Golden Moon Sampler No. 5 of 31, selected at random.

Wow, back to back selection of the teas Ewa said she was dreading. [Twilight Zone Music]

I’m also dreading this one, not because I don’t like coconut, but because when I looked up Pouchong I learned that it is between a green tea and an oolong. I’ve only had one flavored oolong which was good, but I’ve never met a flavored green tea that I really really liked, with the exception of the Samovar Moorish Mint. I really wanted to like this one. It seems as though it has many fans, so I was hopeful as I started out.

The dry leaves are medium length, twisty, a dark to medium green with yellow highlights and smell like toasted coconut. It’s like someone put a maccaroon in this tea! (I heart maccaroons, so now I’m even more hopeful.) There is also a pronounced floral note. I looked at the ingredients to make sure there wasn’t a flower scent in there as well, but if there is it isn’t listed.

My first steep didn’t go particularly well. I decided to make this in a small teapot, and I thought I’d use just the amount of water that I’ve been using in my tastings of these samples — but that amount of water wasn’t sufficient to cover the leaves. So I had to add a bit more. I am concerned that it was too much. The liquor was a very pale yellowish color, almost colorless, and the aroma and flavor were buttery with a hint of coconut but not a great deal of depth to the flavor.

For the second steep, I used a Finum filter and steeped in the glass. This definitely made a difference in strength. The color was deeper; still pale, but very definitely yellow. The aroma was milky/buttery, floral and toasty/maccaroony.

The first, too-watery tasting made the buttery note primary, and a little on the weak side. But the second is much more satisfactory. Yes! I can taste coconut! It’s a mild, mellow flavor, but it is there. And now I’m kicking myself for not getting this right on the first steep as I can only imagine it should have been a far more accessible flavor the first time through.

I’m thinking I have to order more of this and keep working at it until I find the steeping sweet spot. If and when I do, I expect this will be extraordinary and deserve additional points.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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.


Bay Area, California



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