Of all the teas, I believe Yun Nan's are the most complicated of all flavors. It seems simple at first - a simple black tea that anyone could like, but once you taste the inner flavors that make the tea - that's where it gets complicated. Yun Nan is known for it's complicated black tea taste. And Teavivre's is no different. This is definitely one of those teas that needs some experimenting, however. But once done right, it really is a beautiful tea. Depending on steeping time and temperature, it can either be light and smooth with hints of cocoa, to dark and malty with a slight bitterness captured into the mix. Of the several times I've made this tea, I prefer the lighter brew. It really brings out the subtle flavors without overwhelming it. To see how I rated Teavivre's Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea, click to read more.
Multicolored curls of gold and earthy brown, the leaves are slightly coiled and curled. They're small leaves and aren't the full leaf but definitely big enough. I also notice little fuzzies on the leaf.
My only qualm about this tea is that it is quite unforgiving when over steeped. (I guess it's not so bad because it means that the tea leaves are packed with so much flavor. I remember reading on their website that this tea can be steeped up to 12 times! I don't think I've ever heard of a tea being steeped that many times but I can believe that this tea can definitely be steeped that many times.)
While following the instructions of brewing it at 185 deg at 2 minutes, I noticed that the cup was brewed a little too strong for my taste. So the next steep was steeped with 2 minutes instead and at a slightly lower temperature (175 deg). This time the flavors really became alive.
On first sip you get slightly a malty, slightly cocoa taste. I'm not talking about chocolate kind of cocoa, I'm talking about the raw kind of cocoa. Unsweetened and unadulterated with a subtle aroma of sweetness. I know it's very strange to imagine but that's what I get out of this cup of tea. If you like black tea with a subtle hint of cocoa and sweetness, this tea is definitely for you.
PRICING & AVAILABILITY: (4/5)
This tea retails for $14.90 for 1.75 oz of tea and can be found on their website, on this link. There are also much more pricing options if you prefer more or less tea. Currently this tea is available at their website, Teavivre.com.
I would say that if you're ordering from Teavivre and enjoy black tea and want to explore other Black Tea options, then this is something you may want to try. It's simple enough that it won't overwhelm your taste buds, but tasteful enough to leave you wanting a bit more. As for me, I do prefer Teavivre's Keemun over this one, just because the Keemun is a little bit more complex in flavor. Overall though, this is a great tea on its own.
Disclaimer: This tea was sent to me by Teavivre for reviewing purposes. The opinions and review of the product are entirely my own.