We've been dedicating ourselves to share great Puer tea from Yiwu in Xishuangbanna. What many don't know is that Yiwu leaves are so famous for Puer that the other styles of tea, such as black tea, don't quite get nearly enough attention.
Being British, most of my original black tea experience is breakfast blend teabag. I won't name the brands but there really aren't many although their blends are unique enough to cause debates when the wrong brand is used. Milk and sugar make these black teas palatable, even pleasant but never complex.
Yiwu black teas use the same base material that is used to make Puer tea. The difference is in the processing. The black tea processing really brings out the sweetness of the Yiwu leaf as well as the viscosity of the liquor. As with all good quality Yiwu tea, the liquor is clear and bright too. Even when over-brewed, these teas have very little bitterness, and can be easily enjoyed with 'grandfather-style' brewing too.
Brewing parameters - 4-5g in small 70ml gaiwan. Just boiled water poured into fairness cup then into gaiwan to reach 90-95 degrees Celsius. Very short steeping times to avoid over-brewing and a lighter cup.
2017 Yiwu Qiaomu Black tea
This black tea brews up a nice light fruity aroma and has a smooth, sweet mouth feel that lasts. Made from young tea trees, this tea highlights fruity notes and sweetness. Very accessible and pleasant to drink.
2016 Yiwu Gushu Black tea
This brews with a much deeper, more complex aroma that comes out in waves. The mouth feel is syrupy and has a deep sweetness to it. The aroma has notes of forest fruits and moves deep inside the body. Cha qi is pretty strong, relaxing and warming my whole body. The huigan and aroma is long lasting and the tea would likely develop even more from further aging.
You might notice that there was less natural sunlight by the time we got to the picturing the Yiwu Gushu Black tea, so direct comparison is a little misleading. I'd say that the gushu was much deeper in colour but equally clear and bright.
I really enjoyed tasting these black teas. Although made from pure Yiwu leaf material, they shouldn't be compared to Puer. As a different style of tea, black tea is generally easier on the stomach, and highlights fruitier, high-note aromas. As sun-dried black teas, these teas can be aged further and will continue to develop more depth of both flavour and aroma.
Both teas are available in the store now, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.