76
drank Vanilla Mint by Golden Moon Tea
1165 tasting notes

Golden Moon sample No. 10 of 31. Hard to believe I’m a third of the way through. What a fun ride this is. I’m glad I have 2/3 left to look forward to.

This one is making my pulse rate go up and my palms sweat a bit because it’s another green/black blend. My last GM green/black didn’t go so well and I was disappointed because for those who got the steeping right it seemed to be enjoyable. I think I steeped too hot last time, so this time I’m lowering the temperature. However, I’m still sweating a bit because now I fear I may be shortchanging the black part of the blend.

The dry blend is a mix of colors, shapes and textures that gives it a pleasing look. Bright green flecks of mint, dark brown spears of black tea, little dark green gunpowder spheres, and some brown shapes that are likely the vanilla bean pieces, though they are smaller and not as easily identifiable as in other vanilla flavored teas I have tried. The mint fragrance is similar to that of the Moroccan Mint. It’s those Girl Scout thin mints again! But it’s creamy in a way it wasn’t before, with the addition of the vanilla fragrance. I’m thinking mint ice cream now. There’s also a rich, slightly toasty, slightly malty undertone.

I’m going to try to hit 180 (tricky business with the Zo as it is between settings), and steep for 3 minutes. And dang, I missed it on the way down and on the way up as well. Oh well. I’ll use 175.

A clear, light amber infusion. The vanilla and the mint are evident in the aroma and about equally balanced, though the mint predominates slightly. There’s an intermittent cocoa note and a somewhat toasty green one as well.

Ah. This is better than my last green/black attempt. There is no harsh sensation in the back of my throat. I do notice the back of my throat while drinking this which is unusual and which is no doubt resulting from the power of suggestion. I wish I didn’t notice it, but I can’t be sure it’s the tea causing me to. The tea is minty tasting with a softness to it that must be the effect of the vanilla. There is also a sweet, “dark green” flavor from the gunpowder that is most evident in the finish. The black tea may be contributing to the sweetness as well.

Second steep with slightly hotter water, about F183 degrees. This is definitely more in the ballpark of the correct steeping temperature for this. The flavor is richer all around at this temperature, and the black tea is speaking up and contributing some maltiness in a way it wasn’t at 175.

I like this well enough, but I am not sure I’d need both this and the Moroccan Mint in my cabinet at the same time or whether they are similar enough that one would do. I’d really like to try them side by side to see.

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

This is one that I really want to try of theirs. I may just have to place another order with them sometime in the near future, I certainly wouldn’t mind having more of their white licorice!

Rabs

Wonderful tasting note! I’ll add to the chorus of “I wish more tea companies would have sampler sets like this.” It has indeed been a fun ride. :)

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Comments

LiberTEAS

This is one that I really want to try of theirs. I may just have to place another order with them sometime in the near future, I certainly wouldn’t mind having more of their white licorice!

Rabs

Wonderful tasting note! I’ll add to the chorus of “I wish more tea companies would have sampler sets like this.” It has indeed been a fun ride. :)

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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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