Hey there Teacups! I’m back today with a new Stateside Steeps post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing The California Tea Houses – Yunnan Golden Buds. Black tea used to be my favourite, but during 2020 Oolong & Matcha definitely took the number 1 and 2 spots with black tea now coming in 3rd. However, I do still really enjoy it and reach for it often, especially Yunnan Black Tea. Golden Buds in particular have always been a favourite of mine so when The California Tea House said I could pick a few things to try from their website, I was instantly drawn to this, mostly because I was really interested to see how it would compare to other Golden Buds I have had in the past and luckily it did not disappoint…
Here’s what The California Tea House themselves have to say about this tea over on their website: “California Tea House’s collection of Organic Yunnan Golden Buds black tea, or Dian hong, is also known as ‘Yunnan Pure Gold’ in China as it is considered the very finest of Dian hong tea. It contains only pure golden tips, covered in ‘tea down.’ What separates our Yunnan tea from the crowd is the high amount of fine leaf buds, or “golden tips.”
Ingredients: Pure Black Tea
Tea Tasting Notes
For this tasting session I tried this tea prepared two ways, on its own (hot) and then with just honey added (hot). I’m a huge fan of Golden Buds and have tried them from many companies before, so with the knowledge I have taken from many other experiences with them I made the decision not to try this with the addition of milk because its too heavy for a tea like this and overpowers it completely. I also chose not to have this iced because I have experimented with cold brewing this kind of tea before and it didn’t go very well and I didn’t want to waste any of this tea on something I knew wasn’t going to go well.
The cup of this that I had on its own encapsulated pretty much everything I loved about this kind of tea in a cup and did not disappoint at all. It was incredibly smooth, velvety and full bodied without even the slightest touch of astringency to it. It’s flavour profile has so many layers of depth to it including notes of malt, cacao, smokiness, baked sweet potatoes and wild flower honey! Such a varied flavour profile makes this absolutely to die for and with the added bonus of the fact that it can also go through multiple steeps no matter how you choose to steep it, it only gets better and seemingly transform throughout each steep.
As I said at the start of my notes, I did also try this with the addition of some honey, I only added a small teaspoon and for me that was more than enough. This tea takes honey really well and for the most part it really doesn’t effect the overall flavour profile too much other than making the already present wild flower honey note a little bit stronger. I could happily drink this tea on its own until I finish the bag as its excellent on its own and doesn’t need anything added to it to fine tune it. But, if you do feel the need to add honey to all of your tea no matter the tea you are drinking, then rest assured this tea takes honey well (just make sure you don’t add in too much).
However if you are looking for a black tea to add milk or cream into this is not the tea you are looking for as it would overpower this tea and get rid of the subtler notes within its flavour profile, getting rid of the naturally perfect balance its flavour profile has. If there is ever a time in the future where I don’t have any Yunnan Golden Buds in my tea stash this is definitely one I would consider repurchasing, it provided me with a fantastic tea experience and I’m so thankful I was given the chance to try it.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want to find out more about The California Tea House and purchase some of this tea to try for yourself, you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*the tea featured in this post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*