Yunnan Black Gold Spring 2014

Tea type
Black Tea
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Caramel, Creamy, Malt, Stonefruits, Graham Cracker, Toasty, Toffee, Orange Zest, Grain, Raisins, Yams, Floral, Toast, Baked Bread, Brown Toast, Dried Fruit, Honey, Apricot, Earth, Sweet Potatoes
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Edit tea info Last updated by Nicole
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 8 g 9 oz / 273 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

A traditional process one leaf / one bud ratio black tea from the high mountains of Zhenyuan in Simao prefecture. Lightly wilted the leaves still have a slight greenish color amongst the vivid brown-red color. The traditional processing gives the tea nice floral aroma and taste and allows for longer term aging. This tea can be drunk for several years, and will have noticeable changes (and improvements) for up to 2 years!

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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12 Tasting Notes

340 tasting notes

I’m tasting this thanks to a generous sample from the lovely Nicole. :)

Trying it gong fu style, in my glass gaiwan without the lid. I’ve figured out that I can actually use it lidless, just pouring carefully through a strainer into my cha hai. It might not be keeping the water quite as hot as one might want, but it seems to at least be doing the trick. I miiight have ordered a small ruyao gaiwan from White 2 Tea during my latest lapse into impulse tea-buying, lol. Anyway! 4g of tea in the 4oz gaiwan. Water in the 93-98 degree range. Steeps starting at about 10-15sec and then adding another 10-15 sec each time (counting in my head, so we’re not talking precision timing here). I didn’t bother with a rinse, just drank the first steeping and found it to be light and creamy.

This is very tasty! I’m getting a lot of warm fruity notes, like roasted plum and apricot, and a bit of caramel sweetness. Maybe a hint of the corn/sweet potato that I was actually expecting, and some definite maltiness and a slight astringency starting to develop in later steepings. This is very nice, but I’m not sure that it’s different enough from some of the teas I already own to make me want to buy more of it. Delighted to have had the chance to try it though! :)

Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Malt, Stonefruits

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127 tasting notes

S’ mores!

Wow as soon as I threw the leaves into the warmed yixing I was slapped awake woth the smell of something toasty and sweet. I imagined a warmer graham cracker and immediately thought of s’ mores after. Unfortunately my paranoid was confirmed my yixing is still not season thoroughly and is sucking all the flavor out out out tea. Every steeping no matter how short or how hot/cool of water I tasted nothing but the assamica varietal.

Putting off reviewing this until I throw it in a gaiwan to see if this tea is all bark and no bite aroma/flavor wise or my pot is a flavor sucker.

Flavors: Graham Cracker, Toasty, Toffee

8 g 6 OZ / 170 ML

Yixing is so interesting to me! Bummer that it sucked out your flavor, but the warm graham cracker smell sounds fantastic.

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1328 tasting notes

I’m running out of queue. There are maybe… 3 posts after this one. I don’t know what I’ll do when the queue is empty. I suppose I’ll have to go back to irregular posting again. I do have some things I haven’t written about and I’ve got an order on the way from Nannuoshan, but trying something for the first time and writing about it demands motivation and focus. Those aren’t things you can plan in advance. Right now I haven’t got very much in the way of motivation and focus, really…


Queued post, written September 24th 2014

This one was a freebie with my YS order. It isn’t one I would have chosen for myself, I don’t think, but since it’s here, I might as well try it.

I tend to have mixed experiences with Yunnan blacks. Some of them are lovely, others just taste far too much like hay for my liking, so in general I find it safer to just avoid them.

“Why then,” I hear you ask, “did you go and order from a place called Yunnan Sourcing? There’s a great big clue in the name right there, you wally!”

“Well,” you hear me answer, “remember that sugar-roasted thing I posted about last time? So interesting! How could I not try some? And since I was there anyway, why not look around a bit? Besides the other two things that I actually ordered were oolongs, so I’m not that much of a wally.”

This though… Hmm. Large amount for a freebie? Sample? Nooo. Not sure how much there is here. Maybe around 30g or so. Big sample, but I’m certainly not complaining.

A strange thing happened when I sniffed the dry leaves. There was only really one note there that I could pick up. I mean, there were other notes as well underneath, but this one note struck me as so peculiar that I couldn’t actually look past it. It reminded me strongly of sweet licorice. I KNOW! Weird, huh? I’ve never had licorice show up as a natural note before, I don’t think. There wasn’t any hay-ish notes that I could find, and licorice or not, I think I would have been able to pick up on that, so that’s a good sign.

After brewing it doesn’t smell like licorice anymore, which frankly makes it even more bizarre that the dry leaf does. I expect at least a little overlap here. Instead it has some weak pu-erh-y notes. Rather than smelling like a pu-erh, it smells sort of like, “this is what I could have been had I been processed differently.” Sweet and borderline mushroom-y, borderline earthy, borderline brothy. There is a bit of hay here, but not super much, which is good. I’m not sure what kind of sweetness I’m detecting. It’s not really caramel-y or cocoa-y, but it’s not malt-y either. I think actually the sweetness is connected to the hay note, it’s just standing out more because the hay is not as hay-y as it could have been. (Ugh, Ang… That doesn’t even make sense! Why do you write such rubbish?)

Let’s just move on to tasting it, shall we? The aroma was quite strong and complicated, so I’m surprised by how mild the taste is. Not weak, mind you, but mild. There’s a difference. There’s plenty of flavour, it’s just not very self-asserting. I’m getting the sweet and smooth part of that hay note again and the actual hay-y bit of it does come through on the aftertaste. I could have lived without that, frankly, but I’m also finding it more tolerable than I have done in the past.

The primary note is peppery and prickly, and it comes out more as the tea cools and develops a bit more. As it get pricklier it also gets more forceful and less mild, although it would still not have been my choice for the first cup if the morning had I known.

This is the second time recently that I’ve had a Yunnan black and had a good experience with it. Perhaps my taste is changing a bit. It will never be able to take the place of Fujian black, but perhaps it’s worth exploring a little further here. I suspect I’m missing out on something or other.


YAY! for nearing the end of queue!


As a Dane you have licorice in your blood.


Yeah… don’t usually keep it up my snozzle, though. :p


i love this tea….and they say it gets better with age….so I’m hoarding and craving…how ridiculous. I’m going to have a cup right now. :)

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193 tasting notes

Huh, kind of surprised by this one. The reviews speak of it so highly, but I found it kind of middle-of-the-road as far as Yunnans go. Of course I have yet to meet a Yunnan I don’t enjoy, but this one is just kind of ‘meh’. There’s a bit of malt, and some spicy orange notes. But overall it’s weak and forgettable. I’ll happily drink the rest of what I have, but certainly won’t pick up more whenever I get around to placing another YS order.

Flavors: Malt, Orange Zest

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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184 tasting notes

Quality Assurance check this morning…..just making sure that this tea is a good as I said it was when I drank it last week. I’m staring into the cup with disbelief, because it is as good as I said it was in my review….and it’s cheaper than other Yunnans, and it’s toasty nomilicious flavor makes me want to stuff my face in the cup and gulp…. my verdict stands. I really really like this tea. Good thing Yunnan Sourcing sends a 4 cup sample, as I still have 2 more to go and that makes me happy.

Flavors: Floral, Grain, Malt, Toast, Yams

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

I’ve been really impressed with all of their teas, including the cheaper ones. And I agree, this tea is nomilicious!


Cameron, I’m looking for someone to swap black/red tea with….I’ve started a thread in the discussion section…. are we too much alike to swap? :)

Cameron B.

I dunno! I don’t really have any YS teas right now, just the remnants of some small samples from Nicole.

Cameron B.

That being said, if there are any black teas in my cupboard that you’d like to try, let me know! :)

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972 tasting notes

Another Yunnan Sourcing tea! This one came from Nicole. For some reason I’m more excited to try the darker teas this time around, rather than the pure bud varieties. I’m not sure why that is! These leaves are medium to large in size and are almost entirely intact, which is nice to see. They’re rather twisty and curly and there are some spots of deep gold among the usual dark chocolate. Dry scent is sweet honey with malt and bread notes.

I’m always a bit weirded-out when a tea just doesn’t have much aroma. It makes me feel like there’s something wrong with my nose! Anyway, this is one of those – I can smell a bit of sweet potato and honey but it’s very faint. Yum, this is a nice balance between a tippier Yunnan and a more earthy one. It has those lovely sweet potato and honey notes with a touch of stonefruit, but underneath there’s a rich and somewhat intense earthy/bready/malty base that really adds a lot of depth and dimension. I’m not always a huge fan of earthy in teas, but I find it works well here, tempered by its bread and malt brethren. Om nommy! Ooh, and I just got a teeny floral hint at the end of that sip! Intriguing.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Earth, Floral, Honey, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Keep track of what you like… I have been watching some of their FB posts with new cups and there are 2 so far that I will absolutely have to have, budget be damned. So if you have teas you want at the same time, we can always combine an order… :)

Cameron B.

Oh, definitely. I’ll be interested in making an order after I try all the samples I have incoming. :D

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437 tasting notes

This was the generous sample I received with my Yunnan Sourcing order.

I think this would appeal to those looking for a nice, robust malty tea.

It has malt and tart fruit ( longan, currants) in abundance, but these are supported by dark honey, spice ( cinnamon and a sweet, citrusy, spicy floral), cocoa, salted butter, and alfalfa. It has a really nice balance between the tart, sweet, bitter, and creamy notes. It has a good dose of caffeine.

The tea itself has nice resilient ( they hold up to multiple steeps) leaves, that are a long deep black brown with around 25% gold tips. They have a fresh, floral, hay like tone when dry.

This tea would make a good every day tea for those who prefer a malty tart tea!

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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1113 tasting notes

Finally trying this tea boychik sent me a sample of. DANG this is good! Malty yunnan perfection. Thanks so much for sharing :)


Glad you like it;)

Terri HarpLady

We love our YS teas!


I’m a YS convert!

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767 tasting notes

I entered this as a new entry since I didn’t find this with a 2014 tag on it… I hope I didn’t just miss it.

Boychik sent this my way and it is another one that I really have to order. Not as pretty as the Bi Luo Chun, but every bit as tasty. I honestly don’t recall a lot of nuances to this – I pretty much gulped it down at work over the last 2 days. It was soooo good. Everything you’d expect a Yunnan to be. So far I’m very impressed with YS’s teas.


Yay, I’m glad you like it that much;)


I can’t hardly make my way through your samples fast enough. I want to place an order sooo badly but I don’t want to skip anything! This will be a tea weekend for sure! :)

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