf buds (“golden tips”). They steep up a liquid that is brassy golden orange and having a sweet aroma that is gentle, and the flavor is free of astringency. Lower grades can steep up darker brown and be bitter, especially if oversteeped. Both are a tea version that goes back only to the earth 20th century. The grades: First Grade, Broken Yunnan (BOP grade), Yunnan Gold (OP to TGFOP grade), and Yunnan Pure Gold (TGFOP to SFTGFOP grade).
  • Golden Bi Luo (Twisted Yunnan Gold, Hong Bi Luo, Yunnan Bi Luo) — A rare golden black tea that is made with a local Yunnan varietal similar to a high grade Yunnan Gold. The leaves are processed in the style of the famous green tea called Bi Luo Chun (from Jiangsu province in China). The flavor is creamy with sweet, malty notes of vanilla.
  • Yunnan Tribute Pu-Erh — A tea aged for many years that has been a favorite in Southern China for a long time. It has a distinctive earthy, bold, and assertive flavor, yet is exceptionally smooth.

About Yunnan Province

This part of China is in the southwest corner and borders Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Tibet, and Vietnam. The elevation ranges from 76 meters above sea level to over 6,700 meters, with tea being grown at 1,200 to 2,000 meters. Weather wise, they are crossed by the Tropic of Cancer, have an annual rainfall range of 1,000 to 2,000 millimeters, and have a temperature range of 12° to 23° Celsius. This is ideal for the tea trees growing there and for which the province is famous. Most of the 200+ species are known as “Yunnan large leaf” and are great for pu-erhs and black teas. Their first flush begins about a half month ahead of other tea-growing provinces such as Zhejiang.

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Here is the 2nd of the baker’s dozen (13) of recipes that I selected off of a foodie site since they seem to really fit this bill of going great with tea. This is a more unusual recipe to serve with tea but seems to fit this time of year.

After reading my take on these, you might want to try out the recipe with a pot of the tea named and assess the pairing for yourself.

The recipe: Simple Summer Couscous Salad

Simple Summer Couscous Salad

Simple Summer Couscous Salad

Tomatoes and cucumbers and scallions — oh my! Two years ago, the cook presented this most yummerlicious looking salad on her site. She had presented it as perfect for your Memorial Day Weekend luncheon. It’s a real “beat the heat” dish. The recipe calls for fat-free chicken stock, but you can sub a nice vegan style broth. I made it with the chicken stock, and hubby said I achieved very satisfactory results (the recipe is simple enough for even me to handle).

Fresh ingredients will assure a fresh-tasting and satisfying treat that deserves a wonderful tea with a flavor and aroma to contrast with it.

The tea: Golden Heaven Yunnan

Golden Heaven Yunnan

Golden Heaven Yunnan

My tea choice may not be yours, but having actually made the salad and had it with this tea, I can attest that the combo is worth trying. Golden Yunnan is climbing my personal scale of faves, but still remains some distance behind Keemuns, Assams, Ceylons, and Darjeelings. It is a tea that I can enjoy both straight and in a more British-style serving manner with milk and sweetener. In fact, it is even a tea that can take the chill, delivering a refreshing peppery punch during the heat of the Summer.

Hope this works for you. Feel free to comment here with your experience, and watch for the next pairing to be posted in June.

See also:
Pairing Tea and Food — Pomegranate Vanilla Scones and Sencha Tea 

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea

Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea

As much as I like a great cup of Chinese or Japanese green tea, I have to say that, for me, there’s nothing quite like black tea. I’ve said it many times before and I’m sure I’ll say it many more – for me Assam is the be all and end all when it comes to black tea, though it’s important to note that not all Assam is created equal and much of it is actually quite mediocre, at best. But I digress.

After Assam, it would be tough to pick my next favorite but if pressed I’d probably have to go with Yunnan tea. This is a term that covers a great deal of territory, so it’s probably a good idea to narrow things down a bit. Yunnan is a province in southern China that’s well known for its output of a variety of teas. Yunnan may be best known for its production of Pu’er, a type of tea so tied to this region that the city of Simao, in the heart of the Pu’er growing region, recently changed its name to Pu’er City.

Puerh can be an acquired taste for some (present company included). For my money the Yunnan tea most worthy of sitting up and taking notice of is a black tea that’s often just referred to as Yunnan and more specifically as Dian Hong, or sometimes Dien Hung. The ancient Chinese term for Yunnan, Dien Hung roughly translates to Yunnan Red. Red tea in China is what those of us in most of the rest of the world typically refer to as black tea.

Dian Hong is typically harvested from older bushes and tends to be characterized by a relatively high concentration of golden tips. This quality is recognized in such names as Yunnan Gold, Yunnan Pure Gold, Golden Tip, or Golden Buds, among others. It’s a relative newcomer to the pantheon of Chinese teas, having only begun production in the last century or so.

Dian Hong typically has a rather robust, even malty flavor with faint notes of spice or perhaps a hint of pepper, though this may vary considerably depending on the grade. Most varieties that I’ve had the pleasure to try are almost completely free of the bitterness or astringency that makes any tea-drinking experience less than satisfying. Looking back over the Dian Hong varieties that I’ve reviewed over the years at my own site I see that I have yet to run across a dud and one of my favorite everyday teas, one that’s almost always in my cupboard, is a Dian Hong.

For a recent review of English Tea Store’s Golden Heaven Yunnan, look here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Golden Heaven Yunnan in the cup

Golden Heaven Yunnan in the cup

Tea Name: Golden Heaven Yunnan

Tea Type: Black tea from Yunnan Province of China

One whiff from the package, and hubby and I were in love. A deliciously jammy fragrance greeted us. As expected, the leaves had that mottled brown and gold appearance. We followed the vendor’s recommendation to steep in boiling water and did two steepings, the first for 3 minutes and the second for 3½ minutes.

As with other versions of this tea, we ended up with a beautiful reddish-brown liquid in the cup that had a heavenly malty/nutty aroma and a nutty flavor. There was a hint of astringency, but it was easily smoothed with milk and sweetener, which also brought out the maltiness more and even made it somewhat caramelly.

This tea has a limited production time (from about the last two weeks of March through about the first two weeks of April) and is composed of tippy, neat, wiry, and well-made leaves. This means it requires careful hand harvesting by knowledge workers.

Yunnan, the Southern Chinese province bordering Vietnam, is said to be the birthplace of tea, and also the location of the oldest wild growing tea tree (thought to be 1,700 years old). More black tea is produced there than in any other tea-producing part of China, although they’ve been doing it a much shorter time starting in 1939. Flavor characteristics such as “peppery,” “earthy,” and “cocoa-ish” are often attributed to such teas. Hubby and I found this one more toward the richly nutty, malty, caramelly side and were quite pleased with that.

One final note: As I have recommended in many reviews in the past, you should play with the steeping times. Our second steeping was lighter than the first, which means a shorter first steep might be in order. On the other hand, maybe a longer first steep is better, giving you a more robust cuppa, especially if you put milk in it.

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, any opinions concerning this tea and the company  are always strictly objective.

See also:
Yunnan Basics

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tea trees awaiting harvest

Tea trees awaiting harvest

Continued from Part I.

Six more provinces in China known for their fine teas:

Hunan
Located northwest of Anhui. Tea production goes back 2,000 years, and this province is now the second largest producer of tea in China, with compressed teas being most common. Produces Gu Zhang Maojian, Yellow Tea, Silver Needles teas.

Jiangxi
Borders Zhejiang and Anhui Provinces. Over half of the area is mountainous, with tea being grown in seven key areas: Mt. Lu, Xiushui, Jinggang Mountain, Nanchang, Wuyuan, Shangrao, and Nancheng. You may see these names included as part of the tea name. Produces mainly Green Teas (about 80% of total tea produced) with some Blacks, Compressed, and Jasmines.

Jiangsu, also called “Kiangsu”
Located east of Anhui and borders the Yellow Sea. New growth starts in early April, and this harvest is most prized. Produces Bi Luo Chun (some teas grown in Szechuan Province are sold under this name but are not authentic), Pi Lo Chun, and Yu Hua Cha teas.

Szechuan, also called “Sichuan”
Located in central China just north of Yunnan. Springtime growth starts earlier than in more northerly provinces such as Zhejiang. Produces Oolong and Orange Pekoe teas. Also known for spicy cuisine.

Yunnan
Located on the southwestern border of China. Like, Szechuan Province, Springtime growth starts earlier than in more northerly provinces such as Zhejiang. The tea trees are ancient (usually several hundred years old) and grow on terraced hillsides that may also have fruit trees such as mango planted on them. Produces Yunnan Black, Yunnan Golden, and Pu-erh teas.

Zhejiang, also called “Chingkiang”
Located just north of Fujian and having a mild and moist climate that often results in four harvests. The annual temperature range is 16-19˚C with the majority of rainfall coming between Summer and Autumn. The city of Hangzhou is often called “the tea city of China” with its strong teahouse culture and 740 teahouses. Produces Lungching (also called “Longjing” and “Dragonwell”), Gunpowder, Tian Mu Qing Ding, Puan Lung Yin Hao, Jasmine, and Ping Suey teas.

There is a tea here to suit every palate. Knowing a bit about the province in which they’re grown will help you in making your selection. Check out the flavor characteristics of each and buy a small packet (often, sample sizes are available) or get a sampler with several in it so you can try and compare. You’ll soon find which are your favorites. Enjoy!

See also:
Yunnan Basics
Pu-erh Roundup
The Teas of Fujian  
The Teas of Yunnan
Pu-erh Tea  
Lychee Congou China Black Tea (review)
Review of Keemun Panda
Review of Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea
Chun Mee Tea  
China Black
Chinese Teas
Lapsang Souchong: History and Recipes
Oolong Roundup
Oolong Tea  

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Keemun Panda

Keemun Panda

I’m in a quandry.

Asking me about my favorite black tea is like asking me about my favorite wine. While I enjoy both black tea and wine on their own, I really enjoy both paired with food. Trouble is that some pairings are better than others. While I can say without a doubt that my favorite type of black tea is Yunnan Gold and that my favorite wine varietal is tempranillo, I can also say that I prefer other wines and other black teas when consuming different foods. This makes it difficult to write about my favorite black tea.

I am very fond of Yunnan Gold. I love the sweet spiciness of these teas and find that they make both a wonderful hot drink as well as iced tea. I love the way each Yunnan tea has its own characteristics: Earthy, spicy, sometimes even floral. It’s the tea I am most likely to pack when I am going on vacation, and nothing beats a hot cup of Yunnan Gold with eggs scrambled with chorizo.

Yet. . .

When I have a breakfast of bacon and eggs, I’d just as soon give Yunnan a pass. Nothing matches with bacon quite like Keemun, though a nice Assam often hits the spot. I sometimes even crave CTC African teas when enjoying a traditional breakfast, though I seldom drink them on their own.

I’m also not crazy about Yunnan teas when paired with sweets or sandwiches. The delicacy and subtlety of the tea gets lost when paired with these foods and the Yunnan tea simply isn’t strong enough to clear the palate of all that starch. Again, give me a decent Keemun, Assam, or autumn flush Darjeeling with my afternoon tea, and I am happy as a clam.

Food aside, though, Yunnan Gold remains my favorite black tea. In fact, if you are a black tea novice, or want to start drinking tea “straight”, with no milk or sugar, try a Yunnan Gold: It got me hooked on unflavored, Chinese teas, and I’ve never looked back.

See what else Lainie is sipping on her blog!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea

Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea

While I consider myself to be somewhat of an universalist when it comes to tea (I’ll drink tea from anywhere), I admit to a strong bias for Chinese black teas, particularly those from Yunnan. While Yunnan is perhaps best known in the tea world as the producer of pu’erh, it also grows and makes some mighty tasty black teas. While I adore Keemun, if I had to choose only one type of black tea to take onto a desert island , it would be a Yunnan black.

The question is, however, which Yunnan black. It’s hard to choose.

One of the things that I most love about Yunnan black tea is its many varieties. Some Yunnan blacks are made up entirely of soft, golden tips that give a wonderful spicy, honey-sweet liquor in the cup. Others are more robust, with only a smattering of tips strewn through earthy-flavored leaf. Each variety is a revelation, and I love to compare and contrast the Yunnans that I try. Even better, Yunnan blacks are the first teas that I often give to newcomers to tea, who are often used to standard, harsh grocery store teabags and never had any idea that tea could be so sweet, smooth and complex. I’ve even tried Yunnan blacks that have cocoa notes. Mmm.

A few suggestions for working with Yunnan black teas:

  • The more robust varieties, those that have more brown leaf and less golden tip, can make excellent breakfast teas.
  • Iced Yunnan black tea is excellent and needs no sugar or other flavorings. (A Yunnan iced tea is an excellent accompaniment to Mexican food.) Some people swear by cold brewing Yunnan black, but I confess to being a purist and preferring to extract the full flavor of the tea by preparing it with hot water and then pouring over ice after steeping.
  • High quality Yunnan blacks are incredibly forgiving on steep times: If you forget about pot and let it sit for awhile, try it anyway. You may find it to be perfectly delicious.
  • Every batch of tea is different, but it seems to me that Yunnan blacks are often fairly high in caffeine: You may want to stop drinking this tea after 3pm.

See also: Yunnan Basics

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fourth in this round of that practical approach to reading tea leaves. Before steeping, these leaves tell of the process they endured once plucked from the tea bush (Camellia Sinensis). After steeping, they reveal their true nature more fully. There is such variety in the leaves from one to another.

Here are tales from a few black teas I’ve tried:

Breakfast Blend No. 2 — A blend of tea leaf brethren: high-grown Kenyan, Ceylon, and 2nd Flush Assam. They traveled from their tea garden homes to some processing factory where they were joined together in a lovely blend. The piece size is “broken leaf” and certainly looks machine harvested and processed. The reddish color of the leaves after steeping reflects the reddish-brown color of the liquid and tells of the oxygen working on those leaves and preparing them to steep up a lovely malty yet not overly tannic flavor.

Czar Nicolas Russian Caravan — That smoky Lapsang Souchong flavored from those pine fires used to dry them and a malty Assam that was processed in a more orthodox manner tell of a long tradition of bringing these two very different teas together, one from China and one from India. Larger piece sizes than Breakfast Blend No. 2 above, in part because they start with larger leaves. Again, a reddish tint to the leaves after steeping.

Three teas from the Yunnan province in southern China:

#1 Red Dragon Pearl — The dry tea comes in hand-rolled balls about the size of a chickpea (per the vendor’s site) and unfurls nicely during the steeping. The rolled up “pearls” tell of skilled fingers but don’t show you what the leaves are like. After steeping, however, you can see the tender two leaves and a bud combo, which tells of skillful plucking of those leaves from their mother tea bush.

#2 Yunnan Gold Downy Pekoe — Unlike Red Dragon Pearl, the leaves are not rolled in pearl shapes but look more like tiny snails. Like that member of fauna, these members of flora are curled is a graceful arc that keeps their flavors safe until the water pries them open.

#3 Hong Jing Luo — Similar to Golden Yunnan with a rich, sweet flavor. The name roughly translates to “golden, downy feathers” because the golden leaves and buds are loosely rolled into small coils shaped like tiny, delicate feathers. Seeing that two-leaf-and-bud combo shows that careful journey through the tea fields by skilled pluckers who knew which leaves were at just the right stage. Sorters made doubly sure that only the best leaves were passed along for processing.

The tales that tea leaves tell! Next time, we’ll see the wonders of Darjeeling teas.

In case you missed ’em:
Reading Tea Leaves — Green Teas
Reading Tea Leaves — Oolong Teas
Reading Tea Leaves — White Teas 

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tea threes are a way to approach your tea time enjoyment. Three seems to be a number that comes up a lot, so why not apply it to teas?

The Three Bears

The Three Bears

Genies, when extruded from their lamps via the sufficient amount of polishing of the lamps’ exteriors, grant you three wishes. A great time to wish for your three favorite teas. I’d go for Yunnan Gold, an Autumn Flush Darjeeling, and a Tippy Assam. Three little pigs tend to build houses together, though they don’t always select the best building materials to withstand onslaught from huffing and puffing wolves. Now, if they had all built just one big house, they could have blithely enjoyed a most pleasant tea time inside while that wolf raged outside.

A family of three bears, living peacefully in the heart of the woods, reported a home break-in one day to the forest ranger. From what I heard, it was a golden haired human girl who was caught asleep in the young son bear’s bed. When awakened, she proclaimed, “But the bed was just right!” Mama Bear also reported that “Goldilocks,” the human girl’s alias, had sticky honey all over her face and hands and that there were several empty honey pots and cups of tea on the kitchen table by the bowls of porridge.

Then there are the Three Musketeers. “The characters from the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas fils,” you ask, “or the yummy candy bar with the fluffy chocolate filling and the luscious chocolate coating?” “Yes,” I reply. Nothing like a bit of swashbuckling and rescuing damsels in distress to whet the appetite for a goody laden tea time. Chocolate is one of the best options here. So, buckle that swash, damsel that rescue, and sit down to a pot of oolong and some chocolate!

Of course, you probably know the saying “third time is a charm.” It works for lots of things, such as trying out a new recipe (the first two times, that soufflé definitely did not look like the photo in the cooking magazine). Where tea is concerned, it means trying at least three cupfuls of a tea that at first you don’t like before you declare it a total loser. I realize there are some teas out there that will be pretty tough to do this with. Mostly, these are ones that have had various flavorings added to them. The old “one man’s treat is another man’s poison” sort of thing. But give ’em a second or even third try. I have found myself going “Mmmmmm… better than I first thought!” Of course, there have been a tea or two that were much worse the second and third time around. That’s life!

So, give that loser tea another try, find a lamp to polish, beware of bear houses in the woods, and join those little pigs in a celebration of second and third chances!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Yunnan Gold

Yunnan Gold

Lots of great teas come out of China, recognized by many in the professional tea world as the country in which tea drinking originated. Nestled in the southern part of that country is the Yunnan Province, renowned for some very fine Chinese teas.

Bordering Tibet, Burma, the northern most part of Vietnam, Myanmar, and a bit of Laos, the Yunnan province is considered a buffer between China and Southeast Asia. The topography and climate range from mountainous and cool where it abuts the Tibetan plateau (some think this is the Shangri-La in James Milton’s Lost Horizons) to a spacious plain in the middle to a sub-tropical rainforest in the south. With about 30 different ethnic groups, this province is one of the most diverse parts of Asia and the world.

What makes teas from this area of the world so special? For one thing, longevity. With experience comes wisdom and ability. The people growing these teas have a long history and tradition built up. The first tea trees were domesticated about 2,100 years ago. Three of these early trees still grow and are known as “The Three Ancient Tea Tree Kings” (the eldest at 1,700 years is Bada wild tree; the middle-aged at 1,000 years is the transitional Bangwei tree; and the “baby” at 800 years is the Nannou Mountain cultivated tree).

Yunnan teas are grown at from 1,200 to 2,000 meters elevation, with temperatures ranging between 12 and 23 degrees Celsius and an annual rainfall between 1,000 and 2,000 mm. Tea was often grown as a tribute to high personages, and Yunnan teas were no exception. A mere 248 years ago as tea was becoming quite the rage in Europe and the “New World” (as it was called by those who never imagined two more continents existed between them and the Far East by the Western route), exporting began. It reached a peak in 1926-1936 with sales topping 5,000 tons (yes, tons) of tea being sold annually to Sichuan Province and Tibet, and an additional 500 tons annually to other countries.

3 Flower Burst made with Yunnan tea

3 Flower Burst made with Yunnan tea

You can get Yunnan teas in cakes shaped into disks, compressed bricks, and loose leaf. The various types of Yunnan teas have distinctive colors and aromas, by which they are classified. Yunnan Pure Gold is a black tea and quite dark in color. Green Tuocha has a smoky, rich taste and yellowgreen color. There are also pu-erhs from this province that have a black or brownish red color and mellow, somewhat sweet flavor. There is even a Jasmine version, having the wonderful aroma of those lovely blossoms, and an orchid version, as well as smoked varieties. Some blooming teas use Yunnan leaves, too.

Medical claims float around Yunnan teas like mists around a mountain peak. These include claims that some of the teas are good for dieting, others make you beautiful, and other improve your health overall, increasing strength and stimulating metabolic rate while controlling your cholesterol.

One of my favorites is Golden Bi Luo (which some call Twisted Yunnan Gold, Hong Bi Luo, Yunnan Bi Luo). “Bi Luo” is a snail, which fits here since the tea leaves in their dried state are curled up like a little snail. A more affordable version is Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea.

They’re worth a try!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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