Review: Zen Tara Golden Yunnan Special

Black Tea, Yunnan Tea, Zen Tara Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The infusion echoed the leaves that spawned it to the palette."
Geoff’s Teaview: 10/10
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The tea drinking experience may be a subjective one, but there are a few universal absolutes. The brighter the green of the matcha powder, the better. The more fuzz on a Silver Needle, the better. The more gold in a Dian Hong (or Yunnan black tea), the better. These three are sure-fire judges of a high-quality product. I've had a few Yunnan blacks that possessed flecks of intermittent gold amidst the twisty dark brown. Zen Tara Tea's Special Grade Yunnan, though, is the first where I've run into nothing but gold. I now know how California prospectors felt.

The young, rolled leaves almost looked like curly Yinzhen that were left out in the sun. The aroma was an earthy sweetness, similar to a Huangya yellow tea by way of a Wuyi oolong. Flecks of young, green leaves also dotted the El Dorado-esque gold tapestry. It was one of the loveliest black teas - on sight alone - that I've ever come across.

Brewing instructions on the Zen Tara Tea site called for 1 tsp per 8oz cup, boiling water, and a four-to-five minute steep. I did it for four minutes to hopefully end up with a delicate and nuanced cuppa. Sure, it was going to be engaging regardless, but I was not in a chancy mood for something so rare looking.

I shouldn't have been surprised when I saw that the liquor brewed to an emboldened gold. The infusion echoed the leaves that spawned it to the palette. The aroma was clean, slightly malty, and even creamy on the nostrils. I hoped the latter would transfer to the taste as well. Oh boy, did it. There was a nuttiness that complimented the buttery aspect, like an unsweetened Butterfinger bar had melted in my mouth. No astringency met the tongue either. To the taste, it had more in common with a full-bodied Indian white tea or a Taiwanese oolong, but without the flaws of both. In short, this was flavorful flawlessness. One of the most perfect black tea cups to part my lips.

— To purchase Zen Tara Golden Yunnan Special, 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.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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2 Responses to “Review: Zen Tara Golden Yunnan Special”

  1. The Gold Debacle | Lazy Literatus Says:

    [...] of an epiphany I had over one particular type of tea. I received a sample of Zen Tara Tea’s Golden Yunnan Special. Looking at it was like beholding beige-like brilliance…and like honey-lathered lightning had [...]

  2. The Lazy Litera"Tea" » The Gold Debacle Says:

    [...] of an epiphany I had over one particular type of tea. I received a sample of Zen Tara Tea’s Golden Yunnan Special. Looking at it was like beholding beige-like brilliance…and like honey-lathered lightning had [...]

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