When someone asks for a cup of Black Tea, we say “what kind?” This is because there are numerous types available, all of which have something unique, indeed extraordinary, to offer.

The article below will explore the ins, outs, facts, figures, history and health benefits of one, in particular: Yunnan Tea. Keep reading to find out the answers to the following questions:

  • What is Yunnan Tea?
  • Where Does Yunnan Tea Come From?
  • Does Yunnan Tea Have Caffeine?
  • Is Yunnan Tea Good For You?
  • What are Yunnan Tea Benefits?

Afterwards, you can buy Yunnan Tea from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. We pack every Loose Tea, Tisane and Coffee fresh to order here at our Pluckley-based factory, which is nestled within the beautiful Kentish countryside.

This is our way of guaranteeing both quality and consistency with every cuppa brewed. What’s not to like?

What is Yunnan Tea?

What is Yunnan Tea?

Yunnan Tea (also known as “Dianhong”) is a type of China Black Tea from the province of the same name. It often (though not always) consists of dark, medium-long leaves with bronze-coloured tips.

Upon brewing, it boasts a distinctly woody, earthy flavour. And yet, contrary to popular belief, it isn’t an age-old brew. The history of this infusion, in fact, only dates back to the 1930s.

While Yunnan province has produced Green Tea for AT LEAST 2,000 years, its black counterpart only came about due to the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). The conflict saw imperial Japan invade many Black Tea-producing regions in China. This resulted in officials from the China Tea Corporation having to scout for alternative areas. 

It was Feng Shaoqiu and his colleague Zheng Hechun who first investigated the potential for growing and producing Yunnan Black Tea. Travelling to the city of Kunming in mid-October 1938, they went on to board a steam train bound for Xiaguan.

Feng and Zheng arrived three days later, at which point they embarked on a fifteen-day trek over the mountains to Shunning (present-day Fengqing).

By November, the two China Tea Corporation employees had collected several samples of Yunnan Tea - both Green and Black varieties. The establishment of the Yunnan Tea Trading Corporation occurred one month later, followed by the Shunning Experimental Tea Factory.

Between 1939 and 1941, some 110 tonnes of Yunnan Black Tea was created, which, of course, went on to become a tremendous success!

About Yunnan Province in China

About Yunnan Province in China

Located in southwest China, Yunnan is, particularly in terms of its Tea, a province of many noteworthy qualities. It boasts some of the oldest Tea trees in the world, most of which, to this day, continue to produce high-quality leaves.

The area lies at elevations between 1,200 and 2,000 metres. Its climate, meanwhile, allows for near-perfect growing conditions.

But Yunnan Black Tea isn’t the only regional delight. There is also Pu erh Tea (pronounced “Poo-air”), which is one of the most oxidised forms of any Type of Tea.

Briefly, this is an infusion known for its unique processing and exceptional character. It typically comes in the shape of a compressed “Teacake”, some of which sell for over $10,000 USD! (You can learn more about it in our Pu erh Tea article.)

Both Yunnan Black Tea and Pu erh have become increasingly popular in recent years. Taste has a significant part to play in this - as well as Black Tea benefits.

Regardless of your reason, you’ve undoubtedly chosen exceptionally well with either infusion. We stock Yunnan Tea AND Pu erh here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.

Does Yunnan Tea Have Caffeine?

Does Yunnan Tea Have Caffeine?

There are around 60 plants that naturally contain caffeine, a stimulating chemical compound that works as a boost first thing in the morning. Coffee (Coffea) is, perhaps, the most famous of them all, although Tea (Camellia sinensis) isn’t far behind. That means that Yunnan Tea does, indeed, contain caffeine. But the question begs: how much, exactly? 

Levels of Caffeine in Tea, as a rule of thumb, depend on the processing of the leaf. Fundamentally, the more oxidation the Tea undergoes, the more caffeine it ultimately contains.

That’s why White and Green Tea, the two least processed types, have only minimal amounts of caffeine. Oolong and, to a greater extent, Black Tea, then, are the two varieties to have the most. 

Yunnan Tea, in particular, has approximately 40-mg of caffeine per 8-oz cup. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking to start their day the right way.

If, however, you’re sensitive to the Effects of Caffeine, are pregnant, or want to cut down, you’d be better off searching for an alternative. Why not try a Decaf or a Herbal Tea instead? Yet that doesn’t change the fact that Yunnan Tea has much to offer.

Yunnan Tea Benefits

Yunnan Tea Benefits

Yunnan Tea can improve, maintain, promote, reduce, and support a multitude of health-related factors in the best possible way. It fights ailments such as cognitive decline, cavities, obesity, colds and the flu, and even,

possibly, cancer. Pretty impressive for your morning brew, wouldn’t you agree? Let’s now explore its true potential in greater detail: 

  • Improves Brain Function: A study from the University of Singapore researched the impact of drinking any Black Tea type, including Yunnan Tea, for reducing dementia risks. The results established that participants who consumed six to ten cups a day had a 63% lower chance of suffering from cognitive decline.
  • Maintains Oral Health: Evidence from a study involving the College of Dentistry at the University of Iowa, USA, and the Institute of Odontology at Göteborg University, Sweden, appears promising. Both the US and Swedish researchers concluded that the polyphenolic compounds in Black Tea could kill or suppress cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Promotes Weight Loss: The antioxidants in Yunnan Tea, according to numerous research projects, can boost the metabolism of fat cells. This, in turn, enables the body to burn fat not only quicker but also more efficiently. This ultimately leads to periods of exercise producing better, indeed more noticeable, results. Additionally, an 8-oz cuppa has no more than two calories.
  • Reduces Cancer Risks: A 2015 meta-analysis found that drinking a cup of Tea a day (no matter the type) might help in the fight against cancer. It went further by recognising that avid Tea drinkers (i.e. those who drink more than one cup daily) could lower their risks by up to 21%. Nevertheless, it’s vital to note that more studies are undoubtedly needed.
  • Supports The Immune System: Yunnan Tea has catechins and tannins that ward off common colds and the flu. It also boasts alkylamine antigens, which positively influence the immune system. And if that wasn’t enough, some scientists believe that its chemical compounds might defend the body against even worse chronic conditions like type-2 diabetes. 

Conclusion

Yunnan Tea showcases the very best of China. It originates from the province of the same name, a region arguably best known for Pu erh.

Casual drinkers and connoisseurs alike choose it for its indulgent taste, outstanding profile and remarkable Yunnan Tea benefits. Indeed, according to the latest scientific research, it has great potential to improve life in small yet significant ways. 

If you’re inspired to try it yourself, look no further than us. We stock only the best of the best, with options including Yunnan Golden Tips, Yunnan Gold Toppest and Bamboo Temple Yunnan Tea.

Whatever you decide, be sure to buy from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. You won’t be disappointed by all we have on offer.