The dry leaves of the Guihua Hong has an incredibly sweet fruity floral nose to it, due to the inclusion of actual dried osmanthus flowers (guihua). This is the only blended tea we offer on the website, and the blend is very modest, with less than 5% flowers to 95% tea. The tea itself is a full-bodied slightly roasted black tea from northern Fujian. For those familiar with the Lapsang Souchong, this tea has similar characteristics, though is noticeably more dry and starchy on the tongue.
The tea brews up a deep orange and is fun to watch the guihua flowers dance among the leaves in the gaiwan. The aroma is thick with spices redolent of mulled wine and, of course, blooming flowers. The liquor is pleasantly thick on the tongue with a good deal of minerality. While the tea starts off very strong, there is a softer sweetness that builds with each infusion to match the guihua fragrance. This tea has a lot of endurance and our favorite part of the session is actually the second half, when the flavors become more melded and subtle, this is certainly a tea that will age well!
For brewing, we recommend brewing with less than boiling water, but still sticking to flash infusions in a small gaiwan or teapot. One big secret of this tea is its taste when Iced! So be sure to experience the with cold brewing this tea as well!
We first had this tea a few years back in spring of 2019, and have drank through several kg of it ourselves, gifted it to friends locally, but have never sold any internationally. The main reason for this is that we haven’t been to the farm where it is grown, we haven’t verified its origin. The producer claims it to be Ye Sheng, or Wild Harvested, which if you know anything about the modern tea market, is quite a claim. We were planning on visiting the farm in Fall of 2021, but due to a Delta outbreak, travel in Fujian is restricted. We went ahead with a small order to share this tea abroad, as it is one of our favorites, hopefully we can get out to the farm soon to verify the origin area and the wild harvest. Until then, rest assured that the textures and flavors of this tea surmount any claims it could make, be it truly wild, tongmuguan, or not, this tea is just a joy.