Hong Cha

Fall is underway. Cool days and nights make us wish for stronger tasting teas. Chinese hong cha is the perfect choice in this time of changing weather. Warm, rich, sweet, smooth, deliciously full in the mouth…Chinese hong cha has many styles and tastes to discover.Hong cha, known as red tea in China (for the amber/ red colored tea liquor in the cup) and black tea in the West (for the dark color of the dried tea leaf), was the final type of tea to be developed by Chinese tea makers in the latter half of the 17th century.

Hong cha are full-bodied and smooth in the cup – their flavors suggest chocolate, dark red fruits, woody aromatic spices such as cinnamon, caramel, malt, with the gentle aroma of ‘biscuit’ such as that of a petit beurre. Some types of hong cha feature a touch of delicate smoke, or a flinty, brisk characteristic known as ‘winey’.

Almost all have a sweet finish that leaves a pleasant aftertaste in the mouth.

Hong cha is made in several provinces of China

Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Sichuan, and Yunnan

This tea is generally comprised of large, somewhat thick and dark, brownish-black or grey-black, fragrant leaves, while the bud-only style has a glorious straight or slightly twisted or curled form, and tends to be golden in color due to the lack of pigmentation in the freshly-plucked bud or budset. However, all are fully oxidized and worthy of your attention.

We think that Chinese black teas are among the tastiest black teas made anywhere. They represent centuries of workmanship and the distinctions of terroir, and all are wonderful drunk plain, without milk or sugar. We have recently added several new Yunnan black teas to our already large collection of these wonderful teas.