Imperial Mojiang Golden Bud Yunnan Black Tea * Spring 2018

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves
Flavors
Almond, Baked Bread, banana, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Geranium, Grapes, Green Beans, Hazelnut, Malt, Meat, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plums, Smoke, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Walnut, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Ginger, Honey, Moss, Mushrooms, Orange, Pepper, Sweet, Tart, Wood
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 g 4 oz / 109 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “In case anyone who reads my reviews has missed it, I have been focusing on polishing off a lot of the spring 2018 black teas and Dancong oolongs that I purchased that year. I spent way too much...” Read full tasting note
    92
  • “Sunday morning gongfu session shared with the house. I plopped a clump of the downy, golden curls into Housemate #2’s hand so she could feel it and smell it before having her first cup. She said...” Read full tasting note
    92
  • “I was able to try gongfu with this tea, so here are some updated notes. Gongfu (3g/60ml/85 C), 10 steeps total: I started with a 10 second steep and added 5-10 seconds for the first several...” Read full tasting note
    75

From Yunnan Sourcing

This rare and beautiful tea is crafted from spring harvested leaves plucked from established plantation bushes in the Mojiang area of Simao. The tea is carefully processed to keep its lovely appearance and guard its subtle sugarcane and malt flavors. This is an incredible and rare tea with an appearance and taste that will dazzle the drinker! Recommend using 85-90C water to brew this wonderful tea. Wash once briefly (5 seconds) and then drink the successive infusions. Keep infusion times very short initially!

Harvest time: March 2018

Harvest Area: Mojiang Town, Simao Prefecture of Yunnan

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

Company description not available.

4 Tasting Notes

92
929 tasting notes

In case anyone who reads my reviews has missed it, I have been focusing on polishing off a lot of the spring 2018 black teas and Dancong oolongs that I purchased that year. I spent way too much money on tea in 2018, and quite frankly, I only realized how many 2018 teas I still had when I recently went through my tea hoard. I’m trying to finish them all prior to the end of spring 2021 since they will likely be more or less at or near their peak up until that point in time. That being said, expect many more reviews of 2018 black and oolong teas over the next 5-6 months. This was one of my last sipdowns of September. At the time I was working my way through what I had of this tea, I recalled liking the spring 2017 version of this tea quite a bit. Fortunately for me, this production had not seemed to have been impacted by its lengthy time in storage and was about as impressive as the previous spring’s offering.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of smoke, malt, pine, cedar, and butter. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of banana, sweet potato, roasted almond, cream, and vanilla. The first infusion introduced aromas of geranium and baked bread as well as a more subtle roasted peanut scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of malt, roasted almond, cream, and butter that were backed by hints of baked bread, smoke, roasted peanut, sweet potato, caramel, and molasses. There was also a bit of a meaty impression left on the palate after each swallow. It reminded me of smoked or barbecued pork, as crazy as that may sound. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of caramel, dark chocolate, orange zest, plum, red grape, roasted hazelnut, sugarcane, and roasted walnut. Stronger and more immediately detectable impressions of baked bread, caramel, sweet potato, molasses, and roasted peanut appeared in the mouth alongside notes of earth, minerals, dark chocolate, red grape, pear, plum, roasted hazelnut, roasted walnut, orange zest, cooked green beans, and sugarcane. I also picked up on hints of pine, red apple, cedar, banana, vanilla, and geranium. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, cooked green beans, roasted peanut, cream, earth, and roasted walnut that were underscored by hints of smoke, dark chocolate, roasted almond, roasted hazelnut, sweet potato, caramel, baked bread, orange zest, and sugarcane.

Overall, this was a great Yunnan black tea. I tend to be a huge sucker for any sort of high grade Yunnan golden bud black tea anyway, but this one really did strike me as being a great offering. I was especially impressed by how well its aroma and flavor components worked together. There were a few things in there that could have easily thrown the liquor off-balance, but they never rocked the boat.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, banana, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Geranium, Grapes, Green Beans, Hazelnut, Malt, Meat, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plums, Smoke, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Walnut

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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92
742 tasting notes

Sunday morning gongfu session shared with the house.

I plopped a clump of the downy, golden curls into Housemate #2’s hand so she could feel it and smell it before having her first cup. She said it was just beautiful and so delicate and soft. There is no other tea whose appearance strikes such an appreciation of the skill that is needed to grow and process my favorite plant. Dry leaf has an alluring and comforting aroma of dark chocolate, light smoke, earth and peppered beef.

5g, 100mL teapot, 200F, flash rinse (drank) followed by 9 steeps at 10/12/15/20/25/30/45/60/90s.

The warmed leaf had the same aromas as the dry leaf with the addition of a honey-brown sugar sweetness. Rinsing brought out more notes including mushroom, wood and faint moss. After the first steep, a comforting addition of baked bread appeared. The liquor aroma was already thick, sweet and permeating with chocolate, orange and a whisper of ginger. Housemate #2, with her first cup, said that “It aromatically wraps its arms around me. Just delicious, beautiful. I’m starting to understand your appreciation for tea. This is much better than lattes.”

I tasted chocolate, earth and mushrooms with the same honey-brown sugar sweetness found in the aroma. Good body already with light bitterness and good astringency. The second steep brought forward the baked bread note present in the wet leaf aroma, along with malt and a very clear mineral expression, leaving me salivating. Housemate #1 at this point said, “It’s very clean and reminds me of a roasted oolong in its delicacy.” In terms of black teas, she’s pretty much only familiar with strong and malty breakfast-types and earl grey. She continued to sip several cups while cooking. By the fourth steep, the liquor lightened a little, allowing the expression of some orange and a similar tartness. Fifth steep brought a pleasant returning sweetness. The tea began its fade with the sixth infusion and I pushed it through until the ninth with the flavors slowly receding into a bright woodiness.

I’ve had this or a similar Imperial golden bud black tea before from another vendor, in which I prepared it western style only. It was one of the several teas responsible for opening me up to a new world of straight loose leaf. Based on Housemate #2’s reaction, I think it may be doing the same for her as she coveted each cup I poured for her. Nothing can compare to the friendly and comforting flavors and aromas in this wonderful dianhong. Highly recommended for tea drinkers of all persuasions.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Ginger, Honey, Malt, Meat, Mineral, Moss, Mushrooms, Orange, Pepper, Smoke, Sweet, Tart, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
tea-sipper

This is one of my favorites when it’s super fresh. The flavors tend to fade the quickest in these golden blacks.

Kittenna

Your review has me salivating, haha.

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75
38 tasting notes

I was able to try gongfu with this tea, so here are some updated notes.

Gongfu (3g/60ml/85 C), 10 steeps total:
I started with a 10 second steep and added 5-10 seconds for the first several infusions, then gradually increased the additional time; final, 10th steep was 5 minutes.

The lid of the gaiwan throughout had a sweet roasty aroma, somewhere between burnt sugar and caramelized winter squash. The brews start out a pale golden amber that grows deeper amber with each steep. The aroma of the brew is hard to describe – the main scent and flavor through all infusions is what I (unhelpfully) identify as “smooth black tea” – basic, familiar black tea with no bitterness, no brisk or brash flavors to hit you in the face, etc.

The roasted/toasted notes that were prominent in western brewing are lightly present almost the whole time, only beginning to fade around steep 9. There is a little malt, but that is never a strong note; there is a light sweetness, but it never crosses into syrup, honey, caramel, or any other kind of flavorful sugar. I think YS describes the tea as having a “sugar cane” taste, but even that attributes more flavor than I was able to pick up. The impression I was left with was of clear corn syrup – a little sweet, but without any accompanying related flavors. In the first couple steeps there is a hint of buttery taste & texture that adds to the suggestion of roasted squash, but this too fades quickly.

The middle steeps barely hinted cocoa powder and brought a touch of dryness, and while the leaves themselves began to smell more earthy, that flavor never really materialized.

In the final steeps I tried pushing the temperature to 90 C to see if I could coax out any more flavors, but all this did is bring out some more dryness/astringency and a little bitterness.

Overall, I’m afraid I found the Mojiang disappointing when brewed gongfu. It was mild & pleasant, but all the flavors were light, with no strong impressions – no layers, no complexity, no real changes between steeps. (I’d rate this 65 with gongfu.)

I’ll stick with western or, more likely, cold brew with this tea, as that yielded the most interest.

Sqt

Agreed. I much prefer this western style over gongfu, though that tends to be my preference for most black teas. Gongfu just results in a much simpler and boring experience for me, whereas western style the different flavours layer together to create complexity.

Leafhopper

I never thought of trying this Western style. I agree, gongfu’ing this tea doesn’t do it any favours.

Girl Meets Gaiwan

Western was definitely better than gongfu, but ultimately I enjoyed cold brew most – it’s how I finished out the bag.

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