Loading... Please wait...

Imperial Needle (Jin Zhen)


Made in the tradition of classic needle-shaped teas from Northern Fujian Province, this lot is unusual in appearance and flavor. Tea makers in the Panyang area, have long produced famed, wonderful black teas of which the needle shape is but one. Working with processing methods and taste profiles honed over many, many years, the styles of the Golden Needle class are numerous.   In this case, we found a lot of a less well-known leaf-shape offering cocoa and roasted fruit tastes.

Why we selected this lot. It started with the color and size of the leaves. Leaves are long, flat and thin. Pluck is primarily the top two leaves and a bud. Leaves are large & long in size (not a classic shiny needle style). and a golden-brown color. Aroma is sweet, like straw but rich. Given the date of the lot’s harvest and the leaf pluck, we felt this tea would offer a new taste opportunity.

Interesting facts about this lot. Lot was grown in Northern Fujian Province in the famous Panyang area. Tea gardens in this area were established more than 300 years ago. This style of Golden Needle is not common and perhaps its presence in the market once again reflects the growing demand for black tea in China’s domestic market.   Pluck is two leaves and a bud. The tea was harvested in April 2017.

Taste profile. Plucked early in the harvest window, the taste is clean and smooth. We find it cups to a lush sweetness, filling the mouth with muted fruity notes. The finish is quite nice, smooth and lingering!  This style of black tea ages does well in holding body & flavors with aging.

Brewing suggestions. We suggest 3 grams per 8-12 ounces of water at a temperature right up to 205 degrees F. Steep for 2-3 minutes and taste. The flavors will gradually grow on the palate. Leaves will offer 2-3 steeps.

$20.75    per  
Item number:

New Improved Shipping Rates: $8 flat or spend $75+ for FREE Delivery*.
Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Satisfaction guaranteed

Silk Road Teas is an award-winning purveyor of rare and artisan teas. Every year, we travel extensively in China, visiting small farms, out-of-the-way tea markets, cooperatives and specialty tea companies to find teas that offer our customers the highest quality and a distinctive taste experience. As a result, our teas are widely recognized for their variety and unparalleled quality. Quite simply, you won't find a finer tea anywhere. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Supporting adults with disabilities

Silk Road Teas is more than just tea. We are committed to giving back to our community by providing jobs packaging our teas to disabled adults. As the older brother of a disabled person, Ned Heagerty, Silk Road Teas President, recognized the challenges and limited opportunities disabled adults face. So he wanted to make a difference. It is a small step, but it is an action we believe in and will continue to follow. Recently, we were honored by receiving the Employer of the Year Award from Integrated Community Services (ICS) for our commitment to employ persons with disabilities.

Selected by the finest shops and restaurants

Our award-winning teas are proudly served at these and other fine restaurants, stores and tea shops.

The Silk Road Teas Story


The long black leaves provide a malty body taste and depth to the brew. Golden buds lend sweetness.

After oxidation, buds turn golden color as they lack chlorophyll.

This product hasn't received any reviews yet. Be the first to review this product!

Write your own product review

Silk Road Teas has received the Employer of the Year Award from Integrated Community Services (ICS) for their commitment to employ persons with disabilities. Silk Road Teas is committed to improving the quality of life for disabled persons, sharing the belief with ICS that business can substantively help people with disabilities achieve independent lives by providing jobs in an encouraging and supportive environment.

Hand In Hand
Our tea boxesare hand packaged by an adult with disabilities. Silk Road Teas remains committed to creating opportunity and jobs in our community.

Sales of our Teas Benefit Ceres
Ceres Community Project builds healthy communities by restoring locally-grown organic whole food to its place as the foundation of health and creating heart centered ways for people to connect.

Ceres teaches teens to grow, cook and eat healthy whole foods and provides nourishing meals, nutrition education and a community of support for people facing cancer and other serious illnesses. www.ceresproject.org

Read the recent article in the Marin IJ: Silk Road Teas gives back

...What sets Silk Road Teas apart from others is the Heagertys are using their success and new tea line as a way to give back to the community...

Gives Back They're amazing people and of course the product is phenomenal. We're so proud to be associated with them. In today's nonprofit world, truly the best things you can have are compatible, giving partners.

Julie Burford, Program Manager and Founder of the Ceres Community Project of Marin.


Find Similar Products by Category

Customers Who Viewed This Product Also Viewed