Verdant Tea

Liquid Gold: Tasting through China's Golden Buds Black Teas

Liquid Gold: Tasting through China's Golden Buds Black Teas

Regular Price $40.50 CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK
THRU 12/31

This bundle includes five 25g bags of black tea for 125g total (25 sessions).

There is nothing like tender downy tea buds, hand-picked in cool early-season weather and hand finished by passionate small family growers. Buds have a unique flavor, and an intense sweetness from the stored sugars and the extremely limited sun exposure. In traditionally crafted black tea this flavor translates to honey, sweet potato, toasty bread, and other rich deep caramelized notes with a thick commanding texture.

This tasting kit is an exploration of all the ways buds bring flavor and texture to tea from three different regions and three different farmers dedicated to sustainable farming and meticulous craft.

This bundle includes four 25g bags of black tea for 100g total (20 sessions).

There is nothing like tender downy tea buds, hand-picked in cool early-season weather and hand finished by passionate small family growers. Buds have a unique flavor, and an intense sweetness from the stored sugars and the extremely limited sun exposure. In traditionally crafted black tea this flavor translates to honey, sweet potato, toasty bread, and other rich deep caramelized notes with a thick commanding texture.

This tasting kit is an exploration of all the ways buds bring flavor and texture to tea from different regions and different farmers dedicated to sustainable farming and meticulous craft.

 Taste & compare buddy black teas: 

Qianjiazhai Hand Fired Black (25g)

The Dongsa cooperative wild-forages the leaves for their hand-fired black tea from trees well over one hundred years old, growing on the cool high elevation slopes of the Ailao National Forest Preserve. The biodiversity and well established root stock makes for deeply nuanced and complex tea, normally reserve for pressing and aging as sheng pu’er. This experimental offering is a new project by the cooperative to hand fire over low heat in a wok for a more classic Dian Hong style. The application of heat makes this more closely related to other Yunnan Black, and indeed it shares a rich sweet potato thickness similar to our Yunnan Golden Fleece, but with Qianjiazhai’s signature tulsi complexity and touches of citrus, and florals.

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Qianjiazhai Sun Dried Black (25g)

This tea is wild-foraged by the Li Family of the Dongsa Cooperative within the Mt Ailao National Forest Preserve. The silvery buds and twisting golden leaves are picked from ancient tea trees between one hundred and eight hundred years old scattered between other evergreens, and wildflowers on the rocky mountainside. This labor-intensive tea to harvest is actually allowed to sun-roast and oxidize without applying heat in a wok. Because more moisture is retained in the leaf, this black tea is a fantastic candidate for aging like traditional sheng pu’er. Only a high-elevation remote place like Qianjiazhai can count on enough sunlight in the spring for this old but rare finishing technique. The result is a tea with the sweet malt of a black tea but the staggering complexity and herbaceous undertones of a sheng pu’er. A true standout!

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Golden Fleece (25g)

This spring harvest Golden Fleece gets its name to honor the soft, rich textural experience of tasting this beautiful small harvest tea. Golden Fleece is hand picked from wild growth (unmanaged) Yunnan Da Bai tea bushes over forty years old. The biodiversity of the growing region and deeper roots mean a more complex flavor and aroma. Only the most perfect large tender buds are hand-harvested, and carefully hand-finished. The down from the buds infuses into every cup, yielding a uniquely thick mouthfeel.

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Laoshan Gongfu Black (25g)

This tea highlights Mr. He’s delicate and meticulous hand rolling and straightening technique developed in producing Pine Needle Green, but introducing traditional sun-oxidation to make a rich and deeply complex black tea. The result is Lashan’s most mineral-forward and complex black tea to date. This tea is fed by mountain spring water, picked by hand, and cultivated sustainably using traditional chemical-free farming techniques including growing rows of soybean between rows of tea to restore nitrates to the soil. The finished tea picks up the rocky minerality of the soil, and careful low temperature roasting brings out deep brown sugar sweetness.

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Black Buds Jin Jun Mei (25g)

Xingcun Xiaozhong varietal tea in Wuyishan can produce black and gold buds. While the golden bud expression has been encouraged through cultivation for its stunning color, Li Xiangxi and her family often prefer the depth and complexity of black buds. This tea still uses the same tiny buds and the same meticulous hand-picking as their golden buds Jin Jun Mei, but with a more spiced and savory flavor profile.

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Zhu Rong (25g)

Lady Zhu Rong was a legendary dagger-wielding warrior-queen of Yunnan descended from a god of fire. The toasty-savory spice and sweet, creamy boxy of this Yunnan black tea evoke the kingdom of Dian, an independent state before it was conquered by China and renamed Yunnan. Dian Hong is a relatively new kind of tea introduced in the 80's that has recently taken China by storm for its full body and depth of flavor that comes from its signature downy buds. While budset black teas from Fujian tend to be very crisp, Yunnan golden bud harvests like this Zhu Rong are much bigger and creamier.

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