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Jun Shan Golden Needles (The World's Rarest Tea Type)

From £8.00
Product code: 3447

Availability: In stock

This remarkable tea is picked on just one morning of the year before the Qing Ming festival. This is the rare 'Yellow' variety and should not be confused with the more widely available green Silver Needle from Jun Shan. When infused, the beverage is pale yellow in colour with a surprisingly rich taste and refreshing aroma. Since we began selling this tea in 1992 we have called it 'Silver Needles' but have recently changed it to 'Golden Needles' to better reflect its nature. It is grown on an island that rises out of Lake Dongting which, for four thousand years, has been thought to be the home of 'fairy like' creatures. Perhaps the mist that almost permanently shrouds Mount Jun has helped create this legend. It takes five days of unique processing to create the final product. One of the 'Famous Ten' Chinese teas. Exclusive to 'Imperial Teas of Lincoln' in the United Kingdom.

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Golden Needles, the rarest tea in the world is grown on the beautiful island of Jun Shan in the middle of Dongting Lake in China’s Hunan Province. The island is almost permanently mist bound which may be the reason it is said to be inhabited by 'fairy like' creatures. Another beautiful legend associated with the island involves two tragic lovers, an evil warlord and giant water snails! Golden Needles is technically known as a 'Yellow' tea in China due to its unique five day processing. The short, stout buds that resemble spearheads or little fish are covered in down and have a rich, shimmery green colour. When infused, the beverage is pale yellow in colour with a surprisingly rich taste and refreshing aroma. At first the leaf buds float and hang in the water, then dance up and down in the water several times before finally sinking slowly and standing upright in the bottom of the cup or pot, like sprouting bamboo shoots. It is picked on just one morning of the year and the whole harvest weighs around 50 to 100lbs, which would make just about 12,500 cups! In former times, the buds were hand cut by gloved virgins with golden scissors at the break of dawn and presented as a tribute to the Emperor. Times have changed, but even today most of the tea stays within China. However, we have managed to obtain a small amount of this precious crop and feel honored to be the exclusive stockists in the U.K. To appreciate its beauty, Golden Needles can be made in a glass teapot or jug and infused for 15 minutes in filtered water at about 70 degrees C. It is possible to re-brew the leaves a number of times, making even this most expensive of teas quite economical. Like green tea it is reported to possess many health giving properties. Although we have a few teas with smaller crops than this tea, it is still considered the rarest tea in the world owing to the fact that this type of tea is produced just in this place. Other examples of very rare tea like the Single Tree Phoenix oolong belongs to a broader group of teas also grown over a larger area.

Additional Information

Leaf Grade Handmade Strip
Country of Manufacture China
Tea Strength Light White Tea
Use Milk No
Brewing Time 1-5 mins
Water Temperature 70-80 ° c
Number of infusions 2

Customer Reviews

Review by Gareth Young
We\'ve written a review over at our new tea review blog. Would appreciate it if you checked it out! (Posted on 07/12/2011)
Review by Maureen Ibelati
Having bought this in Lincoln from Imperial Teas many years ago, am thrilled to have tracked it down again. Superb tea, a wonderful gift. (Posted on 04/09/2009)

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