Golden Snail Yunnan Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Pastries, Apricot, Butter, Chocolate, Earth, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Molasses, Plums, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Toast, Vanilla, Wood, Chestnut, Cocoa, Creamy, Smooth, Sweet, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Cantaloupe, Grain, Oats, Salt, White Grapes, Floral, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Cacao, Broth, Raisins, Gardenias, Maple, Winter Honey, Peanut, Roasted nuts, Tobacco, Pepper, Bitter, Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Brown Sugar, Oak wood, Wet Earth
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by OMGsrsly
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 14 oz / 408 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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105 Tasting Notes View all

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

This Yunnan black tea was harvested in early spring (2014) and carries a robust and delicious flavor profile! The first thing you taste is a the thick honey flavor giving way to creamy cocoa with a touch of malt. A heavy molasses-like sweetness lingers on your tongue while juicy morel plays with a hint of gardenia in the aftertaste. This tea is delicious hot as well as iced and holds up very well to three or more infusions!

Milk Chocolate, Molasses, Malt, Morel, Cream, Gardenias


Our preferred style for this tea is gongfu.

Western Style:
Steep 1 teaspoon (1.8g) of leaves in 8 ounces of 205ºF water for 3 minutes.
2nd infusion: 5 minutes.
3rd infusion: 8 minutes.

Gongfu Style:
Use 1.5g of leaf per 30ml (1 fl. oz.) of 205ºF water
Infusion times: 20s, 15s, 30s, 45s, 1m15s, 2m, 3m

About Whispering Pines Tea Company View company

Whispering Pines Tea Company is dedicated to bringing you the most original, pure, beautiful tea blends. We use only the highest quality ingredients available to create additive-free teas teas inspired by the pristine wilderness of Northern Michigan. Our main focus is on customer satisfaction and quality.

105 Tasting Notes

882 tasting notes

Mmm this is a marvelous tea :) so smooth with caramel and chocolate notes.

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8542 tasting notes

backlog from yesterday – thanks again to dexter for letting me try this one. On the whole, this wasn’t a bad cup of tea, but i’m glad that this is one that i don’t feel the need to order from WP. There was a bitterness there that i didn’t love. still not a bad cup..just not one i need to keep around.

Final Count yesterday: 114

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1 tasting notes

I first had this about one year ago, and it blew me away from the start. The burst of a very vibrant, sweet-ish scent I could sit and inhale for an hour, and the combination of malty and honeyed flavors (to my taste buds – I am a fairly novice tea drinker) made this an instant favorite, and the one I choose when wanting to kill a good amount of time relaxing with a cuppa.

Over the next year, I tried many other Yunnans and blacks, thinking that I might find something comparable to the Golden Snail. So far, nothing even comes close. This tea is otherworldly, smooth and so layered. Stands up to repeated steeps, too.

Along with Earl Gold and Imperial Gold Buds, this tea has solidified Whispering Pines as my ultimate go-to for spectacular teas. Brenden is on to something really special, and I am happy to be able to experience it. Peerless.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Pastries

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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321 tasting notes

Okay, I’m finally back on Steepster after a nearly week-long absence. It’s not that I haven’t been drinking tea during this time, I just haven’t been posting reviews. Specifically, I have been working my way through larger amounts of several teas I have had for some time, one of which was this Yunnan black tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse to open the tea up, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted pleasant aromas of chocolate, malt, and wood. After the rinse, I detected aromas of brown sugar, toast, honey, sweet potato, and molasses as well. The first infusion produced a similar aroma with hints of butter, fruit, and vanilla bean. In the mouth, I picked up on gentle notes of dark chocolate, molasses, butter, wood, toast, malt, and brown sugar underscored by subtle hints of earth, honey, sweet potato, and fruit. Subsequent infusions brought out impressions of vanilla bean, baked bread, apricot, orange, maple syrup, honey, smoke, raisin, sweet potato, moist earth, and plum. The later infusions were smooth, offering hints of minerals, bread, toast, smoke, and malt underpinned by a slight honey and fruit sweetness.

I found this to be an extremely nice Yunnan black tea. It was a little more mellow than anticipated, but it had a tremendous amount to offer. It was definitely on par with the other Chinese black teas I have tried from Whispering Pines Tea Company. Of those I have tried so far, this one might be my favorite.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Chocolate, Earth, Honey, Malt, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Molasses, Plums, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Toast, Vanilla, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

They are great for Earl Gold, just sayin’.

Daylon R Thomas

People were either impressed or underwhelmed with that one.


Daylong, I noticed that myself. People either really loved both this and Earl Gold, or thought both were just okay. I’ve yet to be underwhelmed by any of the black teas offered by Whispering Pines. I’ve found all to be pretty consistent across the board.


*Daylon. Stupid autocorrect.

Daylon R Thomas

Lol I get that a lot. At least it rhymes with Oolong lol

Daylon R Thomas

Their Imperial was one of the most impressive gold blacks I first tried. You should see my note about it-I was raving about that session because of the caramel goodness I got.


I loved the Imperial Gold Bud Dian Hong myself. I bought an ounce of the Spring 2016 harvest last year and finally drank it a couple months ago. I love their Yunnan Gold Tips too. The only one of their pure black teas that didn’t wow me that much was the Wildcrafted Dian Hong. It’s not that it was even a bad tea, it just wasn’t quite as strong as the others in my eyes.

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81 tasting notes

I found this one really fascinating.
Nose; I got a definite really good cigar note, now I used to smoke cigars so for me this was more nostalgic than off putting, be warned…sweet potato, leather, earth, toasted grain.
Palate; nice full mouth, slight cigar again — so unusual, molasses, malt, sweet potato, a light floral note.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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6 tasting notes

I bought this tea about a year ago. I was very pleased with the service I got from Whispering Pines, they were prompt with shipping and included a generous sample. I was intrigued to buy this tea for obvious reasons- it’s unique. I am not a black tea fan, but I decided I’d give this a shot. I was very pleased at how much “soul” this tea had. By far the best black tea I’ve ever had and probably one of the best teas I’ve ever had in general. I give it a 91 instead of a 100 because it is on the pricey side, but if you have the coin to spare go for it!

Flavors: Chestnut, Honey, Molasses, Plums

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43 tasting notes

I like this one. Such tiny looking curled up leaves are cute. Exactly what I’m wanting this morning. Warm, smooth, relaxing to sip on after a 2 hour commute to work this morning. Flavor stays good even after its had a chance to cool down (this office is way too cold).

And, of course, its out of stock. Otherwise I’d get more for myself for Christmas.

Ohh, but the Imperial Gold Buds are in stock again. My poor bank account,

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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333 tasting notes

The more I experience Chinese black teas, the more I’m learning to appreciate black teas in general.

Steeped this one in a gravity steeper with boiling water for about 3 minutes. The result was a nice, red liquor with a deep, bready, chocolatey aroma. Each sip has a smooth texture with the taste of cocoa and bready notes, and a creamy, malty aftertaste lingers for quite a while.

I forgot about the tea during the resteep and let it go for a good 10 minutes, but I still got very nice flavor out of it without any unpleasant flavors. Definitely enjoyed this hong, seemingly more than rhinkle, funny enough!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Creamy, Malt, Smooth, Sweet

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2052 tasting notes

I am not sleeping well lately- waking up too early and tossing and turning restlessly. Bleh.
So tea has become a highly critical tool of my morning, even more than usual.
Today I didn’t want anything bitter, sharp or bright. I wanted mellow, but still enough to wake me up. Enter Golden Snail.
This is so warm, with an almost yeasty, bread taste to it. I found it to be very mellow indeed.


Aww, I’m sorry, I hope you’ll be able to get a good rest soon.


Yuck I’ve been in that spot before with the sleep. Not a good time! I hope you figure out a solution soon :)

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921 tasting notes

Operation redo my entire tea area and most the bedroom began last night accidentally. Friends were getting rid of an awesome set of glass shelves that I gladly took off their hands, my teaware hoard is getting out of hand and taking over every spare surface in the room! Currently the shelf is loaded with my teaware, it will be thinned out a bit as soon as I get my shelf inserts for the curio cabinet (one day) then the tea storage shelf needs to have all the tea transferred to a different shelf which needs cleaning off, it is a big project. What is done though is my painting desk was rearranged, the bulk of the desk held my fishtank which was moved to where the teapots previously lived and now my big tea tray lives there. Sadly I realized too late that my tea tray is in a dark cubby so now I need a desk lamp. The things I do for organization in a very small space.

Today I am looking at a tea that is not only tasty, it is pretty! One of the things that first drew me to Dian Hongs is their beautiful golden trichomes, the fuzzy goodness. Whispering Pines Tea’s Golden Snail is definitely a beauty, nice tight little spirals covered in gold with bits of the dark leaf showing through…the color reminds me of my Tortoiseshell cat! Luckily (or sadly) the smell does not remind me of my cat (I wish she smelled like tea) the aroma is lovely, classic notes of malt and cocoa blend with sweet potatoes, maple syrup, and a delicate finish of cherries, walnuts, and cherry blossoms at the finish. It is sweet with just a slight nuttiness, reminding me of a loaded sweet potato that needs to be eaten by me…I clearly need food.

The steeped tea in my beloved Petr Novak pot smells super good, notes of walnuts and sweet potatoes (sweeter than the starchy yams) sandalwood, cocoa, and a woody undertone. The liquid is sweet and rich, notes of sweet potato, molasses, peanuts and walnuts, and a touch of cocoa waft up with the steam from my cup.

First steep is wonderfully rich and sweet, with a thickness that coats the mouth with honey and molasses. The dominant taste for the first steep is sweet honey and starchy but not too starchy sweet potatoes, specifically reminding me of those sweet potato patties that you buy frozen in the South (I assume they are elsewhere but I only ran into them growing up) and a bit of a woody cacao nib finish. The aftertaste is a hint of molasses that lingers for a while.

The second steep, while having the thick mouthfeel of the first, is also joined by a tingly camphor like texture, similar to drinking a Sheng, and something that just screams Yunnan to me. Granted some teas from that region have a stronger tingle than others, and processing does have an impact, but once in a while you get a Dian Hong that feels almost effervescent. The taste is very rich, strong notes of molasses and cocoa blend with peanuts and walnuts with just a hint of sweet potato. The dominant note is definitely dark chocolate, think like the 80% dark (I do love that stuff) with an aftertaste of molasses and cocoa.

This steep is pleasantly mellow, still has a thick mouthfeel, but no longer the tingle. The taste has mellowed out a bit as well, still has strong notes of molasses and stronger notes of sweet potato like the first steep, but the dark chocolate notes have calmed down. There is something new, towards the end with a note of peanut there is a delicate note of dried cherry. It kept teasing me in the aroma but has finally shown up in taste! This is a wonderful tea, an excellent example of a Golden Bi Luo Chun (or Hong Jin Luo, it has a couple names) being visually stunning and wonderfully tasting.

For blog and photos:

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