Nannuo Sun-Dried Red (曬乾紅茶, Shài Gān Hóng Chá, "Sun-Dried Red Tea") - This tea is made from the big leaf varietal of the Yunnan tea plant that is used to make Pu'er. It differs in process from Pu'er and most process of red tea in that it is never cooked. Instead the fresh leaves are rolled and massaged, breaking the cell walls and releasing the enzyme polyphenol oxidase which catalyzes the oxidation of the leaves. The tea leaves are massaged between one and three times over the course of the day and left in the shade to rest in between. By nightfall the green leaves have turned brick red. The oxidation gives this tea its refreshingly light astringency and its deep, sweet woody character. This tea was our introduction into the world of Shài Gān Hóng Chá 曬乾紅茶 ("Sun Dried Red Teas"). The juicy freshness of this uncooked red makes it a great starter red tea for folks just beginning their red tea journey or who might be unaccustomed to the astringency of small-leaf, cooked red teas.
I'd swear I could taste the sunshine! This started out fiery and invigorating, and mellowed into warm comfort with further steepings. Smells reminded us of unsweetened Southern black tea and I loved the sweetness that came through more as we kept drinking.
Amazing red tea. A little more subtle than red Tara.