95
drank Golden Earl by Verdant Tea
1990 tasting notes

Back to the daily grind! I have fully recovered from my illness that took me out all last week. That, combined with my extended trip, makes getting back into the old routines kind of weird feeling. But my morning tea at work is one of those routines, so I’m easing back in with something familiar and yet new… this Earl Grey from Verdant Tea’s new Alchemy Blended line. I finally got around to ordering from Verdant Tea, which I had been meaning to do for a while, and I was excited to see their new line of flavored teas, which David kindly gave me a free sample of two of them (and I ordered an ounce of another!). Looks like I’ll be the first to rate any of them on Steepster.

The dry leaf on this is composed of very high quality looking Yunnan Golden Buds along with a smattering of orange rind and a few shards of lemongrass, but the black tea is by far the main component here. It smells very citrusy-bergamotty in an utterly delicious way. I steeped it for 3 minutes this time since I do that with all blacks the first time around, and the liquor is a dark reddish-amber. The golden buds have definitely come out in the aroma now… the tea has a rich, honeyed aroma, slighly caramely, like some of the other “golden” teas I’ve tried, with a bright slightly citrusy earl grey note that is really secondary to the tea, but still present.

In the taste, first I get a bright bergamot note that opens up into a honey-caramel golden bud tea taste, and it all finishes with an aftertaste that combines the two nicely. The bergamot is bright and bordering on astringency, not very tempered by the orange and lemongrass, though I think they do make it a decidedly citrusy bergamot as opposed to a floral one. It’s bold without being strong, if that makes any sense, because it doesn’t overwhelm the golden buds, but it also is no shrinking violet in the flavor. I’m really digging this Earl Grey blend, which is pretty different from other Earl’s I’ve tried before, mostly because I don’t think I’ve seen an EG made exclusively from golden buds! Definitely a winner, and one I think I will likely have to keep around!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
David Duckler

Thank you for this review- It is exciting to hear someone’s thoughts on the new blends. It makes my day to hear you getting exactly what I strive for in the blended teas- that is, a ste of simple, decided flavors that support the tea instead of overshadow it, and help the tea give out even more complexity. It is good to hear how the Bergamot came through for you. In testing, it has a very different flavor, because when the tea is just scented, the Bergamot is overboard, and over a day or two, it subsides and evens out. I will try to get it down to the point where it doesn’t push towards astringent, without loosing the boldness. I am glad that you like the citrus quality of it as well. Golden Buds is such a citrusy tea that it would be weird to use a floral Bergamot. The orange and lemongrass are just there to anchor the Bergamot and pull it in the direction that the tea wants to go.
Thanks again!

Dinosara

Thanks again for the sample! I’ve definitely been impressed so far by your new blends.

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Comments

David Duckler

Thank you for this review- It is exciting to hear someone’s thoughts on the new blends. It makes my day to hear you getting exactly what I strive for in the blended teas- that is, a ste of simple, decided flavors that support the tea instead of overshadow it, and help the tea give out even more complexity. It is good to hear how the Bergamot came through for you. In testing, it has a very different flavor, because when the tea is just scented, the Bergamot is overboard, and over a day or two, it subsides and evens out. I will try to get it down to the point where it doesn’t push towards astringent, without loosing the boldness. I am glad that you like the citrus quality of it as well. Golden Buds is such a citrusy tea that it would be weird to use a floral Bergamot. The orange and lemongrass are just there to anchor the Bergamot and pull it in the direction that the tea wants to go.
Thanks again!

Dinosara

Thanks again for the sample! I’ve definitely been impressed so far by your new blends.

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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