Tea: Yunnan Black Gold

A Yunnan Gold from Yunnan Sourcing

Picture of Yunnan Black Gold
Brand:Yunnan Sourcing
Style:Yunnan Gold
Region:Simao, Yunnan, China
# Ratings:3 View All
Product page:Yunnan Black Gold

Review of Yunnan Black Gold

8 of 105 of 55 of 590 of 100

This was a peculiar and rather fascinating tea, a real bargain buy, and a good afternoon tea.

The leaf is very large and has an aroma that is lightly malty, but also rather herbaceous. It smells more like green teas or raw Pu-erh than is typical for a black tea. Both its appearance and aroma remind me of some of the large-leaf Assam black teas I tried some time ago from the company TeaOrb. The leaf is twisted and is brown to orangeish but some leaves have a slight greenish tint. Yunnan Sourcing describes this verbally in the tea description, but for some reason does not capture it in their photos on the site. It looked greener to me!

The leaf is very slow to unfurl and infuses slower than just about any other black tea I've had to date. The leaves are thick and tough and you can steep it for 3-5 minutes and the leaves are still quite wrinkled! If you use a normal amount of leaf I recommend steeping 50-100% longer than you normally would in order to get a typical-strength cup.

The cup is subdued, and I find rather atypical for a black tea, more like an oolong and even somewhat like some aged Pu-erh that has mellowed out. I found this made a great afternoon tea but was oddly unsatisfying when I had it first thing in the morning. The aroma is floral and lightly herbaceous, and the flavor is mild and sweet, although there is also a slight bitterness if you brew it more strongly. This tea tastes a lot like honey has been added.

Resteeps very well; subsequent steeps often have a more balanced flavor and fuller body than the first steep. Overall this tea behaves less like a black tea and more like a Pu-erh or oolong, on steeping.

This tea is very cheap, especially for a tippy tea, at $8 for 100g, I think it may be the lowest-price tea I've tried from Yunnan Sourcing and it's definitely the cheapest I've ever gotten one of these tippy Chinese teas with entirely unbroken leaf. It's especially cheap when you consider it has some of the characteristics of an aged Pu-erh. I tend to dislike shou or ripened Pu-erh, and I find the oxidation of this tea emulates some of the characteristics of flavor and mouthfeel I like in aged sheng Pu-erh, even if it has nowhere near the aromatic complexity. When assessing the price of this tea though, keep in mind though that you may need to use a bit more leaf to get the sort of strength you're looking for, so it's not quite as ridiculously cheap as it looks.

I can see this tea aging well, however not if you want a tea with some kick because it's already so soft.

Overall though I highly recommend this one, especially if you're someone like me who enjoys both black teas and sheng Pu-erh.

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