Golden Needle tea is a variety of Dianhong tea, a type of gourmet Chinese black tea grown in Yunnan, China. It is made of high-quality tips that are often harvested during summer, between May and June. 

Other varieties of Dianhong tea includes Yunnan Pure Gold, Yunnan Gold, and Broken Yunnan. This gourmet Chinese black tea is also simply called as Yunnan black or Yunnan red. However, it often creates confusion as there are numerous types of teas produced in Yunnan. 

Tea Basics

golden needles tea

  • Name: Golden Needles
  • Brand: Shine Wing Tea
  • Flavor Profile: Woody with dark chocolate notes
  • Caffeine Content: In general, black tea has high caffeine content
  • Steeping Instructions: Use a teaspoon of golden needle tea for an 8-oz cup and steep at boiling temperature for three to five minutes

Golden Needle Tea Leaves 

Shine Wing Tea, Golden Needles

The long, twisted caramel-colored dry leaves have a sweet, slightly chocolatey aroma. Steeping the leaves really brought out their chocolatey aroma, which was delightful. 

Golden Needle Brew

Golden Needle tea, black tea

For this review, we used a teaspoon of golden tea leaves and steeped for five minutes. We used the leaves two more times after the first steeping. 

A teaspoon of golden tea leaves gave us a beautiful Bourbon-brown brew with woody aroma. The flavor of this tea is exactly how we want our black tea to taste like — full-bodied with a slightly roasted flavor and a hint of sweetness.  

Related: Black Dragon Pearls: Strong Brew From Shine Wing Tea

On the third steeping, the flavor has become weak but we wouldn't call it bland. We think you'd only get as much as three steepings for a teaspoon of golden needle tea leaves — which isn't bad at all. 

Overall Experience

golden needles, black tea

Off all the varieties of black tea we've tried, this one takes the top spot. If we need a waker-upper, we'd choose golden needle tea from Shine Wing Tea. It could be a good alternative to coffee for those who are trying to quit or limit their caffeine intake. As with any caffeinated drink, however, make sure to drink enough water, especially if you'll be drinking this throughout the day.

For more information on Shine Wing Tea's Golden Needle Tea, you may visit their website, reach out to their on Instagram, or email them at 





*CompareTea received a sample to review. We made sure to keep our review as honest and unbiased as possible for the benefit of our readers.  




Aileen is a content manager and tea enthusiast. If she's not crafting interesting content, she's busy searching for the perfect cup of tea and swooning over Earl and Troy, her cats.