Black tea from Yunnan is among the most robust but refined black teas produced in the whole world! Typically Yunnan Black teas are made from Assamica or Assamica hybrid. Since the end of the Second World War Yunnan Black teas have steadily increased in popularity and in the last 20 years a series of interesting hybrids were developed that greatly enhanced both the diversity and taste of the tea! Black teas vary according to their hybrid, harvest season, pick style, and processing! Hybrids include:
- Camellia Sinensis var. Assamica, which is the original assamica varietal, it is not an intentional hybrid.
- Yun Kang #10, a drought-resistant hybrid of Sinensis and Assamica that is tippy and sweet, with malty notes.
- Yun Kang #100, similar to #10, but has larger and fatter buds.
- Chang Ye Bai Hao, the tips are more pronounced and one side of the leaves will be downier than the other side!
- Wild tree varietal (野生) is a Assamica Kuntze varietal that grows wild and is quite rare. It was only the last few years that it was processed into Black tea. The tea is sour and thick when young, but ages well and develops textures of red wine and fruit with a little age.
Fujian Province is the home to many great black teas. Famous Fujian Black Teas include Golden Monkey (from Fuding), Jin Jun Mei (from Tong Mu Guan), and Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong (aka Lapsang Souchong). Of course there many others as well!
Fujian Black Teas are typically small leaf varietal but can also be hybrids forms crossed with Assamica or even Tie Guan Yin!