Yunnan Spiral Buds

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Carolyn
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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From Upton Tea Imports

This handcrafted selection is shaped into an attractive spiral shape. The liquor has delicate cocoa undertones with fruity hints and a smooth, creamy and full-mouth feel. An interesting departure for a classic Yunnan.

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4 Tasting Notes

110 tasting notes

I’ve been having a problem reading my NOTICES section since Friday, so now I have 40 unread! I wish this was fixed. Anywho, I also thought that meant I couldn’t post reviews, but here I am posting a review.

I have a another problem. I tend to save samples, especially if a special tea is sold out! It’s weird I know, but thankfully I was coaxed into drinking this one. :)) Let me start by saying this tea looked and smelled amazing!! Dry leaves are beige/brown spirals smelling of intense chocolate aroma, with an earthy back note. Watching the full leaves unfurl in glass is just beautiful. Cup color is medium dark brown-but was lighter along my cups edge.

The wet leaves smelled like Autumn leaves with a burnt brown sugar sweetness. As the leaves cooled, the Fall leaf aroma intensified, while the sweetness mellowed to the background. Smelling above the glass rim, I got some oxygen, mixing with the fall leaf aroma, reminding me of walking through piles of leaves on a cool, crisp autumn day! Totally immersing my sniffer, I got full blown fall leaf aroma. After cooling further, the fall leaf aroma gave way to an earthy mushroom aroma. Finally I took the wet leaves to my nose and sniffed deeply. I smelled fall leaves with a sweet note….but something deeper…like burning leaves. AMAZING!!

The cup itself was more earthy, with mushrooms, and a honey/woody sweetness. The flavor was fantastic-like fall leaves in a cup, with a mellow earthiness, and slight mushrooms. I’ve never done it, but it tastes like eating fall leaves. :)) A very full mouth feel, the flavors stay on the palate a long time!

A total, complete, multi-layered tea experience for the eyes, nose, tongue, and throat! I could go broke drinking this tea…….should have bought more. :-/ WAIT!! WHAT IS THIS? My tea is gone, but I can still smell Autumn in my cup! WOW! Post cup aromatics. Now that’s a perfect tea experience! :))

Cupped: Friday, January 13, 2012.

Reviewed: Monday, January 16, 2012.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

Same issue with notices… Mine claims I have 51 Unread : (


44 and counting…….:-//


Another one to go on the Upton wish list. For a long time now, my notices go to ten instead of zero, so if it says I have sixteen, I actually have six.


Mine’s been stuck on 6 for days. So annoying.

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328 tasting notes

This is a fairly strong and intense yunnan. It definitely benefits from some added sugar. With the addition of sugar, I can detect some cocoa notes midway thru the sip. Like unsweetened cocoa…not as cocoa-ey as Dawn- but promising….

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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38 tasting notes

I like this tea a lot. It has a good toasty and mildly nutty quality and it is fine to resteep. It is more medium bodied, and so, to me an all day tea. It reminds me of Copper Knot Hongcha by Teavana, though that is a darker tea. They are actually similarly priced.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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224 tasting notes

Sharp and strong, which is good for the morning but bad for me at other times. There is a cocoa note that appears midway through the quaff and it is of the bitter cocoa variety. If I drank my tea with sugar or honey, this is a tea I would use it with.

The tea leaves are quite pretty with their hand-made spirals, but one cannot buy a tea just for beauty. Well, ok, I sometimes do. But in this case, I probably won’t.

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