I opened a 2006 Xiaguan 'gold ribbon' tuo today. This 100g tuo comes packed in its own box and yes, a gold ribbon is enclosed inside as well. Xiaguan started producing this tea in 2004 (see bottom pix- top tuo) and has been producing this tea yearly due to its popularity among chinese tea drinkers. Its inexpensive with the current year tuo priced at less than $5.
Yunnan Sourcing promotes this tea as "The "Gold Ribbon" blend was first introduced in 2004, when it was a special order production for a large Guangzhou Xiaguan wholesaler. Using superior material from Wu Liang, Yun Xian, and Yun Long mountains, and carefully blended to be full of aroma and cha qi. This has now become a classic premium blend from Xiaguan!"
I noticed a nice delightful pronounced honey aroma when I brew a pot of this Xiaguan tuo. I normally drink a cup of honey a couple of times a week (half mug cool water and stirring in a spoonful of honey). The aroma from the tea is like drinking a nice cup of honey - a sweet, fresh floral scent. This tea is non smoky unlike the other Xiaguan tuos I had encountered, but I enjoy this tea very much. A refreshing and happy tea. I do recommend you include a tuo in your next tea purchase.
One more thing, do not throw away the tuo box after use. It makes a mini tea caddy and is especially good for pu erh as this paper box allows your pu erh to 'breathe' especially when you have broken up a pu cake/brick for drinking.
Bottom pix shows 3 Xiaguan gold ribbon tuos. Top tuo - 2004, bottom left -2006, right -2009.
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