In the history of tea, it’s a long one. And as for its birthplace in Yunnan, China, I couldn’t think of a more idyllic one.
As I posted earlier, I recently visited tea’s historic roots, both physical and mythical, in Yunnan. A unique province, for sure, Yunnan is tea central for any tea buyer, casual drinker or coinsurers. And as for the traveler, it’s a prized gift-buying paradise—tea—something people back home will actually use.
Pu’er. Dian Hong. Words worth gold in the Chinese tea world, both are notable revered specialties of Yunnan. You’ll find each and more in any teahouse in the region. And as a traveler, I tried them all.
Here’s what to know:
The first, Dian hong, is more readily known in English as “Yunnan Red”. Despite its name, Dian hong is a Chinese black tea that is defined as different from other teas by its elements, which include fine leaf buds also called golden tips that appear in its final production. It’s a high-end tea that finds company in the fermentation process with lychee, rose and more. Its flavor profile perhaps states it best; sweet, gentle with little bitterness to follow. It falls under three varieties, the best two being Golden Yunnan or Yunnan Pure Gold.
Pu’er, known as a dark tea, comes in many varieties, grades and age. Differentiated in simple terms as either raw (sheng) or ripened (shou); Pu’er, also spelled as Pu’erh, is a tea like a wine, it becomes better with age. Its merits are many, among taste, but most factually, its health benefits are the easiest to flout. Pu’er has scientifically been proven to reduce blood cholesterol, and its thousand year roots in Chinese medicine also lay claim to more: it aids digestion, facilitates weight loss and detoxifies the body. In Yunnan, you can find it compressed in many fashions, including pillars, bowls, bricks, even hollow bamboo shoots, but most commonly, it’s sold in a round saucer form, making it perfect for a package overseas.
Check out the link below to purchase Yunnan’s specialties closer to home.