Imperial Gold Bud Dian Hong

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Baked Bread, Butter, Sweet, Yeasty, Cocoa, Honey, Smooth, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Malt, Pastries, Chocolate, Wet Earth
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Whispering Pines Tea Company
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 9 oz / 275 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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17 Tasting Notes View all

  • “From *Considering a new Travelling Tea Box* This has a beautiful golden appearance that suggests quality. The instructions said to use 1/2 tsp, but I used my standard 1.5 grams (though...” Read full tasting note
    Dr Jim 137 tasting notes
  • “Delicious. Smooth, with a slight grassy flavor and a natural almost-caramel sweetness. It doesn't really seem like black tea... more like green, but with the sweetness of a high quality...” Read full tasting note
    yallabina 65 tasting notes
  • “Another black tea from the *Cameron B.* pile! I'm kind of really tired and braindead today so I'm afraid this review won't be super detailed. In short, this was a tasty golden yunnan and I...” Read full tasting note
    dinosara 1989 tasting notes
  • “*Dry leaf aroma:* Malty with a hint of yeasty sweetness. *Dry leaf appearance:* *Wet leaf aroma:* Malt and bread with a delicate earthy essence. *Wet leaf...” Read full tasting note
    Blodeuyn 20 tasting notes

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

About the Tea
This is the highest grade black tea that you will find outside of China. Centuries of knowledge and tea master perfection went into picking and processing this dazzling Dian Hong style balck tea! The appearance alone is enough to knock you off your feet, with golden hairs covering the velvety soft leaves!

This tea is harvested in the spring from ancient tea bushes in Yunnan, China and carries lovely complex notes of malt, cocoa, warm pinewood, honey, morel mushrooms, and a damp forest aroma. This years harvest of this fantastic tea is smoother than previous harvests, with a new pinewood note comparable to warm wet pine after a summer storm. Imperial Gold Bud Black Tea is thick and lively with a clean aftertaste and carries an intense energy (cha qi).

We are very proud to be able to offer small quantities of this rare tea and will continue to offer Imperial Gold Bud as long as mother nature allows!

Warm Pinewood
Damp Forest

How to brew the perfect cup:
Steep 1/2 tablespoon of leaves
in 8 ounces of boiling water
for 3 minutes.

2nd infusion: 5 minutes
3rd infusion: 8 minutes

Black Tea

Caffeine Content

About Whispering Pines Tea Company View company

Whispering Pines Tea Company is dedicated to bringing you the most original, pure, beautiful tea blends. We use only the highest quality ingredients available to create additive-free teas teas inspired by the pristine wilderness of Northern Michigan. Our main focus is on customer satisfaction and quality.

17 Tasting Notes

137 tasting notes

From Considering a new Travelling Tea Box

This has a beautiful golden appearance that suggests quality. The instructions said to use 1/2 tsp, but I used my standard 1.5 grams (though increased the water to 8 oz from my usual 6).

This was an amazing tea. I was initially hesitant at the Yunnan-like damp forest aroma, but there was an underlying note of cocoa, and I didn’t find it off-putting. The flavor is HUGE. I won’t use as much next time, yet the strength was wonderful: a big, complex, mouth-filling tea. The flavor changed subtly in my mouth and as the cup cooled, making it hard to identify specifics, but it retained the forest/cocoa notes in the nose. The finish was also delightful and strong. A great tea.

There is only about 5 grams left in the box, but I’m afraid I’m claiming it.

I should probably give this a 100, but I’ve always been a tough grader.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hey Doc! Glad you enjoyed this! :)

I think (unless I was totally out of it and messed up) that the instructions called for 1/2 tablespoon rather than 1/2 teaspoon. This tea also was a reserve tea but as of today has been moved up to a regular stock item, and can be found here:

The one you had and the one currently offered is a 2012 harvest. When stock runs out of the 2012 we will be replenishing each fresh harvest. :)

Glad you enjoyed this and had a good first impression of Whispering Pines!

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65 tasting notes

Delicious. Smooth, with a slight grassy flavor and a natural almost-caramel sweetness. It doesn’t really seem like black tea… more like green, but with the sweetness of a high quality black.

Update: then I steeped it too long and it definitely tasted like more normal black tea. It is MUCH better steeped correctly.

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1989 tasting notes

Another black tea from the Cameron B. pile!

I’m kind of really tired and braindead today so I’m afraid this review won’t be super detailed. In short, this was a tasty golden yunnan and I definitely enjoyed my cup of it, although it didn’t really stand out to me very strongly. A little bit of cocoa powder, some breadiness, and a hint of sweet potato. Smooth and slightly sweet. I will definitely have to compare this one more closely with the Golden Snail since they are both golden yunnans.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Hi I read your post on Manliandao Tea Market and was wondering if you still have flashcards in Mandarin? I like greens/oolongs/whites mostly Taiwanese high altitude but wondering if you have any tips on which local Chinese teas would be good to buy (ie hard to find outside China, better value etc). Thank you!


I do still have the PDF. I’ve followed you, so you can PM me your email address and I’ll send it to you! Basically most teas you will find in the market will be very very good in comparison to what you get outside China. It was pretty astounding! My best recommendation is to wander around and do tastings and such. And always ask for a discount!

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20 tasting notes

Dry leaf aroma: Malty with a hint of yeasty sweetness.
Dry leaf appearance:

Wet leaf aroma: Malt and bread with a delicate earthy essence.
Wet leaf appearance:

Preparation: Brewed western style in a ceramic infuser mug.

First steeping: 3 minutes at 205 degrees. This tea is as much a pleasure to smell as it is to sip with its malty bread aroma. The liquor is velvety smooth with a strong freshly baked bread flavor and a subtle buttery mouth-feel. As the cup cools I detect a bit of sweetness and the aftertaste is bread with a buttery note that lingers pleasantly.

Second steeping: 5 minutes at 205 degrees. Very much like the first infusion. The buttery notes are more prominent and the mouth-feel is creamy with a yeasty aftertaste.

I wish I had time to do further steepings, as this is a tea worthy of taking your time to savor.

One thing to note, the key for me with Dian Hong is to underleaf slightly or it comes out a bit bitter. I think that has more to do with my taste buds being quirky rather than being an issue with the tea or my water. Regardless, this is an awesome tea. Lovely to look at, intoxicating to smell, and heavenly to sip!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Sweet, Yeasty

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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232 tasting notes

Got a sample of this tea from the awesome Sarsonator!
Been wanting to try it for a while but whenever I order it seems to be out of stock. :S
I love the look of this tea-it’s so different. It’s curly and soft. I never imagined I’d be so amused by how certain teas looked and felt. But different textures of teas are so unique and awesome-it just makes me smile. :P
I thought this tea was going to taste a lot like the Golden Snail, but it smells and tastes a lot more like bread than sweet potatoes.
It’s smooth with hints of honey and cocoa. But they aren’t too strong in this cup at least. Maybe in a few steeps those flavors will come out more.
Noticed that a lot of people taste malt in this tea, but I’m not really getting any malt for some reason.
So, my conclusion: A lot more bready than the Golden Snails, which I actually really like. Think I will have to get more of this myself! :O Another win by Whispering Pines! :D

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Honey, Smooth


You can have the rest of mine. I’m so glad you like it!


Sounds really delicious.


Oh my word, really, Sarsonator? :O I’ll totally take it off your hands-wouldn’t let it go to waste! That would be awesome. Thanks!!!


Lucky you :))!! Very jelly!! Enjoy :)


Yep. I will do that for you. You know I am slow with packages, but it WILL get done :)


Yahhh!! That’s totally okay-I can wait. Ahh So excited! I really love this tea! Thanks, you’re the best!!

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767 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. First, I have to say that the dry leaves are beautiful. They’re golden and fluffy, and they smell like grain and cocoa. Really nice. I did a two and a half minute steep, and the results were glorious. The tea taste of good bread, honey, and cocoa. This is a seriously nice way to wake up! There is also an incredible smoothness to the tea which lends a buttery feel and a thickness that just takes this tea over the top. As the tea cools the flavors blend a bit more, and I find myself in the sip-sigh-smile-repeat mode of tea drinking. It’s a good place to be.

Thank you Cameron B. for gifting me this tea in the Pass the Stash 2.0 box. I love it! This one’s going on my shopping list.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

GLORIOUS! I’m so glad you like it, I love this one. :D


It is GLORIOUS! And even more so done gongfu style :) (Plus I got a pretty decent tea buzz off of it that way)


Sounds amazing!

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268 tasting notes

This was the first tea I had gongfu style! I picked it based on Brenden’s recommendation, which was spot on as always. I didn’t write a review that time because I just decided to concentrate on the experience rather than worrying about taking notes or anything. And then I’d just have to repeat the experience to write a decent review, oh darn ;).

First, this tea is gorgeous! The leaves are fluffy and curly, while their color reminds me of golden lion tamarin fur. I think it’s cute :). I brewed 3g at 205F 15/15/30/40/60 sec

Steep 1: This steep was malty and bready, melting into sweet honey and cocoa. There was an earthy aroma that didn’t really come through in the flavor with this steep. Overall, it was honey butter on a biscuit! Yes please. More of this.

Steep 2: This steep was still malty and bready, but almost aggressively earthy tasting. It was not as sweet, but cocoa is stronger.

Steep 3: Now all the tastes are still very present, but mellowed as a whole. They’re not any weaker, they’re just not as sharp as they were, as if they’ve melted into each other. The cocoa was the strongest flavor in this steep.

Steep 4: This steep was all buttery bread with a hint of earth but the cocoa seemed to be hiding. Where did you go, cocoa?

Steep 5: Cocoa’s back! This steep was surprised me given the fourth steep. It was buttery, bready, and cocoa-y. It reminded me of a chocolate croissant. Nommy to the max! I can’t decide if I like the first steep or the last steep better; maybe I’ll have to do this again soon I’m definitely doing this again soon. This tea makes my teeth buzz and got me hella tea drunk to boot!

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601 tasting notes

Yum yum, more Whispering Pines! I really love these light, golden Yunnans so far, from every company. This one has beautiful, puffy golden leaves that are covered in fuzz. Their scent is lovely – light malt and creamy honey with a surprisingly strong stonefruit note.

The first time, I followed the package instructions and steeped for 3 minutes. The aroma was honey-glazed toast with some golden raisin fruitiness. The taste: lightly malty with honey and dried fruits (apricot?). Maybe a little bit of cocoa. There was also this weird bitterness that I didn’t expect.

So I did a 2 minute steep (new leaves) to see if the bitterness would go away. Mm, love the flavor of this one. It reminded me of a buttery croissant with a touch of honey. There’s also a light toasty note that makes me imagine toasted almonds atop the aforementioned croissant. Maybe a little stonefruit in the aftertaste? This steep wasn’t bitter, but it was almost bitter. It had the potential to be bitter. But it was still delicious.

So my question is, what else should I change to prevent the bitterness? Is it overleafing maybe? I am usually a little bit generous with my leaf measurement, and since the recommendation is in volume and not weight, it’s hard to be precise with a larger leaf. Any suggestions (or measurements in grams) would be appreciated!

Flavors: Butter, Cocoa, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt, Pastries

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm, I steeped this yesterday for an hour with no bitterness…maybe it’s your water?

Cameron B.

Ironically enough, I used filtered water. I guess I could try tap…

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Also, 1/2tbsp of this one is 1.75g

Cameron B.

Is there any way that a lower temperature than recommended would produce bitterness…?

Cameron B.

Thanks, I’ll write that on the package for next time. :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm…It’s possible…if your filter doesn’t filter out chlorine, that could cause bitterness.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

You should really be using spring water for your tea…there’s 17 springs in your city ;)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

And come to think of it, lower temp could totally bring out bitterness…with most tea, the bitterness is caused by tannins, and if I remember correctly, tannic acid is water soluble at a lower temp than flavonoids. It could be that you aren’t getting enough flavonoids to hide the tannins with a lower temp.

Cameron B.

Okay, I’ll definitely try it at boiling then. Or at least 200.


Really smooth tea for me also…but I think I only drank this one with the gaiwan, 5g for 5oz. I would not think that lowering the temp has anything to do with the bitterness you get as it usually diminish it. I agree with Brenden on this, I’d blame the water, and don’t forget that Dasani is NOT spring water!! If anything, it makes things worst :-)


200 is my comfort zone cameron. I very rarely get bitterness in anything I brew, but I know it also has to do with tastebuds :-)

Did not know that brenden about the tannic acid, interesting….


5g(yay for scale) 205 or 200 4oz rinse/5/10/15/20sec or 15/30/45 sec
Works every time


That is interesting about the lower temps and tannins. Had no idea.

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468 tasting notes

We do buy this one a lot but drink it not so much like Lance said in his review, Surely one of my fav Yunnan Blacks. I’m drinking it right now with a little Fujian Black added not because it needs anything added to it but just because I like mixing the two sometimes.
To me it has notes of malt, chocolate, honey, earth and more.
We have had lots of these type teas some good some bad some maybe even better than this one but prolly not one as beautiful as this one because it IS prolly the prettiest yunnan golds we’ve had.
I like everything about this yunnan gold tea and I drink what I like so this is the one I’d rather drink. Also lance loves it so that is a plus too, I couldn’t get him to drink much teas with me before WP.
If ya like this one and the Fujian wont you make yourself a cup with both 50/50, You may love it!

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Wet Earth


Mmmmm….sounds yummy, will try :-)

Thomas Edward(Toad)

let us know what ya think of it :)


I need to try that too – maybe after I finish the cup I’m drinking now

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10 tasting notes

We are up a little late tonight for a dialysis night but thats ok we are enjoying some really good tea(it don’t keep us up anymore it actually relaxes us before bed lol). This particular Imperial Gold Buds are one of if not The very best Dian Hong i’ve ever had, thanks to Tommy the Toad I’ve had lots and lots of Yunnan black teas puers and dian hongs I do not like the Puer but I do love the dian hongs.
We’ve had some really dark colored dian hongs and some really pretty golden colored ones like this one and lots in between with black and gold leaves.
This is probably the most beautiful looking and pleasant tasting, the leaves look absolutely stunning totally golden and fluffy soft looking with millions of little furs all over, just beautiful.
Brendens Bi Luo Chun(another yunnan black) is also just as pretty and almost as tasty BTW but not as Imperial Gold Buds ;)
The flavor of this Imperial Gold Buds Tea is very bold and malty, notes of cocoa, creamy vanilla and honey with an earthy sweetness and a slight hint of floral.
This is easy one of our top 5 teas, one that we have bought often but drink sparingly as to not ruin the experience by spoiling the taste buds with it too often, it has a nice happy energy and I look forward to buying even more soon, 100 taste points from me!
I do recommend this tea :)

Thomas Edward(Toad)

Fujian Black is my fav WP tea right now but I have lots of favs lol
This one is also one of my favs too.

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