Yunnan Impérial

Tea type
Black Tea
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Bitter, Malt, Caramel, Earth, Oak wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by cteresa
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 0 oz / 2 ml

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15 Tasting Notes View all

From Mariage Frères

A top quality harvest representing one of Yunnan’s most reputable teas, thanks to its handsome leaves, numerous golden tips, dry taste, full flavour.

A truly grand breakfast tea.

About Mariage Frères View company

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15 Tasting Notes

8072 tasting notes

mmmm! I like this one. Finally getting some time to focus on drinking some of the teas i’ve swapped away to share in the goodies my parents brought back for me but still haven’t tried. I REALLY want some mousse au chocolat but i promised myself that i wouldn’t open it until i hit 200 teas as a way to bribe myself. :)

This is a good black tea, something that’s not super BOLD and STRONG, but still enough going on to give you that little kick in the morning to get your going. There’s a sweetness to this tea that i like, though it does leave my mouth a little dry – something i’ve noticed with a few other yunnans. Overall, not a bad little tea for something my parents randomly picked up!

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2185 tasting notes

Sipdown, 133. Maybe I should have drank this first this morning, but after the deliciousness that was Paul et Virginie this one was a big no for me. Bleh. I wanted to write a more thorough review of this but that isn’t happening. This is definitely not the yunnan for me; I prefer them less earthy and more sweet potato-y.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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644 tasting notes

After seeing a comment I made regarding rhubarb pie Sil generously sent some very fancy samples my way, two of which are rhubarb pie flavoured. I’m not very good with words but I’m (figuratively) oozing gratitude.. oozing is probably not the kind of imagery I want to convey but hopefully you get the point! My day was made.

I decided to try the Yunnan sample first because I can be a pretty flustered individual when I care and this kind of tea is usually a lenient one. It takes multiple steeps well, tastes light, and is fine with or without milk.

The flavour is sweet and smooth with a bit more of a build than the other Yunnan teas I’ve had. I’m not getting the pepperiness that I sometimes get from the others. Zhu Rong Yunnan is the same kind of tea as this, right? That was a fiery one, while this Yunnan is more refined with a smooth astringency that makes it an ideal cup for a light breakfast.

I don’t think I’ve coaxed everything out of it yet. Maybe a gongfu session will trick some of the other flavours out. Thanks again for giving me the chance to try this, Sil!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Ooze away! It’s a good descriptor.


haha i like oozing. :) Glad you’re enjoying it!

Terri HarpLady

Ooze is perfect!
I miss Zhu ‘Right’…sigh…

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767 tasting notes

dry sweetness and sing songy dark tones.
easy to drink down down down to my belly.
and now it’s all gone.
Sil gave it to me!
thank you Sil!

it’s monday and two new refrigerators just arrived at out house.
no one told me it was refrigerator monday. i missed the memo.

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634 tasting notes

Sipdown #48

The brewed tea aroma is…not my beloved Yunnan black! It almost smells like Keemun…WEIRD! This tea is what I refer to as “dirty diaper tea.” I’m so confused. I LOVE Yunnan black teas! They are one of my all-time favorite tea regions. So, what is this cuppa? Is it a blend of Yunnan and something else?

The dirty diaper aroma doesn’t fully make its way into the taste. It’s more in the aftertaste, which unfortunately builds and gets stronger as I take more sips. Booo! What has Mariage Frères done to my beloved Yunnan? :(

It’s borderline undrinkable and not something I’d want to try again. I’m sure others could drink this and enjoy it just fine. It’s just not for me. Big thanks to Sil for this sample! I might have bought 100g of it thinking it was a safe bet just to be disappointed when I got home. Catastrophe avoided! ;)

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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1612 tasting notes

This is my kind of Yunnan!!
Thank you Sil for the sample. Yummm.
It’s a robust one this is, reminds me of Queen Catherine from H&S. A tad smokey, some nice depth, and a bit of pepper. Normally I’m the anti-pepper girl in teas, but here it hits in a different place, towards the back of the sip, and I’m finding it rather pleasant.
Also… sipdown! woot.

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871 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for this sample.

I can’t recall if I have ever had a straight yunnan before. I find this taste to be odd. Not odd in a bad way, it’s just different than what I expected. I did brew it at work so I have no control over the temp of the water I used but it was probably under boiling point.

The tea brews a nice golden colour. It smells sweet and maybe a hint of vanilla. The tea tastes light and kind of sweet and earthy. There is a bit of an astringent aftertaste but it not too bad.

This is a nice light breakfast tea in comparison to a strong one like English breakfast.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

You’ve beaten me to getting a chance to try this lol. One of the random teas that my mother picked up for me on vacation.


I figured you were busy tasting your other 300 teas. Ha ha.


lala – and you’d be correct. Drinking the stuff i CAN get rid of quickly lol

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420 tasting notes

Having this to warm me up, though I know that it’s too late in the day for it. Brewed western style it is a very dry, astringent tea for a Chinese tea, and I doubt that it will hold up to gong fu brewing. This is a case where the tea’s smell, looks and packaging oversell it. Not a great buy, especially considering the premium price, so I’ll probably allocate it to “in dire need only” corner of my work tea cupboard.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 0 OZ / 2 ML

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71 tasting notes

Yesterday I went to A Southern Season in Chapel Hill and bought a tiny amount of this tea just to see what all the fuss is about with the brand. I am glad I did not purchase a larger amount because this seems like a pretty generic, unremarkable Chinese black tea to me. It’s not a bad tea, and perhaps I’m being a little too hard on it. It would be perfectly pleasant if someone served this to me in a restaurant or at their home. But for the amount of hype and the price — and what shipping from France might have cost me — I want more depth, more flavor, more infusions — and less bitterness… There’s just nothing particularly interesting about the tea. I’d be very sad if I’d actually paid to have a large amount of this shipped from France.

I do realize that the company doesn’t make its finest teas available in US stores, but… This really doesn’t sell me on them at all.

Flavors: Bitter, Malt

Jashiin Jashiin

The funny thing is, MF really have a lot of fantastic Yunnan black teas – e.g. Yunnan d’Or, Aiguilles d’Or, etc. I could never understand why they chose Yunnan Imperial as the “classic black tin” variety. Never warmed to it myself.

Just a suggestion – if you ever come across more MF teas, do try some of their own harvests, i.e. limited Darjeelings, Thai oolongs, and black teas from Nepal. I’m sure a sip of Red Himalaya or a cup of Thai Beauty will melt away any bad feelings you may have after Yunnan Imperial.


This is good to know. It’s just really not that interesting, but I’ll keep an eye out for the others.

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3 tasting notes

A solid Yunnan for a good price—bought it in-shop in le Marais! Excellent astringency with an assertive body and prominent earthy and caramel notes. Nothing too elaborate or subtle going on, but that’s not the point here—this tea is upfront and well-rounded. Absolutely great in the morning.

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Oak wood

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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