Imperial Gold Bud Dian Hong

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Malt, Molasses, Peanut, Pepper, Rose, Yams, Cacao, Honey, Oak wood, Raisins, Sweet, Caramel, Cocoa, Creamy, Hot hay, Sweet Potatoes, Hay, Baked Bread, Wet Earth, Butter, Yeasty, Smooth, Dried Fruit, Pastries, Chocolate
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Edit tea info Last updated by Whispering Pines Tea Company
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 g 9 oz / 276 ml

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30 Tasting Notes View all

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.

30 Tasting Notes

187 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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640 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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251 tasting notes

I finally have been giving the chance to try some the budz!! I am most grateful for this opportunity. This is by far the best Dianhong I’ve ever had. These is beautiful tea in both aesthetic value and brew quality. The buds are long bright golden strands that are chaotically intertwined. This tea is velvety smooth and soft to the touch. They give off a thick and pure cacao scent. I placed a bunch in my gaiwan and shook it up. The scent deepened to something like coco puffs. I could take in oats, chocolate, raisins, and an underlying leather scent. I washed these beauties once and began my brewing. The initial sip was incredibly full bodied. This brew gives a thick and complex mouth-feel. I took in a sweet honey taste that was mixed with chocolate cacao dust. The brew then grew deeper in color and broadened in flavor. This sweet liquid gold moved to a fresh wood tone. This was unlike other wood tones. This flavor was in the background and complimented the sweet and light malt of the drink, rather than an over- powering bark taste. Also, this brew gave a light and alert qi feeling. I’ve only felt noticeable qi from pu-erh. It was a unique experience to feel qi from a red tea. The best part of this tea is that it held up very well against multiple steeping. Usually, dianhong falters off at about the fourth steeping. This brew just kept going. The brew grew ever sweeter and smoother with each subsequent steeping. I am so happy to have finally tried this wonderful brew! Thank you again!

Flavors: Cacao, Honey, Malt, Oak wood, Raisins, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Liquid Proust

You gave me advice for YUNOMI’s gyokuro and I told you this is on my top list for a reason. It’s your turn again :P


hahahah okay xP

Liquid Proust

Would you like the assignment of oolong or shou?
Both are really hard to advise someone that either is a ‘100’


I’m leaning towards the Shou. I have one to do later tonight, and I think I should just keep rolling with it.

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573 tasting notes

I enjoyed my sample of this very much. A new, fancy tea to celebrate a new, shiny job. I am really really excited, and equally stressed. I will be moving to Virginia ASAP and teaching third grade at what seems like a very nice school. I am packing like a maniac, while trying to run a million errands to transfer pet sitting clients literally overnight, and doing the paperwork type stuff that comes with moving and hiring and the like.

But I took time to drink this this morning as a small celebration. With all the stress of my first year of teaching looming as well as a big move, I feel like it will be difficult for me to celebrate if I don’t make the time. I find this tea to be extremely tasty. Cocoa, malt, and hay is what I taste, though specifically slightly damp hay. Normally I am not capable of being so specific, but this seems to have a slight tang or sourness that is similar to that of wet hay.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Liquid Proust

I fell in love with this tea in Tokyo :)
I will just throw my opinion out there: There is no better Dian Hong to be had


New shiny job! Congrats!


Congrats! From a mom who recently had a third grader two years ago. . .Thank you! Third grade was hard on the kiddo. Teachers are awesome!

Leah Naomi

I appreciate the well wishes – I am excited. I hear third grade can be a tough year, but I hear it is one they make some of the most progress, so it sounds super rewarding. I am sure your kid’s teacher was so happy you are so supportive, it makes the job SO much easier, and it isn’t always the case.

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169 tasting notes

Thank you Brenden for this sample!!!!!!
I really, really enjoyed this black tea. It is naturally sweet, smooth, and soooo much like caramel, in smell and in taste. This tea has so much character, and with only a barely noticeable touch of astringency. I smell again, caramel, hay, butter, sweet potatoe, popcorn….and sip the same notes. And that’s just on the first 15 second steep. This is actually one of my favorite black teas thus far. I would not drink this again and again because I want to savor it, and enjoy it as long as I can before its gone.

Another tea that is great in Gongfu style, and I think that almost anyone would like it, newbie or tea master. This is the tea to learn to enjoy without sugar for beginners. And this is a delicacy for the tea snob. I don’t think that I could ever drink black tea the same way again. I now prefer more golden leaves…..I am now a tea snob. Curses!!!!!!

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Creamy, Hot hay, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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33 tasting notes

This tea had a sweet flowery, grassy scent as I took it out of the bag, with the slightest hint of cocoa.

The scent I’m getting off of this is chocolate and hay. Or really, chocolate and malt. First sip is pretty much chocolate and malt. The malt still has a floweriness to it.

This is nice and mellow.

Flavors: Cocoa, Hay, Malt

155 °F / 68 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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535 tasting notes

My host family just put Big Hero 6 on last night so I grabbed a bag of tea and brewed it up without thinking about it.
I don’t enjoy black teas but I really didn’t think about what I was brewing (which was some sort of golden fuzz). This is a very smooth tasting tea and I really enjoyed it- enough so that I drank some more this morning. The leaf is very quality; easily identified by looking before and after brewing. I look forward to continuing my experimenting with temperature and grams of tea used as this is wonderful tea.

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13 tasting notes

Another hit from Whispering Pines. This tea has depth. Honey, malty bread, cocoa and a mild earthiness. It’s very forgiving as well. I accidentally brewed the first steep for almost 5 minutes. My cup was still smooth and delicious with no signs of bitterness or astringency.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Wet Earth

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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442 tasting notes


I am pretty picky about my black teas. Greens, light oolongs, whites, & shengs are my first love but I’ve come to love a few blacks. I think my favourites are one with malt and chocolate notes. This one is pretty amazing with great chocolate notes. Thanks Dex for throwing this one in. So glad I got to try it.

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16 tasting notes

Deleted due to Author error.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm…might you have mistaken the instructions for 1/2 teaspoon instead of 1/2 tablespoon?


Well now.. that could in fact be a problem. :) Hitting the reset button. Thanks.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hehe :-) hope I saved the day! ;-)

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