Golden Buds (China)
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If you are associate black tea with astringency, this tea will rock your world with its smoothness. This black tea is roughly half buds (the top golden bud of each tea plant) and half leaves. Buds are very expensive, but tend to have a taste of honey and nectar and soft mouthfeel.
This black tea comes from the Fujian province of China. The leaves are pan fried and folded by hand to make a beverage that tastes like black tea, but melts in your mouth like cotton candy and has a strong sweetness that tastes remarkably like honey. This is an extremely rare and prized tea that is almost never found outside of China.
This is a tea that will make you rethink your whole perspective of black tea. I lie in bed not wanting to get up on cold mornings, and bargain to myself that I will allow myself a mug of Golden Buds in exchange for getting up on time.
Everything about this tea is a pleasure to drink, and you will want to keep drinking it. The smoothness, the sweetness, the flavor, the aftertaste, the body -- it is all just right.
Even the novice black tea drinker has an immediate reaction of surprise when they first taste this tea. So smooth, so lovely in the mouth, so complex, tastes of honey and brown sugar and caramel entertaining your tastebuds, maybe a hint of floral, a hint of orange and apple, a clean sweet aftertaste reminding you what a great tea you just drank. No astringency. Absolute smoothness and sweetness.
Adding honey or other sweetener is optional but not necessary.
Tasting Notes: Smooth, Honey, Cocoa, Velvety, Sweet
Steep: 1 Tbsp of tea for 12oz water. Water temperature: 205. Steep time 3-4 minutes. Sweetener: Optional
Approximately 7 Tbsp in a 1 ounce package.