237 Tasting Notes

51
drank White Tea by Golden Moon Tea
237 tasting notes

I wanted something light this morning, something to stretch my taste buds to their fullest extent in working out the subtle flavors at play in a mild tea. Well, I certainly got light, or perhaps “lite”. The smell of the dry leaves was appealing enough; a pleasing blend of tea-ness and flower. I noticed that there was one flower in my sample pack, and that others have gotten two.

Two minutes at 180 is all I’m giving it – definitely don’t want to overdo this one. I’m getting a pretty light yellowish-green liquor, with a very faint aroma. I think the floral addition is giving me more of a tisane than tea feel with the smell and appearance. The taste is fine…nothing stand-out, nothing offensive. I’m getting a vegetal top, some honey, and a light aftertaste somewhere in the realm of asparagus. Overall, I’d call it a good basic white tea, wouldn’t turn it down if offered but wouldn’t go out of my way to order it again.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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33

A faint smoky smell greets me on opening the packet; the dark olive green pearls also have a slightly acrid scent. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a gunpowder, so I’m not too sure what to expect. I’ll do two and a half minutes at 180, as I’m thinking this will be strong enough for my taste.

Whew! Sure is. There’s smoke there, but it’s also really astringent already. The liquor is a somewhat cloudy green-tinged brown. The scent of the liquid is lightly smokey, with green tea pushed to the background. Bitterness too – something I’m not usually turned off about, if it’s in moderation. However this bitterness feels somehow much more penetrating than usual, and lingers at the back of the throat. Maybe I just steeped it too long, though it was right in the middle of their 2-3 minute guideline. Ooof! Don’t think I’ll be able to finish this cup, though I think I’d try it again steeped for maybe half the time to see if it made a difference.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Think I may open this sample today and then we can compare notes.

Adham

Great – looking forward to hearing what you think…

Rabs

Oh, I am so having bad tea flashbacks. I really disliked this tea. ::shudders::

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54
drank White Ginger by Golden Moon Tea
237 tasting notes

I’m approaching this one warily – dare I say gingerly? It’s such a strong flavor, and to team it up with delicate white tea… Opening the packet there was a pronounced but not overpowering ginger aroma, and when I poured the sample into the hot water there were about 20 or 30 little ginger chunks which immediately sank to the bottom. Well, I like ginger anyway, so I gave it three and a half minutes at 180.

I’m really surprised at how mild this is. I’m getting the mouth feel of the white tea, which is nice, and just the tiniest bit of warmth on the back end from the spice. There’s a pleasing amount of natural sweetness to the flavor, but really not a whole lot else going on for me. It might be worth trying it again brewed up much more strongly and then iced?

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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61

All right Golden Moon, you’re going to have a hard time living up to Mariage Freres Vanille des Iles or Black Orchid…let’s see what you’ve got. The aroma is promising, strong natural vanilla flavor, and some sweet background note as well, like malt or cocoa. I see a sliver or two of vanilla bean too, a great sign.

In the pot, it brews up a clear dark brown, and after three minutes I’m getting a woodsy scent in there now too. I like my vanilla tea strong, but I’ll stop at four minutes to see where we are with it. The first sip is…underwhelming. I taste the black tea, which is fine, but where the vanilla is supposed to be is a place holder value that’s not quite what I was expecting. There’s still a pleasant maltiness in the aftertaste. It’s trying really hard but is not yet there. Shucks! Maybe the addition of cream and sugar will bring out more flavors.

Not so much. The warmth of vanilla is there, but again it feels like it’s standing in for the real thing, which is waiting in the wings somewhere but never quite arriving. Overall a pleasant tea, but not enough vanilla flavor for my taste.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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61
drank Jasmine Tea by Golden Moon Tea
237 tasting notes

I drink most of my tea at work, as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon treat. Am I too far gone if I say that one reason I looked forward to coming back to work today was so that I could try a new Golden Moon sampler?

I chose their Jasmine tea today; this has been one of my favorite flower scents since we had a jasmine vine at the house where I grew up. The smell reminds me of long evenings during summer vacation… I love jasmine pearl teas for their aesthetic qualities, so it’s been a while since I’ve had a straight jasmine tea. When I cut open the sampler packet, the first whiff I got gave me not so much jasmine as bubble gum/Juicy Fruit! Very sweet and fruity aroma. The leaves are quite dark green and it’s really a very generous sample size.

After three minutes, the tea is quite a deep greenish brown color, so I’ll call it quits there. The taste is very fruity, and again I wouldn’t call it a quintessential jasmine flavor or aroma. There’s also quite a pronounced astringency – I think this may have been better at a lower water temperature than the 190 I used this time.

It’s not unpleasant, but I can’t help comparing it to my favorite jasmine pearl teas, which are unmistakably scented with the flower and leave a lingering aftertaste for a long, long time.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Coconut Pouchong by Golden Moon Tea
237 tasting notes

After reading some of the rave reviews here for this tea, I was a little initimidated. Kind of like meeting a movie star: would it be as nice in person as I’m imagining? Cutting open the sampler packet, I was immediately hit with the aroma. Not the suntan lotion coconut I’d feared, but rich, creamy and toasted. The leaves are pretty too – they look good. This bodes well!

The taste follows through on the promise of the scent. The coconut flavor is incredibly creamy, and makes me think of a macaroon dipped in milk. There is so much rich, delicious coconut flavor in fact that I’m not getting a whole lot out of the tea other than a background hum. Nothing offensive, but nothing standout either. I’d normally think of pairing coconut flavor with black tea and then putting cream and sugar in it to make a yummy warm drink, so I’ll be on the lookout for that variety next. Still, this is a very tasty tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Genmaicha Extra Green by Den's Tea
237 tasting notes

Opening up the sample packet, I’m struck by the bright green color the matcha lends to the ensemble. Amazing that tea can be so, so green. Fantastic aroma of roasted grains and vegetables. The first steep (boiling, 30 seconds) was also bright green, and sweet. The toasty and vegetal flavors are holding hands in the middle of the room, making googly eyes at each other. No bitterness at all, and just the tiniest hint of astringency.

2nd steep: boiling, 15 seconds. Losing some of the nuttiness in the aroma this time around. Still a really bright green liquor though. All the flavors are still there, but now they’ve mellowed with the passing of time and are content to simply be present in their own subtle way.

I think I like this one a bit more than Den’s bagged Genmaicha, if for no other reason than to enjoy the sight of the leaves as they transform under the influence of the water.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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89

It’s after lunch and I’m in the mood for something sweet – this one sounded like it would hit the spot and did not disappoint. Gorgeous sweet, caramel aroma. Mouth-watering, in fact!
These leaves really popped open during the steep, and continued exuding their yummy smell. The recommended steeping time was 2-3 minutes, and I know I like my flavored teas strong, so I went with three. This gave me a medium-brown liquor with a medium amount of oolong and caramel flavor. Really well balanced, but I think for my personal taste I’d probably steep it longer. There’s a sweet taste to it, but I couldn’t help but wonder how this would be with cream and sugar, despite the fact that I usually drink oolongs straight.
Very nice! Now it’s like a melted butterscotch candy, much richer and really almost decadent. Dare I still call this tea, or am I only drinking it as a dessert substitute?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
JonTea

mmmmm :)

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

This was one that grew on me and each time it got better. I think it wad the depth of the sweetness I wasn’t used to. Delicious!

Adham

Couldn’t agree more – might have to order this one as a good afternoon or evening “dessert” tea.

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89

This is nice! The leaves are perfectly scented, pretty without being overpowering in their sweet melon-ness. Once it’s brewed up the cup is a bit darker than I expected with four minutes of steeping, but the taste turned out just right for me. It’s definitely melon-flavored, but it doesn’t taste fake, and I still get the tea aspects in there too. There’s also a natural sweetness that complements the fruitiness well. It’s a wonderful marriage of aromas and savors, and I expect this would be great iced on a hot day.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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70

The pyramid bag design is nice; not sure if increases the flow of water over the leaves, though that would seem the case, but it does make a stronger bag that doesn’t look like it would burst easily.

Very finely textured, powdery tea inside – it’s pretty clear that they adjust the size of the leaf bits downwards for the tea that’s going into bags. Nice clear yellow-green color to the liquor. The taste is good, but I’m not getting as many flavors bouncing around as I did with their loose senchas. I agree with other reviewers of this tea that it’s rich and buttery, with the vegetal quality at a pleasing level. I could see having this as a good standard sencha when I don’t feel like taking the extra time to work with loose tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!

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Washington, DC

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