Ying De Red "Hong Cha"
Have I never written about this tea?? I just scanned my blog posts and couldn't come up with anything. Wow, I honestly think that must make Ying De Red one of the best kept secrets I have in my collection. What a tea! Well, let's not waste any more time in my description of this captivating and sweet tea.
What is Ying De? It's a fully oxidized red tea (we in the west mistakenly call it black tea, but it is red and referred to as Hong Cha). This is the hybrid plant bred from two major varietals: Yunnan big leaf and Feng Huang Dan Chong. This is an ultra high grade of Hong Cha red tea.
This tea is growing in popularity so much so that this year the price of Ying De doubled so I was unable to purchase more of it. What I have is still fresh from 2010. (I find that red teas tend to have about a 2 year shelf life.)
With huge leaves and buds, this tea has a deep red color, a and gently cedary woody weet cocoa note. On days when the wind is howling and the rain is coming down in sheets,it is an excellent paring with milk for an authentic Chinese style milk tea to keep you warm. I wanted to highlight this tea this month because it is a great tea to contrast with Anxi Bai Pian, it is completely opposite flavor profile: rich and warm, with sweet deep notes. On fall days, sometimes this is the best pick me up in the afternoon.
It's pretty inexpensive too for the quantity and quality of tea you're getting, 2 ounces is only $25. Have a look at this tea and others in the Red Tea family here: