Why is Yunnan black tea (Dianhong) more and more popular?

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

It's not too late to know this brilliant tea from Yunnan, China, if you don’t know this tea yet.

Dianhong infusion
Dianhong infusion

Yunnan is known for its moderate climate, one of the warmest regions in china, There are various attractive flavours, such as flowers, tea, mushrooms, and various fruits. The incense of Yunnan is a fragrance that smells of mountains and wildness, free, strong, and elegant.


Many people know that Pu'er tea is famous in Yunnan, but in fact, the most prominent representative of Yunnan taste is Yunnan black tea, especially its golden appearance and mellow, slightly sweet flavour.

What is Yunnan black tea?

The main difference between Dianhong and other Chinese black teas is the number of fine leaf buds, or 'golden tips', present in the dried tea.

Yunnan black tea, as known as Dianhong, one of the four major black teas in China, is a type of relatively high-end, gourmet tea sometimes used in various tea blends. Hence the name, it’s grown in Yunnan Province. It was created by Han tea farmers in the Republic of China and mainly produced in Baoshan, Fengqing, Xishuangbanna, Dehong, and other places in southern and southwestern Yunnan Province.


The fresh tea leaves of Yunnan’s large leaf tea plants are known to make Dianhong so special, the delicate process after picking includes withering, rolling, fermentation, and baking.

The main difference between Dianhong and other Chinese black teas is the number of fine leaf buds, or 'golden tips', present in the dried tea. Dianhong produces a brew that is brassy golden orange in colour with a sweet, gentle aroma and little to no astringency. After brewing, the infusion is light red and bright, the golden tip is prominent, the aroma is fresh, the taste and the stimulus is strong.


How many types does Dianhong have?

The brew is dark and not brassy but reddish-brown. It is suitable for drinking with sugar and milk.

Dianhong can be divided into traditional roasted black tea and sun-dried black tea. Roasted black tea is roasted by fire. Sun-dried tea refers to natural drying. Its main source is divided into ancient tea tree black tea and wild tea tree black tea.

Dianhong can be divided into the following types. Each shape has its own specific specifications.

1. Broken Yunnan

A cheap tea used for blending contains very few golden buds and is generally bitter on its own. This tea is easily identified by the largely black dried leaves with only a few bursts of golden tips. The brew is dark and not brassy but reddish-brown. It is suitable for drinking with sugar and milk.

2. Golden Needle

Golden Needle is a newer variety of Dianhong, which is named for its gold needle shape. Golden Needle is refined from a single bud. The tea colour is golden and distinct. The aroma is rich and long-lasting, tastes sweet and mellow. After brewing, yield an amber-ish infusion, and a strong maltose fragrance.

Golden Needle, Yunnan black tea
Golden Needle, Yunnan black tea

3. Pine Needle

It is a sibling tea of ​​Golden Needle, which is also made by picking tea with one bud and one leaf.