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Golden Moon sample No. 6 of 31 at random. I’d think it weird and that I seem to be channeling other Steeples today with this pick, but I’m saved from the weirdness because I actually fished it out of the basket two nights ago after the Coconut Pouchong. I just haven’ t had a chance to give it any attention until now.

Dry leaf mix is a nice range of colors across the tea color spectrum from very dark to silver flecks. Their scent is interesting. Vanilla, surely — it smells like cream soda vanilla to me. And jasmine, just as surely. And some darker notes: tree bark, and something that is almost musky.

I always have a dilemma as to how to steep mixed teas and I know I tend to like my greens steeped under two minutes and my black steeped around 3 minutes. It looked like most folks on Steepster who have had this went with longer steeps, so I chose closer to the black parameters.

To extend the cream soda metaphor, the liquor is pretty much the color of one of those old timely, hearty cream sodas — not the wimpy yellowish ones, the tan/amber ones. The aroma is lovely. The jasmine smells very fresh, and the vanilla smells more seasoned, and they come together in a nice, balanced way.

Unfortunately, I’m not feeling the love in the taste. Maybe I should have steeped longer? Or shorter? I taste some flowers, but not much vanilla. And there is an unexpected harshness to the blend. Something about it is making it stick in the back of my throat rather uncomfortably. It isn’t making me gag, it’s just a noticeable, continuing sensation, almost like an afterburn, though I didn’t drink the tea when it was overly hot. I would call it astringency except that it isn’t affecting anywhere else in my mouth, and astringency for me is usually an all over sensation. As the tea cools, I am able to taste more of the flavor of the green tea, the black tea, and the vanilla, all of which are tasty enough but the strange mouth sensation continues even with cooler tea. After the sensation, whatever it is, dissipates, the aftertaste is sweet and flowery, with an interesting, almost tobacco note.

The jasmine and the aftertaste are enough to make me willing to give this tea another chance, but it would have some work to do to change my mind. Mostly it would have to lose the climbing-up-the-uvula thing it’s doing in the back of my throat.

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

After reading your note and Meghann M’s, I’m wondering if this should be steeped with cooler water in spite of the black in the blend. I am not a fan of that harsh/dry thing some teas do

__Morgana__

Could well be. Would be nice if GM gave some water temp instructions.

Meghann M

I found it to have a weird mouthfeel. I thought maybe it was astringency from the black tea base, but felt different than the bitter feel of other blacks turned astringent. I was really hoping for good things from this tea!

Side note-I picked this out and put it aside after choosing Coconut Pouchong from the sampler yesterday. Great minds thing alike :)

__Morgana__

Meghann, same here, it was sharp in the back of my throat. Very strange.

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teabird

After reading your note and Meghann M’s, I’m wondering if this should be steeped with cooler water in spite of the black in the blend. I am not a fan of that harsh/dry thing some teas do

__Morgana__

Could well be. Would be nice if GM gave some water temp instructions.

Meghann M

I found it to have a weird mouthfeel. I thought maybe it was astringency from the black tea base, but felt different than the bitter feel of other blacks turned astringent. I was really hoping for good things from this tea!

Side note-I picked this out and put it aside after choosing Coconut Pouchong from the sampler yesterday. Great minds thing alike :)

__Morgana__

Meghann, same here, it was sharp in the back of my throat. Very strange.

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. 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 write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with 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. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

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

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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