Review: California Tea House Yunnan Golden Buds

Black Tea, California Tea House, Yunnan Tea Add comments
Dan’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Once again, Yunnan Gold is an extraordinary tea, and CTH's offering is on the top end of the scale, while somehow maintaining one of the lowest costs among competitors. An extraordinary value that'll make you forget about any other black tea. This is all you need."
Dan’s Teaview: 10/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 10/10, Brad gave it 7/10, Lynn gave it 9.5/10
Your Reviews: 10/10
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californiayunnanI'd love to meet the family that owns and operates the California Tea House. Their tastes are rather impeccable with their choices of fine teas from around the globe. Given that their selections are downright tantalizing, surely they could not possibly miss any chance to offer the best tea out there - Yunnan Gold. So it was not really a surprise to find it among their offerings. As with pretty much every Dian Hong that comes my way, I toss aside any number of teas in my midst to make way for the beautiful Yunnan Gold, and I dove into this one immediately.

CTH claims this as "Yunnan Pure Gold" -- the highest rated Dian Hong. I wouldn't argue with that, though I've seen Pure Gold teas that have been more consistently "brighter" in appearance. Here, the dry leaf consists of many golden tips - there are a sprinkling of darker colored buds throughout, ranging from greyish brown to a light grey-black -- yet still not that mahogany color encountered in many non-Pure Gold Yunnans. Overall the hue of the leaves is more consistent than many Yunnan Gold teas I've encountered, so let's consider this one a Pure Gold as stated. The size of the leaves is quite varied however - ranging from some settling dust, to small broken pieces, to full richly curled plump leaves, to long and wiry thin buds. The aroma is a familiar one - richly sweet and woody, a touch of mushroom, a bit earthy ... this reminds me of one particular scratch-n-sniff sticker I had as a kid some 30 years ago, one of my favorite ones. The scent wafts through my memory like it was yesterday, but for the life of me I can't recall what on earth that sticker would have been representing.

I maintain a brewing pattern of roughly 200-degree water at just around the 2 minute mark. This works perfectly to extract out two equally delicious cups (at least), with a third cup almost as fine. On cup #1, the liquor brews up to a coppery tea color. The taste is exquisite and familiar. Beautiful, and just as delicious as that first sacred sip of Pure Gold that ever crossed my lips. The second cup's liquor is more sunny gold, with less red in the hue. The taste is just as exquisite as the first cup - perhaps even more so, as the sweetness really comes to the forefront, and the mouthfeel is superior as well. For the third cup, I maintain a 3 minute steep (also at just-below-boiling) to maximize that phenomenal flavor. It comes through just as beautifully. Slightly more subdued, and more smooth as a result, but that flavor is still there, and this tea can easily produce three very satisfying cups per teaspoon (at a minimum!).

Perhaps the very best thing about this tea, for somebody as frugal as me, is its price. As one of the finest teas on the market for my personal preference, Yunnan Gold teas in general are very low cost for the extremely-high quality you get out of them. CTH's offering is even more cost effective than most competitors, making it the best choice for stockpiling a few metric tons of the stuff before they get smart and boost the price.

— To purchase California Tea House Yunnan Golden Buds, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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4 Responses to “Review: California Tea House Yunnan Golden Buds”

  1. Lynn Says:

    My mouth is watering, reading this review. Definitely have to try this, Yunnan being my favorite of favorites. Totally agree about CTH. Have you tried their Golden Monkey Paw yet? Superb! I’ve filed a review of that, not up yet.

  2. Cindy Says:

    Dan, just wanted to let you know that thanks to your high praise, I ordered some of this one for myself last night! Yunnan’s are one of my favorites anyway!

  3. Dan Says:

    Thanks, ladies! 🙂

  4. Jenn Says:

    I purchased this a few weeks ago and am trying to figure out why I haven’t tried it yet. Anxious to make a cup after reading this! Thanks, Dan!

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