Ancient Golden Yunnan

Tea type
Black Tea
Yunnan Dian Hong
Chocolate, Sweet, Bitter, Potato, Sweet Potatoes, Honey, Raisins, Stonefruits, Thick, Malt, Pepper, Cocoa, Cream, Plums
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf
Fair Trade, Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by Rishi Tea
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 4 g 14 oz / 428 ml

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88 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Morning cup. It’s very unusual for me to be up this early as I’m a high school student in the midst of my summer break, it really only happens when I can’t sleep and that is the case this morning....” Read full tasting note
  • “This tea has beautiful black and gold leaves and a rich malty peppery taste. This is a robust tea with a raisiny smell and caramel notes. Its mellow and smooth, no bitterness or astringency that...” Read full tasting note
  • “I think this is my third review of this tea. I’ve been sipping it constantly since I made a pitcher last night. I made two quarts with eight teaspoons of this yunnan, and one teaspoon of the DeKalb...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is my last caffeinated tea of the day and I’m glad that I picked this one! It has a great peppery bite with a great caramel sweetness towards the end of the sip. I can tell that I need to...” Read full tasting note

From Rishi Tea

NO LONGER AVAILABLE – See: Ancient Golden Yunnan Black Tea Organic

This certified organic black tea is harvested from Yunnan’s ancient tea trees. Its deeply flavored infusion has notes of peppery spice, chocolate, sweet raisin, and a malty finish. Golden Yunnan has expertly fermented, even graded leaves and big, golden buds. Its wonderfully full-flavored and rich body is a treat for black tea lovers.

About Rishi Tea View company

Rishi Tea specializes in sourcing the most rarefied teas and botanical ingredients from exotic origins around the globe. This forms a palette from which we craft original blends inspired by equal parts ancient herbal wisdom and modern culinary innovation. Discover new tastes and join us on our journey to leave ‘No Leaf Unturned’.

88 Tasting Notes

4847 tasting notes

Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea. I really needed to wake up today as I’m having a hard time shaking off that desire to go back to bed. This helps!

This is a robust, delicious tea. I am really getting the raisin-y taste here, it is nice and sweet. A pleasant malty tone. Rich and bold. I like it very much.

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911 tasting notes

My day started when I went outside to water my plants and discovered that something had clogged the spout of my watering pot. Eventually, I managed to flush the blockage out – caterpillars. A mass of at least a dozen in different sizes combined with either mud or caterpillar goo.

I’ll admit it could be worse – I was fearing it would be a hornet or wasp (as we seem to have a problem with… one of those. I get the confused but the husband has already been stung once.) But still, a wad of caterpillars in my watering pot is not how I wanted to start my morning. Of course, the stray that we took in earlier this week is on antibiotics so her litter box time is… explosive. After cleaning that up, I would so rather go back to the caterpillars.

I need tea. Lots of tea. In a pretty little cup. So I grabbed this one, another new tea that I picked up at the store Tuesday. I needed tea so badly that I skipped the sniffing and went straight to the drinking.

I like Yunnans. They taste a bit like straw to me, but I dunno, I kind of find that groovy. Malt, too, but that’s been a newish flavor for me since I’ve never been one for malted anything so it’s not always the first thing I pick up. It is in this though. Malt then hay with a fruit sweetness that reminds me of my dad’s fig preserves. It’s exactly what it says on the tin (okay, box, it came in a box): “Malty and rich with a mellow, jammy sweetness and subtle accents of plum and raisin.” Again, I get more fig preserves, but fig, plum, preserves, jam. Whatever.

The flavors are a tad bit muddied but then I don’t find that unusual for a Yunnan (unless it is something expensive like Samovar’s Yunnan Golden Buds). There’s a starchy, textured feel to the tea that makes it feel thick and kind of cuddly. Definitely a comforting tea. Which is good for any day that starts with wads of caterpillars.

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409 tasting notes

I’m… not liking this one as much as I’d hoped. They recommend a lot of leaf – I’m using about half the suggestion, at 1 1/2 tsp for 8oz, and I think even this might be too strong? I really don’t know. My steeping time was right on :/ Maybe a second steep will go better?

This tastes dark, a little bitter, but mostly just kind of muddy. Like puerh, almost, without the barnyard flavor. I’m having a lot of trouble pulling individual flavors out of the earthiness. I’ll keep playing with it, but at this point I definitely wouldn’t buy more.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Sounds like you are having a similar problem. I think the steeping instructions are completely off. Did you have any luck adjusting?

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175 tasting notes

Not particularly as strongly sweet the second time around, which is not necessarily a bad or good thing. However, the cooler it gets the sweeter it gets.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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6 tasting notes

I bought this wondering how it would compare to Zhi’s Ancient Forest and found it more different than similar.

The scent of the leaf reminds me of a shoe pu erh with a bit of smoke. Once steeped, the nose reveals the malty raisin everyone keeps pointing out. But sipping, I find the robust black nature (tannins, mild astringency, and peppery notes) competing strongly with the malty goodness. I have to let it sit on my tongue to get to the fruit.

This may be due to steeping technique. I did 3 tsp per 8 oz @ boiling for over 4 minutes. I may back down the temperature and time and see if I can get enough of the milder elements without so much astringency. Overall, a great tea but not really my taste. If it is going to have fruit, I tend to want brighter fruit notes (such a apricot) in my blacks. If it’s going to be earthy, I prefer chocolate overtones.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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17 tasting notes

Dry leaf is incredibly fruity, but the tea is not. Instead, it’s malty, deep, and somewhat tannic. Assam-like, but with less edge. I really like this tea, especially given how strong it is.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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42 tasting notes

Every time I have this it reminds me of Coca-Cola sans the nasty sweetness and carbonation.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

That sounds interesting! I’ve never heard of a tea tasting like soda, accept for flavored teas that are deliberately made to do so.

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42 tasting notes

This is a dark malty tea. The liquid is as black as coffee. There is no harshness, its actually pretty smooth. Some notes of raisins and malt. Similar to an assam without kicking you in the face!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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39 tasting notes

wow, there are a lot of high ratings for this tea! Recently I’ve started drinking some black tea’s: Cream of Earl Grey, Assam fbop, Darjeeling Bergamot, and Vanilla Earl Grey. I’ve really enjoyed all of them.

The first thing that comes to mind when drinking this Yunnan is malty, earthy, and bold. I only steeped it for 3 minutes because I like tea slightly more mild, especially when it comes to the bitterness and robustness associated with some black teas. A three minute steep made this tea very tolerable and enjoyable for me. I didn’t catch any of the caramel finish, in fact, I find this tea very “strict”. It hits you immediately, but dies off just as quick, probably due to the shorter steep time.

It’s a really nice tea, but too malty and strong for my liking. I’m also not a fan of coffee which also may have something to do with my disposition on this tea. I probably wouldn’t buy again, but it’s clear from all of the other ratings that this tea is a hit!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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24 tasting notes

Couple steeps in and this tea really delivers! I’m “not a black tea guy” but this one has only a very slight astringency, almost not existant, and enough character to keep me interested. The dry leaf scent is unremarkable, but don’t forget to take a sniff of the wet leaf because it is full of raisin caramel goodness. This carries through to the flavor of the tea, which has a really surprising natural sweetness. I can really smell the raisin even from a couple feet away as I write this review. If you’re into unique flavors popping up in black tea, don’t miss out on the equally delicious Hong Yue by Rishi.

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Jim Marks

Golden really should almost be thought of as a category unto itself in the same way that yellow and oolong are distinct from green and black. Golden really isn’t like any other tea.

Find a higher quality golden like the “rare grade” from Upton, or something similar and a whole world will open up in not only the cup and the wet leaf, but even in the dry.


Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll definitely check it out because I’m really enjoying this one!

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