Golden Fleece

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Almond, Anise, Baked Bread, Butter, Caramel, Celery, Cocoa, Fennel, Honey, Lemon, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange, Saffron, Vanilla, Vegetal, Wood, Yams, Orange Blossom, Sweet, Creamy, Sweet Potatoes, Spices, Mushrooms, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Coffee, Meat, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Cinnamon, Smooth, Pastries, Earth, Musty, Sugar, Grass, Sugarcane
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Edit tea info Last updated by CHAroma
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 4 g 11 oz / 338 ml

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259 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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, & have always (I say “always”, but I’ve only been on...” 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 one that is never...” 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 anything. I mean, those...” 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 for something...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

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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259 Tasting Notes

1725 tasting notes

Interesting!! cocoa, malt… and something I can’t quite put my finger on. Carob?
Three steeps and it was still going strong. On the last one I started to get a slight tingle, an inkling of the spice to come should I have the time to do another steep. But… it’s almost bed time so sadly it shall have to wait for another day. Perhaps a Gawain experience? So far, not my fave tea but it is superb and worth the extra expense. No questions about that! in my memory-lapsed brain, it reminds me of Golden Monkey, but then I’d need to do them up side by side to be sure.
Sorry for the short note. I’m pooped after spending the afternoon with the fabulous Kittena and Sil!! (in alpha order only, they are both amazing!)
I came away with just as much tea as I doled out, so sadly my purge tea mission backfired, but then on the plus side… I have more tea to try. yay!!
Rating: 90


And it was all free :) Everyone won on that deal!


hehe yup!! wish you coulda been there Azzrian

Geoffrey Norman

Everybody raves about this Yunnan Gold. I have yet to sample it.


pm me your addy, I’ll send ya some! :)


Noooo, pretty sure you gave away more tea!! :P


LOL not by too much! or as much as I’d hoped anyhow…


Uh I have a table fll of tea that might say otherwise….


darn outnumbered! haha

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3229 tasting notes

In retrospect, I shouldn’t have brewed anything new up tonight, because I am not at all in a mood for writing tasting notes. But I did, and it’s expensive stuff, so I shall write something.

Trying this again as I wasn’t fond of it the first time, but since then my black tea preferences have evolved. The aroma from the bag was quite sweet – I think I may have noted this before, though. I’m primarily tasting what I think might be raw sweet potato. I’m not really getting much chocolate, and there’s a bit of astringency/sourness on the sip as well, although to be fair I did give this one a full minute.

Either way, it’s alright, but I’m definitely way more into the chocolatey blacks.

ETA: Second infusion, same parameters (but half the water): still tasty enough, but I’m just missing those chocolate notes. :(

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

I hate that feeling. There have been several days where I feel guilty drinking something new bc I couldn’t or didn’t want to log it. Silly eh?


That feeling happens to me all the time. Usually when I first taste something(or when I am trying to focus and do so) I just write quick running notes. Then when I am in the mood I elaborate, fill it in, then post on here.


It is silly, haha – tasting notes don’t need to be written every time! Yet I feel compelled to do so.

Terri HarpLady

Me too! Especially if I’m drinking something new


I used to feel like that. Nowadays I just write when there is something new or I have a life update… or I want to note something about the cuppa

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250 tasting notes

It’s been a very long time since I had this tea, and it’s been a messy experience. This is one tea where I will go the extra mile and brew it in one cup adn messily transfer it to another, since the result is much better when brewed this way.

Anyway, I made the first cup iwth a generous ammount of leaf in an 8 oz. double-walled tumber, and let it steep for 15 seconds. After transfering it and letting it cool for a while, I got to enjoy the exquisite taste. The silky texture, sweet and subtle spices, and pleasant aftertaste/mouthfeel make this an unparallel tea expereince. The spices are still weak and muddled, so I won’t speculate on them, butthe foretaste is dominated by the spices and a bit of honey, which fades to a honey/raw sugar taste which then fades to an interesting gently-tingling mouth-feel. Ugh, now I need to resist the impulse to buy more of this tea immediately.

Sedcond infusion, 10 seconds, ~200 degree water. This tea was subtly yet significantly different than its predecessor. For one, cinnamon flavors have asserted themselves a bit, so that they stand out from the the rest of the flavors in the fortaste. Secondly, the aftertaste has developed a bit, and there seems to be bit of vanilla mixing with the sugar, resulting in a very pleasant tingling that lasts for over a minute. I don’t know how long it actually lasts, since I can’t seem to restrain myself from taking another sip for more than one minute. Anyway, the developments were a pleasant surprise, especially since I can’t remember some of these from last time I drank this tea, so I’l really excited to see whatcomes next.

Third infusion, same preparation as the second. The tea continues to develop, especially the clove flavor. I can definitely taste and feel the interesting taste/mouthfeel that I associate with cloves. It’s faint, nothing like an actual clove, but iot’s a nice accent to the other flavors. The vanilla has also gotten a lot more prominent, and the cinnamon balances out the rest. Sadly, the silkkiness that made this tea truly unique has pretty much faded, which is a bit of a disappointment. Anyway, it’s still delicious, and I can;t wait to see where the development is going to go from here!

Cup four was the best by far. It was the perfect mix between sweetness and spices, with a pleasant vanilla aftertaste. I’m having a hard time putting the experience into words, but it just tastes perfect. The mouthfeel is resergent, but the only thing I changed was the steep time, which is an interesting observation. The spices are perfectly balanced, with cinnamon and clove being supported by muted vanilla, which smoothly transitions to the delightfully tingly aftertaste. Truly an amazing tea.

Music of the day: Mischa Maisky, Bach cello suite no. 1 in G
A very pleasant piece of music, played by an absolutely superb cellist. I actually first ran into him when I bought an album featuring him playing the Shostakovich piano trios. He really makes this piece come alive, unlike some recording which sound so mechanical and stiff.


I know I’ve said it before, but I love following along with your notes throughout the day.
Reading this with the newest updates just now.. your descriptions actually made the taste and texture of this tea jump into my mouth! I had no idea that I could remember a taste so clearly until just now.. thank you. I am going to have to try this again soon to fulfill the promise your description has rekindled.

Joshua Smith

I’m glad that you enjoy my reviews! I also hope that you enjoy this tea when you retaste it. It really is something a cut above just about every other black tea I’ve ever had.

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1128 tasting notes

Momentous occasions call for the best tea..and today is definitely the day. I wrote my last final of my undergraduate university engineering degree this morning! I am done! (providing I pass everything, but that is very likely haha) So to celebrate this excellent day, I decided to try this tea. I’ve had a sample of this tea for ages, from one of my first Verdant orders last year. I have been waiting for the right time, and it is here.

The dry smell is excellent, it reminds me of Master Han’s Yunnan black, a light hay scent with a hint of honey. I decided to do this tea gongfu, so I put in a bunch of it, almost half the sample bag, and did a short rinse. Good lord, the rinse smelled so good!! I was like why am I pouring this away! Lol, and then I steeped for just a few seconds and poured it out. The resulting liquor is the most beautiful golden color, and it smells like sweet potatoes dipped in honey. Mmmm. A sweet, delicious scent.

My goodness.

The taste is so. good. The sweet honey flavor, the sweet potato richness, vanilla, sparkles, sugar. Like a yunnan white but so much richer and smooth. I have decided, I really enjoy yunnan teas. This one is the king though. I just love that honey aftertaste. So good.

Overall, this is one heck of a treat. So happy I finally opened up this sample. Might have to get more of this, but this is definitely a savoring tea, one I want to save for special occasions. I cannot say anything else about it without repeating other reviews haha. I know my tasting note isn’t very in depth with flavors or anything, but this is just a tea that is so tasty I don’t even know how to say it enough. If that makes sense. I will enjoy many steeps of this this afternoon. I should probably eat something first, though, as I will be tea drunk in no time if I don’t!

Rachel J

Let me be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS!!! There is nothing like the feeling of finishing a degree. The RELIEF is amazing.


YAY!!! Congratulations!!! :D :D kermit arms


Haha thanks you guys!! It’s pretty surreal at the moment, definitely hasn’t fully sunk in that I don’t have anymore exams! :D


Congrats! :) Glad the tea was worth the wait!


Thanks Cavo! Yeah I’ve been drinking it all day haha will have to save the leaves for tomorrow as well, can’t believe how much flavor is still left in the leaves! Just might have to order…

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6770 tasting notes

Well HELLO my fuzzy friend!
Thanks Azzrian for a bit of this! I have been hearing so much about it and was really excited to try it!
Sure – to the naked eye – it’s a bit fuzzy – much like a Fleece Sweater! Warm and Cozy! YAY!

Since this has been so highly spoken of and because it’s been described 7 ways to Sunday – I’ll be brief(ish).

My tasting experience was a combo of flavors including but not limited to:
a smoother cinnamon, a bit of pepper, musky mushrooms, sweet caramel, bready notes, cigar notes, etc.

Pretty good, indeed! I can see why most would enjoy a cup of this!

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464 tasting notes

I wanted a special tea to cheer me up after I aborted my long run due to the major tummy troubles all week. My first thought was Butiki’s Potato Pancake and Applesauce, but I had that in my room in the attic and I didn’t feel like dragging my butt up there to get it, so I sifted through my Verdant teas and settled on this one.

I steeped it this time with twice as much leaf for about 3-4 minutes. I added just the teensiest tuvh of raw alfalfa honey. I loved this tea so much this way! It’s like dessert! Sweet, bready, full of spices, and just downright delicious!

Terri HarpLady

Oooh, that does sound good! I usually drink this one straight up, & I love it that way, but maybe just once, for a little extra treat… ;)


I like my teas straight most of the time, but the little bit of honey made a wonderful difference!

And I really need to stop typing things on my phone… “tuvh of raw alfalfa honey”? I’m surprised anyone could read that. lol.


maybe i’ll try that with the sample i picked up from verdant. I don’t love this tea enough to keep it in my cupboard so i just pickup the sample sizes now and then heh


Well this tea appeals to my I-love-starchy-potato-type-flavors side!

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408 tasting notes

Second steep : I get the honey notes promised and I am more than happy.
The herbal taste diseappered for my pleasure.

I’ve been particularly impressed by the colour of the second steep : very dark ! even if the steep wasn’t long, that’s funny because we don’t expect this from a dry leaf almost pale yellow.

This is really a lovely tea

Terri HarpLady

I enjoy this one too! I’m almost at the end of my stash I think.


yep and it seems to be out of stock for the moment at Verdant’s

Terri HarpLady

damn, I guess I should have re-ordered while I had a chance! Oh well…they will restock eventually! Meanwhile, it’s not like I don’t have plenty of tea to drink, LOL!


you sure terri? you might run out…

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4847 tasting notes


I’ve enjoyed this a couple of times now. I’m really glad that I broke down and ordered this one, as it is OUTSTANDING. Stellar! Amazing!

Here is my full-length review of it:


Very nice review over there on your blog! Yes this tea is one not to be missed – only wish I could get more!


Yes, great review (and I don’t mind at all that it was long, because you gave us lots of interesting information about your experience).


I really need to try this one again, I don’t think my first attempt really did it justice.


Gahhh, don’t make me do it! I’m so poor!!!


Well, you don’t HAVE to do it, of course. But, you’ll be glad you did, if you do. That’s all I’m saying. I was really feeling bad about buying this tea until I tasted it. It is so worth it.


I really really want it…I just know I shouldn’t…oh, but I want it! Decisions decisions…We’ll see what the fiance says. If he gives the green light, then I’ll do it! :D


CHAroma – how about I send you some in our swap?? I bought an ounce; there’s enough for me to send a couple cups’ worth.




I would disagree with that :P But at least then you have the chance to try it before purchasing (if it’s still available then). Remind me in our PM thread, haha :P


You absolutely rock!!! Thank you thank you thank you!

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271 tasting notes

Finally I was able to try the golden fleece!

Very fragrant and earthy. Tastes of sweet potato with a bit of pepper and creamy nutmeg, the faintest hint of dark mushroom, and lots of honey. Somehow this is still clean and sparking, and lasts throughout many steepings. Becomes sweeter with honey notes as the cup cools.

Very delicious and a pleasure to drink! I think I need more of this beautiful tea!

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec

Yay! I remembered I have a sample of this that I got before Christmas with my order! I’ll be able to taste this lovely tea again :D


Such a nice treat!! :-)


Earlier today I thought I should try my sample of this soon!


Love this one too!


I was really looking forward to having this and was waiting for a day off when I didn’t have anything planned. A special tea day! :-)


Oh, the tea that I’m dying to try, it’s been on my shopping list for so long! And when I went to order it couple of weeks ago, they were out! lol I hope they restock soon…


I am not sure when they restock this one… I had purchased a sample to try and was going to get more, but like you, found it to be out of stock when I went to order! Let’s hope it comes back!

Terri HarpLady

I drank this one today too :)
There’s something rich & lush about this tea, especially with short steepings. I love it.


hehe..what a tease! I’m saving my last spoonful to have another day – need to make it last! ;-)

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1220 tasting notes

This is probably super rambly but I’ve been drinking this for almost an entire day now.

I finally did it. I opened my sample. Now or never, what good is the super special tea you can’t afford sample unless you brew it?

There’s a lot of hype around this one, that’s for sure. You just say Golden Fleece and I think people faint thinking about it.

I decided to go with the gaiwan in a basket hybrid steep because I absolutely suck at being able to pour water in the gaiwan and then pour out the tea within 3 seconds. I barely have put down the kettle at 3 seconds. Maybe I just need two more arms.

So 4g in a basket with one of my glass cups where the basket reaches the bottom just right works perfectly. With the glass being 8 oz it’s pretty easy to guess 4 oz.

At first I was not impressed. All the hype. Then…it started to taste just like vanilla ice cream and that coarse decorating sugar. Not fair.

As I’ve steeped it over the past 20 hours, its’ gotten a bit earthy which I don’t really care for. I am not a fan of mushrooms at all and that’s precisely what it tastes like.

I am not really blown away by it but if I could just have those first 1-3 steeps over and over…

I will say that the scent of this tea no matter what just …I want to bottle it up and wear it.

Ok I almost gave up on it, but it’s gone back to being sweet as whipped cream. I don’t even know how many times I have steeped it at this point. A dozen?

I’ll be steeping it until my boyfriend comes to get me so I can leave my car at my apartment complex hopefully in about 2 hours…and at that point I might stick it in my travel mug and cold brew it for the car ride to Clearwater tomorrow.

cold brew update: I think this did not really work because my stupid travel mug lid would not get rid of the cinnamon from the previous, DAYS ago tea…it was far more subtle than it was brewed hot, but it still had that amazing lingering taste at the end, so I did drink it after all.

Really want to make another tea now and sit on the balcony out facing the water. But I am in a food coma and I also strained a muscle in my neck/shoulder sleeping last night and just want to lay here.


I have a sample of this too that I’ve been scared to try because it’s just so legendary..maybe this weekend! :D


You have made me want to bust out the sample I have been hoarding! If I don’t drink it soon I definitely won’t get the full effect


I think that people expect the flavor to be what the hype is about but there’s more to this tea than flavor. The scent is haunting as you pointed out,and there is a lingering that becomes a longing for more.(I’m sounding like an addict!)


I prefer laoshan black to this, though I did enjoy this one :)

Terri HarpLady

If I could only choose 1 tea, it would be Laoshan black, but I can choose as many teas as I want, so this is one of them. It always feels like a luxury.


A dozen steeps is impressive.


Your Gaiwan skills made me laugh, a 4 arms woman, now that’s a vision! I used to hold on to those super special samples for so long, they got tired and were no longer potent by the time I decided to brew them… So no more special occasion to try special teas!

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