Verdant Tea

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

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

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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: 

Hand Fired Qianjiazhai Black Tea (25g)

Master Zhou is still experimenting with other farmers in Qianjiazhai to produce new black tea offerings each year. The cooperative started with simple oxidized and sun dried black tea without any processing. Recently they have begun experimenting with wok-roasted hand finished black tea. 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. Anybody who loves black tea will love this wild complex black tea offering from the Dongsa Cooperative.

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2021 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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Laoshan Gongfu Black (25g)

Laoshan Gongfu Black is one of the most difficult finishes for the He Family, requiring flat-pressing and hand-twisting and curling to achieve the final shape and finish. Mr. He saves this technique for his finest spring harvests, and this year we've been able to secure more of this spring's beautiful Gongfu Black with creamy honey-packed flavor and delicious "dessert" aromatics paired with a mineral aftertaste.

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Tieguanyin Jin Jun Mei (25g)

While Tieguanyin Xiaozhong uses smaller leaves for a traditional black tea, the Liu Family'a Tieguanyin Jin Jun Mei uses large Tieguanyin buds, orange with down, for a unique and particularly uncommon offering. This is a chance to taste the rich, sweet and savory flavor of bud material in the naturally floral Tieguanyin varietal. This tea is a clear demonstration that farmers like the Liu Family are not tied by tradition to only make what is currently accepted with the varietals they grow.

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2021 Yunnan Golden Jasmine (25g)

This spring harvest pre-Qing Ming white tea is traditionally scented and made with Da Bai varietal white tea. This white tea is not sprayed with artificial oils or aromas. Instead, it is dried together with fresh jasmine blossoms scattered among the buds, allowing the natural aroma of the jasmine to absorb over several days into the tea itself. The process of adding fresh wild Yunnan jasmine blossoms is repeated six times over six days to get a full rich and creamy infusion that holds its intense sweetness and natural potency over many steepings. The creamy dessert-like Yunnan silver needle white tea is the perfect delicate pairing with Lincang's local luscious jasmine.

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2021 Yunnan 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. This year's harvest is full and complex with cooling cedar, and spiced nutmeg and cinnamon undertones to bolster the luxurious creamy base.

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