Yunnan Golden Curls

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Black Tea
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Dark Chocolate, Fruity
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 4 g 8 oz / 236 ml

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From Adagio Teas

Black tea from the Yunnan region of China. Its luscious, soft, curly, leaves, and a unique peppery taste easily identify Yunnan tea. This is an exceptional quality tea comprised exclusively of soft, golden-leaf buds with an unusual curled shape. The dry leaf yields aromas of roasted peppers and sweet, wet hay. As the tea steeps, the hay fades into the background in favor of aromas of warm toffee and leather. As the liquor cools, the body of this tea seems to fill out and finish with notes of sweet potatoes and of course the characteristic pepper that makes Yunnans so distinctive. 3g/8oz boiling water for 3-5min. Good for multiple infusions.

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40 Tasting Notes

6770 tasting notes

Thanks Emilie!

Peppery Toffee. That about sums it up! This is the Masters Collection. Not real sure how it differs from the other potential yunnans they have but I’m too tired to look it up. LOL

I do like this! As it cools it’s a little bit more sweet.

It just might have a yammy-jammy taste…

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1183 tasting notes

From the Maestro sampler set.

Really beautiful leaves, like a tin full of little ampersands. Not just gold, but a range of colors that ends somewhere with dark green.

I love how Yunnan smells, dry leaf, wet leaf, steeped tea-all of it. This has a rich, smooth malty scent with tangy, champagne-like high notes, but it’s more complex than that. There’s something that’s almost like tobacco, something almost like cocoa. A lot going on.

Peachy-golden in the cup with a wonderful malty-leathery aroma. The flavor is interesting and I wonder whether I should try it with more leaf. It’s not as rich as I expected, but it’s very smooth, and leaves a really pleasant, sweet hay-like aftertaste. Like with the Yunnan gold, I can taste something that I am sure is what is described as pepper, but without the spicy kick of pepper.

I should try this next to the Yunnan Gold some day as I quite liked that one as well, and see how they compare. Since it has been a while and I don’t really remember that one apart from my notes, I’m rating this the same for now as a sort of placeholder.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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336 tasting notes

I’ve had this forever and I haven’t even tried it yet. It seemed like a good tea to both wake up and relax with, which is definitely what I need! I got a new car, that just happens to be a stick shift. I’ve learned how to drive it, and have everything down except hills. In a few days, I go back to my university and it’s located in “hill country” AND everyone gets as close behind you as they possibly can! I had to stop and take a sip there, just thinking about it makes me anxious. I was planning on practicing today, but a storm looks to be coming up. Maybe I’ll just sit here and drink tea all day instead.

I’m not sure what separates teas into the Masters Collection, but this is definitely good. It smells like some kind of warm, sweet bread baking. I went with three minutes and I feel like you wouldn’t want to go longer than that with this tea, as I think I can taste it just starting to be bitter. It has a kind of sweet and savory flavor. While I like the taste of this tea, I don’t think it is quite worth the price on adagio.

Edit: As this cooled, the flavors, especially the sweet, came out a lot more. I would suggest letting this one cool a good bit before drinking it.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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599 tasting notes

This is an extremely pretty tea to look at, with the nice little golden curls. It’s named appropriately. And I am a HUGE fan of Yunnan teas in general, I loved Yunnan Jig and Yunnan Gold from Adagio, so this is the next logical step. It was out of stock when I wanted it the first time so I put in an order then and then forgot about it until last week when I got a random email from Adagio saying my order had shipped. What order? But it all made sense again when it arrived. This one actually comes in a tin, which is nice. I will probably be going through it pretty quickly though, which is unfortunate, considering the high price, because Adagio recommends 2 level teaspoons for a cup of tea, rather than the one I usually use. I think I’ll be able to get a TON of resteeps out of this though, considering how absolutely dark the first steep came out. And Strong.

The flavour is pepper and malt and tobacco and leather and sweet potato and other things I can’t identify. A very complex brew with a full body. This is something of a POW IN THE FACE tea, so probably best for in the morning rather than in the afternoon when I’m drinking it right now. And in the morning lets you resteep it all day so there’s more time. I’m always a bit wary of letting tea leaves sit overnight after a brew. I know there’s nothing really wrong with doing that, except it turns the brew basket brown eventually, and I’m not even afraid of germs but for some reason I get the oogies when I think about it.

Anyway back to the tea, I really like this tea, but compared to Yunnan Gold from the same company, I’m not sure it’s worth the increase in price. Actually I’m pretty sure it’s not. But it was worthwhile to buy it to try once. This is my first tea from Adagio’s Master line of teas.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Second steep, added a bit more sugar this time. Seriously I think this is one of the thickest mouthfeels I’ve had in possibly ever.

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1328 tasting notes

It’s cold and dark outside. There was no heat on in the train home from work and I’ve just recently managed to get properly warm again after that trip with the help of a big cardigan. Tea is of course also needed for the final warmth touch. Still had five tins of untried goodies from Auggy and this is one of them. Or was, as there was only leaf enough for one pot with the amount of leaf I tend to use. BUT there was exactly the amount of leaf that I would use for my pot! What an awesome coinkidink!

These leaves are just about the cutest leaves I’ve ever seen. They’re brightly golden and all curly and bow-y. Very decorative. Of course I was so tied up in the leaves being purdy and the fact that Auggy managed to hit exactly my perfect amount, that I forgot to smell them.

Adagio suggests a steeping time of 3-5 minutes. Habitually I use more leaf and a shorter steep. 3 minutes? That’s an eternity! With a black I always start at one minute and work from there these days. It hasn’t failed me yet. Obviously I had no intentions of following Adagio’s advice there. Which means that the result of the steeping is erm… rather up in the air. :)

This tea smells like wet dog. I’m sorry, but it does. Not stinky-wet dog. But a definite and very specifically wet dog. It’s a very spicy aroma, and very peppered. (I wonder if the pepper note is the source of that sneeze attack I had a few minutes ago) I used to consider golden yunnan a rather smoky sort and I was amazed when others identified it as pepper rather than smoke. Pepper? Really? With the aroma of this one, however, I too am getting the pepper. Loud and clear. No smoke. Just pepper.

What an interesting flavour. It has a strong oaky note, which rather reminds me of roiboos. Or maybe leaning more towards honeybush. It’s that category anyway. It’s sort of like the tea for people who would like to like roiboos but don’t. If you don’t like rooibos and don’t want to like it, don’t be scared away by this, though. It’s not that rooibos-y. This is the primary flavour.

Then there is that note that I tend to think of as semi-smoky. I’m finding it less and less so the more times I try Yunnans and more and more leaning towards the more standard pepper-y suggestion.

On the first sip I got a very initial pang of pure honey. It was sweet and fresh and so honeylike that I almost couldn’t believe it. Maybe I shouldn’t believe it. I can’t seem to find that note again.

There’s a rather nice lingering aftertaste to this. It leaves that coolness in the mouth, like after having something with peppermint. Not as pronounced, but definitely there. Along with that is the aftertaste of the tea, which seems to be rather true to the actual flavour of the tea itself. There’s something familiar about it, though. It kind of reminds me of the aftertaste I get from Kusmi’s Samovar blend. One wonders if that one has Yunnan in it…? (The tin just says Indian and Chinese teas. Not that helpful)

This is a tea that it would be easy to dislike. If you don’t like these qualities in a tea, you won’t like this one, because it does have a rather distinct flavour. On the other hand, if you like these qualities in a tea, you might really like this one a lot for the same reason.

I happen to quite like it, and I shall re-steep the leaves until they bleed.


Haha! Glad it was enough! I only ordered a sample tin of this one so I didn’t have a lot but I figured since it was another unavailable-to-you Maestro Collection one, a little share was better than nothing, yes? :)
But this sounds tasty (well, except for the wet dog thing) – I look forward to trying it!


Make sure you clean the pot afterwards though. It may not initially have a very strong aroma, but it clings! something awful. Good thing there’s plenty more Jackee leaves left, I’d have been so cross if I’d ruined it all with Yunnan aromas.


Bad Yunnan! Bad!

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911 tasting notes

I had a Tea-Off today between this (previously untried) tea and Chicago Tea Garden’s Golden Bi Luo. If you want to see the tea off (and pictures), you can hit here But for those just interested in how this tea shakes down for me, here you go:

This is a really good tea. It’s sweet so somewhat dessert-y but the flavor kept developing (and surprising – bake-y! cinnamon! tobacco! honey! brown sugar!) through multiple steeps (and all signs point to it being able to go for more). Later steeps (I have currently stopped at 3 but might go for another one or two as I make dinner) had a heavier flavor so would be morning appropriate but it is smooth enough for any time of day. (If you are a first-steep only type person this is probably more of an afternoon tea since the first steep is the smoothest/lightest bodied steep.) I really enjoyed this one and it’s definitely something I would buy again.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Hah! I gave it 87 points. Taste Twinnyness strikes again!


Scary! I hadn’t even noticed that! :)

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190 tasting notes

When I opened this sample of tea I had never seen raw leaves that look so beautiful. They look soft, are golden and are curly.The appearance is very aesthetically pleasing and made me want to try the tea immediately. I have never tried a Yunnan Golden Curls tea before,and I am sad that this was my first because it was a great tea. Onto the tea, despite the light color of the raw leaves, the liquor was significantly darker than expected. Sipping on it, I was delighted by a savory flavor of something that reminds me of sweet potatoes or yams. I also get some creaminess in the tea, which made for a very smooth cup. Yunnan teas are known for their unique peppery flavor profiles and this tea was not lacking that at all. On the back end of the taste was peppery, as if you had added some pepper into the tea, which is a very interesting flavor and probably my favorite aspect of it! All in all, what a great tea, i’m so happy to have tried it!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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559 tasting notes

Now I’m kinda sad that I traded most of this to QueenOfTarts. (But I love to trade, so I’m just excited about all the tea I received from her, muahaha.)

This is a fantastic yunnan. I’m really impressed with Adagio on this one. I see why it’s in their Masters collection of teas. The dry leaves are like curled-up spiders, glossy and different shades of tan and brown. When steeped, they unroll long and slender, pointed at the end. The liquor is dark brown, and smells very strong.

The taste is powerfully yunnan — sweet and fruity and croissant-like. Almost chocolatey. There’s also something in it that reminds me of marshmallows! I’m in love. It’s truly blissful. The kind of tea that would put a smile on my face in the morning every day. This is just as good if not slightly better than Teavivre’s full leaf yunnan. But for the price, I’ll take Teavivre. The 2 week wait is worth the price difference.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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865 tasting notes

I must say, 2nd to steepster- I love twitter. Adagio said that they were looking for people to taste and review their new (yet to be introduced) single estate teas so I volunteered. I was thinking 2, maybe 3. No. They gave me 8 different teas! Some observations: label change! It’s not only visually more appealing, I love that they put the leaf:water ratio on them (in grams yet!) and they have tweaked the temps/times as well. They now use 185 F instead of 180 and include 205 and they give ranges for steeping times- 1-2min, 2-3min, 3-4min, and 3-5min for the teas they gave me. Sadly, they still treat Pu Erh like a black. I’m not a non chai black tea person, but was given 2. One of them was this and I’ve never tried golden curls before so I decided to dive in. The golden color makes me less worried lol.

Maestro Collection: Set 2, tea #2

The raw leaf looks like golden raw ramen noodles with a fuzzy texture and the aroma is lighter than I expected from a black tea and slightly peppery.

Steeped as suggested.

Given the color of the raw leaf, I’m surprised at the darkness of the decanted tea. It’s almost as dark as coffee. The aroma is very much like the raw leaf, although there is also a sweetness coming thru.

When I taste it, I know this isn’t a dark oolong. It’s definitely like a lot of black teas I’ve had, but lighter and less offensive to my personal tastes. The peppery of the Yunnan is there, but not as strong as it might be in a chai. There’s also a smooth caramely sweetness (that must be the toffee they speak of) that prevents the tea from punching you in the face. As it cools I’m definitely getting both a sweet potato taste and texture as well as a hint of what I’m guessing is leather. If you like Yunnan teas and/or their sweet potato pie tea this is a must try.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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337 tasting notes

This tea does not disappoint. I’m having steep #3 and it’s still awesome.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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