Zhang Ping Hong Cha

Possibly even more unusual and difficult-to-find than its oolong version, Zhang Ping Shui Xian, this is a black tea made from the Shui Xian cultivar and lightly compressed into little bricks. Shui Xian is more famous as a roasted Yan Cha, but its aromatics also do well fully oxidized, swathed in a bold and intensely malty body. Open one of the individually-wrapped portions for a faint nose of old wood; prise apart the tangle of large, dark leaves for a smaller portion, or, better yet, watch the whole open over a couple flash brews. The thick mouthfeel is balances the acidity of red fruits against the nuttiness of toasted almonds, and is sure to satisfy those craving typical Chinese black tea, as well as interest those seeking something slightly off the beaten (brick) path.
  • ORIGIN:  Zhangping, Longyan, Fujian, China
  • MEANING:  Zhang Ping red tea (Zhang Ping hong cha)
  • CULTIVAR:  Shui Xian
  • HARVEST TIME:  16 April 2021
  • TASTE:  Malt, toasted almond, red fruit
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Preparation

IN THE TEAPOT
  • Quantity: 7–8g brick / 500ml
  • Water temperature: 90°C
  • Infusion time: 4–5 min
GONGFU CHA METHOD
  • Quantity: 7–8g brick / 100ml
  • Water temperature: 90°C
  • 6 infusions: 30, 30, 45, 45, 60, 90 sec

For best results in gongfu cha, brew in the traditional gaiwan or in a Yixing teapot. Too high water temperature would burn the leaves, resulting in bitter taste.