China Yunnan Pure Bud Golden Snail Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Bread, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Yeasty, Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cloves, Dates, Molasses, Saffron, Spices, Toffee, Vanilla, Campfire, Raisins, Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Butter, Camphor, Cream, Fennel, Honey, Mineral, Orange Zest, Pine, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Cocoa, Powdered Sugar, Pepper, Milk, Earthy, Smooth, Nutty, Wet Earth, Yams
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Shae
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec 5 g 6 oz / 188 ml

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33 Tasting Notes View all

From What-Cha

Made entirely from tender young buds and expertly processed by hand to form the buds into ‘snails’. The tea has a strong yet smooth taste of milk chocolate and raisin bread with a malt finish.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth texture
- Brilliant aroma of chocolate and raisin
- Incredible full taste of milk chocolate and raisin bread with a malt finish

Origin: Simao District, Pu’er Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China
Sourced: Specialist Yunnan tea wholesaler

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/194°F
- Use 1 teaspoon per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2-3 minutes

About What-Cha View company

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33 Tasting Notes

1391 tasting notes


So, I have been in the habit of ending the year with a weeklong meditation retreat.

Enter COVId and lockdown and quasi-lockdown and the unease, if not paranoia, of emerging into the world. Needless to say, the retreats have been cancelled.

And then, as Omicron starts making a name for itself, another retreat is announced, both live and virtual.

Despite various precautions, I don’t feel comfortable spending half a day in a room full of distanced others breathing. Even with masks on. Even with the windows open. Nope.

So I am zooming in to be present. Hehe, excuse the pun. Sorry, not sorry.

Normally, the retreats are full days with heavily ritualized silent mindful breakfasts and lunches and clean-ups and individualized communal chores. Of course, now, none of this is on. Just the half-day meditations and talks and feedback/discussion.

So I am making an effort to insert a bit of streamlining into my home life to mimic the full retreat.

It hasn’t been all that effective yet. For one thing, I have been online, distracting myself with social media and films and such.

However, I have been waking up early, whether my neighbours have allowed me to sleep much or not. I have been reading dharmic texts. I have been more aware of my habitual patterns and thoughts, positive and not so much.

Also, I have been choosing to drink straight teas over my froufrou choices or over the top eggnog additions.

I don’t know whether I will continue with straight teas. After all, eggnog season is brief and I am weak. But for today…

This tea, of course, is not at all any kind of sacrifice, what with luscious scents and flavours of bittersweet chocolate and freshly baked bread. Occasional peek a boos of sweet potato and prune.

After the second steep, there’s a bit of raspy throat kind of harshness, but other than that, this tea is a great delight and I am grateful to have some in my cup.

Harvest—Spring 2020


I reached for this one today too (also to temporarily escape froufrou teas). It’s a great yet simple comfort.

Glad to hear you are able to connect with the mediation retreat during these times.

Evol Ving Ness

Ha! Yup, this tea is pretty great.

Interesting to hear your perspectives on it. I think mine is a previous harvest, but I’ll have to check. Currently, it is 5am and I am up: thanks, neighbours. Not checking packet right now.

Thanks. Me too. Sanity-making. Well, maybe that is going too far in terms of optimism, but it is a great support to attain a bit of groundedness.

Evol Ving Ness

Mine is Spring 2020.


I don’t think I got the chance to try that harvest!


Thanks for talking about your year-end retreat — you’ve inspired me to look into something similar for the next New Year. For me, the first two days of 2021 are dedicated to fasting. I hope you can achieve what’s needed through virtual attendance :)

Evol Ving Ness

Highly recommend, derk.

Of course, each person’s experience is different, but for me, it’s a way of checking in more deeply with myself and becoming more grounded. Especially valuable in these times when so many of us are struggling.

Normally, I find the whole holiday and Christmas season overwhelming. The retreat helps simplify, clarify, focus, and balance.

Here, it is the same person who leads the retreat every year. He’s been meditating forever, but he’s very real, very human, very funny.

Zooming, surprisingly, has been very inclusive, so it’s the next best thing.

Still, if possible, an on-site retreat with or without overnight stays is probably more of an in-depth experience.

But this here, for me, is working and certainly fulfilling what I came for.

If you are interested, I may have some suggestions as to where you might begin your search.


Thanks for sharing. I will take this to PM soon enough.

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240 tasting notes

Another tea from Shae, I’ve gotten way behind on my tasting notes, it’s been a busy summer!
This is yummy, yeasty, chocolate malt, and very smooth. The first steep had a bready, caramel aftertaste. The second steep brought in a dark chocolate note. The third steep is weaker, but the malty, chocolate taste is still there. I certainly don’t need any more tea this year, but I’ll keep this in mind for a next order. Thanks for sharing, Shae!

Flavors: Bread, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Yeasty


You had me at yeasty.


I steeped it 5 times! It’s definitely on my purchase list :)

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11 tasting notes

I’ve really been enjoying this tea (2021 harvest) as an afternoon pick-me-up for the past couple of weeks. Spicy, chocolatey, reminiscent of baked goods and mildly fruity, with a strong yet balanced base of malt. It’s a pleasure to watch the tightly rolled buds unfurl further from infusion to infusion, with the liquor easily keeping its golden-auburn color and punchy flavors to their full extent for six or more infusions. Full-bodied and pleasant texture with a sweet, enjoyable finish that hardly wavers as infusions progress.

Flavors: Bread, Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cloves, Dates, Malt, Molasses, Saffron, Spices, Toffee, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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1570 tasting notes

Harvest: Spring, March 2020

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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836 tasting notes

Brewing leaves aroma notes: savoury, stewing vegetables
Brewed leaves aroma notes: smokey, campfire, milk chocolate, fig
Brewed tea aroma notes: barley, malt, caramel, raisin
Brewed tea notes: strong flavour of milk chocolate

Flavors: Campfire, Caramel, Chocolate, Raisins

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

miss you!!!

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1 tasting notes

Maybe the batch I received was bad but this tea was a big disappointment. The leaves have little fragrance and the steep is overwhelmingly bitter with no fruit notes. Have tried several different time/temperature combinations to no avail. Tried contacting the owner of Watch-Cha Tea, also to no avail. He had this tea on sale when I purchased it and I can see why. Never again from Watch-Cha. I wouldn’t even gift this – it’s going straight in the garbage unfortunately.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

I’m sorry you didn’t like the tea, as one of my favourite teas which I have on a very regular basis, I can say that there is nothing wrong with the batch and it was on sale as I wanted to clear out the 2018 in preparation for the 2019.

I’m sorry for the lack of response to your getting in contact, I’ve been inundated with Spam on my new website and sadly some genuine messages have been missed as a result. I’ll see if I can find your message and respond.

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1026 tasting notes

Here is another review from the backlog. I think this one was either from late May or early June. Like many of the other Chinese black teas sourced by What-Cha, this was an extremely likable, high quality offering. I think it compared favorably to similar offerings from other vendors. As a matter of fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that this tea came from the same producer that supplies the golden snail black teas offered by Whispering Pines Tea Company and/or Yunnan Sourcing.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of chocolate, malt, honey, and sweet potato. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of baked bread and molasses. The first infusion brought out a stronger malt aroma with some subtle cream and vanilla accents. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of malt, cream, honey, chocolate, and butter while hints of sweet potato and baked bread lingered in the background. Subsequent infusions saw aromas of butter and pine emerge on the nose. Molasses and vanilla belatedly appeared in the mouth along with new flavors of orange zest, date, minerals, raisin, and pine. I also noted some hints of smoke and brown sugar along with some spicy, herbal impressions reminiscent of a combination of fennel, black pepper, and camphor. The final few infusions offered lingering notes of minerals, cream, butter, malt, and chocolate backed by subtle honey and herbal impressions.

I tend to be a big fan of many Yunnan black teas and strongly believe them to represent some of the best of contemporary Chinese tea craft. That being said, this was a particularly appealing tea with a wonderful texture in the mouth and a complex, harmonious combination of aromas and flavors. Nothing was out of place here, and the tea yielded consistently strong results over the course of a fairly lengthy gongfu session (well, fairly lengthy by my standards anyway). I could see fans of Yunnan black teas being into this one. Give it a shot if you enjoy such teas.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Camphor, Chocolate, Cream, Dates, Fennel, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Pine, Raisins, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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335 tasting notes

Cinnamon raisin, medium toasted. That’s what this tea tastes like to me. So rich and tasty. Sweet, no astringency.

Again, I am sucker for black teas with a raisin description. I have no idea, I hate actual raisins. But I just LOVE it as a flavor profile. I will easily go through my sample, and would buy again.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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2 tasting notes

Adorable little golden snails. Nice malty flavor with some not-too-overbearing sweetness that shines through.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Raisins

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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6176 tasting notes

Snaily snails, you are a delightful companion during this game of munchkins.


Snailey snail!


Snailey snail! :)

May this nickname stick

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