81

Golden Moon sample No. 11 of 31. Plucked from the basket at random.

I may have used too much water in steeping these leaves. I had about enough for .9 cups in the sample. I played a little with water levels over the course of several steeps.

The dry leaves are long, and silvery green. Snow seems an apt description; it’s like you’re seeing the green of the leaves through a light dusting of white. I didn’t notice any fuzziness to them but I was a little rushed as it was right before dinner so I didn’t get to do a relaxed examination of the leaves. For me it wasn’t an obvious snow, certainly nothing near Christmas tree flocking. Rather, it was all in gradations of color.

When I first started with this one, I thought this was going to be the story of the tea that wasn’t there. The dry leaves don’t have a strong nose. It took a while to get my olfactory muscle memory working enough to detect something describable. When I finally could smell something I could put into words, the words that came were “salty green.” Like the plants in a marsh leading into an ocean. The saltiness also had a sharpness. I know this will sound weird, but it reminded me of the smell of the brown powder in Lipton Onion Soup Mix.

The liquor was virtually clear. It was only a slight green tinge that kept this from being the invisible tea. Aroma-wise, also nothing very strong. Dew, maybe pollen. The borderline between green and floral.

The taste was similarly subtle but surprisingly complex. It took several steeps for me to get a handle on and appreciate the taste. I took it through four steeps. The complexity gradually started to show itself; at the end of four steeps, I wished I had more of this so I could follow where it led.

Here is what I tasted, in no particular order: a light film of butter, a grainy nuttiness (like the kind you find in “Grape Nuts”), a little whiff of salt, a sweet spicy/salty flavor that reminded me of sauteed leeks at times and at others of sauteed scallions. Then I read the notes here and saw macademia nuts. Yeah, I can see that too; it’s a sweet, mild, buttery, salty nuttiness that I associate with those.

After steeping, the leaves looked the color of overcooked asparagus or green beans, a faded olive green. The silver was gone, but they were still pretty.

So yeah, I want to give this another try. It’s surprisingly interesting and even a little challenging, and like good literature, I think there is a lot more there than I found on a first “read.”

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

As usual, wonderfully descriptive tasting note! White teas, for me, taste “soupy” too. I love the Onion Soup Mix reference!

__Morgana__

Thanks! No idea where that scent comes from in this tea. It’s reallly fun when something you totally don’t expect shows up in what you’re smelling or tasting.

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Comments

Stephanie

As usual, wonderfully descriptive tasting note! White teas, for me, taste “soupy” too. I love the Onion Soup Mix reference!

__Morgana__

Thanks! No idea where that scent comes from in this tea. It’s reallly fun when something you totally don’t expect shows up in what you’re smelling or tasting.

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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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