Gold Thread Honey Orchid (金絲密蘭香, Jīn Sī Mì Lán Xiāng, "Gold Thread Honey Orchid Fragrance") is a sub-cultivar of Honey Orchid, which is one of the most popular breeds of Phoenix Oolong. It is so named because it is cloned from a particular Honey Orchid plant whose leaves are golden in color as opposed to green. Farmers discovered that this golden plant, in addition to its unusual coloring, also had a distinctive flavor and fragrance from its siblings. This tea exhibits a biscuit-y, slightly spicy aroma on top of the classic fruity sweetness of Honey Orchid. Like most Phoenix Oolongs, the dry leaf is dark, almost black. Whereas regular Honey Orchid and most other Phoenix Oolongs have leaves that end up green after multiple steepings, the spent leaves of Gold Thread Honey Orchid have a deep bronze color. Because it is a less-common sub-cultivar and has only been grown for a few generations, it is easier to get Gold Thread Honey Orchid that is closer, genetically, to the original mother tree. As a result, the Qi is also superior to normal grades of Honey Orchid.
I got this in a Tea of the Month box. I like that the flavor has the depth of oolong tea even when it seems my water is too hot. Also I like that it feels hunger busting.