Naka Sun-Dried

Black Tea 2023

A sun-dried Yunnan black tea with a flavor as full and soft as velvet. Made from mature forest trees growing high in the mountains. Warm orchid and violet aromas shape a tea both rustic and sophisticated.


Clear selection

Tea Origin
Naka Village, Mengsong Township, Menghai County, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China

Tea Bush
Yunnan Dayezhong (Yunnan Large Leaf Heirloom Tea Tree)

Tea Maker
Gong Liping and Ran Yijun

Harvest Time
Late March

Plucking Standard
One bud, two leaves

Naka forest tea garden, looking down between two rows of dense tea trees.
A Naka forest tea garden. Many of the older trees have lichen and moss growing on their trunks and branches.

The Naka region high in the mountains of Xishuangbanna has a long history of tea production, mostly for puer tea. At such high elevation, the subtropical rainforest is constantly surrounded by misty clouds and diffuse light year-round – ideal tea-growing conditions. In the Mengsong area where this tea was sourced, the rural communities are mostly inhabited by people of the Lahu ethnic minority. They have a long tradition of planting new tea trees in the forest gardens every spring. As a result, hundreds of acres of old tea gardens are made up of a mix of mature and young trees, as well as an unusual mix of large-leaf and small-leaf tea plant varieties. Surrounded by the fruit trees, flowers, and ferns of the natural forest, the unique environment of Naka has developed a tea that possesses an warm floral aroma and a very persistent aftertaste. The trees here also yield a particularly smooth, soft flavor that has made it popular for using in black tea in recent years.

Yunnan Sun-Dried Black Teas

Naka Sun-Dried black tea laying on a round bamboo tray in the sun with green forest leaves in the background.
Finished Naka Sun-Dried black tea after drying on its tray in the sun.

As the name suggests, Yunnan sun-dried black teas (sometimes called “sun-red”) mainly differ from traditional black teas in their drying. Instead of using an oven to quickly dry the tea after oxidation, the darkened leaves are spread thin to dry in the sun, often in a covered solarium. In the subtropical heat of Yunnan’s climate, the drying process only takes a day.

The resulting black tea has some characteristics in common with the sheng puer tea and Yunnan white tea that also originated in this province. It possesses the depth and complexity of a sheng puer with a hint of its greenness, the rich smoothness of a Yunnan white tea, as well as the rich floral, fruit, and sweet honey notes characteristic of black tea.

To try sun-dried black teas from different Yunnan origins made by the same-method, try our Youle Sun-Dried black tea from Youle Mountain or Jingmai Sun-Dried black tea from Jingmai Mountain.

No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.

Naka Sun-Dried brewing guidelines

5 grams (2 Tb) tea

12 oz 100°C (212ºF) water

3 min. first infusion

At least 4 infusions: 3, 3, 5, 8 minutes