Yunnan Emerald Buds

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Green Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Ewa
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180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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14 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I received this one from *Tamm* I have no idea why I thought it was a black tea when I got it. My mind must have been thinking Yunnan=black, but not the case. Needless to say I let this one steep...” Read full tasting note
    thedjbooth 363 tasting notes
  • “I keep going back to this one. It seems to be my go-to blending green tea. Usually, the dialogue (or monologue?) in my head goes like this: "Hmm, I'd like a green tea with X flavor, but we don't...” Read full tasting note
    teataku 195 tasting notes
  • “So this was my pot of tea for the day (and night, obviously), in the hopes that when I would inevitably be too lazy to make myself different tea in the evening/at night, the fact that this is green...” Read full tasting note
    chibibigos 382 tasting notes
  • “_Experience buying from Teavana Online_ _I need to update that review to include my new purchase experience, which was generally...” Read full tasting note
    teashine 171 tasting notes

From Teavana

From the famed Yunnan tea-growing province comes this slightly smoky and sweet green tea. Superbly crafted, this green tea is composed of tiny, delicate silver tipped tea buds. The unique flavor is simply delicious.

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14 Tasting Notes

363 tasting notes

I received this one from Tamm I have no idea why I thought it was a black tea when I got it. My mind must have been thinking Yunnan=black, but not the case. Needless to say I let this one steep for longer than you should let a green steep for. Preparing for a massive dose of bitterness that I thought I would be dumping down the sink… surprisingly not bitter at all. I like the hint of smokiness in this one. It almost has an almondy oolong finish to it. I have not been much of a green man myself. I mostly like black and oolongs, but I’m starting to think my tea pallet might be expanding. Not bad at all.


I think it sounds like you like this one more than I did and I do love greens! :p

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195 tasting notes

I keep going back to this one. It seems to be my go-to blending green tea. Usually, the dialogue (or monologue?) in my head goes like this: “Hmm, I’d like a green tea with X flavor, but we don’t have a green tea like that. However, I could blend the Emerald Buds with _________ tea and get the same effect. Let’s do it!”

So today, it’s Sunny Slopes, a decadent fruity concoction, with this tea. Not sure I’m as fond of this blend as I am of blending this with other things. Like spearmint (yummm). But I wasn’t feeling the mint tonight. I think, though, if I’m going to go fruity with this, I need to choose a simpler fruit profile to blend. The flavors just didn’t mesh quite right. Meh, oh well. I’ll probably still do a second steep. It fits the mood for now.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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382 tasting notes

So this was my pot of tea for the day (and night, obviously), in the hopes that when I would inevitably be too lazy to make myself different tea in the evening/at night, the fact that this is green would actually allow me to get some sleep. Yeah, not happening I can tell you that right now. I tend to overbrew all of my tea and this is no exception (I know it’s wrong, I can’t help it! I have the tastebuds of…something with not very discerning tastebuds!)

I freely admit, I know jack all about green teas so I have no idea what to expect from this tea, except that it smells DELICIOUS. (Oh lord I just tried to ctrl-s save this entry. TOO MANY PAPERS JESUS JUMPING ON A POGO STICK) A friend got it for me as a christmas present operating under the “this smells kind of nice” system of choosing tea. It is, in fact, very nice, one of those kind of sugary green teas, but without being too overwhelming about it. Does it taste as good as it smells? Well, no. But! Green tea philistine here, remember! And it does keep smelling great once brewed so I am satisfied.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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171 tasting notes

Experience buying from Teavana Online I need to update that review to include my new purchase experience, which was generally positive.

Age of leaf: No information available on website.

Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: a mixture of both very light-green and dark-green smallish leaves; very aromatic: vegetal with a strong smoky overtone, and a hint of licorice.

Brewing guidelines: Glass Bodum pot with metal infuser/plunger. Stevia added. For reasons I mention below I went with higher-than-normal temperatures.
……….1st: 180; 1’
……….2nd: 185; 1.5’
……….3rd: 190; 2’
……….4th: 195; 2.5’

Color and aroma of tea liquor: pale yellow and somewhat cloudy: not very inviting looking for a green tea; mild aroma.

Flavor of tea liquor: about the same as the leaves smell, but not as strong: vegetal, with smoky and licorice notes. I noticed that I had a slight dry-mouth feeling after drinking the second steeping, which I think is attributable to some astringency in the tea; not overwhelming, just worth noting as I don’t get this with the greens I normally drink.

Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: Standard chopped leaf: medium to small pale green looking pieces of leaves and buds, with a fair amount of stems; not very fresh looking; mild aroma similar to dried leaves.

Blends well with: I imagine this would blend well with any other smoky green—like a Huang Shan Mao Feng.

Value: Expensive at full price ($4.90/oz), but worth buying at Teavana’s 75% off sale. Interestingly enough, even at the sale price it is still about three times what the SpecialTeas version was going for (on sale) last year.

Overall: Based on the name, the appearance, the aroma, and the taste of this tea (and the fact that Teavana bought out SpecialTeas about a year ago), I strongly suspect that this tea is basically the same tea as SpecialTeas China Green Yunnan Silver Tips (which I still have from about a year ago). SpecialTeas Yunnan Silver Tips seemed to give it’s best flavor at higher temperatures (that’s why I decided to go with the higher temperatures on this tea). The Teavana version is probably from a newer harvest (I hope so, at least) than the SpecialTeas version, and it does seem to fair better on the third steeping than the SpecialTeas version, and this version was surprisingly smooth tasting and still had decent flavor on the third (if I can reproduce that the next time I steep this tea remains to be seen, though); this impressed me, as the third steeping of many green teas usually don’t have that much flavor to speak of, and this third steeping wasn’t astringent tasting either (although I had that somewhat odd dry-mouth sensation). So, what stands out most about this tea? the licorice flavor (and that it had good flavor on the third steeping). All of that said, I am still amazed that this tea is three times the price of the SpecialTeas version (at 75% off it cost me $9.99 for two pounds of it). This only reminds me of the unfortunate event of SpecialTeas going out of business. Oh well. At least SpecialTeas very existence was (and still is) a testament that tea retailers can produce teas that are as good as Teavana for a much better price. Hail to SpecialTeas!

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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300 tasting notes

I have a tin and a half of this from the heavenly sale. I thought it might be nice to have a less vegetal green in the house for the husband, though I believe he has yet to try it. Of the greens I’ve been drinking these last two days it is certainly the least vegetal, it also feels the least sweet which. I know this is described as sweet and smokey and I’ve described it as such myself, but I’m not really getting that in this cup. Mostly I’m getting flowery and dry and something that is reminding me of Bai Mu Dan. Maybe it’s the pepper others have mentioned.

Earlier in the cup I was questioning why I liked it enough to buy a tin of it. I didn’t drink it that often at work when it was available. But later in the cup I found a dry sophistication that reminds me of Darjeeling (minus the sour bits) so I suppose that’s it, it made me feel sophisticated. I still have Tai Ping, Dragonwell and Huang Shan Mao Feng left to review of the Teavana Chinese greens, but that won’t be tonight. 50th tasting note, whoo!

Update 5/5/2012: I brewed this alongside Teavana’s Song Zhen Needle (another green from the Tea Prosperity gift set) and Emperor’s Cloud and Mists. This was the clear looser. I’m going to give the tea and everyone who liked it the benefit of the doubt and say the leaves are probably just too old as most of the good reviews were written a year ago. For Teavana’s only USDA certified organic tea, it tastes the least fresh and natural.

I would imagine that SimpliciTEA’s suspicion about this being a SpecialTea’s variety is quite right as it was the odd certified one and was retired this year. I will attempt cold brewing this and maybe upping the temp to 180 once but I’ve decided it’s not worthy to send to Angrboda as she is trying to be turned onto greens and I feel this could only turn someone off. Emerald Buds you are simply not worthy, which is unfortunate as I have so much of it.

However if there is anyone who did like this and would like to confirm or deny my suspicion that it’s an old batch, I’d be glad to send it off. The good news is that Clouds and Mists surprised me with lovely fruity notes today. Song Zhen was once again just meh, so that eliminates two out of 12 greens.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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541 tasting notes

This is another tea that I recently was able to get 2 free oz of at Teavana. These were not picked out by me at all and so far the flavors of these free teas are…well..meh. Not great, but not bad either. Even though I adore green tea I don’t see myself picking this one on my own.
The buds have a very peppery smell. Very interesting to say the least. They also, to me, remind me of the smell of say, a bai mu dan. I’m not a big white tea person. So before I overly judge this tea on smell alone lets get to tasting!
The liquor is very light. The suggested steep time was only 1 min. The liquor still has that peppery smell and also a bit of something almost floral.
Hm. This is interesting. It does carry that pepper flavor into the tea. The flavor is a lot more full than I expected due to short steep time/liquor color. It has a pea overtone in the end of the sip.
Overall I think it’s okay. This flavor isn’t really what I’d be looking for in a green. I think that if I needed something in a pinch this would be fine, but overall I’m not overwhelmed.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
The DJBooth

Dude how do you keep getting these free samples?


:p I’m sneaky! About the first 2 weeks after the new Teavana teas hit the stores they were liquidating some of their old stock. They had at least two boxes of 2 oz samples like this one just sitting in the store. So I tried to go a few times over a couple weeks and every time they gave me something extra!

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8 tasting notes

Well, I guess this is a slightly older note…I’ve completely forgotten I had this tea but luckily it was stored properly! I found this tea a little odd, but it should be noted that I used to like my tea strong and bitter, so obviously I used to overbrew my tea fairly frequently!

This tea smells beautiful dry, fresh and a little smoky and it brewed to a nice light amber color (although it was more green in my first cup). I managed to brew the leaves three times, and I would probably have gotten more successful brews if it wasn’t time for bed. Like the description says, it leaves we’re basically entirely of buds.

The first cup was my favorite. No dryness or astringency, and a very light cup. Not too vegetal or sweet, a night balance. Although others noted a smoky flavor, I didn’t taste it (although I smelled it prior to brewing). The next two cups were….weird. I felt like someone had dropped a piece of a sugar cookie in hot water. Wow, was it sweet!! It kind of reminds me cooked broccoli, still can taste the ‘green’ but has a very sweet finish. Not that it tasted like broccoli per se, but the same idea. The liquid in my cup even smelled like a cookie!

This is probably irrelevant, but worth noting I suppose. I had just finished up a big cup of cookie dough ice cream about an hour prior to drinking the second and third cup. Maybe my palate was skewed? I’m not sure…I know I had a glass a month ago and I don’t remember the overwhelming sweetness. But then again, my palate has developed a lot over the last month. I definitely need to try this again, but as of now…I’m not too thrilled with it. Likely because I’m only recently accepting the fact that tea can be enjoyed NOT bitter, and now I’m thrown a naturally sweet tea.

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48 tasting notes

I love Yunnan tea. I mostly drink Yunnan black teas. So I was excited when I saw a green tea from the Yunnan province. At Teavana they always have me smell the tea before hand and show off the look of the tea. This Yunnan Emerald Buds looks just like the black tea except lighter. I couldn’t really tell what the tea smelt like at the store.
When I got home I opened it and took a long whiff of the tea. It also had an old floral aroma to it. It somewhat resembled a Dragonwell tea.
The tea tasted much like a low grade Dragonwell tea, yet it was much more delicate than a Dragonwell tea. I got four different steepings out of the tea. The last two were a bit bitter, which is weird since the water was cooler on the last two steepings than the first two. I wouldn’t buy this tea again. For the price there are much better teas. If you are at Teavana, instead of this tea go for a Japanese green tea.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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58 tasting notes

I don’t drink a lot of Chinese green tea, but I adored this. It does taste a little like Dragonwell, but greener? More vegetal? I don’t know, but I liked it and I’m glad I bought it. I was looking for a good straight green tea (not that I don’t love genmaicha, but it’s nice to have choices) and I definitely found one.

Edit 5/29/11: Upping the rating because I have literally drunk nothing else since this arrived. I already loved it, but it’s grown on me even more, and I might have to get more to greet the morning with during my summer semester.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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40 tasting notes

Used my new Yixing Tea Pot. Loved it!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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