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81 Tasting Notes

95

Venturing into the world of tea and searching for that “Golden Fleece” can turn up quite a confusing adventure where nearly every sip and smell and taste could be the proverbial “Golden Fleece” ! Suffice to say I am writing to you all while drinking Golden Fleece, courtesy of wild tea trees of Xishuangbanna. True to its testament as the embodiment of Yunnan teas, Golden Fleece has all the attributes of Yunnan teas being velvety, a tad bit spicy, smooth, sweet and medium bodied with just a hint of minerals.
Successive brewing from five seconds to 15 gave off aromas of boiling sugarcane juice with subtle morel notes that adds a minerally vegetal note. Brewing from 15 seconds to 35 seconds raises the level of sweetness, becomes far more velvety that hugs the palate and coats the throat, a bit of molasses comes out to brings a bit of boldness in the aroma. Past the minute mark in brewing from successive brews flattens out to a linen, lightly sweet and coarse sensation, not that its actually coarse. Throughout most of the sessions not once the tea became too bitter, too faint, too astringent that prevents most of the uniqueness to shine.
This my friends is what tea is! The very height of crafts of a culture and abilities of one plant no matter how mundane it looks nor how ordinary its product bestows to thirsty mouths. The quest for the real “Golden Fleece” however maybe a fool’s errand, yet almost certainly the most simplest pleasure in life is one with kindred spirits and a beverage as historical as the world over! Do drink on steepsterites!
Cheers, Tony!

Terri HarpLady

Beautifully said, Anthony!

Anthony Bazic

why thank you Terri! Its quite a tea have, Yunnan will have something in store for all of us! That first sip of a Yunnan tea a couple of years ago was something special, an awakening on how much nature can bestows us with a great bounty and reach a zenith in the most ordinary of drinks. Tea. Certainly, to me and the Chinese tea is life, find meaning and messages that resounds through its essence, find time to appreciate its awe in simplicity with a healthful respect for nature and its wonderful capabilities. There are no “golden fleeces” to be found yet but the ones a heart aches for, for its tea. Do drink on Terri!

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100
Chocolaty, Decadent, Deceivingly Sinful Laoshan Black has all the aspect of chocolate with none of the guilt of sagging waistlines save for the the guilt of running out of this stuff! A tea wonderfully composed of orange pekoe and buds that opens up with an aroma of cacao beans when brewed or luscious freshly baked brownies in dry leaf form. Brewing this finely textured curled leaves has the sensation of drinking hot chocolate in its purest form or eating baking chocolate too add a velvety touch at the end of the palate. The most memorable trait is its signature vegetal character akin that is most akin to traditional Chinese greens that gives this Black Tea, a reminder of the versatility of tea and nature. Enjoy this tea immensely dear tea lovers and do drink on!

Backlogging into another taste note this time around together with the cacao beans and intense milk chocolate like flavor that seems to caress ones palate is then followed by a youthful bean flavor much liken to green beans. Loving every sip of this tea!

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100

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100

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93

Another package arrived and this time its Dong Ding! Its a first for me to experience Dong Ding and a quite a lovely tea this is! Its wonderful nutty, faintly citric, and vegetal character has a warm and savory demeanor . The aroma and the brewed liquor describes itself as freshly ground nuts much like flax that welcomes itself into the palate and after with its grassy, intense nutty and earthiness (akin to being roasted) that shares a similar profile to Chinese greens. There is a subtle youthfulness to this Dong Ding much like freshly cooked and juicy prickly pears that adds a wonderful aromatic quality that hints of freshness of a springs bounty. A wonderful crisp but smooth citric taste accents well with its subtle flowery notes much to a reminder of orange blossoms. Just outstanding!

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95

oh boy! Yunnan teas are my favorite and this one just got on my list for must haves to add for a yunnan collection. Balanced earthy, sweet, smooth, extremely well tempered and hardly astringent work of beauty this tea is! Made of the finest tippy unfurled shoots, with slight accents of cocao and maybe caramel that seems to be so balanced out enough to complement tastes without any conflict. A great tea to be enjoyed in its own right and the majesty that is art of simplicity.

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96

This just another lovely tea courtesy of my lovely but finite bundles of notes hidden away…to age and mature to perfection much like this tea;) What I notice when I first opened the little dinky sample bag is the subtle but assertive eugenol aroma and maybe with hints spices that I can’t seem to identify. The standard goes with extreme earthiness, a deep metallic irony flavor, with some leather. Its quite crisp and almost velvety much like to a consistency of butter and maybe boiled vegetables, further steeping with the gaiwan yields a lighter but mellow earthy liqour with astringency on the back palate. A wonderful tea overall, though it may not compare to the bhenzang I’d just sampled weeks ago it has characteristics all to its own meant to be enjoyed in a timeless world. Cheers!

Note: I really didn’t notice the bread and apple notes from this tea as the description describes…either my tongue is all worn out and possibly numbed from those countless times i scalded my tongue or really I am not sharp enough to detail the notes. Whatever maybe the cause it still didn’t prevent me from enjoying this tea. Drink on tea lovers!

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95

Yum! Just like a bowl of oatmeal I just had this morning,sprinkle in some nuts, maybe a touch of smokiness, and some veggies. What’s not to love? What’s so great about this that it has some resemblance to gunpowder and maybe Dragonwell because of the vegetal character that gave it depth. A really smooth tea, with very little astringency till later infusions,a creamy and masterful art of fine leaves. A quintessential tea to be enjoyed in multiple succession with a gaiwan and love for the all things simple.

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95

Backlogging: and so I parted with the very last sip and fond memories of this fine tea! Nobody should really pass this by and by all means get a hold of some everone!

Barbara

As it happens I was looking at this tea just this afternoon. Passed it over b/c of the shipping to europe and the possible taxes. Will be reconsidering… :-)

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95
This tea tastes of roasted nuts and wrapped in banana leaves! It permeates the bag upon opening, the lovely dark brown twisted and writhed strands of leaves, and the most nurturing amber elixir that results in the finest tea. I have to say this tops off my day completely! Its a definitely a smooth tea with some astringency and has a complex flavor that unravels itself being quite nutty and roasted with a hint of sweetness. Then it transitions into a slight berry flavor mid palate and finishes off with fruity rind akin to a cantaloupe sorta like eating through one and tasting the cellulose and the hard outer husks that gives a unique almost gritty finish. Its really a lovely Oolong, soft and mellow and to those fans of all things roasted this is a tea not to pass by! Cheers!
Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C
Azzrian

Ah yes banana leaves – good note there!

Anthony Bazic

Why thnx Azzrian! The aroma and flavor reminded me of roasted banana leaves, the filipino/malay dessert “suman” or roasted sticky rive wrapped in banana leaves came to mind that got me thinking it was banana leaves. Though at first I thought it was kinda close to a steamed rice smell.

Terri HarpLady

I’ll have to look for that in my next steeping.
I love those sticky rice in banana leaf desserts. When I have them, we steam them & then drizzle them with coconut milk.

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Bio

I’m a tea lover and a traveler. I believe in delving into cultures and cuisines. In so doing, I have found tea to be the most exciting and adventurous beverage in the world that has played a role in history and in the lives of many. Now that’s a shrub isn’t it!
Note: I may be a purist at times where some teas needs to be enjoyed naturally, yet I do enjoy many other teas that find its way into my palate!

Favorite Teas: Yunnan teas, the staple Assam and some Darjeeling, love Japanese greens, and “indie” teas either home grown or unfamiliar regions i.e. Turkey, Georgia, love Tisanes, Oolongs, some white teas, and my favorite staple: Chai teas.

Website

http://anthonybazic.blogspot....

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