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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by AmazonV
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 15 oz / 443 ml

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From Red Blossom Tea Company

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.

About Red Blossom Tea Company View company

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4 Tasting Notes

953 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 50 for the year 2014. I wanted something special for the 50-mark, and I don’t believe I’ve written any notes on Red Blossom teas before.

I should mention that I can’t be absolutely certain that this note is about this tea. The sample is in a silver packet, and it says “Gold Thread” on it, with some characters on the next line, and then the words “Black Tea.” But there is no company name. I did order from Red Blossom, though, and theirs are the only teas named Gold Thread in the Steepster database. A cursory Google search brings up only the Red Blossom products in the first couple of pages. So I’m 99% sure this is theirs.

When I poured the leaves from the sample packet, I could already tell I was likely to enjoy this. The twisty, golden leaves are lovely and the smell of the dry leaf is that malty Yunnan smell I love so much.

I checked the Red Blossom web site and used their steeping suggestions for time and temp, albeit for the Gold Thread Reserve. This was a bit of a challenge because the sample is only enough for 1.5 cups and the Breville makes a minimum of 2. I used less water than the minimum but the measurement wasn’t overly precise.

This yielded a peachy yellow liquor, very light in color. The aroma is tantalizingly malty. I am wondering whether I should have steeped this longer just because I’m used to longer steeping for black teas. I’m getting an interesting, sort of salty marine note with an undercurrent of malt. I am not tasting the orange or yam notes in the description, but there’s a really pleasant mouth feel-soft and silky, and the brown sugar comes out some as the tea cools.

I steeped it again at a full four minutes just for contrast. And yes, this is more like what I expected. A darker liquor, reddish-orange, and a deeper flavor. Here is where I start to get something like yam, a hint of starchy vegetable. And if I cross my eyes and squint, I can almost get to orange. In any case, I taste what I think is what they mean by orange. A medium note on the front end the ends as a high note on the back end.

The wet leaves have a fascinating, spicy aroma-I’m reminded of caraway seeds and pepper. Mine don’t look as blond as the picture, they’re more of a light olive green (no. 2 says “brown”), but long and pretty.

I wish I’d gone with a longer steep the first time as now I’ll never know what that would have been like. Red Blossom does not have this listed on their web site at present, though they have the reserve version. I’ll stick it on the shopping list just in case it ever comes back. I’d love to experiment with this one some more.

ETA: No. 2 says, “I love it. I think it’s better than the flavored ones.” (He tried the American Tea Room Caramel this morning, too.)

Also, after comparing the sample packaging of other samples to the database here, I’m now sure this is from Red Blossom.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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713 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Prepared at Wicked Grounds.

Tasting Notes:
Steeped Tea Smell: Honey, hints of black
AmazonV: Sweet, light black tea, slightly floral
MilitiaJim: vegetal for a black
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: Sweet, wood
Liquor: Translucent dark orange



Gosh, I had no idea there was such a thing as kinky tea shops. Excellent!


sadly this is the only kinky tea shop i know of thus far, but it was great fun and delicious teas!

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14 tasting notes

Got this as a free sampler from Red Blossom, thanks!

Leaves twined and unfolded nicely during brewing, very pretty. Smells really nice too, the brown sugar and maple syrup description is quite accurate. Liquor deep brown with yellow edging. Tastes warm and full into a dark sweetness that beautifully holds into a classic black tea flavor.

I don’t think I’d care for something this sweet for breakfast every day, but this would make a perfect dessert on a cold night.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 15 OZ / 443 ML

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45 tasting notes

Interesting, interesting. I think it’s well described as being right between a black tea and a pu-erh. Flavors and aromas of both come through. Some really cool spice notes too.

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