Golden Moon sample No. 13 of 31. Have been eyeing this since I pulled it out of the basket a couple of days ago and waiting for work from home Wednesday when I have all my necessary tea accoutrements near me to give it a go.

I’m pretty sure this is my first Irish Breakfast. So I don’t have anything to compare it to on that score. Also, I think this one should probably steep a bit longer than I steeped it for full effect. That said…

They weren’t kidding about “the beautiful golden tips highlighted against deep black leaves.” Though I’d say the leaves were more brown than black and straight in shape, the tips are huge and an amazing contrast in color as well as in texture. The nose of the dry leaves is roasty, even slightly smoky, and seriously malty in a Guinness Stout sort of way. I am guessing that that is what characterizes Irish Breakfast, though I haven’t yet looked it up.

The aroma after steeping is sweet, sugary, definitely malty and interestingly complex. Maybe I’m just suggestible today, but they told me there were cherries and I found cherries, they told me there were prunes and I found prunes, they told me there was honey and I found honey. I didn’t really find hazlenut, though there was something I could call nutty. In addition, I detected a chocolate note and a caramel note. The liquor is a very lovely deep tawny red-orange-brown.

The flavor is smooth, sweet but not too sweet, with some deep, fruity notes. I definitely tasted prunes, which made me smile. The maltiness isn’t as great in the taste as in the aroma, but it is definitely the backdrop. I’d like to steep it stronger and see what that does. I was a little distracted by work (heavens to betsy!) as I was drinking, but since this is definitely tasty enough to enjoy again, I’m looking forward to exploring its mysteries further.

If breakfast blends are to tea as black is to shoes, soon my cupboard will be mimicking my closet. I don’t even remember how many pairs of black shoes I have. [hangs head in shame]

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

There’s no shame in having a discerning taste in both teas and shoes! ;)

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There’s no shame in having a discerning taste in both teas and shoes! ;)

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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.


Bay Area, California



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