Review: Canton Tea Co. Imperial Golden Buds

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co., Yunnan Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea is a real treat, with it's spectacularly sweet finish. It's definitely worth a splurge!"
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.3/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 9.4/10
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cantonimperialbudsDescribed as “Silver Needle's golden counterpart ”, this tea is said to “produce a thick, sweet liquor with an aroma of fruit and honey”. Harvested in Mengku, Yunnan, in the spring of 2012, it was picked from trees at least 150 years old. If I didn't know any better I would think this offering was made up of flower petals. The large, fluffy gold, tan and tangerine-coloured leaves are a pleasure to look at, especially their downy covering. Their aroma is a mild mixture of yeast bread and tannins.

I steeped a heaping teaspoonful of leaves in 250 ml of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes, according to Canton's recommendations. The dark amber cup is delicately scented with baked bread and malt notes. The top notes are mildly malty and tannic. What follows is most striking. The finish displays a distinctly sweet, fruity lift. Canton describes the taste as apricots but personally I'm leaning more towards peaches and plums. Whoever you want to believe, it's delicious! The fruit flavours linger in the aftertaste. The mouth feel is smooth and velvety, making for a decadent cup.

Canton suggests re-steeping the leaves at least 3 times. After 3 minutes, my second brew is generally more robust, with more pronounced hints of malt and caramel and a more astringent, tannic feel. The finish is also stronger, with a more distinct fruit finish.

I try a third steep following a 4 and a half minute-long infusion. The results are a little bland, especially the top notes. The smooth cocoa taste of the finish makes the cup more worthwhile though, especially as it cools.

This tea is a real treat, with it's spectacularly sweet finish. It's most flavourful as it cools, and benefits from being sipped at a slightly cooler temperature to get the full effect of the fruit notes. This offering is on the pricey side but samples sizes are available. It's definitely worth a splurge!

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Imperial 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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