46 Tasting Notes
I need to give this tea more credit. It was excellent cold-brewed as an iced tea. It a perfect go-to tea in the morning.
I really like Yunnan teas, so I was almost certain that I would love this one. But I was skeptical due to the hyperbolic description. I’ve tried a number of Yunnan teas, including all-bud teas so I wondered how this one would be different. When I opened my bag of Golden Fleece the dry leaves looked and smelled very similar to Rishi’s Organic Ancient Golden Buds. When I put my nose into the bag, I could smell the difference. Golden Fleece had a more potent aroma, and unlike Golden Buds it had strong caramel and cocoa notes coming off the dry leaves. My guess is that it is fresher than Rishi’s Golden Buds. But dry leaf aroma doesn’t always equal taste, so I brewed Golden Fleece Western-style exactly the same way I brew Golden Buds. The aroma of the wet leaves was very similar between the two teas, and my initial tastes were similar as well. I started thinking, “There’s nothing special about this. It’s just Golden Buds!” However, when I took more sips of Golden Fleece, the differences started to become apparent. This tea runs neck and neck with Golden Buds, but comes out slightly ahead. The differences are subtle. Golden Fleece has a more complex flavor and a longer-lasting aftertaste. The spiciness of Golden Fleece also leaves a slight tingling on the tongue.
These teas are so close that I picture two farmers (one Rishi supplier, one Verdant supplier) who live across a dirt road from one another each arguing that they have superior golden tea.
I’ve come to appreciate this tea a lot more since the first brew (maybe the leaves at the bottom of the bag were better?). The slight pepperyness has grown on me. It doesn’t look like Rishi sells it anymore, but if they did I’d snap it up in a minute.
I got a sample of this tea with my order. Really outstanding woody taste. It is much lighter than other pu-ers that I’ve tried before with a much more refined taste. Quality stuff.
Rich malty brew with a slight lemony backtaste. This is a really outstanding CTC.
Really good super-sweet tea that is very hard to brew bitter. Like one of the other reviewers I actually prefer Rishi’s Golden Needle, but this tea is very similar although it has some sweet potato and peppery notes that the Golden Needle does not.
Like other reviewers I was not blown away by this tea. It is very light and has a nice sweetness, similar to a silver needle. It is a bit more complex in that it has more “bite” in the finish than a white tea. Still I want something with more flavor.
Too sweet to drink with just water. I mix it in with my oatmeal. Gives me a nice morning buzz.
I really like Assam so the concept of a white Assam tea was really interesting to me. It had a nice aroma coming out the bag. It smelled characteristically of Assam, but also reminded me of silver needle. But when I tasted some, the flavors were just too weak, even a bit perfume-ey. Maybe I should have brewed it for longer?
I like the slight maltiness of the Assam and how they Keemun adds a bit of a “winey” note. A well-done blend. Brisk enough to wake me up but not too brisk. I take it without milk or sugar.