What is Yunnan Tea

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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If you have never tried Yunnan Tea, you are missing out on an excellent digestive aid and a unique tea variety that can offer even more health benefits.

What is Yunnan Tea?

Yunnan tea is a type of fermented tea that is produced in the Yunnan province in China. Also known as Chinese black tea, dianhong tea, and pu’er tea, these tea leaves can be purchased in their raw form, at which point they can undergo a long fermentation time – sometimes aging for years before they are used. The leaves are dried and rolled before fermentation.

In terms of taste, yunnan tea has a rich and malty flavor, with some undertones of chocolate or pepper, making for a pleasant, warming tea that can be drunk throughout the year.

Yunnan Tea Varieties

The most common varieties of yunnan tea include broken yunnan and golden needle, among others.

Broken Yunnan – An inexpensive variety with few golden buds and a rather bitter taste. Dark in color.

Yunnan Gold – This variety has a balance of golden buds and black tea leaves and is a vibrant red in color.

Yunnan Pure Gold – Primarily made of golden buds, the color of this tea is bright red, while the leaves become a reddish-brown after brewing.

A jar and cup of Dainhong or Yunnan tea with a spoon of dried fresh Yunnan leaves on a wooden table

Golden Needle – These leaves are pure black, with no gold buds; however, the brew is a rich amber color.

Yunnan Tea Benefits

Yunnan tea has many health benefits, including positive effects on weight loss, nausea, high cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, digestive issues, inflammation, and certain forms of cancer. Most of these health benefits come from the low-calorie count and high antioxidant concentrations, including phenolic compounds, flavonoids, catechins, and a small amount of caffeine. These active compounds can prevent oxidative stress and reduce chronic diseases, while also suppressing appetite and balancing the bacterial environment in your gut.

How to Make Yunnan Tea?

  • Step 1 – Place 2 teaspoons of tea leaves into a teapot.
  • Step 2 – Boil water and then remove from heat; allow to cool for 2 minutes.
  • Step 3 – Pour water over the tea leaves.
  • Step 4 – Allow to steep for 2 minutes before serving; add honey, if desired.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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