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Yunnan Golden Buds

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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44 Tasting Notes View all

  • “First of all, the music for today is the album *Beethoven: The Late String Quartets* by The Emerson String Quartet. Anyway, I was generous with the amount of leaves I used, and I let it steep a bit...” Read full tasting note
    smitty1110 240 tasting notes
  • “I had this last night while I was powering through my research proposal. Delicious.. it has a sweet pine note almost which reminds me of my Silver Buds (I LOVE THEM). There was also honey notes...” Read full tasting note
    lynne-tea 234 tasting notes
  • “Ahh... I think I shall be sipping on this tea for a while, because I want to enjoy the many infusions that the description promises. This tea is so delicious. The first infusion is sweet and...” Read full tasting note
    LiberTEAS 4227 tasting notes
  • “*MY ORDER FROM VERDANT TEA CAME AND I CAN'T EVEN CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT!* Included in the package were the four teas that David generously let me custom pick for a sampler pack, a generously...” Read full tasting note
    ianerickson 119 tasting notes

From Verdant Tea

Three years ago, we found an incredible Golden Buds tea from Yunnan during a research trip. Since starting to import teas, we have been looking for another crop that would live up to our memories, and we finally found it. The first steeping is sweet and rich like honey candy melting in the mouth. The body is full, with the substantive creamy texture chocolate milk. The second steeping is where the tea really starts to shine, with the honey sweetness moving quickly towards that lingering natural sweetness of cinnamon tea, boiled from Vietnamese cinnamon bark and reduced for hours. This cinnamon sweetness combines with the creamy quality to create a full and satisfying black tea experience subtle enough for even a white tea enthusiast to enjoy. Late in steeping, the particular floral creamy texture of a good Tieguanyin oolong comes through. Try this one as the perfect after-dinner tea, or steep it up for hours in a gaiwan and watch it change.

About Verdant Tea View company

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44 Tasting Notes

240 tasting notes

First of all, the music for today is the album Beethoven: The Late String Quartets by The Emerson String Quartet. Anyway, I was generous with the amount of leaves I used, and I let it steep a bit longer than usual, but the result of the first steep was still great. The tea is blacker than my ex’s heart, but very warming when you actually take a sip. The flavor is intensely malty, with some nice cinnamon undertones, which results in a pleasant tingling sensation that lingers on the tongue for about two minutes. It’s a very intense experience, and was perfect for waking me up (I’m barely sentient until I have my caffeine). Anyway, this tea pairs well with my music and my activities (reading a bunch of books and articles to study for finals), so I’m really glad that I picked it for today.

The second infusion is still malty, but the cinnamon as gotten more prominent, the taste has sweetened a great deal, and the overall experience is smoother. The aftertaste has a smooth, almost-mineral quality to it. It’s like the tea is starting to become creamy, but it isn’t quite there yet. This is probably due to how strong I brewed the tea, but I’m certain that the next cup will have the creamy goodness that I remember. In the mean time, I’m going to enjoy the current flavor as much as possible.

The third infusion is malty, creamy, and a touch spicy due to the cinnamon flavor. There’s no linen (not that I’ve ever tasted the illusive linen flavor of this tea before), and the citrus flavors hasn’t made an appearance yet. Regardless, it is a well-balanced cup of tea, where the flavors harmonize quite well. On a side note, I switched my music over to J. S. Bach’s Das Musikalische Opfer, a delightfully complex piece of music to complement the tea’s development. My recording is even better because it is a Historically Informed recording, played on period instruments with a tuning system that Bach preferred. The end result is an astounding. Anyway, the tea is getting more complex, and it’s various flavors mesh together well to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

There is no tea blacker than an ex’s heart. But I love that phrase! I give you an A+!

Joshua Smith

Bonnie – Thanks! I chuckled a bit when I wrote it, as it is a bit absurd, but then I asked myself what one of my professors would say. He’s an editor for the Washington Post, teaching a course about narrative journalism, so I though he would have said to use it for the emotional impact. Then I realized I was over-thinking the problem, and left it there.

Incidentally, A+ is the grade this professor gave me on a recent paper, so I’m glad you agree with him! XD


The only A+ I ever received was in advanced comp at San Jose State Univ. which knocked me over! It was on the day my ex-(darker than tea..) went into the Vet’s Rehab for alcohol and I had 2 kids to support all of a sudden! I needed that A+! Treasure your A+ and congradulations! (an aside the ex- has cancer and just came to say goodbye to his children 43 and 39 and asked me to forgive him which I had done long ago. Black as tea hearts do change!)

Joshua Smith

The paper I wrote was about the book Hiroshima by John Hersey, a very influential and thought-provoking novella from 1946. It’s interesting because it is told from the point of view of people who were living in the city, and follows them through the immediate aftermath of the explosion. If you ever run out of material to read, you should check this out. Also, this is one of maybe five A+’s I’ve gotten in two years of college (the rest were for programming assignment, so they hardly count). I’m honestly thinking of having it framed…

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, and hopefully your ex- gets better. I’ve seen a good third of my family get cancer, and I really don’t wish it on anyone, regardless of their past.


Great read! I had A ‘s too that meant less. My A+ was for a paper on my work at the Children’s Shelter School in San Mateo County. A one room class K thru 12th with. 1 teacher and myself. Awesome experience! I was allowed to create art, music, field trips, cooking etc on my own and had a ball! I think this is why my daughter is a foster parent today. Frame your A+!

Joshua Smith

That sounds kinda fun, but I don’t have the right personality for it. I’m just not a very patient person, so I get frustrated with children. That, and I have a really hard time explaining things to them. I tried to teach my younger brother some basic calculus once, but things that I take for granted were like magic for him…

Anyway, the stuff that you talked about seems like it was a really great experience. A lot of the stuff that you mentioned is difficult for teachers in Norther Virginia because you need to deal with stingy bureaucracies. My mother (a second grade teacher) needs to do hours of paperwork to get a field trip scheduled. It’s obvious that you were either working during a more ideal time (the 60’s or 70’s?), or your school district was a bit more liberal than mine.


You have good taste in music, Joshua. Beethoven’s Late String Quartets are among my favorite pieces of music. First you got David’s, now you’ve got mine. I particularly like the recordings the Vermeer Quartet made of this. To date, they give the most moving treatment of the Heiliger Dankgesang (op. 132) I have heard. The third movement, and centerpiece of the whole quartet, is what I use to measure all performances and recordings of these works.

I’ve at times said that if I were facing the prospect of going deaf, and given the choice to listen to one last piece of music, I would choose this. Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart (A Convalescent’s Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode)… A fitting title for an amazing work of art. It’s final climactic passages especially, when done right, and listened to with the appropriate quality of attention… it’s like hearing the very heart of existence break open and throb.

Joshua Smith

Hm, the Vermeer Quartet recording sounds interesting. I need to do a bit more research, but it’s likely that it will end up on my wishlist. I bought my recording because it was by the same group that did my wonderful recordings of Shostakovich’s string quartets, and in retrospect, it’s one of my least researched purchases…

Anyway, thanks for the recommendation, and if you have any more please feel free to pm me or drop a comment after one of my notes here. I’m always looking for more music, especially classical music.

Daniel Scott

Oh hey, just realized this is a really recent review.

That being the case, do you mind if I ask where you got the specific recording you mention in the last paragraph? I mean, how would I find it?

Joshua Smith

I actually got it on iTunes. The name of the album is “Bach, J.S.: The Art of Fugue BWV 1080”, and the artist is Musica Antiqua Köln. That should be enough to find it on iTunes. If you want to look for other recordings, I would suggest looking at this site:

This is a list of recommended recordings, of which the one I mention is part of.

Daniel Scott

Awesome, thank you! It being on iTunes is very convenient.

Joshua Smith

If you really start to get into classical music, then your going to get very disappointed with iTunes. They just don’t have the selection that can even begin to compare to Arkivmusic.

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234 tasting notes

I had this last night while I was powering through my research proposal.
Delicious.. it has a sweet pine note almost which reminds me of my Silver Buds (I LOVE THEM). There was also honey notes which reminded me of being in a field of clover. Clover honey mmmm.
Nicely malty of course and some cocoa notes, but mostly a creamy clover honey pine. Delicious. I am so happy I got this tea.

Edit: to note, this was steeped using the grandpa method. Previous entry was based on a gongfu method… which is interesting based on the differences in the tastes that developed.


What is the Grandpa method?


Haha it’s a big mug with ~5g of leaves.. steeping for 3+ minutes per cup. =)


A bigger than average mug?


Well my standard mugs are 5 oz, but this mug was approximately 12 oz (the big Starbucks ones).

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4227 tasting notes

Ahh… I think I shall be sipping on this tea for a while, because I want to enjoy the many infusions that the description promises. This tea is so delicious. The first infusion is sweet and tastes like honey. There are mere hints of a smoky, spicy background that is masked by this sweetness. These background notes peek out every once in a while, just to let me know they are there, and enticing me to continue to sip so that I can move on to my next infusion and taste more.

To my recollection, this is the first tea that I’ve tried from Verdant, and it’s solid gold! I love it.

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119 tasting notes


Included in the package were the four teas that David generously let me custom pick for a sampler pack, a generously sized sample of the Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe, and a nice handwritten note from David! Verdant is truly such a wonderful company and I can’t wait to order from them in the future!

I got my package last night on my way home from a Fair Trade event that I hosted at our school with the Environmental Club (it was pretty successful, a good number of people came!) and my mom handed me this package in the car! I freaked and ripped it open (in the car :P) with the cap to a soda bottle (one of the ones that are reminiscent of a beer bottle)! Obviously I couldn’t try them at 9 at night, so I had to wait until now to try them! I picked this one because a black tea always makes sense to me in the morning.

Dry, this one smells so good! It’s got kind of a peppery scent, with a sweet aroma somewhere in the mix! I followed the directions and used a tablespoon and a half of leaves for my cup. I used a bottle of filtered spring water for this because I’m a firm believer that high quality teas should be made with pure, untainted water. Steeped, the aroma is very similar, but a honey like scent has come out. The color is a really nice golden amber. This is a fine example of a beautiful cup of tea.

The first steep is yummy! A nice honey taste is present and there’s a slight spiciness in the background, crawling around. It’s a bit dry on the swallow, but a nice juiciness arises just before the finish. Alright, I’m breaking down and adding a little bit of honey to this for good measure! I didn’t add too much, but OH MY GOD! This is delicious! I agree with every other review-this tastes like you’re drinking honey candies! I’m not generally a fan of pure honey, but this is so nice! Sweet and then there’s still that spicy note in the background. This is delicious. Truly liquid gold.

Second Steep-Boiling water for 3 and a half minutes. OMNOMNOMNOMNOM! This one is so good! Even better than the first! The honey is more subdued and the other flavors come out more! There’s still as nice lingering sweetness, and the astringency has all but disappeared! This is very good! I can’t wait to try the other teas I got!!!!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Sounds amazing, I love honey-like teas!


You’d definitely enjoy this one! It has maybe the strongest natural honey taste that I’ve ever experienced in a tea, and with a little honey added….. OUT OF BOUNDS!


What teas did you get in your order? I’m thinking of putting one in to them too! :)


I got this one, the new Spring Tieguanyin (super excited about that one!), the Yanxin’s Reserve 04 Shu Nuggets, and the Artisan Revival Banzhang 06 Sheng! I’m so excited about all of them, and I’m trying to gobble them all down at once!

Dylan Oxford

Sounds like an excellent tea


Everyone’s reviews make me feel like I have to place an order even though I have 30293920 teas…everything sounds way too good!


Sounds awesome! I’m totally wanting the Yanxin Reserve 04 shu nuggets! The reviews make it sound heavenly! I’m thinking of buying the oolong sampler which includes the spring tieguanyin as well. That one has a dancong oolong and how can I turn that down? :p


@Dylan-This was by far one of the best straight up teas I’ve had in a while, if not ever

@Amanda-Welcome to my life! :P I guess it’s a healthy thing to want more of though!

@Tamm-That’s exactly why I got the Yanxin nuggets. The description on the website made it sound incredible but once I read LiberTEAS review of, I knew that I HAD to have it. Unfortunately, David didn’t release the Oolong sampler until after I placed my order, or I probably would have gone with just that one. But, I still am more than happy with the samples I got!


lolol blasted LiberTEAS and awesome reviews! I’m going to be poor! I have never purchsed from them before so I’m pretty excited.


You are a joy to any mother can I just say that? Your mother has to be super proud of you! Your one intelligent, creative, guy!


So far there isn’t anything I haven’t liked but the Laoshan Black is fantastic too if anyone has never ordered from Verdant before!

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293 tasting notes

2 reviews this morning made me desire this. Brewed basket style with generous leaf: This tea after 3 minutes of steeping is all sweet honey with spicy cinnamon cream. Hints of soft cocoa. I will be enjoying this rest of the day. I have to increase the score….

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2221 tasting notes

This tea is my least favourite of Verdant’s black tea offerings. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with it, but I love different, intriguing flavours in straight blacks (if I’m going to drink them), and this one is simply too reminiscent of a bagged black tea. It is clearly infinitely better than bagged, but the flavour profile is similar, there is no overwhelming sweetness, no chocolatey notes. Perhaps I should have gone with the recommended 3 minute infusion instead of 1.5 to bring out more flavour (I have lots left and can try this later), but I don’t think the flavours I’m looking for will be present.

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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6770 tasting notes

Where to begin?

First…this is FAB!

But this is also DIFFERENT…but in a GOOD way! Here are my thoughts…

Most Yunnan Golden Buds I have tried are very strong – some cigar like, some super malty, some have even a grainy texture.

Verdant’s are smoother, creamier, not cigar-like – it’s sweeter and I can taste the honey notes the product description mentioned! It’s quite nice!

Multiple infusions!!!!!! More notes coming soon!

David Duckler

Thanks for the review! I know what you are talking about with those smokier profiles. I had the opposite issue- the first black tea I tried from Yunnan tasted like this one, and when I got back to America I was really surprised to see such dark Yunnan black. It is a great compliment to hear that this is a very different taste to you. One of the greatest joys of importing these teas is seeing other people discover something new that would otherwise have remained thousands of miles away and out of reach. Happy tasting!

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500 tasting notes

I know I just complained about drinking hot tea, but I just have so many new samples from generous Steepsterites that I can’t resist!! So, I cranked up the A/C, and now it’s time for some hot tea! Woot! :D

This one in particular is verrrrrry exciting! I thought it was Golden Fleece, but it’s actually Yunnan Golden Buds. Which means I received yet another awesome Yunnan Verdant tea from Kittenna!! You rock!

The brewed tea aroma is resplendent! Can I say that to describe a tea? I think so. Resplendent!!! After the first sip, I sighed with pleasure. This tea is just…I’m speechless. It’s just incredible. Amazing. It has natural notes of cocoa and malt with some honey thrown in for good measure. Sooooo good!!!!

It’s a good thing I’m home alone, because this tea is evoking some salacious sounds from me, hehehe. ;) I was originally planning on steeping the Golden Fleece right after this to compare the two. But now I kind of want to hoard it, haha! The second steep for 2.5 minutes is just as delicious as the first! Nearly identical, only slightly milder and smoother.

I’m probably gonna’ go for at least four infusions here. There just aren’t enough adjectives in the English language to describe how spectacular this tea is. Thanks soooo much for sharing Kittenna!!!

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

Ooh, sounds divine.


I might drink this later…yum…I’m feeling better this afternoon and can drink tea again!


Haha, you’re welcome. I didn’t like this one for whatever reason; gave away the rest of my packet to my aunt just recently. I was reluctant to give her the Golden Fleece though (but probably should have).

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672 tasting notes

First Review of this lovely black Yunnan Golden Bud tea. Each infusion 3 minutes. 1TB Leaves used per instructions on the Verdant Website Per Cup. traditional method (PIAO 1 glass pot used).

1. Beautiful medium golden brown (with a twinge of green) colored liquor. There is a very pronounced honey scent that picked me up and carried me away…I mean it…all through this first tasting…to my crazy place! (You should all be afraid!) I went to my cupboard and pulled out some honey. Buckwheat honey…yuk…not that one…too strong. Then the local Prairie Wildflower Raw honey (Copoco)…which was closer to the scent( I’ll get back to this later). I needed to taste this tea! The flavor reminds me of those honey seseme candies…but slightly astringent on the finish. Juicy and bright.

2. This I was hoping would be the ‘MegaMillion’ Pour. Soooo much darker! Rich and silky looking caramel orange liquor. The same color that you don’t want your tanning lotion to do to your body! This smells like a slightly floral honey…here we go folks…that Prairie Wildflower Honey! Sumptious and bright on the tongue! Juicy! I just HAD…yes HAD to add sweetening to see what would happen to the honey and it was the best thing I ever ate. No, that’s a show…but it was so darned good! That sweet addition brought up the cinnamon and spicy pepperiness which made a huge difference to the whole cuppa experience. I have to say that when I finished this second cup, there was a feeling and coating on my tongue like whipped creamy honey thick and gooey.

3. The liquor is getting lighter now but still nice and amber. What to expect here? No floral notes but still some honey flavor exists. What is so pronounced at this stage is cinnamon and pepper. If you are a spice-aholic…this is where you jump for joy and say “Mama Mia! "
(I’m thinking Verdant is going to bar me from writing comments about their tea!)

How fantastic to have honey and cinnamon in your tea without having to add it! It’s there already naturally! This is worth a try!


Mama Mia!! Gimme some honey, honey! ;)
Verdant tea never strikes out do they?!


Nope they are pretty good and this is one spicy a meatball!


Indigobloom, I think this tea might be her Waterloo. Maybe she should send an S.O.S., yeah, I have the box set.


LOL KS!! I think you’re right, the winner takes it all! :P


Huh I thought you guys were on my side and now I’m left out hangin in the wind with the tea leaves! Next thing you know someone will stick me in a cave …oh poo-erh Bonnie I knew her well. Alas!


Bonnie, your Mamma Mia sent us on an ABBA frenzy. I’ll stop but I could go On and On and On… lol


Can I hang out with ya Bonnie? I could use an airing out! :P
KS, I’d be singin now to, if it wasn’t for my darned sore throat lol


Love u guys wish everyone could come to the tea festival in Boulder in July and B Cool!


That would be SO nice. Well, one can dream! :)

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145 tasting notes

I’m brewing this western-style since I only have one gaiwan, and I’m using it for oolongs. I hear you are only supposed to use a gaiwan for one type of tea?

First steep:
Wowww, this is so good! My only other encounter with a Yunnan black tea was Davids wild yunnan or something, and it tasted like baked goods, like soft pretzels or something. This is like that too, only with more natural sweetness and a strong honey note. The aftertaste gives me the impression of a very dark chocolate. I haven’t had a cup of tea this nice in awhile.

Second steep:
This cup doesn’t have as much of an aroma as the first one did, but the taste is just as intense. The baked goods taste is still there, and the sweetness, but less honey. I think I like this steep better actually! There’s something almost cakey about it, and I can pick up a bit of the cinnamon people were talking about.

I know this would be good for a couple more steeps, but I have to go to work :C


Lay the tea on a plate to dry…come back to it later and you can steep again. At least here tea drys in 20 minutes. Some places it takes longer. Just can’t leave in the basket or gaiwan wet long or mold can develop. Good tea huh!


Good tea helps turn :C to :D!!


I use my gaiwan for multiple kinds of tea (but not at once! :D). I thought only yixing had to be kept to one type of tea?


I thought gaiwans were (typically) porcelain, so a rinse/wash would remove all previous flavours, so they could be used for anything, whereas yixings are clay and porous, retaining flavours, therefore only should be used for one type of tea.


There are clay gaiwans too.

Tina S.

The clay ones are supposed to be only one tea. Not one type, but one specific tea. But the porcelain ones you can use for a variety.


Awe I have a Yixing just for pu’erh not just one type (brand) although I could see a pot for shu and one for sheng.


Thanks for the tip Bonnie, I will do that next time!! I feel so bad wasting good tea :(

And my gaiwan is clay on the outside but with a porcelain lining, so I guess it will be okay with multiple tea types?? If so this is good news and I’ll definitely be trying this one in the gaiwan!
Thanks for all the input everyone!!

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