2021 Yunnan Golden Sprouting Buds black tea

Yunnan Golden Sprouting Buds


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Black Tea


Yunnan Golden Sprouting Buds


Manufacture: traditional hong cha manufacture
Oxidation: fully-oxidized


Appearance: large buds only, 100% tip. Golden color, fuzzy soft buds with an abundance of ‘down’.
Flavor: softly smooth and rich – very distinctive Yunnan flavor
Aroma: burnt sugar and ‘meadow-after-the-rain’ aroma
Liquor: clear, medium-amber colored liquor


Simao Tea Harvesting Area
Puerh (Simao) Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China

2021 Spring Pluck
(April to early-May)


China Spring Tea:


Some early harvest Chinese spring green and black teas are sold by seasonal designations indicating the time in the spring that the tea was harvested and manufactured. The earlier the tea is plucked the smaller the yield of this tea will be for the year (and the more expensive the tea will be.)


Early spring plucked teas:


Pre-Qing Ming tea: 1st Spring Harvesting Season from end of March to before April 5th
An exception to this dating are the spring teas from Yunnan which, because of the warm, semi-tropical weather in that region in spring, can be harvested as early as the end of February.

Pre-Qing Ming teas are the first teas plucked each new spring season. Depending on the location and altitude in each tea-producing region, leaf plucking can begin as early as the middle week of March and continue until April 5th.

Pre-Qing Ming teas command the highest prices because the demand for these teas outpaces the supply each year. This is especially true for the Famous Teas such as Long Ding and Longjing, and certain black teas such as Jin Jin Mai, some Keemuns and Yunnans. The buying fever for these teas is high in China as well as in the West


Yu Qian (Before the Rain) tea: 2nd Spring Harvesting Season from April 5th to April 20thte spring plucked teas:


Gu Yu tea: 3rd Spring Harvesting Season from April 21st to May 6th
Li Xia tea: 4th Spring Harvesting Season from May 7th until May 21st

Autumnal Pluck:  In some locations, in some years, certain sub-varieties of tea bushes will produce an autumn flush, which will usually be quite concentrated in flavor, as it reflects the growth and maturity that the plants have experienced during that year’s growing season. Several locations that are noted for their Autumnal Flush of black tea are Yunnan Province, China; Darjeeling, India; Nilgiri, India; and for oolong Fujian Province, China; and Taiwan.

Use 2 Tablespoons (2-3 grams) per 6 oz water
Steep 1 infusion at 3 – 5 minutes
Water temperature should be 190°F-200°F

Golden Sprouting Buds is also delicious cold, and can be re-steeped numerous times, which is great for yielding the quantity that is needed for iced tea. It will also tolerate a long steep if you choose to do that and then dilute it for drinking hot or cold.

It is a bulky tea, so be sure to use enough – and re-steep!

Is Yunnan black tea dian hong or hong cha?

Terminology for Chinese teas can be confusing. For example, in China hong cha is the term for ‘red’ tea –  what we in the West call black tea. It can be used to describe any tea from any of the black tea producing regions of China. For example: one might refer to a Fujian Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong as a northern Fujian hong cha or a Keemun black tea from Anhui Province as an Anhui hong cha.

Conversely, hong cha teas of Yunnan Province are called dian hong instead. Dian is an old historical name for parts of today’s Yunnan Province, so dian hong is still how Yunnan black tea are referred to. Some say that dian hong should just refer to the modern-style plantation style teas and not the forest teas made from indigenous varieties of old tea bush varietals.
We, on the other hand, generally use the term dian hong to mean the opposite. Yunnan has such a long history of producing both Pu-erh and dian hong that we think dian hong should be reserved for tea in the historical since –  the traditional, small village teas made from forest gathered leaf materials.

On rested and aged Yunnan Dian Hong:

New harvest seasonal Yunnan black teas are delicious – but rested or aged versions of these teas can be twice as rewarding! Tea Trekker’s Yunnan black teas are plucked in various types of tea gardens – older plantation gardens and forested arbor bushes and trees (wild to semi-wild plants). Not all black tea ages well, but we find that hand-crafted teas from both Yunnan Province and regions of Eastern China keep and age wonderfully.

The bushes and trees that are plucked to make out Yunnan teas represent different generations of plants and are comprised of many unique cultivars found growing throughout the heavily forested mountain tea growing regions of Yunnan. These varietals and cultivars are broad-leafed varieties – known collectively as dayeh – that produce large, long leaves that reflect the richness of their forested habitat and the plants close genetic connection to the wild tea trees of Assam India – Camelis assamica. This habitat and size is one of the reasons why Yunnan black teas are so rich and full in the mouth.

Tea such as this offers the luxury of time as they will store well and maintain and develop flavor complexity for several years.  We love Yunnan dian hong and prefer to drink them when they have mellowed a bit – one or two years after manufacture. In most cases, the teas can be kept for much longer.

The key to ageing these teas is proper storage (cool and reasonable airtight – a ceramic jar is ideal) which will serve to underscore and preserve the inherent concentration of flavor elements that premium Yunnan leaf has in abundance.

This golden-colored, whole bud tea is both beautiful to look at and delicious to drink.

Golden Sprouting Buds is a rich, full-bodied Yunnan dian hong.  It is very creamy and smooth while being very full-flavored and satisfying. It is comprised 100% of soft, sweet, tender tea buds.

The buds are graceful and sturdy. Big, plump and beautiful, these buds have the golden tan/yellow color that is the hallmark of Yunnan tea buds that have been plucked from broad-leaf Yunnan arbor tea trees in remote, high mountain forested locales.

Our current selection of Yunnan Golden Sprouting Buds is from this year’s spring pluck. Due to the early season in this garden, the bud break is early in the year, and allows the buds a considerable time to grow while still being in the ‘spring’ season. The buds are overall larger and more straight in shape than our current autumnal pluck of Jumbo Golden Buds.

Try this tea without milk and you may find that it is just perfect enjoyed that way. It is also delicious cold, and can be re-steeped numerous times, which is great for yielding the quantity that is needed for iced tea.  Yunnan Golden Sprouting Buds will also show well after a long steep if you choose to do that, and then you can dilute the liquor to taste, for drinking hot or cold.

This tea is grown and carefully crafted in the Simao Tea Harvesting area.

Yunnan has a long history of producing both Pu-erh and dian hong made from forest-gathered leaf, in addition to the small-holder and moderate-sized tea gardens that are scattered throughout the ‘hills’ of Yunnan Province. We love dian hong such as this tea – a traditional, small-village-made tea that is not like any other small-village-made tea, due to the wonder of terroir.