Sweet and fragrant, pleasant nutty aroma, easy-going
Spring 2022, 1 bud/ 2 leaves, medium oxidation
The best price for value for Yunnan blacks.
This tea is the perfect black daily-drinker. It has a good fragrance. The leaves were dried with hot air at moderate temperature. During this process, the aroma was enhanced, you'll surely enjoy the fragrance, which reminds of baked bread, nuts and chocolate. On a second sip, you'll notice the sweetness and a decent amount of comfort in the throat.
There is nothing fancy in this tea, it is a solid classic Yunnan Black that will carry you through the day, wherever you go, whatever you do. You can brew it in a thermos bottle in your car, in a mug at the office, and Gongfu style on the weekends. It is reliable and enjoyable to both beginners and more seasoned drinkers.
Yingpan Shan, a place for bargain teas
Located 20km away from Pu'er City, Yingpan Shan produces a massive amount of tea, despite being totally unknown outside the county. This is a place where tea cannot be sold for its story, so the producers have to work even harder than in famous areas to extract the best from their leaves. The ones who produce an average tea can only compete on price, while more skilled artisans can obtain a small premium for making good tea. This is the case of Li Chao Yuan.
We've worked with him for five years. He is our black tea expert in the region. He can really turn iron into gold. The material available in the area is decent, but nothing exceptional. Something worthy of note though, the farmers in the area have been prohibited from spraying pesticides since 2016. This is part of a large scale strategy in Yunnan to make the tea economy more environmentally friendly. Yingpan Shan is in a transition phase and should receive an organic certification in a couple of years.
Li Chao Yuan can offer tea at such low cost because the fresh leaves are cheap and his factory is well optimised. He can make up to 30 tons a year in a very small space. He sells on the mass-market and makes higher end productions we like to buy. Sourced from better plantations and processed with all his expertise.
Here is a brief presentation of Yingpan Shan and Mr Li's factory:
After more careful evaluation (1 month more drinking it), I have to add this review to my previous one. In fact, while it may be true that the tea is not very fruity, it has a very very good cha qi that keeps you awake all day long, which compensates for the lack of a bright aroma.
If you want to match your tea to your Fall drinking habits, this tea is perfect for the Fall season. You will taste apple, toffee, caramel, burnt honey… all combined producing a very easy-to-drink tea.
I usually love your teas and honestly this tea does not correspond to the standards of Farmer Leaf. The nutty aroma is almost imperceptible, and unlike other blacks, for example the experimental ones but also the Jingmai black, there's no fruitiness at all. The tea is just plain flat, no matter how hard you brew it. There's some bitterness coming out but no aroma of red fruits and flowers as a black tea should be. Deceived.
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