Golden Buddha (Jin Guan Yin) black tea is made solely from tender buds that mark the beginning of the spring harvest.. This tea's opening notes are deeply roasted sweet potatoes and cocoa nibs. By the third steeping, sweet wildflowers join in and continue strong until the twelfth brew. On caveat on the brewing temperature--make sure to keep it about 165F/75C and you will be rewarded with far more infusions than regular black teas. Pure buds are far more time consuming to pick than the leaves that make up standard black teas, but the smoothness and additional steepings make it all worthwhile.
Guizhou Province is the birthplace of this tea and home to our favorite food in the entire world--endless variety, creativity and great balance of complex flavors. Their main tea region is situated on a high plateau with excellent growing conditions. The cool temperatures, fog and vast amounts of completely undeveloped areas work together allowing skilled hands to make some of the finest teas in China. A place this great you can understand why three of us have homes there.
Storage: Store unused portions sealed in an airtight bag away from light in the freezer at 5F/-15C or below.
Brewing water: Poland Spring (called Origin Brand in some areas) brand mineral water produces the finest results. Soft water, distilled water and hard water will ruin this tea. Tap water varies wildly and is best avoided as well.
Brewing temperature: 165-175F/75-80C
Brewing method: 5g tea leaves (~2 heaping Tablespoons), 100ml (a bit less than 1/2 cup) water each time for 5 seconds in a Chinese gaiwan or a small pot. After the first 10 infusions, increase each infusion time by 5 seconds. To produce lighter tea, either decrease amount of tea, increase amount of water or decrease brewing time. To produce stronger tea, either increase amount of tea, decrease amount of water or increase brewing time. You can easily adjust to suit your individual taste.
Notes: Small quick infusions showcase the changing flavors of each cup. Longer brewing times in larger quantities of water end up more homogeneous, but still very good results.