Golden Tips Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes


This is a signature blend second flush Assam from Golden Tips Tea, picked in August 2013. The dry leaf smells sweet and malty with an undertone of spice, and the leaves themselves are fairly thin and wiry, mostly black but with some lighter, golden tipped leaves scattered throughout. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a bright reddish-brown, and I added a splash of milk.

Assam is one of my absolute favourite black tea varieties. It’s one of the first I tried when I was younger, and it’s probably fair to say that my enjoyment of it encouraged my interest in tea generally. It’s always with pleasure that I try a new Assam, and this one is no exception.

What I’m tasting here is fairly typical of the variety, I think. There’s an initial sweetness that becomes intensely malty in the mid-sip, and a hint of woodiness in the aftertaste. There are very mild cocoa notes, but they’re fleeting and by no means a prominent part of the overall flavour. It’s a full bodied tea, with a thickly textured mouthfeel, very smooth and almost creamy. The malt becomes more dominant with successive sips, which only increases this effect.

See my full review here:

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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For whatever reason I have had a bad run in with Goldentip Teas/ Teabox
This tea was an exception though as I really enjoyed drinking it at work today. It isn’t ideal for me to really like a tea at work because then I get up and go to the bathroom A LOT… this has to do with drinking three pots of tea over two hours (which is something like 80 ounces of tea).
Unexpected tea of pleasure :)
This was picked January 5th 2015

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I thought more people would have reviewed this. Welp, I guess I am the first one.

Good morning fellow tea enthusiasts! Im about to leave for vacation, and I am running on very little sleep. This was my choice for a morning picker-upper. I always turn to darjeelings to give me a good boost with breakfast. This was a good choice. The dry leaf is an assortment of autumn colours. I can spot dark greens, browns, brass, and tarnished silver tips. The dry leaf has a subtle oak scent. I brewed this up in my tetsubin western style. The aroma from brewing this tea is so enticing. The scent is like a sweet currant. The flavor is however much different. The initial sip is heavily wooded and slightly astringent. This brew leaves you with an amazing aftertaste though. I can get notes of a ripe grape sweetness in the back of my throat. This was a perfect brew to wake me up!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grapes, Sweet, Wood

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Happy vacation dear! The tea sounds lovely!


I’m back and it was a great time. It was short one this time, for it was only for the weekend. I also only stayed within the state :)

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This is one bitter ass tea… I drank it after my shower this morning and it surely woke me up, in a way that I wasn’t expecting… had to spit this one out.

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This was a pleasant surprise.
The lovely nose is floral and fruity. I would have guessed this was a 1st flush, not Autumn!. Soft, fruity taste is really pleasant. Approachable but not at all weak. A bit too tannic at the finish, but otherwise a marvelous tea.
I immediately followed this with one of my favorite first flushes, which made clear the difference. This has a lot of first flush characteristics, but a darker autumnal character underneath. Still, it made a perfect morning tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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This was my morning brew, and I picked right. I wanted something simple, tasty, and bold. This brew carries all that and then some. I especially like Nilgiri as my everyday black. This had a smooth body and light woodsy flavor. This variety of Nilgiri was soft and a less cahrcoaly than most that I’ve had. I liked it, and it did the job for waking me up!

Flavors: Smooth, Wood

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Mmm, a smoky woody assam. Reminds me of a smoother version of a Chinese Lichee peel flavored tea I have. Nothing amazingly superior, but a unique flavor. Relaxing to drink slowly.

Flavors: Smoke, Smooth, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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’Here’s Hoping’ Teabox Round #4 – Tea #17

I think I’ve tried enough nilgiri type teas to know they just aren’t the flavor for me. The dry leaves have a grassy scent to them but then the flavor is a little too light for me if I want to sip a black tea. The color of the brew is a light amber. The flavor is almost bordering on muscatel with that grassy flavor also. It is very drying to the mouth. This is a great example of a nilgiri tea, but again, nilgiri is not the tea for me!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few min after boiling // 3 min

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I honestly kind of tasted licorice in my cup of this. Sure it was malty, but I didn’t really like the taste of it. Kinda tasted low in quality to me.

Flavors: Licorice, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This tea came form the great Marzipan stash sell off! Like I need anymore tea? I should be selling off some of my own!

My first tea from Golden Tips. I’ve only had a few Temi teas but recall I generally like them. I’m not really a fan of autumnal flushes though usually. This tea steeps up to be a dark reddish brown and is very woody in nature. I am also picking up some fruit flavors, specifically cherry and citrus. There is a bit of astringency in the tea I’m not enjoying so much but perhaps that would be remedied by a shorter steeping time. It strikes me that this might be really good as an iced tea with a bit of lemon and sugar. I will have to try it that way soon.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This Autumn Classic Darjeeling Signature Blend from Golden Tips offers a perfectly respectable late-season darjeeling experience. Definitely nothing like the spring greens—but for those who prefer the darker varieties of darjeeling, this is pretty good. I wouldn’t describe it as delicious or delectable, but I assume that because it is a blend it is less expensive than the single-estate second flush darjeelings…

I am now going to try the Autumn Special Blend, which looks completely different…

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an Assam first flush from my sub from Golden Tips in India.

i haven’t had many first flush Assams: I prefer the bold, strong, maltiness that usually comes with the 2nd flush.

This lacks boldness, and maltiness. Instead, there are floral notes, with a sweet aftertaste.
It tasts like a bagged tea, .. someone may like this, but I won’t.

Flavors: Floral, Sweet

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 200 OZ / 5914 ML

ooooooh! this sounds fascinating!!!!

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Wow: This is really good. This is one of 9 samples I bought recently from Marzipan.

Starts with a strong grassy nose and taste, but the taste has an undercurrent of darker, richer tea. Initially, the two flavors don’t blend, but interact: weaving like chamber music. Long, sweet finish. Later sips are better integrated, but the different flavors are still there, with the nose especially grassy and the finish darker. As it cools, the flavor seems more like straw than grass, and the finish becomes more prominent.

I was going to bring this into work, but the quality is too high! I wish I had more of this than just a 10 gram sample but it is no longer on the web site, so I presume it has been sold out. No surprise there.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This is delicious! So so smooth! The flavor is a yummy roasted oolong taste. Get the steeping right and you have a good cup of tea on your hands. I wouldn’t say its floral, but maybe a little fruity-sweet.

Flavors: Fruity, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank arya classic by Golden Tips Tea
177 tasting notes

This is a third flush/Autumn tea. To my knowledge I have had few if any of these. I found it enjoyable, but it didn’t stand out as anything special. Leafy, slightly sweet flavor is easily recognizable as a Darjeeling. Good everyday tea.

200 °F / 93 °C

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I got this one in my February (January?) Golden Tips Tea subscription box.

I think I like the greener Darjeelings better. This one is pretty dark, like English Breakfast dark. I guess the closest descriptor is smokey, which I didn’t expect at all in a Darjeeling.

It’s a good tea, just not really to my taste.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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A friend brought this pretty little box back from India for me- a touching gesture, considering that she’s not generally a gift-giver and has often described tea as “dirty, funny tasting water.” I will treasure this elephant box always, tea skeptical friend.

This is labelled as a Nilgiri variety, the implications of which go completely over my head.

I don’t know how this stacks against other Nilgiri teas, but it does make me want to give the wide variety of Indian black teas another thorough chance. (Golden Tips Tea has a crazy all-encompassing sampler on their website).

The medium length leaves are mostly black with some golden-white, and red speckled throughout (could be a blend?). They steep up ruddy brown and green.

The tea has a fruity aroma and flavour, coupled with a smoky woodsy note that may very well come from the box- the things you realize after you’ve dumped the tea into a flaky-painted wooden box.

Flavors: Fruity, Nutty, Pepper, Smoke, Wood

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

My son still calls it “water with aftertaste.”


Beautiful box!


My daughter used to say it tasted like “hot leaf pee.” She loves tea now. There is hope.


Ha, those are both good! I don’t think there’s much hope for my friend, although she doesn’t always mind chai? In this particular case, I think she was almost entirely motivated by the elephant. :)

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This is interesting – I am a huge chai fan, and not disappointed. I appreciate variations on traditional chai. With the tulsi, this is a bit greener. I find tulsi to be a bit spicy in its own right sometimes, so the blend works well here. I added honey like usual, sipped it, and decided to go ahead and still add a tiny splash of milk. Chai to me just isn’t chai without it I guess. I definitely like this and will drink the rest happily.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I got my Golden Tips sub box today! I am wayy behind on posting tasting notes for these teas, but I wanted to taste this one first! The name itself is intriguing.

Tulsi, or “Holy Basil” is a interesting tisane, which I’ve only tried once before. I can’t remember if I liked it either. I’m not particularly sure then if the Basil part of the name is redundant or if there’s also Basil in there. Chai isn’t something I reach more usually unless someone else is making it in milk for me.

I swear this dry leaf smells like Dr. Pepper soda. It also looks like confetti, or glitter. The leaves are super small. If it were any other tea, I would call it fannings.

The liquor still smells like Dr. Pepper but a bit spicer. I’m a cola addict btw. I’ve been trying to kick the habit with tea, but I still get relapses, this is giving me cravings. The tea itself doesn’t have much by way of taste though. It’s got a bit of a nose feel that’s really warm and full. (By nose feel, you know when you have a bite of wasabi and it’s all spicy up your nose feeling? That general area. It’s really weird, but cool.) I guess this is what Tulsi tastes like? This is categorized as a black tea though, so that’s confusing.

I’m not sure what I feel about this tea. On one hand it’s Dr Pepper! Awesome! On the other hand, it has some olfactory sensation, but doesn’t really lend much to the experience otherwise, mostly just warm water. Yup.

195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

did you use milk? I have some of this and have just been given the beginnings of the cold that everyone has at work (aren’t they generous, coming to work while sick and sharing?)…and thinking this tea might be in my near future….


I didn’t use milk. We don’t even regularly keep milk in the house, and I didn’t think vanilla soy milk would mix well with Dr Pepper smelling tea. I hope you get better soon!

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Usually I am griping about how much of a garbage pile my body is, with the Fibromyalgia and all the stupid allergies I have, but this once I am going to congratulate it on being awesome! Everyone in the house caught a nasty cold, and I live in a house full of Marvel Comics-esque Super Soldiers, so you know it is awful when they get sick. Guess who was the only person who didn’t get the cold…yep, me! I was up under Ben and Rita gaming and bringing their sick selves tea, so I know I got lots of exposure, and now that everyone is on the mend I think I am in the clear. Good job body, you got to be the healthy one taking care of people for once.

Today we are having our first look at Golden Tips Tea, an Indian tea company with a very respected history and legacy. Plus, when you get a package from them it comes in some very awesome wrapping!

I recieved several samples from them (yay! I needed more Indian teas on my blog!) and the first one I pulled out of the box was Castleton Moonlight Darjeeling Black Tea First Flush, I did a little happy dance because I have become hardcore addicted to Darjeelings lately. Plucked in April of 2014, this FTGFOP1 Moonlight Grade first flush Darjeeling comes from the Castleton Tea Estate, which was first established in 1885. The aroma of the dry leaves is, as expected, quite delicious to the nose, there is a strong muscatel presence, blending fresh juicy grapes and a hint of the more honey sweet raisins. Also fresh hay, a touch of peppery nasturtium leaves, and a bit of freshly crushed parsley at the finish giving the tea a neat herbaceous touch.

The brewed leaves are surprisingly herbaceous with notes of parlsely thyme, and fresh broken leaves. Of course there are notes of muscatel, primarily fresh grapes and honey. At the finish there is a hint of distant wildflowers and hay. The liquid, well, that packs a sweet punch! Like fresh grapes and raisins with a pinch of thyme and a strong apricot undertone. Fun fact, thyme and apricot is wonderful together, I suggest mixing the two whenever possible.

Ok, so the taste, well, wow! One of the things I love about Darjeeling tea, especially first flush, is how the taste reminds me of Scuppernongs, the super sweet and juicy grape variant that I would eat fresh and sun-warmed from the vine during my childhood in the South. The muscatel notes are the notes of happy memories to me, so how can I not love it? The mouthfeel is smooth and light, there is more to this tea than muscatel notes, there is also a refreshing note of fresh lettuce and a bit of thyme. The finish is sweet honey drenched apricot that lingers into the aftertaste. A delicious tea that tastes like summer and sunlight, I certainly enjoyed every sip.

For blog and photos:


I have fibromyalgia too and I can totally relate! Living in this fibro tortured body of mine feels like living inside of a broken down old house at times. Glad you dodged that cold.

I am crazy about Darjeeling tea too – My absolute favorite! Now that I have read your review, Castleton Moonlight Grade first flush Darjeeling will be my next must have Darjeeling! Liked your comparison to Scuppernong grapes, a sweet childhood memory of this Virginia boy.


Yay, glad to hear your body fought the power!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Yay I am glad that I am not the only one who ate Scuppernongs as a child. It was awesome, my grandparents had a fence that was covered in them, I would spend so much time eating them, I wish I could grow there out in Kansas City, or that moving back to the South was feasible.

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drank Exotic Assam by Golden Tips Tea
58 tasting notes

It’s hard to get my palette back into the many different flavors teas have to offer when I have started to develop a taste for good medium dark smooth coffee. The caffeine rush I get from coffee doesn’t compare to the light teas I’ve been drinking lately. Over a year of waking up a few times a night and never sleeping past 9 after years of oversleeping will turn one onto something with an instant kick. The huge downside with coffee is that it becomes addicting rather quickly and drinking it for pleasure soon becomes drinking it so I don’t get a grumpy massive headache. During my days of drinking lots of black teas, I did notice withdrawal symptoms when I hadn’t had my cup or two but it wasn’t anything a cup of green tea couldn’t fix. I’m in an adjustment period in my life, one that seems to be lasting awhile. I would like to get back on track with tea, as it makes me a better person, and I’m confident I will. I just need some more time and lots more black tea.

In my attempts of getting back on the tea train, I have been have one cup of coffee in the morning and one cup of tea in the afternoons, usually a black tea- with milk and honey. Today I’m drinking this Exotic Assam. I set some aside before tainting it with the sweetness of the honey and the creaminess of the milk. Naked, this tea is very very smooth. It’s not an offensive black tea at all. I could very well drink a full cup of it without my english ways. In fact, I’m starting to regret I made a cup with milk and honey. As the tea cools, I find I much prefer it very hot on the tongue. The velvety smoothness in my mouth is much more powerful at a higher temperature. The tannins are also noticeable sightly cooler. The aroma is sweet and golden. It’s a tea I can see myself drinking more of. Even with the milk and honey, I’m starting to no longer regret my choice as the tea settles into the cool air. It blends well and holds onto my taste buds coaxing them for more.

Flavors: Malt, Tangy, Wet Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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