Imperial Gold Bud Dian Hong

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Vanilla, Cacao, Dark Chocolate, Oak wood, Sweet, Baked Bread, Cocoa, Pepper, Molasses, Peanut, Rose, Yams, Raisins, Caramel, Creamy, Hot hay, Sweet Potatoes, Hay, Wet Earth, Butter, Yeasty, Smooth, Dried Fruit, Pastries
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Whispering Pines Tea Company
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 g 10 oz / 282 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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39 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.

39 Tasting Notes

254 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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1523 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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13 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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750 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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799 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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357 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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618 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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526 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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