I haven’t had a ton of them,but this best dian hong ive had…100ml gaiwan 8g=yum
“First, thank you SO MUCH to David @ Verdant for sending me this sample!! I wasn’t on Steepster when this tea emerged, never got to try it, &...” Read full tasting note
“oh hello you gorgeous cup of tea that is so unlike the last cup i had that i bath in the glory that is you. yeah.. that’s right. i’m looking at you…plain old golden fleece, the...” Read full tasting note
“I feel like I’ve been avoiding this tea subconciously. As if it’s too much of a big deal or something… I went ahead and order 2oz of it, but I don’t want to mess it up or...” Read full tasting note
“I guess I’ll be the first civilian foolish enough to talk about this tea. As soon as you unseal the bag and get that heady aroma that’s been trapped in there, you know you’re in...” Read full tasting note
This wild-picked Golden Fleece is an exquisite lesson in texture, and one of the truest flavor embodiments of Yunnan itself. . . .
This is the finest, most nuanced and intriguing Dian Hong we have ever encountered. Wang Yanxin, our sourcing agent who has devoted her life to Yunnan, has been searching for a Dian Hong like this for years. Every time she sends us pu’er, she includes 30-40 Dian Hong teas, and Jin Jun Mei teas. This time, she only sent us one, and wrote on the bag “this is the one. Best Dian Hong. Taste slowly.” She was so very right.
This tea is not the assertive experience that some seek in a black tea. It is not robust in the traditional sense, Instead, this is a subtle experience that will appeal to lovers of fine oolong and pu’er. The mouthfeel is perfectly smooth- not creamy, but silky. The taste unfolds slowly, confident in itself. The sweetness begins like that of vanilla ice cream, but quickly expands on the palate in the aftertaste with a gentle tingling similar to raw sugar. An enveloping honey profile is also present.
The wild-picked buds yield an intriguingly well-integrated spice profile. It is hard to pick it apart, but there are certainly cinnamon flavors, and the sweetness of ground clove and allspice. The tea has a warming quality and a brightness that truly feels like sunlight. In later steepings a satisfying thickness like incense and sweet morel mushrooms begins to develop and mix with the sparkling and sweet qualities.
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Seeing as how this had such a high rating on Steepster, I had to buy some despite the cost. And, tasting this, I hate to say this would probably be my regular go-to black tea if it weren’t so expensive!
First off it looks so darn pretty—all that shiny fuzzy gold—so I’m already intrigued. After brewing it has an aroma that’s both rich and delicate at the same time. It has a distinct cocoa note that I also get in the taste but there’s a really light sweetness I can’t really place. It’s not as heavy as a honey sweetness but more like something else… Ooo darn I can’t think of the word :( It’s really bold without being too heavy and intense, like the assams that I always try but never seem to like.
Later on the next few steeps the cocoa flavor becomes less intense and then both the sweetness and a new, more earthy flavor comes out. It kind of reminds me of the earthy flavor that is associated with mushrooms but this tastes nothing like mushrooms. Hard to explain but I like it.
I managed to get 5 steeps out of this and on the fifth I was afraid it would be bitter so I added a tiny pinch of brown sugar (instead of just rock sugar because I felt the brown sugar would bring out some of that sweetness in the tea better) and oh my that was yummy. I’m also starting to taste some spices after so many steeps. I wonder if I can get one more…
Overall incredibly yummy tea and I would drink this every day if I had more money :((
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!
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.
Finally! Finally, finally, FINALLY!
I got to try this. And it was perfect. I have a fetish for Yunnan golds in general….but now I have one for this tea in specific. After nearly two years of people extolling its virtues, it finally made it into my cup. It was honey-ish, malty, floral, and teagasmic in all the right ways. Definitely worth the hype.
Even better was the conversation it invoked. You can find that here: http://steepstories.com/2013/05/09/golden-fleece-feast-fest-a-taste-of-eugene-and-tea-from-neighbors/
Now that I have tasted Golden Fleece, I can die happy…honestly, that is about what I expected after reading the reviews. Ummmm, for real, it’s…good? I mean it is a nice tea, really. For the price and hype? Nah, not so much. Jing Tea Shop used to sell one remarkably like for almost nothing under the category of everyday teas. (Which they no longer have, after they sold out and remained that way for a long, long time). Yes, Golden Fleece has bigger leaves. But, the smell and the taste are much the same. Upton’s Yunnan Rare Grade also has the same wonderful candy/ sugar cookie smell and, to me, the same taste. Maybe better. I guess that marks me as a tea peasant.
Really, I’ve made this tea three times now and I end up trying to remind myself that this is a great tea and to appreciate it. Because, when I’m drinking it, it doesn’t hit me and I end up just slurping it down. Some teas really make me quite happy, time after time (Yunnan Rare Grade) and when I find myself drinking it in a distracted manner, the taste reminds me and I remember and think “Dang, that’s good!” It is kind of the opposite with Golden Fleece. I guess I can save a lot of money, at least on this one…
Phenomenal. I preheated both the gaiwan and my cup with boiling water. Weighed out 4g of leaf for 4oz of boiling water. Quick rinse and decant. Steeped the first infusion for 2 seconds. The aroma is similar to malt extract, oxidized/honey smell. Caramel notes abound. The liquor is slightly hazy but a nice shade of brown with hints of red. Extremely smooth mouthfeel. Absolutely no astringency. Some spice in the flavor. Very well integrated. Lots of complex caramel. Delicious.
I was a little skeptical because of all the hype this tea gets, but I have to admit I’m pretty impressed. I’m finding this tea really good in a really subtle sort of way. It’s very light and very smooth, and there nothing even a little bit thorny or offensive about it. All the flavors melt together perfectly, nothing really sticks out. And it tastes… like what a black tea should taste like.
(It also reminds me a lot of the Zhu Rong Yunnan Black, but vanilla instead of chocolate. =])
I don’t know if this is left over from 2011, or 2012, but it’s still a favorite black tea. Seems a shadow of its former self, though still satisfying. Maybe I’m wrong… Or maybe leaving it in its original packaging did it no favors. Regardless, it’s still lightyears from a loss.
I’m rarely in the mood for a black tea, but when I know I’ve got a hankering, I know I’ve got a hankering. Today was one of those days.
Honey, light, delicious. Reminds me of an unseasonably warm Fall day, pleasant and crisp with clear skies.
Lost count after 7 infusions, but still kept going. Started with short 10-15 sec steeps and went progressively longer, sucking the life from this tea. Lovely sunset-orang-red liquor that remains long after the flavors have waned.