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Golden Moon sample No. 8 of 31. I was glad that my random selection today was an oolong. I was in the mood for one. I can already tell I’m not likely to stop at one oolong today.

The dry leaves are very green, ranging from a dark forest color to a much lighter yellow green. Some stems are present. The leaves are tightly curled, almost in little balls. Their fragrance isn’t strong; they smell a little grassy, with a slight bit of toastiness (not nearly as as much as more oxidized oolongs often have). There’s a hint of a floral note, but it isn’t anywhere near as intense, or as beautiful, as that of the Life In Teacup An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style.

Liquor is pale yellow with a green tinge, very like that of many green teas. The aroma is unusual. It is floral, but… it unfortunately reminds me of the floral smell of some dishwashing liquids. It has a soapy undertone.

Thankfully, there is no soap in the taste. I do get a little bit of butter, a little bit of cream, and some floral taste on the first steep.

Second steep: 3:30 min. Color is a deeper yellow, aroma is still a little soapy, but it seems to be less now. Flavor has a more toasty, vegetal quality now. Not as heavy on the butter. There is a mild floral sweetness as well.

Third steep: 4 min. Less toasty, more vegetal, about the same buttery, about the same floral.

Fourth steep: 4:30 min. Not toasty, less vegetal, more buttery, more floral.

Fifth steep: 5:00 min. Sigh. I’m not going to do a fifth steep. I’m just not liking this enough to do another one. :-(

On a positive note, I love how wet oolong leaves look. When they unfurl, they are quite dramatic looking. It’s the same effect as those little gelatin capsules kids drop in water, and as they dissolve animals made of sponge come out that are four or five times the size of the capsule. It makes steeping somewhat unpredictable, though, since you never know whether the leaves are going to outgrow the filter when you start. (Are those oolong leaves in your filter or are you just glad to see me?) These were no exception. Wet, they are grand, majestic things that have expanded to take up about four times as much room in the filter as when they started. Olive green, with interesting serrated edges.

In all, I’m unlikely to order this one. It doesn’t bowl me over. It doesn’t even show enough promise that I want to give it another chance. I don’t find the aroma appealing, it doesn’t do anything special for me in terms of mouth feel. And it isn’t as flavorful as others I’ve had, nor does it have the character of some I’m currently enamored of.

I’m a little sad about it as I was hoping to discover another favorite. C’est la vie.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Rabs

“Are those oolong leaves in your filter or are you just glad to see me?”

Rabs

What the heckie-pooh?!?! My whole freakin’ paragraph just dissappeared! Um, so your whole paragraph on the unfurling of the oolong made me crack up – beautiful! The rest of the paragraph described how much you’ve inspired me to try Life in Teacup’s oolongs before making any other oolong purchases. :)

__Morgana__

Lol. Yes, I like the LIT ones I’ve tried (all two of them) quite a bit. LIT also lets you order samples, so you can try a bunch of different ones. I got my samples when I bought a green tea from them, but you can also just buy them individually. Upton has some nice oolongs, too. I’m pretty much of a newb on these as well and looking forward to broadening my horizons, but I have encountered a couple that weren’t in the same league as the frontrunners and I’m sad to say this is one of those.

Rabs

As I recall, this one morphed into a floral tea on my 3rd steep. It was really bizarre (for me in a good way) – it’s like it stopped being an oolong and became this flower-power tea. So I guess that it’s more of a floral frontrunner than an oolong fruntrunner for me. And I do think that I’ve added a few oolongs from Upton due to some of your reviews as well :D

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Rabs

“Are those oolong leaves in your filter or are you just glad to see me?”

Rabs

What the heckie-pooh?!?! My whole freakin’ paragraph just dissappeared! Um, so your whole paragraph on the unfurling of the oolong made me crack up – beautiful! The rest of the paragraph described how much you’ve inspired me to try Life in Teacup’s oolongs before making any other oolong purchases. :)

__Morgana__

Lol. Yes, I like the LIT ones I’ve tried (all two of them) quite a bit. LIT also lets you order samples, so you can try a bunch of different ones. I got my samples when I bought a green tea from them, but you can also just buy them individually. Upton has some nice oolongs, too. I’m pretty much of a newb on these as well and looking forward to broadening my horizons, but I have encountered a couple that weren’t in the same league as the frontrunners and I’m sad to say this is one of those.

Rabs

As I recall, this one morphed into a floral tea on my 3rd steep. It was really bizarre (for me in a good way) – it’s like it stopped being an oolong and became this flower-power tea. So I guess that it’s more of a floral frontrunner than an oolong fruntrunner for me. And I do think that I’ve added a few oolongs from Upton due to some of your reviews as well :D

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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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