Golden Moon sample No. 7 of 31. You guessed it — randomly picked.

This is going to be interesting. It’s my first loose leaf gunpowder green tea. I’m enjoying looking at the little rolled up leaves as I haven’t been able to see them before when I’ve had bagged gunpowder. They’re nestled in and among the brighter green, flat mint leaves.

It’s also going to be interesting because of my love affair with Samovar Moorish Mint, the only flavored green tea that has my number so far.

Smells minty (duh) and the dusky smell of the tea adds some depth and darkness. I’m reminded of Girl Scout thin mints. I heart Girl Scout thin mints! This bodes well.

It steeps to a golden yellow with a hint of green. A dark champagne color. The minty aroma has become duskier, greener and lost its thin mint quality. It’s more like a warmed-up mint cordial.

The minty note is fresh and clean, and lands softly on a surprisingly mellow gunpowder base. I expected it to be more pungent than it is. I’d describe it as a cross between wheatgrass and parsley with maybe a little moss thrown in. It’s not quite sweet, but it’s not overpowering or bitter either. The tea feels soft and velvety, and the finish is sweet with a persistent minty freshness.

It’s a nice mint. I’d drink it if I couldn’t get the Samovar and I wanted a mint tea instead of a tisane, but it isn’t a replacement for the Moorish Mint.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Mmmm…thin mints… ::drools::

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Mmmm…thin mints… ::drools::

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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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