Relative to other Chinese black teas, Gold Thread is a newcomer. It was developed in the late 1930s in response to increasing worldwide demand for black teas.
And whereas most Chinese black teas are based on established cultivars, Gold Thread is crafted from the Da Ye leaf buds, an ancient tea cultivar indigenous to the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan and one traditionally only used to produce Pu-erh teas.
In Chinese, we call Gold Thread “Jing Ya Dian Hong”. “Jing Ya” means “golden leaf bud”, referring to the hand gathered, inch long unopened buds used in its craftsmanship, and “Dian Hong” refers to tea’s provenance and full oxidation: Dian is the historic name for Yunnan, and red is what the Chinese call black teas.
Harvested Spring 2010 from Feng Qing area in western Yunnan, our Gold Thread is the highest grade amongst Dian Hong teas from Yunnan. Each leaf bud is carefully hand picked, sun withered, rolled to bruise the leaf, and then allowed to slowly oxidize before roasting.
The result is breathtakingly aromatic and complex tea. The golden red infusion yields a malty sweetness with notes of orange, candied yams, maple syrup and brown sugar.