Imperial Gold Needle

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Chocolate, Cocoa, Honey, Orange, Malt, Spices, Sweet, Black Pepper, Citrus, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nutmeg, Rose
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Kawaii433
Average preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 6 oz / 163 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I got this as a sample in my order from Whispering Pines. I brewed this GF style and will try the recommended Western Brewing at a later date. (I’ll update this review when I do) [11/12/19 UPDATE:...” Read full tasting note
    72
  • “Thank you Derk for this good couple cups of tea :D Busy day yesterday and I got to try this and it was a really good brew. Not going to go into it, Derk has a good review on it. I had oversteeped...” Read full tasting note
    85
  • “Finished up my bag of this. I found that it does do well in a gaiwan but I prefer the Gold Needles brewed western using Brenden’s parameters of 1/2T (~2g?), 8oz, 212F, 3/5m. Dry leaf smells like...” Read full tasting note
    84
  • “Brewed this at 212F in a 100 ml gaiwan. First two infusions tasted like straight up mushroom tea. By the third infusion, the mushroom note was blending with a simple, smooth black tea. Fourth...” Read full tasting note
    48

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

Imperial Gold Needle is a truly remarkable pure-bud black tea with more of a grounded, earthy feel than our Imperial Gold Buds. The dry leaf aroma is rich with notes of honey and cocoa nibs. The wet leaf explodes with a sweetness that reminds us of chocolate-covered strawberries! The mouthfeel is super smooth and without bitterness, and the taste is cocoa nibs, honey and summer forests. Some mushroom notes and spices mingle through every once in a while, lending depth of a very satisfying tea experience.

About Whispering Pines Tea Company View company

Whispering Pines Tea Company is dedicated to bringing you the most original, pure, beautiful tea blends. We use only the highest quality ingredients available to create additive-free teas teas inspired by the pristine wilderness of Northern Michigan. Our main focus is on customer satisfaction and quality.

4 Tasting Notes

72
54 tasting notes

I got this as a sample in my order from Whispering Pines. I brewed this GF style and will try the recommended Western Brewing at a later date. (I’ll update this review when I do)
[11/12/19 UPDATE: See Western style below the GF write-up]

Tea amount: 3grams / water amt ~90ml
Steep times: 20 seconds + 10 second increments per WP’s GF brewing guide.
Water temp: 202 -212 deg F (my kettle sometimes is variable on the temp.)

SUMMARY: This tea does okay in a gaiwan. The flavors are good and what I’d expect out of a Golden Needle, but I’m left wanting a tiny bit more from the tea than it can probably give. Also, the number of steeps was acceptable (topping out at 5 for me)

- The tea leaves in a warm gaiwan give off a scent of chocolate.
- The wet tea leaves have high-notes of a hot chocolate drink and have low-notes of spent cocoa powder that’s been toasted and slightly burnt.
- The tea broth gives off scents of chocolate & honey with hints of orange.

The tea really requires a higher temperature water (208-212) and longer brewing time. As my kettle doesn’t quite keep at the prescribed 208degF that it says on the display, so the temp varies a bit for each steep.

1) 20 seconds @ 208F — not bad. Color of the liquid is a medium orange. The tea is mild in flavor tasting of chocolate & honey. There’s very little astringency.

2) 30 seconds @ 202F — This steep is not as flavorful as the 1st. There’s still the flavors of chocolate & mild orange, but it feels a bit washed out

3) 60 seconds @ 208 — Here we go with the higher temp. The tea is now a much darker orange than the previous 2 steeps. The flavors are a bit stronger — bittersweet cocoa, a tad more orange. There’s a tiny bit astringency and a hint of bitterness but I don’t mind.

4) 60 @ 202F - Flavors are milder than #3..not quite washed out, but definitely not as flavorful.

5) 120 @ 208 — Reboiled the water for this and keeping for a longer brew. It’s not helping as much as I’d hoped. There’s less flavor and more astringency, but still no bitterness.

I’m throwing the rest of the tea into a cold brew to leech out of the rest of the flavors overnight. Who knows, this might be more excellent as a cold brew. It’ll probably be definitely be better as a Western Style

==0000==
WESTERN STYLE:
I followed the recommendations for Western: 1Tb (~3grams) @ 8oz @212F for 3/5 minutes

The chocolate notes are still predominately there, but I’ve lost the honey from the GF brew and there’s a slight bitterness, like burnt coffee grounds or really dark bittersweet chocolate. I barely taste any orange or citrus. The astringency is more present in this brew style than GF. I didn’t quite like the bitterness of #1 so increased the water amount to about 275ml.
This steep is a lot more mellow and less bitter than the 1st steep. I find myself preferring this one than the first. Similar flavor profiles to the first but much much milder.

I combined both of these steeps, and I have to say this combination is better than each individual part.

This tea is okay in either style, but I think there are better Golden Needles out there.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Honey, Orange

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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85
321 tasting notes

Thank you Derk for this good couple cups of tea :D

Busy day yesterday and I got to try this and it was a really good brew. Not going to go into it, Derk has a good review on it. I had oversteeped it both times. I had meant to follow Derk’s exact directions o.O but got involved in work… However, even with my horrible attention span, it was still delicious. :D

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Spices, Sweet

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84
503 tasting notes

Finished up my bag of this. I found that it does do well in a gaiwan but I prefer the Gold Needles brewed western using Brenden’s parameters of 1/2T (~2g?), 8oz, 212F, 3/5m.

Dry leaf smells like clean forest air with additional notes of citrus, pepper and malt. After the first steep, the aroma coming from the wet leaf has malt, cocoa, rose, honey and soft orange. The steam wafting from the cup is similar to the dry leaf, not quite as deep as the wet leaf.

The tea is very clean and light-bodied with very little astringency and no bitterness. Tastes of citrus, malt, mineral, fresh mushroom, cocoa, light honey and hints of black pepper and nutmeg swirl around the mouth as a smooth, well rounded brew with a clean finish. Tasty with a piece of bittersweet chocolate.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Citrus, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nutmeg, Orange, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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48
16 tasting notes

Brewed this at 212F in a 100 ml gaiwan. First two infusions tasted like straight up mushroom tea. By the third infusion, the mushroom note was blending with a simple, smooth black tea. Fourth infusion was bland and mediocre, despite brewing time of 1:30. I’m not a fan of mushrooms, so this gets a thumbs down from me.

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