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Yunnan Golden Tip Imperial (ZY77)

Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Rachel J
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 oz / 133 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

From Upton Tea Imports

This fine selection is made of attractive black leaves with a generous proportion of golden tips. The liquor is velvety smooth, with a complex character and notes of fruit and spice. The sweet wine-like aftertaste lingers pleasantly on the palate. This is a replacement for ZY76, with a bolder leaf.

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6 Tasting Notes

99 tasting notes

I’m always surprised when I read a person’s comment that teas of this type don’t appeal to him or her; I have to restrain myself from ordering every Yunnan golden fleece/bud/tip from every tea purveyor on the web. The first time I had one, I was hooked like the first time I heard Bob Dylan on my parents’ stereo 40 some odd years ago. I even promote this tea to non-tea drinkers (like my wife) who don’t respond to the Assams and Ceylons that make up most blends. How can you not love the creamy, honey-sweet caramel flavors of these Yunnans?

This one from Upton is a little more lemony and peppery than some, but still retains the characteristics that make you feel like you’re drinking from the very wellspring of tea itself.

Rachel J

We seem to have similar taste in tea. I love Yunnans too and enjoyed this one myself. What are your brewing parameters to get full flavor without astringency? I am drinking Teavivre’s Dian Hong right now, and my water might have been too hot because it’s overly astringent for me though last time it wasn’t. With this Upton, I remember that I found a lower water temp to be helpful too. Let me know how you generally brew them please!

Doug F

Hi Rachel, I’m glad you found me! We do seem to have similar tastes. I haven’t had too many problems with astringency with the Dian Hongs; I brew them for 4 minutes at about 195-200 degrees. Do you use filtered water? I have a nice filtration system because our town water is kind of stinky. Maybe that’s a factor.

Rachel J

Thanks, Doug. I think I’m overly sensitive to astringency and bitterness. Funny because I don’t recall having these issues when I drank a lot of tea from 2006-2009. I use filtered NYC tap water which I’ve compared to spring water, and I think it couldn’t be the water. So, I am finding that I have to do no more than 3 minutes and no hotter than 190F to get the Dian Hongs to work for me. That seems to be the sweet spot.

Rachel J

Also wondering if you could recommend a good relatively inexpensive Dian Hong that is a good representation of classic Yunnan flavor. I really like this Upton and the Teavivre but am wondering what you think since you have probably tried more of them than I. I used to love Adagio’s Yunnan Gold, but now I don’t think it’s as good as these. Thanks in advance! Your tasting notes are very well written, and I’ve been enjoying them. :)

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110 tasting notes

Brewed this using 1 tbsp leaves for a 12 ounce pot and a lower steeping temp and shorter time than Upton suggests. I found it yummy and smooth with only a slightly astringent aftertaste after several sips. When I brewed it 5 degrees hotter yesterday, it wasn’t nearly as good.

I really like the flavor of Yunnan golden teas in general, and now I’m pretty happy with this one!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Glad you found something you enjoy.

Rachel J

Thanks! I had tried this tea before, but brewing this way really enhanced my enjoyment of it. Very excited for my shipment of samples coming from Butiki and Tea Trekker.


Decided against verdant. I haven’t had Tea Trekker. hmm

Rachel J

I’ll let you know. I still want to try Verdant. But the Tea Trekker people wrote the book I just read about tea, so I wanted to try some of their recommendations.

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152 tasting notes

WELL NOW, this smells quite promising in the bag. Very sweet and fresh, like chocolatey fig cookies. Taste is smooth and firmly what I expect out of a Yunnan tea. I get the notes reminiscent of cocoa a little, but this particular one mostly tastes sweet and dry-fruit-like (fig?). A little mineral tasting too. As with most Yunnan teas, I like a little sugar in here. I find this has just a slight tartness in the aftertaste. Overall a great tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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103 tasting notes

4.15g in 4.5oz of water.

Malty and mellow with sweet, almost fruity notes.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 4 OZ / 133 ML

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