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Golden Moon Sampler No. 2 of 31. Eyes wide shut random drawing.

I’m gonna run a few laps today, I think. Maybe three. This one, the remaining bit of my Life in Teacup sample, and the Samovar sample.

As I think about it, this may end up being a mistake. I may not be able to get the smell of smoke out of my pores and nose hairs for a few days. (So I’m going to stop thinking about that for fear I might chicken out.)

Before I begin, a disclaimer about sample size. My Samovar is the biggest (about 1.8 cups worth) and its steeping instructions call for a cup of water. According to my scale, this is too much water for this sample. Of course, according to my scale, the GM sample is enough for 1.4 cups. So I’m going to steep the GM and the Samovar in the same amount of water in my 12 or so ounce cup and hope that evens things out a bit, even though there will have been more water in the GM than the Samovar (as the GM had no instructions as to the amount of water). The Life in Teacup sample is the last little bit, about enough for .4 cups. So I’ll adjust water volume accordingly, but the memory of its taste is still quite fresh from my last tasting so that ought to balance things out a bit as well.

On to this one. The dry leaves are dark, brown/green. Greener than, and slightly shorter than the others, but not shorter by much. Their dominant scent is ash, but there’s an interesting chocolate note in there. It’s the smell of the air in a calm residential neighborhood on a fall evening when many houses have lit up their fireplaces for the first fire of the season.

The steeped aroma is gently smoky. There is pine, and a tobacco note as well. The liquor color is medium amber. I expected darker, but it’s a very appealing color.

Now here’s where I scratch my head a bit and wonder if I used too much water (though I think I used the right amount). Full-bodied, this is not. At least not in my view of full-bodied. I would call this medium-bodied. It has a high coffee note, and of course, it’s smoky. But unlike my last lapsang experience, it’s not entirely about the smoke. There’s a strong woody flavor; it’s almost as woody as it is smoky. And by woody, I don’t mean woodsy/piney/sap/evergreen/conifer stuff. I mean it evokes an unfinished furniture store or a lumberyard. (Not to be confused with sawdust. It’s far deeper and more appealing than that.) It’s a pleasant taste and endearing to me, as it reminds me of my long dead grandfather whose trade in the old country was cabinetmaker.

It’s only my second lapsang souchong, and I’m looking forward to exploring more. I may change my mind as I sample more but for now I’d definitely drink this again as an alternative to the deep, almost tarry, pervasive smokiness of a more full-bodied lapsang.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Doulton

I am simply mad about the LS. Maybe I’m accustomed to stronger teas, but I’m taking my entire Golden Moon samples and using them with 4-6 ounces of water maximum.

__Morgana__

I usually do a full packet of a Samovar sample in a cup of water, which is what they recommend, but I was trying to calibrate for fairness here and perhaps my attempt backfired. I’m likely to order more of this so I’ll give it a try as you suggested.

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Doulton

I am simply mad about the LS. Maybe I’m accustomed to stronger teas, but I’m taking my entire Golden Moon samples and using them with 4-6 ounces of water maximum.

__Morgana__

I usually do a full packet of a Samovar sample in a cup of water, which is what they recommend, but I was trying to calibrate for fairness here and perhaps my attempt backfired. I’m likely to order more of this so I’ll give it a try as you suggested.

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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