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Tea Review: narienteas: Yunnan Golden Tips

June 04, 2009


narienteas: yunnan golden tipsBlack teas from Yunnan Province are my standard everyday comfort teas, and I generally drink them several times a week, so I was interested in trying narienteas’ Yunnan Golden Tips. The first time I brewed a pot of it I was a little surprised by the initial taste because it had none of the carmel, brown sugar flavor that I have come to expect from Yunnan teas with any form of the word “gold” in the name. This sweetness is even more likely to be prominent in Yunnan teas that are described as “tippy,” which means that leaves from the part of the Yunnan tea bushes that are golden in color and sweeter in flavor make up a major portion of the tea. The dry leaf of the Yunnan Golen Tips was also less gold in color than I expected, but all of these differences from other Yunnan gold teas that I have had could be seasonal variations. In any case, these differences did not make the tea less drinkable. Yunnan black teas, even when they are not so sugary, are very smooth and excellent to drink. They can provide an excellent introduction to the black teas of China, which have such a different character from any teas I have had that were grown in the Indian sub-continent.

Despite being a little different from what I expected, the Yunnan Golden Tips was a very good tea, one that I enjoyed drinking each time that I made it. It is a reliable, basic everyday tea, good for mustering up enough energy to make it through a long day of work. The tea has enough flavor to be interesting, without the harsh astringency of some other varieties of black tea. It has a very comfortable taste and does not need anything added to it.

Narienteas’ packaging also identifies the Yunnan Golden Tips as “Dian Hong” which means “Yunnan Red,” a descriptor of where it’s from and what type of tea it is. “Dian” is the older name for Yunnan (more precisely it refers to the Dian Kingdom, an ancient civilization in the area that is now Yunnan Province), and in China the teas we usually call “black” are called “red,” which is “hong” in Mandarin. I have had other teas labeled “Dian Hong” which, to the best of what I can remember, tasted identical to narienteas’ Yunnan Golden Tips.

Like it will with most Chinese black teas of respectable quality, a second steeping of Yunnan Golden Tips produces a good tasting cup of tea. Beyond that it’s not really worth brewing unless you like your tea a little weak and flat.

narienteas’ description:

“Yunnan Golden Tips is a beautiful Yunnan black tea with tippy, golden colored leaves. Brews a rich aromatic cup with a delicious spice tone.”

Brewing this tea is straightforward: use filtered or spring water brought to a full boil, steep in a porcelain, ceramic or glass teapot for 3-5 minutes depending on your personal preference, pour into a glass cup and drink in the sunshine.

narienteas: Yunnan Golden Tips

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