Zhen Tea’s Ying Hong N°9 | Tea Review

by Tea in Spoons

With its warm and fruity smell, this black tea sounded lovely for a brisk afternoon!

Description: “Named after the experimental cultivar that it’s made from, Ying Hong combines wonderful notes of plumb sweetness with a crisp mild barnyard undertone.”

Instructions: Gongfu brewing – 3g | 150ml | 100°C for 45 sec | add 15s for successive infusions, 5 – 7 infusions

Review: Tea is a flowing stream of information and there is always something new to try. In this case, a new cultivar. The black dry leaves were long, wiry and twisted with golden tips. It had an earthy woodsy smell. When warmed in the gaiwan, the leaves smelled sweet, roasted, toasted, and spiced.

Infusion 1 (45 seconds): After infusing, the wet leaves were reddish brown with a roasted, plum, wet wood, and smoked smell. The liquor was a dark reddish amber colour with a musky earthy scent and a sweet plum-like quality. The flavour weaved between grain, bread, mineral, and licorice.

Infusion 2 (1 minute): The liquor had a similar colour as the first infusion, but it was more fruity and woody with a smoky roasted undertone.

Infusion 3 (1 minute and 15 seconds): While the liquor was still sweet and fruity, it was reminiscent of dried fruits and raisins. There was also a roasted earthy complexity to the sip, along with some astringency at the end.

Infusion 4 (1 minute and 30 seconds): The earthy note was more predominant with a hint of sweetness and astringency.

Infusion 5 (1 minute and 45 seconds): The liquor was similar to Infusion 4, but more roasted and had some lingering fruitiness.

Infusion 6 (2 minutes): The flavour was starting to wane and the liquor was more of a brown colour. It tasted woody with some faint roasted notes.

Infusion 7 (2 minutes and 15 seconds): The liquor was mostly roasted notes and astringency.

Generally, when I think Chinese black teas, I tend to think of Jin Hou or Jin Jun Mei which have sweeter, honey malty, and bread like flavours. So, when this tea looked similar, I went in (wrongly) expecting those notes.

However, I was pleasantly surprised, which made for a lovely afternoon sip on a wintery day. I enjoyed the range of flavours from sweet fruit to earthy and roasted. This tea would be nice for someone who enjoys more earthy, fruity, or roasted black teas (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Yingde, Guangdong Province, China
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Black tea
  • Company: Zhen Tea

The question of the post: What tea(s) surprised you and subverted your expectations when you tasted it?

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Tea in Spoons is where I share my love of teas through tea reviews, tea travel, tea tips, information, and more. New tea adventure every Thursday!