Gold Thread Reserve

Tea type
Black Tea
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Cocoa, Hay, Honey, Baked Bread, Floral, Malt, Mineral, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes, Brown Sugar, Raisins
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Blodeuyn
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 oz / 295 ml

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From Red Blossom Tea Company

Our Gold Thread Reserve is the first pick of the Spring 2011 season, from the same Feng Qing tea garden that produced our regular Gold Thread. It is comprised of young tender leaf buds, each individually hand-picked to not only deliver the aromatics for which this tea is known, but also the sweetness and exceptionally smooth mouth feel that can only come from early stage tea buds. The tea buds used in our reserve grade was gathered a week and a half before those used in our regular Gold Thread.

Developed in the late 1930’s, Gold Thread Reserve is alternatively known as Jin Ya Dian Hong. “Jin Ya” means “gold bud” in Chinese, and “Dian Hong” means Yunnan red. The tea was crafted from the buds of the Da Ye tea plant, an ancient cultivar indigenous to Yunnan Province and one traditionally used to produce Pu-erh teas.

Once harvested, the tea is left to sun wither, a step that breaks down the tea’s cell walls and begins the enzymatic oxidation process. Once withered, they are bruised and allowed to sit until the light green color of the buds take on a yellowish golden hue, at which point the tea is given its final roast.

The result is exceptionally smooth, breathtakingly aromatic and complex. The golden red infusion yields a malty sweetness (maltiness is enhanced by sun withering), with notes of orange, raisins, maple syrup and brown sugar.

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5 Tasting Notes

1144 tasting notes

First steep: 1 minute. Beautiful Yunnan, really standard, a bit disappointing because of the cost and time to get it home. (I literally bought a new bag just to bring home pounds of tea).

Second steep: 1 minute, 30 seconds. Still a standard Yunnan, but less chocolately and more honey-d, dry. A touch of hay. Not sure if I’ll keep on steeping this. Boo. Still tasty, just now WOW tasty.

Mind you, I do have a sample of their $74/oz black… maybe that’ll cheer me up!

Flavors: Cocoa, Hay, Honey

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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601 tasting notes

This one came from Blodeuyn. I must admit, I’ve become a little bit burnt out on Yunnan teas since I tried so many of them not too long ago. I do still enjoy them, but they’re not something I crave. This tea has small, thin, and delicate leaves. They’re golden and fuzzy and they’re leaving lovely fairy dust on the inside of the packet. Dry scent is pure Yunnan – sweet and smooth with malt, sweet potato, honey, and strong stonefruit notes. I steeped a heaping teaspoon of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Wow, the aroma is very powerful. Very malty with bread and sweet potato, as well as a surprisingly strong floral note. Thankfully, I don’t get strong floral in the taste. What I do get is rich sweet potato and bread with honey and a very light mineral note. There’s the lightest touch of stonefruit and maybe a suggestion of floral in the aftertaste. A perfectly nice Yunnan, nothing extra special, but still tasty.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Floral, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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20 tasting notes

This is the second tea I ordered from Red Blossom and I am excited to finally do a tasting and prepare my notes.

Dry leaf aroma: Sweet potato with a malty background.

Dry leaf appearance:

Preparation: Brewed western style in a glass infuser cup (which I also purchased from Red Blossom – and love – I think it is a Bodum).

First steeping: 1 minutes 45 seconds at 200 degrees. The aroma stays true to the dry leaf – sweet potato and malt, with a slight suggestion of orange. The liquor is a beautiful amber brown which seems appropriate paired with the aromatic suggestions of malt and sweet potatoes (perhaps I am ready for autumn; this color and fragrance combination is lulling me into nostalgia this evening). The flavor is multifaceted and at first it is hard for me to separate the different layers. Foremost is a pleasant maltiness with a delicate sweet potato undertone and I find as I let the cup cool notes of brown sugar appear. I was a bit disappointed I did not detect any raisin or maple syrup in this steeping (as per their website tasting notes). However, when I smell my empty cup the aroma is a heady raisin. The aftertaste is a reminiscent of sweet potatoes, with a slight starchy mouth-feel.

Second steeping: 2 minutes 5 seconds at 200 degrees. A sweet potato and malty fragrance still prevails. I do not detect any scent of orange with this steeping but as the cup cools I pick up notes of raisin. For this infusion the brown sugar and raisin notes are shining through the base flavors of sweet potato and malt. The aftertaste is also sweeter, with a refined raisin finish.

Third steeping: 2 minutes 35 seconds at 200 degrees. The third brewing has a much weaker aroma; sweet potato and malt again. The flavor is much the same as the second steeping though not as strong. The aftertaste is malty raisin and the starchy mouth-feel is still present.

The fourth steeping was unremarkable though not unpleasant. I think three steepings is a good cutoff for me.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Cameron B.

Wow gorgeous leaves! Sounds delicious, I love Yunnan teas. :)

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101 tasting notes

Very smooth, tasty black tea. Not as flavorful as I would like, but I may have used not enough tea in too much water.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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5 tasting notes

Had this tea hot to warm up to. I love the smell, to begin with. The dark color of the tea looked like coffee brewed and there was definitely a texture to the tea. I brewed it a little bit longer than I was supposed to (I got distracted!) but it never got bitter. I’ll reserve this for a treat on foggy mornings.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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