Imperial Gold Bud Dian Hong

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Cocoa, Floral, Hay, Malt, Sweet Potatoes, Flowers, Mineral, Tea, Chocolate, Honey, Vanilla, Cacao, Dark Chocolate, Oak wood, Sweet, Baked Bread, Pepper, Molasses, Peanut, Rose, Yams, Raisins, Caramel, Creamy, Hot hay, Wet Earth, Butter, Yeasty, Smooth, Dried Fruit, Pastries
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Whispering Pines Tea Company
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 7 g 10 oz / 288 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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18 Want it Want it

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37 Own it Own it

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42 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...” Read full tasting note
    dr-jim 281 tasting notes
  • “After a two year hiatus from Steepster, I am now back to my original obsession following the short-lived affair I had with coffee. Still love coffee but after sowing them wild oats, I know where my...” Read full tasting note
    cathy-zheng 95 tasting notes
  • “I have had an awful lot of black tea lately, I’m not sure how this happened… I think I’ve had something like six different black teas in the past week and that’s roughly...” Read full tasting note
    nishnek 37 tasting notes
  • “Whispering Pines had this one down as “The highest grade tea you can find outside of china” or something along those lines. It certainly wasn’t a disappointment. It didn’t...” Read full tasting note
    Netherhero 8 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.

42 Tasting Notes

281 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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95 tasting notes

After a two year hiatus from Steepster, I am now back to my original obsession following the short-lived affair I had with coffee. Still love coffee but after sowing them wild oats, I know where my heart truly belongs now.

Shipping to Australia is $US18/$AU25 which is pretty high considering other international brands are roughly $5-$10. However, it is speedy service (less than two weeks) with reliable tracking. But it’s pretty much the only thing which stops me from ordering Whispering Pines on a regular basis.

This is from my third Whispering Pines haul and the second time I have ordered this particular tea. Leaves are dazzling indeed. And soo soft and pretty!

Cocoa, malt and fruit flavours with the slightest hint of dairy, savoury and forest aromas. Very balanced in all aspects.

A little bit of good qi going on with this tea, even though I’ve only ever also noticed it in WP’s Wildcrafted Da Hong Pao and some pu-erh served at a local tea house. It could also be because I’ve been reading up on cha qi lately and y’know, power of suggestion and all.

Delicious stuff.

Evol Ving Ness

Hey, welcome back!

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37 tasting notes

I have had an awful lot of black tea lately, I’m not sure how this happened… I think I’ve had something like six different black teas in the past week and that’s roughly perhaps half of the ones I’ve acquired this past couple of weeks somehow. Anyway, moving on, got this in the $5 sampler that WP is now offering to try their teas, awesome deal.

Threw about 4.5 grams in an autobrewer since my attempts at gong fu black tea so far have been a bit discouraging (I think I may be too heavy a steeper). This had a nice, surprisingly floral scent coming from the leaves, which were a bit moist feeling and yet a bit crunchy as well, very unique and pretty. The liquor was an attractive orange brown, the taste was a surprisingly moderate malt flavor that shifted into chocolate with a malt body as you sipped. There was a definite flavor of sweet potato or yam in the second steep along with that touch of raw sour that seems to accompany black tea and potato. The aroma turned floral again, surprisingly, around the third steep, and it became lighter, with a bit of hay. I probably could have pushed it more, but ran out of time and ended this there. I’m going to have to revisit the rest of my sample with a gaiwan soon to see what all I missed out on.

Overall, it was quite pleasant and much lighter than I’ve come to expect of black tea, not to mention the surprisingly floral aromas I caught. I’ll need to revisit my other samples to see if this is due to the auto brewer or a character of this tea. There is indeed quite a bit of buzzy energy from this tea, though (either that or a helluva lot of caffeine), as I was a bit frenetically enthusiastic and dropped the lid to my pot a couple of times (thankfully not far) while refilling after the second cup.

Additional note amendment, when you push it past three steeps in a gaiwan, it really opens up a crazy sweet sweet potato/yam flavor explosion in the back of the mouth and throat I was NOT expecting on steep 4 as I thought the flavor was fading in the third steep. Floral tastes start standing out late game as well, flavor is more delicate overall. I quite preferred the later steeps, honestly, especially as they lent well to the heavy steeping my intuition generally wants, haha

Flavors: Cocoa, Floral, Hay, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 11 OZ / 325 ML

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8 tasting notes

Whispering Pines had this one down as “The highest grade tea you can find outside of china” or something along those lines. It certainly wasn’t a disappointment. It didn’t have any particular flavor in the foreground which I think was the most appealing thing about this tea. There was some cocoa, a bit of malt, definitely flowers. The main thing i thought about this one is that it is a bit too similar to the other blacks I got from whispering pines, nothing really made this one stand out from the crowd for me, except that it was a pretty balanced, and generally satisfying cup of tea. I should say, Whispering Pines teas always surprise me with how much they hold up to multiple brewings. This tea is definitely worth the try.

Flavors: Cocoa, Flowers, Malt, Mineral, Tea

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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1622 tasting notes

I got REALLY EXCELLENT sweet potato notes from this one today – clearly I caught it at just the right time. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention to my parameters so I’ll probably never be able to recreate exactly the same circumstances. That’s what comes from pottering around absent mindedly when you’re half asleep.

Enjoyed it, though. Dian Hong rules.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp

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11 tasting notes

This is my first ‘real’ tea and I think I’m off to a good start! Not going to rate it on the point scale because I don’t have a clue how it compares to other stuff. Also definitely need to develop my ability to taste and identify notes.

First steep: 12 oz office boiling water tap, a little less than 1 T of tea, 3 min steep.
Yummy and rich.

Second steep: added a splash of cream. Feeling a little woozy from all the caffeine today — probably shouldn’t steep again. Get a chocolate-y smell from it this time. Perhaps mixing the cream into it helps with that?

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Vanilla

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

If you look at the the flavours listed – Wow thats got a lot of different ones. Just shows how subjective the tasting is, 27 tasting notes, 26 recognised flavour notes


Whoa, didn’t you order this like yesterday? That was FAST.


Ha I know, I ordered it just Monday. I was very happy and surprised when it walked into my office today :)


Yeah, I saw you interact with Brennan in a web thread, so I remembered! LOL. Anyway, I think that tea is a really good one, but I haven’t tried a Chinese black tea yet that I thought worked well with milk or cream. I use them a lot with black teas too, but usually more with things labeled “English breakfast” or something and grown in India.


Interesting. I’d like to get some Assams (as well as English type teas) and it will be fun to compare how those handle milk vs. Chinese black teas.

Liquid Proust

Bottom line for tasting notes: If you liked the tea, it was a success :)

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14 tasting notes

Wowza! This has got to be one of, if not, the best black teas I’ve ever had. I only got a sample but will definitely buy more than a sample next time. It brews a beautiful “gold” color. The aroma is mesmerizing, chocolate. The taste, as if you were putting a piece of 70% cacao dark chocolate directly in your mouth. Just a very little perfect hint of sweetness.

Flavors: Cacao, Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Oak wood, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

I have some almost every day


I do not blame you. I probably will too once I stock up on this. Which I will do sooner rather than later.

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757 tasting notes

Like cocoa bread in a cup. Not chocolate bread, mind you, but cocoa bread. The kind that doesn’t have sugar added to it. Reminds me very strongly of Golden Fleece. A cup of pure wow. Thanks to whoever included this with a swap or a stash purchase – I’m thinking either Marzipan or Liquid Proust.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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18 tasting notes

Could this be the Golden Fleece of Greek mythology? It is certainly worthy of a quest! Perhaps Pelias sent Jason out, knowing that if he succeeded in bringing home the fleece, athough forced to surrender his throne, he could console himself with this tea.

I brewed this both western and gongfu style and enjoyed it both ways. For a more intense flavor experience, I recommend western. But for an aroma voyage that will rock your world, prepare your favorite gaiwan & tasting cups and spend some time with this one. The bouquet made me weak in the knees! I would wear it as a fragrance. If my husband were wearing it right now, I doubt I would be posting on Steepster . . .

Oh yes, it’s that good . . .

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Pepper, Vanilla


Lovely review and this tea is one of my all time favorites!!


Thank you Tea Fairy! Steep well;)

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848 tasting notes

I am multi-tasking to the max right now! As you may or may not know by this point, my move has been delayed for several months…so I unpacked my painting stuff and I am diving in to the miniatures! While painting I am also playing Terraria and blogging, and of course guzzling tea like a boss. I am really excited because one of the pieces I am working on is the Wyrd Miniatures Malifaux Dawn Serpent…it is basically a Chinese dragon, and I will use it some in my Ten Thunders army, but mostly it will live on my tea desk. Finally the tea desk will have a dragon!

Today I am looking at Whispering Pines Tea Company’s Imperial Gold Bud Dian Hong, ah yeah, all about the fuzzy Yunnan tea today! A while back my mom ordered some and sent me a bit to try, my mom and I have this tendency to send each other piles of tea, I currently am filling a box up for her now, tea friends and family really are the best since we all seem to have this tendency to share our hoard. Good heavens, these leaves are luscious, thick and fuzzy, loaded with fuzzy golden trichomes, like happy caterpillars. Now that I have probably weirded all of you out comparing these fuzzy things to caterpillars, please know I accept donations! All kidding aside, these really are quite pretty. The aroma is peppery and sweet, strong notes of candied yams and sweet roasted peanuts. The finish has a touch of malt and a delicate note of rose as well, those yam notes though are killer, great a tea that makes me hungry!

On a Terraria note, I just killed the stupid Brain of Cthulhu eight times in attempts to get the trophy, ugh, what a pain. Steeping time brings out strong notes of malt and roasted peanuts, candied yams, a touch of vanilla beans, a dash of pepper, and that tiny hint of rose at the finish. The liquid is delightfully sweet, malt and sweet yams, vanilla beans, and a finish of pepper.

First steep starts mild and creamy, surprisingly there are no fuzzies floating around in the cup, they all sank to the bottom so the usual gentle tickle I get with fuzzy teas is not present. The taste starts with gentle malt and sweet yams, a touch of molasses. This moves on to roasted peanuts and a gentle finish of pepper.

The aroma of the second is peppery and malty with a strong yammy presence, I honestly love this yam note. I think it might be thing thing that makes me love Dian Hong so much. The texture is much thicker, a tiny bit of fuzziness in this steep. It is very heavy and rich, like a decadent treat, notes of malt and cocoa start off strong, that moves to candied yams and molasses, and the finish is a delicate mix of pepper and malt with a cooling finish.

Third steeping time, the aroma is pretty intense, strong notes of yam and roasted peanuts with a tiny bit of pepper. It is a much sweeter aroma this time around. The taste is also much sweeter, like molasses and syrup thickness mixed with sweet yams and rich malt. The midtaste has a strong yam and cocoa note and the finish is cooling with pepper. The pepper note fascinates me, the taste of pepper without the warmth of it is a quirky thing!

For blog and photos:

Flavors: Malt, Molasses, Peanut, Pepper, Rose, Yams

Liquid Proust

This tea keeps it 100

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