92
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
792 tasting notes

I FINALLY (after like 2+ years on here) got a gaiwan! I was making a Butiki order and they had a spouted one (the safest choice for my clumsy self) so I sprung for it. It is absolutely perfect for me – I love that it’s stoneware instead of porcelain and I love the way it pours, and that it is about 4 oz. Now I can finally do some gongfu and really get the most out of my leaves!

Verdant’s teas are all perfect for gaiwans, so I decided to start with Golden Fleece since I haven’t had it in a while. I was weighing out the leaves (per Verdant’s instructions, so 4 grams) and really, just holding it in your hands is a sensory experience in itself. They are so soft and feathery/fuzzy, and also super fragile looking. I want to keep them long and spindly so I’m fighting the urge to handle them too much.

1st steep= maybe 10 seconds? The predominant smell of the steeped leaves is peppery and kind of burnt – like very crispy potatoes. It was super hot so at first I didn’t get much taste. Just that smooth silky texture on my tongue. There was a pepper note after I swallowed and as the cup cooled down I could pick up honey and pepper together. Sweet and savory and silky. This steep seemed kind of delicate and light in flavor.

2nd steep = 15 seconds. The leaf smells sweeter now – honey, vanilla, cinnamon. The tea is darker, but still as smooth. This is mostly sweet – all honey but there is an umami-like bite at the end of the sip. Now that I’ve thought about it as umami, all I can think is that the liquor itself smells brothy. It’s as if somehow this manages to do everything at the same time – the only thing that changes is what flavor you choose to pay attention to.

3rd steep = 25 seconds. The leaf is back to smelling like potatoes and the taste is all umami + pepper. There is quite a bite at the end of these sips! I am starting to specifically identify the broad “umami” taste as more mushroom. Well, wait – the liquor smells like vanilla and honey, now. And tastes like it too, since its cooled.

4th steep = 45 seconds. Now it tastes like potatoes. Starchy but still amazingly smooth. This has plenty of flavor left in it but I think I’ll give it a rest for right now. Yay for gaiwans! I can’t wait to put these leaves through all of their paces!

I didn’t rate this numerically the first time I had it, but I feel like since I’ve tried it both ways I can do so now. Unsurprisingly it’s going to be pretty high. A very yummy Yunnan, for sure!

Preparation
Boiling
Mark B

Curious to see which Gaiwan you got. Is it their green one with the spout listed first in the Gaiwan section?

http://www.butikiteas.com/Teawares.html

I’m partial to glass, but I have a cool blue glazed one from Wing Hop Fung.

http://flic.kr/p/eaA326

JoonSusanna

That’s the one! I love it. I like the idea of glass but it seems so fragile. The stoneware seems to be a little bit more able to hold up to my clumsiness so far.

Your gaiwan is beautiful. I love the blue and the speckles. Reminds me almost of lily pads on a pond!

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Comments

Mark B

Curious to see which Gaiwan you got. Is it their green one with the spout listed first in the Gaiwan section?

http://www.butikiteas.com/Teawares.html

I’m partial to glass, but I have a cool blue glazed one from Wing Hop Fung.

http://flic.kr/p/eaA326

JoonSusanna

That’s the one! I love it. I like the idea of glass but it seems so fragile. The stoneware seems to be a little bit more able to hold up to my clumsiness so far.

Your gaiwan is beautiful. I love the blue and the speckles. Reminds me almost of lily pads on a pond!

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Profile

Bio

I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

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Atlanta, GA

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