Yunnan Golden Buds

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
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185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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27 Tasting Notes View all

  • “My prize for the What’s Your Ritual Samovar contest came last night! I’m not sure if it was an error or if they decided to be extra generous, but they sent me Yunnan Golden Buds. Oh my dear sweet...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’ll be honest. I’ve been avoiding this tea. Why? Because it is awesome. No really. I just don’t have a lot of this tea and it is just gorgeous, so I’ve tried to save it for when I can really...” Read full tasting note
  • “As Lauren suggested, I decided to enjoy my sample of this tea that I received a few days ago… and I’m glad I am! I love Yunnan tea. In fact, I think it may be my favorite black tea variety. But...” Read full tasting note
  • “I got one of those $3 samplers from Samovar. And what is frustrating about those samples are the size: they are soo tiny so only one shot to try it. In my inexperienced view, I am not sure how I...” Read full tasting note

From Samovar

Origin: Yunnan, China

Flavor Profile: Smooth, sugary flavor with nuances of baked sweet yams, caramel, and raisins. Swirling aromas of black currants, damp tobacco, and a fleeting hint of lightly buttered popcorn.

Tea Story: Our highest grade black tea, Yunnan Golden Bud is composed of pure leaf buds that are hand harvested from Yunnan’s antique tea trees. Delicate processing and even oxidation result in a lovely golden leaf style that yields a incomparable baked sweetness that your mouth will sing for.

Fortunate are those who witness the unfolding of these wiry golden leaves. This tea is a staff favorite and the apex of complex Chinese black tea.

Food Pairing: Pair this unrivaled black tea with homemade biscuits saturated with butter and topped with homemade plum and chile preserve. The buttery, fruity sweetness will be an exquisite union. Or drink the Yunnan Golden Bud while enjoying desserts of the cooked milk variety: tres leches, flan, panna cotta, creme brulee, or cannele bordelais.

About Samovar View company

Samovar's is dedicated to preserving the simplicity and integrity of the tea traditions and inspiring people to practice peace through drinking tea.

27 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

My prize for the What’s Your Ritual Samovar contest came last night! I’m not sure if it was an error or if they decided to be extra generous, but they sent me Yunnan Golden Buds. Oh my dear sweet tea leaves!!!! The leaves are gorgeous and golden and puffy and amazing.

I did my first steep at 175 for 2 minutes, and I am in Sweet Potato Heaven. I mean, there are yams with halos on playing harps each time I close my eyes and take a sip! I am in awe! I was going to play around with the steeping parameters but I said why mess with perfection! Maybe another day I’ll try a different temp, but I am enjoying it so much as it is…ahhh!

I did the second steep in much the same way, and it’s outstanding as well. I think it’s even sweeter on this go around. I hate to keep saying amazing, but, er, amazing!!!

This is a gentle, subtle, delicious wonder in flavor yet an invigorating feel good tea! I love it!

I will most certainly be doing steeps all day, and I’ll update this post later :)

It’s kinda funny – I wrote my little essay to win this prize from an experience that I was able to have because my husband won a prize of free airfare anywhere in the USA for two at his holiday party at work two years ago!!! In that spirit, I gave samples to two of my favorite tea people at work to spread the spirit of giving and prizes and tea and ALL THINGS GOOD!!!

Thank you Samovar!!!

EDIT: I wound up doing 6 steeps! I at first stopped at 4, and then an hour later put more water in my kettle and did 2 more because I wanted that exquisite flavor. I know I went on about Sweet Potatoes earlier in my note, but I will amend to that and say I taste Sweet Potatoes and Brown Sugar. Image the Sweet potato angels glistening with brown sugar and THAT is how this tea tastes!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Is this the same thing as the Yunnan Royal Gold I sent you, or is it different?


It’s similar but these leaves are larger, lighter, and…puffier! I bet they are in the same family.


Oh man, this is on my list of top 5 favorite teas. It might be my only “100” ranking tea on Steepster. :)


Must try this miraculous tea—sweet potato angels!—(penciling in a trek to the closest Samovar today).

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911 tasting notes

I’ll be honest. I’ve been avoiding this tea. Why? Because it is awesome. No really. I just don’t have a lot of this tea and it is just gorgeous, so I’ve tried to save it for when I can really appreciate it. Soft and earthy, it’s on the delicate side for a Yunnan. But it’s got such a great flavor. Sweet potato and brown sugar and fruit and dark honey-ish tastes swirl around on top of the gently earthy Yunnan base note. This is a tea that I have to make sure I have time to taste properly because there is so much wondefulness going on that I don’t want to miss it. I just want to sip it and stare at the wall, appreciating the flavors.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

oh no! I added this to my shopping list! But you and the other posters on this tea make it sound sooooo goooood! I’ve been trying to be good and not buy/envy/desire any more new teas for now (too many untasted in my cupboard). But on the other hand, I do drink a lot of tea … and that DOES require a nice steady supply of tea in the house..!


I won’t lie. I recently bit the bullet and bought a big tin of this. It’s just too good!

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4843 tasting notes

As Lauren suggested, I decided to enjoy my sample of this tea that I received a few days ago… and I’m glad I am!

I love Yunnan tea. In fact, I think it may be my favorite black tea variety. But then, it’s hard for me to pinpoint a favorite right now, I’ve tasted so many outstanding black teas. This absolutely belongs in that category.

There is just something about this Yunnan’s complexity that draws me in. Earthy, sweet, and wine-like. Deep, intriguing notes of pepper and other spices that are hidden within the sweeter flavors of fruit and roasted nut. Caramel… and I am also detecting a deep, earthy cacao note. Delicious!

I am writing my review of this tea for the Tea Review Blog as I write this tasting note… This tea absolutely deserves high marks – it is incredible! I look forward to the infusions to follow…

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Hmm, everyone seems to love this tea. Did I mess up with my steeping parameters? I thought it tasted like dawn, but a weaker version of it. I wasn’t too happy with this one.


Well, not every tea appeals to every palate… I personally love both Dawn and this tea. Dawn is a bit more robust than this tea and is more full-bodied. This one I would classify as a medium-bodied yet full-flavored tea.


I managed three very flavorful infusions out of the sample (the sample was just enough for my tea pot!). Each infusion was delicious, but each had it’s own unique differences. Most notable difference is in the third, which is almost Darjeeling-esque… not quite… but almost. Like maybe a Darjeeling with less astringency and a thicker mouthfeel.


Yunnan Rocks!


Agreed, Yunnan rocks! And agreed with LiberTEAS comparison of Dawn + Yunnan Gold Buds. AHHH! The darjeeling aspect could explain why I don’t like it!


Believe it or not…I have yet to try anything from this company!!!! :)


Wow – hard to believe, TeaEqualsBliss – you have 1678 tasting notes! Let me just saw WOW – that’s awesome!

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328 tasting notes

I got one of those $3 samplers from Samovar. And what is frustrating about those samples are the size: they are soo tiny so only one shot to try it. In my inexperienced view, I am not sure how I feel about this compared to the raves and price.

This IS a peppery and bold yunnan. Reading other tasting notes, maybe it was Liberteas’, this tea’s third steep was sort of like a darjeeling. In fact, I would imagine if this tea were oversteeped, it could be astrigent. But I have to agree w/Ricky (even though we are well in the minority), this was sort of OK. But then what does a high quality yunnan taste like? The others I have tried have been mild and sweet…


It’s okay to say that a Samovar tea is okay. They all can’t be perfect! :) Maybe they forgot to put crack in this one! ;)


LOL, I felt guilty about not being terribly thrilled with their Four Seasons Oolong after everyone had been raving about it.


True! But then I feel like my taste buds are off?! And Jillian , I think the 4 seasons was a boring /too mild of a tea for me…

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2036 tasting notes

I was scared to try this tea. It’s such a big favorite here on Steepster, I felt awed and intimidated by its very existence. It’s like being in the presence of a celebrity.

On the one hand, I’m glad I looked at the notes for it before I tried my sample. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have known to give it a try at 175. On the other hand, wow. Such (almost universally) high numbers! Am I worthy?

Pretty leaves with those golden tips punctuating the darkness of the leaves. My smeller is off today, so I don’t get much from smelling the dry leaves. But the aroma of the steeped tea is incredibly complex. Sugary, fruity, buttery and smooth.

The sugar flavor is a very distinctive type of sugar. I know from whence the reference to yams comes. Last Thanksgiving, when the rest of the family was having some sort of goopy yam concoction with marshmallows and pineapple, I, on a restrictive diet, stuck a half yam, sliced longitudinally, in the oven to bake and eat plain. When I checked on it, the sugar in the potato had bubbled up from the orange meat, fallen to the bottom of the oven and carmelized there giving the most amazingly delicious smell. That’s the sugar I taste here.

It marks a return to the preternatural smoothness of Samovar blacks following a slight detour with the Ceylon Super Single.

I understand the high ratings on this. It has depth, body, character, all the things I look for in a tea.

I need to sit with this one for a while, taste it multiple times. On this first tasting when I’m tired and stressed, I fear I’m not in the frame of mind to give it its true due. But oh, how I am looking forward to getting to know this tea.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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176 tasting notes

This was on my shopping list for a while, so I was super excited when Takgoti sent me some of this! It has received mostly fantastic reviews, which added to my super excitement. Not to mention that Samovar and I are currently deep in a passionate love affair – shhhh!

I definitely agree with those here who loved this. This is not a harsh tea, and it is very complex. The tastes are gentle; honey, yam, caramel. In order to get the caramel, I have to hold the tea in my mouth and let it wash around for a bit. The texture is unusually smooth and buttery, which is something I’ve never experienced in a black tea before. It leaves your mouth feeling full and coated like some whites do. I keep running my tongue over the roof of my mouth, expecting to find something stuck there.

This could certainly withstand the addition of milk, but this tea is so pure that I would not want to tarnish it in any way.

I want to thank Takgoti again for giving me the chance to have this experience! It was exquisite.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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6768 tasting notes

I had some of this earlier today! It’s a might fine Yunnan. It’s slightly bakey but sweet. It has hints of grainy notes that fit in nicely. It’s reminiscent of creme brulee or a comparable dessert – on the end sip!

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260 tasting notes

Our fair state has looked like this for the past week.

Which, yes, is pretty. And I usually like the rain. But it’s gotten dreary and I’ve been feeling lethargic. So when I woke up the the other day and was greeted by sunlight, it made sense that the glorious event be coupled with a metaphorical awakening as to just how exceptional this tea is.

I’m really glad that I decided to pull this one out of my tea stash before the cold I am coming down with decided to rear its ugly self, because I can already feel my taste buds starting to dull.

I’ve been drinking an increasing number of black teas lately [for which I must credit to the fine people at Andrews & Dunham], and I think that that has added new layers of wonder to the appreciation that I have for this tea.

So. Many. Flavors! I mean, I was floored. It reminds me, bizarrely perhaps, of the best parts of movies and TV shows for me – where they do something and it’s funny or whatever and I’m mildly amused, but then they take it past the slightly mundane and all of a sudden kick it into overdrive.

I know that I really think TV shows or movies are good when I am watching them alone and I catch myself laughing out loud, or holding my breath, or becoming seriously annoyed when the commercial break hits. What have you. I know that I really think that this tea is good because three mouthfuls in, I let fly a, “Holy shit.”

If you are going to fully enjoy this tea you need to let it hit all the sections of your tongue, and you need to let it move around a bit. It’s smooth, deep, and reminiscent of wet autumn leaves. The predominant flavors I get are a caramel maltiness and yams or sweet potatoes. Maybe yams because it has more of that sweetness to it. I get hints of a buttery flavor, spices that I can’t place, and raisins. This is a tea that I am definitely going to be drinking a lot more once this cold goes away, because there is a LOT going on in it.

I like it better warm, but it changes as it’s cooling. When it’s actually cool I don’t find it nearly as enjoyable, but the journey that it makes on its way there is somewhat fascinating, so its a bit of a Catch 22.

Plus, it’s one of the prettiest teas I’ve ever seen.


Wow that tea sounds amazing! I’ve added it to my shopping list.

I sympathize with you regarding the rain. It was non-stop here until we left for Chicago. Now it is glorious sunshine and I can feel the sun entering my body and filling me with joy.


It’s at the top of my list for favorite black teas. That’s how much I like it.

And yes, SUN. We’re supposed to have nice weather through the weekend here so I’m trying to spend as much time outside as humanly possible.


Why are you trying to ruin my bank account?


Misery loves company and mine’s already a hot mess?

The tea is gooood, though.


Wow, this sounds interesting….too bad I hate raisins :(

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161 tasting notes

It’s everything I ask for in a tea.

Perfect and delicious. How do they do it?

Flavorful and complex but so easy to drink…on a daily basis.

No more typing. I’m going to focus on the tea and drink, drink, drink.

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111 tasting notes

I know this is a poor excuse for a tasting note but I completely ditto/agree with Ricky’s note on this particular tea. It just tastes like tea to me I wanted to taste the sweet potatoey goodness, bakey taste others describe about this tea but I’m not getting that I mean maybe vaguely I’m getting that but not as much as I do with Golden Monkey. I also do not care for darjeelings and this maybe why I’m not crazy about it.


Uhoh do we have similar taste buds!


So I will try the Golden Monkey sample from Mighty Leaf…Any company that u would recommend?


And similar Yunnan buds apparently too. :-)

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