"Gold medals aren't really made of gold.
They're made of sweat, determination,
and a hard-to-find alloy called guts."
What? a golden tea? That was indeed my reaction when I first encountered this tea. I guessed that it was possibly a referral to the gold standard, as the price label that comes attached to the tea is quite high. But it was more! The tea leaves itself are a bright shiny golden color, and with it's narrow shaped, tightly rolled needle shaped leaves, it very well resembles the needles of a hay stack. Or better said, a beautiful head of blonde hairs shimmering in the evening sun.
The saying goes that due to a sudden change on a tea tree of the Yabukita cultivar, the tree became dressed in bright shining feathers of gold. The farmer -- astonished as he was -- immediately commenced reproduction from branch cuttings, and now, 25 years later, the area around Moroko-zawa in Shizuoka is known to host the only tea farm where in Spring the tea leaves don't turn green, but golden. Consequently, the harvested amounts are scarce, which makes the tea highly valuable.
This particular tea was harvested and produced by hand, which makes the tea many times more valuable. The tea leaves resemble small flowers when picked, and provide only the deepest and most delicious flavor. As the tea is naturally high in amino acids, it's flavor and especially aftertaste is closely similar to that of Gyokuro. And, in contrast to what is considered common practice with other green tea variations, by resting the tea for a certain period of time before consuming it, it's aroma and sweetness become enhanced.
The Golden Tea in our Signature Collection, is from the Spring 2014 hand picked batch.
Let's take a closer look.
For the infusion, I have applied the following brewing standards.
The dry leaf exhausts a strongly sweet and fruity fragrance with a profound sense of depth to it's aroma. In hot water, the leaves slowly unfold, while steadily imbuing the brew with a deep yellow tint. Here as well, the infused leaves maintain their fruity sweet fragrance with a deep and full body to it's aroma, giving prominence to it's existence.
The brew is high in umami flavor and reveals a slight hint of astringency. A lingering full bodied sweetness colors it's aftertaste. The astringency is best sensed to the sides of- and under the tongue. On the hunt for more flavor indicators, I could also sense a slight hint of orange like citrus fruit In the deeper corners of it's aroma and a syrup or honey type of sweetness to it's body.
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