45

Second to last of the original bagged tea splurge left to write about. Woo hoo!

I wanted to drink this after the White Nectar Osmanthus Spring because the Moonlight Spice is, as the name suggests, heavily spiced and I feared it would influence my palate if I tasted in the other direction.

The white tea in this one is identified on the packaging as Pai Mu Tan (aka white peony). In my admittedly v. limited knowledge obtained from reading books about tea, I would suspect this is the base for the White Nectar as well as it seems to be less costly than other white teas that contain only buds.

When I sniff the bags, the dominant smell is the cinnamon/orange/clove “Constant Comment” combo, followed by ginger, followed by nonspecific citrus. The liquor’s color is quite dark and orange/brown, almost like that of a standard black tea. Its aroma is mostly cinnamon and some clove. It reminds me of the smell of a spiced “tea” my mother used to make for my father when he had colds. I am fairly sure there was no tea in it at all, just cinnamon, clove and perhaps some other spices.

The tea has a slightly tart taste, probably from the combination of the citrus and hibiscus. I note that it contains dried lime, which may be the same lime from the Dry Desert Lime tisane and which is quite tart. The Moonlight Spice is much less tart than that. I can taste cinnamon and orange, and a little ginger. I can taste the tea only slightly, and I may only be able to taste it because I have the taste of the White Nectar still resident in my personal RAM from the earlier tasting.

It’s not bad, but it isn’t something I think I’d choose if I were going to choose a flavored white tea. The flavors are pretty strong for the delicacy of white tea to stand up to. And if I were going to choose tea with this spice profile, I would likely choose one with a black tea base, a tisane or chai. I wouldn’t cast that in stone, though. This could be a good medicinal choice for when a small amount of caffeine would provide a boost and when black tea is too strong or rich.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Bio

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.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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