Wang Yanxin did it- She actually acquired several more pounds of the Golden Fleece from her friends who wild-pick this tea in Yunnan. I didn’t want to breathe a word about it until the package made it to Minneapolis, I opened all the bags and tasted to be sure, but I can say that the Golden Fleece is back. It was somewhat mind-boggling to see the whole last batch sell out in one hour, so I hope that my work to convince Wang Yanxin to part with more than a pound this time will allow more people to try this tea.
Wang Yanxin is such an interesting character. Getting tea from her is not as simple as ordering it. She will allude to a tea that you never knew that she had, dangling it out like a test. If I ask to buy the tea, it is suddenly gone, ‘sold out.’ Only through a discussion of flavor texture and aftertaste will Wang Yanxin decide whether or not to part with teas like this. She wants to know that it is going to be appreciated and cared for. She wants to see the tea leaves advancing the tea culture. On the occasions that I can convey appreciation appropriately, we end up with tea like the Golden Fleece, Artisan Revival Sheng and Yiwu.
She is not trying to be temperamental. Indeed, her desire is to inspire people all over the world to fall in love with tea, and through it gain a respect for the leaf and a humility towards others. She wants small farmers to gain recognition for their tea without the pomp and glitter of brand name pu’er workshops. She is an idealist, but a fierce and practical one. The Golden Fleece is an incredible tea in that the majority of its complexity lies in texture and aftertaste, two elements of the tea experience that are underrated. In the west we tend to prize flavor above all else. Yet flavor is only a fraction of what tea has to offer. Golden Fleece gives so much in flavor, but so much more in texture, and sensation. Wang Yanxin is sometimes concerned about whether the merits of a tea like this will be noticed.
Thanks to support from so many friends on Steepster, so many intelligent and thoughtful tasting notes, and such a positive and humble attitude towards tea, I have material to translate and share with Wang Yanxin, making her more and more comfortable releasing teas like this.
The Golden Fleece will be available on our website Friday May 18th at 12 noon CST, along with an entirely new black tea offering, the Zhu Rong Yunnan Black, named after a dagger-wielding warrior queen of Yunnan. I hope that both teas are enjoyed thoroughly.