Customers who try these for the first time are usually speechless, because these are truly delicious! However, we receive positive feedback on them from a far greater number of tea enthusiasts than many other teas. They are shockingly fun, reliable and delicious.
Do you remember this lovely tea from many years ago? The family that makes ours regularly threaten to stop making them because they are so labor-intensive to fabricate, but we were able to obtain more of these delicious, hand-made, black tea leaf bundles this early winter, so we did!
As this batch was made in mid-summer 2018, the flavors will come together and deepen over time. The marbles are fine to drink now but will be so much better in a few years!
Our Yunnan Black Marbles are quite an unusual black tea. Unlike loose leaf black tea, these uniformly-sized hand-rolled and tied marbles require multiple infusions to release all the flavor that these bundled leaves have to give.
Fengqing County in Yunnan Province China is a famous black tea processing area in southwestern China. Unique sub-varietal tea bushes found in remote tea growing areas produce the perfect size and textured fresh leaf to hand-form and carefully-craft these delicious dian hong ‘marbles’.
Our black tea marbles are made with very tippy spring leaf and buds. The tea is appealingly aromatic, and the taste has a deep, rich flavor. This taste, with its hints of dulce de leche creaminess, is followed by a tiny bit of malty sweetness and cocoa in the after-taste (‘returning flavor’).
Yunnan teas made from mature tea bushes offer the luxury of time as they will generally store well and maintain their complexity for several years. These teas mellow with age and will be best after 12 months to 24 months – heck, we’ve even tasted Yunnan black teas that were ‘just getting good’ 2 years after harvest. The key is proper storage (cool and reasonably airtight: a ceramic jar is ideal), which will serve to underscore the inherent concentration of flavor elements that premium Yunnan leaf has in abundance. These tea marbles will store extremely well, because the exposed surface area has been reduced to a minimum.