This is the best tea that you have probably never heard of before, well at least it was a new one for me after 20 years of tea hunting! Huang Jin Bai Lu is an elite Black from Sichuan made from semi-wild, old tree, handpicked buds. It rivals Jin Jun Mei as one of the most luxurious Black teas that we have ever sipped.
We have been pushing into other territories of China to find local scouts to source pinnacle teas. This Huang Jin Bai Lu was sent to us from a passionate tea expert in Sichuan with DEEP connections within tea. One sniff and we needed this tea in our lives.
Huang Jin Ba Lu, just like Jin Jun Mei, is an ultra-high ticket, modern Black tea. It is certainly less known than Jin Jun Mei but we expect that to change and for the prices to climb even higher.
The name Huang Jin Bai Lu literally means 'Golden White Dew'. The 'Golden' part of the name is obvious with one look at those spectacular, hand-picked buds. The 'White Dew' denotes the time of year that this tea is picked - Autumn during the White Dew period which is the 15th Solar Term of the year.
Tea is not normally picked during this time of year (September), but in 1959 the tea producers picked and processed about 400 grams of Black tea for Chairman Mao. It has been made in small quantities ever since.
The look and taste of Bailu Gold is reminiscent of the finest Jin Jun Mei and yet it predates the invention of Jin Jun Mei by nearly 50 years! It is surprising that Jin Jun Mei is so well known and Huang Jin Bai Lu is relatively obscure.
Soft, oily and thick in the mouth with a sweet, lingering and tingly finish. The aromatics and taste are rich in dark chocolate, caramel pecans and baked croissant with dancing lychee and rose top notes. There is a brothy nature to the tea as well which adds to its voluptuous mouthfeel.
Oh and this tea has one of the most excitable and giggly body sensations that we have ever experienced in a Black tea - perhaps due to the age of the heirloom tea trees growing in semi-wild, high altitude, alpine forests.
Black tea just does not get more luxurious than this and I could talk about this tea for hours (did I mention that it has about 120 buds per single gram of tea). It is the ultimate gift tea or treat for yourself and its obscurity just makes the Teahead kudos level go off the charts.