Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: golden, twisted and curly
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 205 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: pale amber
Some of my tea friends and I were so excited when Verdant Tea released their Golden Fleece this year that we decided to do a virtual group tasting. Being a slightly silly sort, we dubbed this tasting the Fleece Feast. Google+ Hangouts are great for this because it allows everyone to join in even though we had tea lovers in the east coast, midwest and on the west coast. Much tea talk and laughter ensued. It was really interesting to hear my everyone’s impressions on the fly, especially since we were all using different steeping styles. We all enjoyed the evening so much that we are agreed to do more joint tastings. We will all be blogging about our experience and I’ll add the links to everyone’s blog posts as they are published.
Now on to the tea. The dry leaves of this tea were definitely golden and they could certainly be called fleecy. They were so soft and fluffy that I just couldn’t stop playing with them. They were very large with a twisted, curly shape. Although subtle for a black tea, it was full of complex flavor. I think that Geoff described the taste best when he called it a “honey malt teagasm”. It was sweet with an almost chocolate-like richness. There was also an interesting biscuity quality, similar to the one I’ve noted in some silver needle teas. Heavy malt notes and a slight creaminess rounded out the finish. It was not bitter or astringent at all. I was surprised to find that it lacked the peppery taste that most golden needle type teas from Yunnan have. It’s quite expensive and hard to get but this tea is a definite must try. For some different perspectives, make sure that you check out the blog posts written by everyone in the group.
+Darlene Meyers-Perry of The Tea Enthusiast’s Scrap Book didn’t blog this time around but still joined in on the fun
+Rachana Rachel Carter of iHeartTeas
You can find out more about this tea here.