2016 "Golden Needle" Ripe Pu-erh Tea Cake

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Earth, Fruity, Plum, Smooth, Sweet, Burnt Sugar, Decayed Wood, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Wet Earth, Caramel, Cinnamon, Medicinal, Mineral, Red Fruits, Apricot, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Mushrooms, Spices, Bitter, Burnt, Pastries, Roasted Barley, Vanilla
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Edit tea info Last updated by ChernobylRaptor
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 oz / 153 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

From Yunnan Sourcing

This is the highest grade Golden Needle Ripe Pu-erh we have ever encountered! We bought it all after two tastings and decided to press it into a cake! This little mini cake is the ultimate “Golden Needle” cake. All “Golden Needle” (金针) grade ripe with no other coarser leaf grades mixed in.

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6 Tasting Notes

3 tasting notes

I highly enjoyed this ripe pu-erh. It steeps over 12 gaiwan gongfu brews, and I honestly find it one of the most pleasant teas to drink. The qi hits you early and steadily, but the taste is not harsh in the slightest.

Tasting – It’s a lovely ripe with no harshness. Great mouthfeels, it’s not too heavy or earthy mouthfeels, but I can still feel the thickness of the tea. The taste was fruity and earthy with any hint of bitterness gone by the third pour. I kept tasting plums which I don’t normally taste that in tea.

The reason I said 12+ pours is that the longest I lasted was 12 pours, this could easily last more than that. A really enjoyable tea.

Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Plum, Smooth, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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62 tasting notes

Sweet and bitter. Brews red.

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61 tasting notes

(Gongfu style)
My first ripe puerh so I don’t want to assign a numerical value. Unsure of my numerical rating for this until I try more puerhs. 100C brewing, 2 washes.
Steep1-2 :flash steep(1), 10s(2), cool appearance as the black comes off the leaves like syrup. Nose of dead, wet wood and earth. Goes down smooth, and though tasting burnt/bitter, is quite “wet” and not drying at all. An almost soda-like finish: root beer, maybe coke? There is some early funkiness to this.
3-5 : 15s, 30s, 45s. Sweetness has been cranked up, earth subsides but re-emerges by #5. Root beer/cola predominate. Liquor continues to lighten with each steep.
6-10: 1.5m, 2m, 3.5 m, 3.5m, 5m, 10m and then it falls flat. Had a good run while it lasted! Maybe this is just my first puerh, but it has left me feeling sort of loose in a good way :)

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Decayed Wood, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Wet Earth

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4 tasting notes

A great value for money daily drinking puer cake that’s only made more enticing by the wrapper. The overall mouthfeel of this ripe modestly resembles earth and to a lesser extent, minerals, complemented by the taste of what I’d described as medicinal caramel and cola. And that’s in a way that makes me want to get my puer needle out for more – good stuff.

First infusion is nice and earthy, although clouding over the sweetness a little bit. The second and third infusion is where thise puer really starts to come alive. Sweet cola and caramel notes become significantly more pronounced, sweeter, and fruiter. As you hit the six infusion mark, the cola starts to subside but it’s definitely still there.

Good for the price and definitely a very easy to drink tea that you can have whenever you like. I wish it did have a little more strength and punch, but for the price, you can’t go wrong.

Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Earth, Fruity, Medicinal, Mineral, Red Fruits, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Earth

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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318 tasting notes

This is a very cute tippy little cake, and the youngest ripe I’ve ever bought. I’m a sucker for most of YS’s year of the monkey wrappers. Though if there was ever a year of the red panda I’d buy ALL the cakes! Unfortunately they’re not in the zodiac. Is there somewhere that I can file a petition to have them added?

Brews a nice red brown. The first couple steeps are very funky. Not Bootsy Collins funky, but pretty funky nonetheless. After four rinses I take a sip. Wow! Not what I expected from a young ripe. Nice camphor, mushroom, spice, and a slight fruity apricot note with a brown sugar sweetness. Creamy in the mouth, though not as creamy as the Green Miracle. Reminds me of the 2007 Yong De organic ripe that I’m very fond of and soon to run out of.

This is a very nice tea, give it a few years to let the funk fade out and I think it will turn into something great.

Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Mushrooms, Spices

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

Thanks for the detailed review! I was wondering about this one.
“… give it a few years to let the funk fade out …” At YS or a home pumidor?


It’s a pretty nice tea! Either letting YS age it or storing at home would probably work, though I don’t know how much they have. I’m thinking about getting a tong to put away.


Agreed, how much they have is the question. (Some ebay and Aliexpress sites do list the quantity available.)
Then, there’s the time value of money. The dollars tied up in puerh that’s too young to enjoy. Cash that could be invested or used for another purpose.


The YS USA site lists quantity in stock. However, the new YS China website does not.


Really? I just looked and it appears to be in stock on the China site


Yes, it’s in stock at both sites. But, only the US site indicates the quantity currently in stock.


Ah, I see

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21 tasting notes

Pros: fullness in first few steeps, and interesting sheng-like traits start to appear: fruitiness (apricot?) in both aroma (loved that, intriguing) of steeped leaves and somewhat in aftertaste while still presenting some nice shu sweetness: vanilla pudding, pastry dough (no earthiness or fermentation flavor). Deep coffee-color.

However: First few steeps present a sharp edge to the above: burnt and bitter. While that mellowed out in steep 5, the fifth steep also saw the whole flavor profile and body collapse suddenly. I let steep 7 go for 5 minutes, and was still flat. Finished there.

Conclusion for now: at $11 for 100-gram cake, a 5-gram session will cost 55 cents, so I am happy to have it on hand for those days when I am preoccupied with work and can’t give my full attention to tasting. But for those dedicated tasting sessions, I would definitely save my money to get something with more endurance and a richer flavor and texture profile.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Burnt, Pastries, Roasted Barley, Vanilla

6 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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