After leaving the land of copious amount of biscuits and gravy, I realized I had left out a set of pics from a 2009 Dayi Hongyun session in the U.S. of A. Different people translate the name Chinese Hongyun into English in different ways. The hong [红] means red, pretty straightforward. The yun [韵] on the other hand is a bit trickier. Dictionaries list it as
A beautiful sound, appeal, vowel, rhyme, charm
Or the mighty Babelcarp tea dictionary says
literally Tea Rhyme: what might be called the personality of a tea abstracted from what the sensory organs take in
People toss this word around kind of like Qi [茶气], to the point where individual people have vastly different definitions of what exactly they are trying to communicate. I am not a linguist, so pick whichever translation you prefer and let’s be on our merry way.
The Dayi Hongyun is an inexpensive little disc, parceled out in 100g portions and boxed up as pictured above. Pretty convenient for taking on a short trip, if you are lacking ripe puer. The compression is tight and the leaves are all tiny, gongting [small, high grade of leaf] size, but not that high of a grade – just my opinion.
There are several iterations of this cake, the first being a 2008 pressing. The horn of tea jutting out of the clay pot above is from 2009. I recently had some of the 2012, which seemed to be a little stronger because of the recent pressing, but that could fade with time. It is a stable blend, smooth and easy.
As far as Dayi shu is concerned, this is a safe bet of a tea. Not the most exciting or dynamic tea out there, but also far better than a lot of the non-Menghai big factory productions. It is creamy and leaves a smooth warmth in the throat that is very pleasant. If you wanted to introduce a new tea drinker to ripe puer with low risk of scaring them off, this would be a fine place to begin. Taobao prices vary, depending on year and vendor. 500g worth is about $20+ in the mainland.
Speaking of things that are warm, creamy, and pleasant – I will sign off with some pictures of biscuits and gravy I enjoyed on my trip to the states.