Opened up a 50 gram package of this a couple weeks ago in the office – briefly noting my impressions before it disappears:

Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan, and served in my porcelain tea cup via my glass cha hai. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil throughout.

The dry tea is unique – the finger length buds resemble golden-tipped, black-bottomed spines of some odd desert plant. The aroma from the bag offers a distinctive yam/grain scent.

A very forgiving tea – you don’t have to give much thought about tea weight, steep times, numbers of infusions, etc. That said, it remains flavorful for 8-10 infusions easily.

Starting with steeps around 15 seconds, the liquor is amber to metallic gold, with a sweet/earthy/grassy aroma hinting at plantain and lotus leaf. The flavor follows the nose but with increasing richness and a core malty sweetness (and perhaps a touch of cocoa in the finish).

Hints of alfalfa/hay and oats emerge over the session, reminding me of quality horse feed (not in a bad way!). Low bitterness throughout, very little astringency even if you over-steep.

Round, creamy texture, with slow persistent caffeine build up. An excellent, distinctive “Yunnan Gold” leaf tea from a unique variety of very large leaf plants.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Converted to Oolong and beyond starting around ’98 or so when I was hanging out at the Tao of Tea in Portland.

Expanded my experience with green teas when I moved in with room-mates who were Chinese scholars, workers at the Japanese Gardens (including the tea room), etc.

Always looking to improve my education, but will concede my pedestrian tastes (e.g. breakfast teas brewed strong enough to stand your spoon in).

Trying to focus more on the qualitative over the quantitative in my reviews, so you won’t see me give too many scores/ratings at the moment…


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