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98
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
470 tasting notes

Ah the mythical Golden Fleece. It’s been built up to such levels of epicness by fellow Steepsters that I’ve been hesitant to even open my sample. I had convinced myself that I needed to refine my pallet more so that the beauty of this tea wouldn’t be lost. I mean, it’s such a rare tea and people love it so much… I honestly almost felt guilty having it, like I knew I wouldn’t appreciate it fully and someone else who could was missing out.

Three days ago I decided that was the stupidest thing ever. Tea is about the journey, not building any single leaf up to be some mythical destination. Golden Fleece is not the endgame, it’s a step on my teaventure! So I ripped open the packet with glee (okay, I carefully cut it up, but that is not as dramatic sounding) and inhaled the delicious aroma. Malt! Chocolate! Like fancy chocolate cake. Flourless chocolate cake, the “so dark and decadent it should be illegal” kind. And that just from the smell~!

So far I’ve brewed up 4 steeps in my gaiwan. I tasted them all individually and in the end mixed them together into a mug. There was not a huge amount of variation in steeps 1-4 so I feel like it’s okay to do! 1-2 had some faint vanilla notes that weren’t present in 3-4, and 3-4 were a bit deeper in color and flavor (though I chalk that up to the longer steep time).

I love Yunnan blacks, and this is a delicious one! Malt and caramelized sugar are the predominant notes, the sugar flavor bordering on almost bitter but the brew is smooth enough to make up for that. Oddly enough there is no cocoa or chocolate in the steep even though it smelled so heavily of it! My cup is leaning more towards yeasty bread, rye bread, maybe even pumpernickel! Very dark and deep.

There are also some citrusy orange notes similar to what I got from Teavivre’s Yunnan Dian Hong. Blood orange!

I’ll be honest: I like this tea, but so far it’s not showing me any “wow” qualities that I haven’t seen in other high-quality Yunnans. Of course I have many steeps left in these leaves and half the sample to go, so the journey’s not over yet! I will hold off on a rating until I feel like I have really “gotten to know” this tea: I brewed it at near-boiling as per the instructions on the back but some of the notes (caramel, orange) verged into bitter territory and I think this tea would benefit from a lower temperature. Also going to try out cold brewing, because why not? Gonna get as much use out of these pretty leaves as I can!

Sil

I prefer laoshan black. This one is tasty but I think my flavour preferences lean towards LB more :) nice that you got to try it though! I haven’t tried coldbrewing mine. Look forward to your notes on it! :)

Terri HarpLady

I think the first time I drank Golden Fleece was a little bit of a let down, especially after all the hype. I tend to prefer my teas to be dark & bold, like Laosan black. I don’t know if I had ever drank a Dian hong before that. Probably had, just didn’t know it. So I bought some from other companies & started drinking them. I compared their looks, smells, textures, flavors, & tried to keep an unbiased mind. I’d say GF wins in pretty much all DH categories, for me, including re-steep-ability. However, it’s not a ‘breakfast tea’, not my first cup of the day. That’s usually gonna be Laoshan black, an Assam, or something else that’s bold. GF is more of an afternoon tea for me, I think. It’s a different flavor profile, but I do love it.

Sil

Terri – that’s probably the reason that I favour LB :) look at you being all specific haha

Terri HarpLady

;) That was Ms Theresa talking, she likes to get all analytical & stuff. Everyone else was still asleep at the time :D

Alphakitty

It definitely is a lighter brew than Laoshan Black (which I also prefer, that tea is just perfection). It’s definitely growing on me, cold brewing brought out a totally different flavor profile that I am loving.

whatshesaid

You are making me want some of this! Sounds like a good way to try a straight black :)

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Comments

Sil

I prefer laoshan black. This one is tasty but I think my flavour preferences lean towards LB more :) nice that you got to try it though! I haven’t tried coldbrewing mine. Look forward to your notes on it! :)

Terri HarpLady

I think the first time I drank Golden Fleece was a little bit of a let down, especially after all the hype. I tend to prefer my teas to be dark & bold, like Laosan black. I don’t know if I had ever drank a Dian hong before that. Probably had, just didn’t know it. So I bought some from other companies & started drinking them. I compared their looks, smells, textures, flavors, & tried to keep an unbiased mind. I’d say GF wins in pretty much all DH categories, for me, including re-steep-ability. However, it’s not a ‘breakfast tea’, not my first cup of the day. That’s usually gonna be Laoshan black, an Assam, or something else that’s bold. GF is more of an afternoon tea for me, I think. It’s a different flavor profile, but I do love it.

Sil

Terri – that’s probably the reason that I favour LB :) look at you being all specific haha

Terri HarpLady

;) That was Ms Theresa talking, she likes to get all analytical & stuff. Everyone else was still asleep at the time :D

Alphakitty

It definitely is a lighter brew than Laoshan Black (which I also prefer, that tea is just perfection). It’s definitely growing on me, cold brewing brought out a totally different flavor profile that I am loving.

whatshesaid

You are making me want some of this! Sounds like a good way to try a straight black :)

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Bio

Tea has always been a passion of mine, though I got away from it during college. A lack of cupboard space and a constant influx of people into my suite made me pretty much abandon my teas at home. But now that I’m done with school, it’s definitely come back with a vengeance—to the point where I’ve purchased about 65 different kinds in the past 3 months!

I like most kinds of teas—yes, even peach, which I used to think I disliked!. Oolongs are definitely my favorite, and I’m an avid fan of earl grey, floral teas, and chai blends along with anything melon. The only kind of teas on my “no” list are rooibos blends (which gives me headaches) and banana flavored ones since bananas are public enemy #1 in my mind.

The best thing about tea for me is how you can be passionate about it and still have it integrate into all of your other hobbies. I like a lot of things: writing, video games, books, sewing, figure collecting, astronomy… it’s a long list. But whatever I’m doing, I can have a cup of tea in hand!

Location

New York

Website

http://www.plastikitty.com/

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