Imperial Gold Needle Yunnan Black Tea * Spring 2018

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Almond, Black Pepper, Bread, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Chestnut, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coffee, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Ginger, Grapes, Honey, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Molasses, Oats, Orange Zest, Peach, Pear, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Walnut
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 oz / 109 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

From Yunnan Sourcing

Spring 2018 harvest, picked from tea plants growing in Ning’Er county in Simao prefecture. Only the bud shoots were picked. The tea is lightly wilted and processed to keep it’s delicate taste and appearance intact. A kind of chocolate and malt taste comes from the brewed gold-orange tea soup. Aroma is thick and sweet. An enjoyable experience comes from the aroma, flavor and appearance of this lovely tea.

March 2018 harvest

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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3 Tasting Notes

1049 tasting notes

This was my most recent sipdown. I finished my 50g pouch of this tea last night while I was staying up and watching goofy horror films. At this point in my tea journey, I am no stranger to Yunnan golden needle black teas, so I pretty much knew what to expect with this one, but I am happy to report that it did not prove to be a carbon copy of the autumn 2016 and spring 2017 imperial golden needle offerings from Yunnan Sourcing. This tea produced a liquor that was a little thinner and sharper in the mouth and also leaned a little more heavily on fruity and spicy aroma and flavor components.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 18 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, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds produced aromas of malt, baked bread, sweet potato, and molasses. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of banana, chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, roasted almond, and sugarcane as well as subtler scents of pine and eucalyptus. The first infusion coaxed out a stronger eucalyptus fragrance and clear aromas of butter, vanilla, oats, and honey. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of baked bread, honey, malt, butter, and roasted almond that were balanced by hints of pine, sweet potato, marshmallow, molasses, banana, and chocolate. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of black pepper, camphor, fennel, orange zest, plum, red apple, marshmallow, roasted walnut, roasted chestnut, and coffee. Stronger and more immediately detectable impressions of marshmallow, pine, and sweet potato came out in the mouth alongside coffee, oat, ginger, molasses, sugarcane, eucalyptus, mineral, caramel, orange zest, black pepper, cinnamon, camphor, red grape, red apple, plum, fennnel, roasted chestnut, roasted walnut, and Asian pear notes. I also detected some hints of vanilla and peach here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor shifted and emphasized mineral, malt, baked bread, roasted almond, butter, and marshmallow notes that were chased by fleeting hints of sweet potato, orange zest, honey, sugarcane, pine, roasted chestnut, red apple, red grape, and caramel.

This was an interesting and endlessly fascinating Yunnan black tea with a ton of appeal on the nose and in the mouth. I liked that it had some new characteristics to offer compared to the previous two productions and also found it to be incredibly drinkable despite its depth and complexity. My only knocks were that it seemed to fade a little quicker than I thought it should have, and the liquor was slightly thin for my liking. Still, those were very minor issues. This was a great tea overall.

Flavors: Almond, Black Pepper, Bread, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Chestnut, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coffee, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Ginger, Grapes, Honey, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Molasses, Oats, Orange Zest, Peach, Pear, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Walnut

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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2927 tasting notes

I believe I have a sample of the Autumn 2019 version from Eelong (correct me if I am wrong), but otherwise, I am in full agreement with the other review I see for this: golden malty madness. Absolutely delicious. First steep made me hold my mouth the way you do when you taste a teaspoon of raw cocoa powder. (What, you don’t do that? I imbibed Nestle’s Quik like that by the tablespoon when I was a kid.)

Second steep brought out a slightly sweeter note. Going for #3 soon!


Never cocoa powder, but I have been known to sample Ovaltine by the spoon :’)


Guilty of eating packets of Swiss Miss over here.


Sounds great!


The cocoa powder visual hurt my feelings but I can’t judge because I ate ramen noodle seasoning straight from the packet last semester.


Ooh, all that salt would burn!


For some students, that burn imparts the spark of life.


@"Youngest" – I’ve heard of people eating the raw noodles straight from the packet, but never the seasoning! That’s a new one


@Nattie – LOL. New lows, for sure! I am always surprising myself.


We’ve chased the rabbits way-y-y-y-y-y-y out of the garden here, but I have a buddy who makes a really good Asian salad that has crunched-up dry ramen in it. Tasty!


Lol, I think we might have derailed the conversation, sorry! But quite honestly that sounds good, I kind of want to try it! And @"Youngest", you inspired me to lick the empty seasoning packet from my noodles tonight! So much salt!

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89 tasting notes

Ohhhh I fell in love with this tasty malty madness
Great for at least 8 infusions

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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