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.”