Yixing Hong Cha (宜兴红) is a Black tea from Jiangsu province 江苏., this is the same place where Yixing teapots are made.
Yixing Hong Cha has been around since the Tang Dynasty. Back then the most popular variation of this tea called Yang Xian was part of the tea tribute paid to the Emperor’s court. Yixing tea was regularly supplied to the court until the fall of the Qing Dynasty. After that the tea disappeared for some time and made a comeback in 1949. In 1981 a big step forward was made in improving the tea’s quality when a tea expert named Zhang Zhicheng was invited from Zhejiang. He made changes which resulted in better harvesting practices, higher-quality raw material and improvements to the fermentation process. Slowly but steadily the modern version of Yixing Hong Cha came into being.
Technically speaking Yixing Hong Cha is a fast-fermented tea that is considered to be a “Gong Fu Hong” - a Black tea that requires a high skill level to make. The raw material consists of fine black tea strips that have a sweet aroma of chocolate and fruit. The liquor is a rich amber colour with an occasional golden sparkle shimmering on the surface. The taste is both subtle and strong at the same time with a slight sourness hidden in the abundance of sweet sensation. Both complex and simple at the same time, definitely an interesting and memorable taste experience.