Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: compressed, dark with scattered golden tips
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: reddish amber
I ordered a new travel gaiwan set last year and was pleasantly surprised to receive a sample of White2Tea’s Mini Redhead. These 7g coins are smaller versions of their famous black tea, Natural Redhead. It is a sun-dried Dian Hong made with larger leaf material. I’m a sucker for beautiful tea packaging, and the art deco style wrapper is totally up my alley. White2Tea is well known for their puerh selection, but I’ve tried quite a few excellent black teas from them lately.
My Mini Redhead coin was tightly compressed but relatively thin, so it didn’t take long to open up during brewing. I did not bother to rinse because I did not want to lose the yummy trichomes from those golden buds. The dry leaves were dark, with a large number of golden buds visible on both sides. They filled my gaiwan once they unfurled completely. The stems were thick and juicy looking, and quite a few of them had a prominent serrated edge.
Mini Redhead brewed up a bright reddish amber. The taste was soft and sweet, with hints of mild spice followed by a comforting maltiness. Early infusions had a fruitiness in the background that reminded me of dark red cherries. It was earthy yet clean and refreshing at the same time. Despite its mellow taste, this tea was very energizing. This tea would be a good choice for those who don’t normally enjoy black tea.
I opted for gongfu brewing, but this tea seemed to be pretty bombproof. It would work well for grandpa style brewing or just throwing it into a thermos while traveling. For $1.50 each, these coins are a great way to get to try the tea without having to commit to a full 200g cake. I was amazed by how budget-friendly this tea is. You would be hard-pressed to find another compressed Dian Hong that is this tasty for under $0.20 per gram.
Have you ever tried Redhead, mini or otherwise? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!