Black Tea "Ying De Hong Cha" or "Ying Hong / Lychee Black Tea" (from China Tea Book)

Yingde Black Tea, abbreviated as Ying Hong, is produced in Yingde City, Guangdong Province, hence the name Yingde Black Tea. First created in 1959, Yingde Black Tea became an important black tea product in China in the 1980s and was exported to more than 70 countries and regions including Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Poland, Sudan, and Australia.

The production area of Yingde Black Tea is located in the central and northern part of Guangdong Province, with the Bei River running through. It is the junction of the Pearl River Delta and the mountainous area of northern Guangdong. It has a subtropical monsoon climate, with an average annual temperature of 20.7°C, an average annual precipitation of about 1880 millimeters, and a relative humidity of 79%. The frost-free period is long, with less than 10 frost days. The soil is deep and fertile, with suitable acidity, pH ranging from 4.5 to 5. The tea area currently covers an area of 2700 hectares, with undulating hills, winding rivers, and karst landforms, creating a natural environment of abundant water. Both large and small tea gardens are built on open hillsides.

Yingde Black Tea boasts excellent quality due not only to its superior natural environment but also to the use of Yunnan large-leaf varieties and the high-aroma Fenghuang Shuixian variety in the processing, establishing the material foundation for its high aroma and rich taste.

The processing technology of Yingde Black Tea is exquisite and has achieved full mechanization. Presently, Yingde Black Tea is divided into two types: broken tea and strip tea.

The development of broken black tea started earlier. In 1959, Yingde Tea Plantation and Yingde Tea Research Institute jointly established a research group with Ying Hong Tea Machinery Factory. With the support of relevant units such as South China Agricultural University and China Tea Import and Export Corporation, the first batch of Yingde broken black tea was trial-produced. The basic process for making broken black tea was established in 1964, and after the rotor-style rolling and cutting process was basically finalized in 1978, mass production began. However, in the 1980s, due to changes in market demand, the production of strip black tea began. The processing technology for Yingde strip black tea was basically finalized in 1988, and mass production began in 1992.

The main raw materials are one bud with two or three leaves, mainly in the early stage of growth.

The processing technology of Yingde Black Tea includes withering, rolling, fermentation, and drying. Withering: The appropriate temperature for warm withering is 25°C to 28°C, not exceeding 35°C. The moderate moisture content of the withered leaves is 56% to 58%. Rolling: The entire process takes 60 to 90 minutes, divided into three stages of rolling. The leaves should be rolled tightly into strips for more than 90% of the time. Fermentation: The suitable room temperature is about 25°C, with leaf temperature between 24°C and 28°C. Air conditioning can be used to control the temperature, and the air humidity should be maintained at around 95%. The color of the leaves turns yellow-red, emitting a ripe apple aroma, indicating the appropriate level of fermentation. Drying: Double drying is used with temperatures of 110°C to 120°C for the initial drying and 90°C to 95°C for the subsequent drying. The moisture content of the finished tea should be controlled at 5% to 6%.

The quality characteristics of Yingde strip black tea include robust and tender strips, a shiny black color with golden tips, a strong aroma, a bright red soup color, and a rich and mellow taste. It is refreshing and pleasant to drink, whether brewed alone or with milk and sugar. Particularly when added with milk and sugar, the color, aroma, and taste are all excellent. Common strip black tea is divided into four grades: special grade, first grade, second grade, and third grade.

(Source: China Tea Book.)

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