85

Golden Moon Sample No. 3 of 31. Another random pick.

There was an amusing, crazy, humongous open leaf among the dry leaves, that looked something like a bay leaf. Never seen that before in the teas I’ve tried. Other than that they looked greenish grey with flecks of white. Not sure what kind they are, maybe white peony? They smell sweet and, I guess, melony, but it’s really too pungent to be just melon. The smell reminds me of something I can’t place. Maybe jelly beans? Candy corn? Cotton candy? A tiny bit like caramel? This worried me a little at first. I was afraid this would be gag-me-with-a-spoon sweet. But it turns out I didn’t have to worry.

When steeped, the melon scent becomes evident, and the candy smell recedes greatly. Sometimes the aroma smells a bit like honeydew, sometimes like cantaloupe, sometimes like a mix. It’s a juicy and mildy fermented smell, with a high white wine-like note. The liquor is a clear, pale golden-yellow.

Wow. I’m tasting this as I type and it does taste just like a melon! It’s like drinking a slightly watered-down version of the juice left on the empty plate where the honeydew was at a breakfast buffet, but there’s more to it than that. It’s mildly sweet, but with that same slightly fermented note to it, which must be the underlying tea. Winey. Almost yeasty. It’s very nice indeed. It is the best flavored white tea I have tried so far, not that I’ve tried that many.

I’m giving it a provisional rating that puts it above the other flavored whites I’ve had but isn’t out the roof as I don’t yet have enough of a comparison base in flavored whites to feel comfortable saying this is the best of the best. It may change as my experience changes, but for now I’m calling it a smashing success as a white melon tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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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