Golden Moon sample No. 16 of 31. Selected randomly. I was sort of hoping for the Kashmiri Chai, but this was what came out.
I have some, but not a lot, of experience with jasmine tea. Most of my experience is with teas that don’t claim to be exemplars of the genre. So I was really pleased with how the dry leaves smelled when I opened up the sample packet. The jasmine provides a rich and very fresh floral scent. There is a lot of jasmine growing in my neighborhood and on cool spring evenings, it smells wonderful. This strikes me as very similar in fragrance. The tea smells quite nice too. Quietly herbaceous and a little earthy. It is darker than I’d thought it would be, not very green in color — more toward the browner side.
The tea is a dusky, light yellow, and it smells lovely. It’s pretty much only jasmine I’m smelling. Warmed and diffused by the water, the aroma smells even fresher than it did before.
Though I know it isn’t the best descriptor, the adjective that comes to mind upon tasting this is “pretty.” The tea is not distracting, nor is it absent. I am going to try steeping at 2 minutes and see if it becomes more present. It has a sweet, floral flavor, with a very slight vegetal note.
It seems to me a solid jasmine tea in my limited experience, but I had hoped for more green tea flavor to show through.
I looked back at how I rated the Numi jasmine which I think is the only other non-flavored jasmine I’ve rated, and which isn’t as nice at this. I gave it a 71, which is pretty high on my scale. Rather than bump this one up significantly higher, I’m choosing to bump the Numi down a bit. The Golden Moon is tastier and tastes higher quality to me, but as I’m fairly new to jasmine green tea, I am not yet sure it is the best example of its kind. So I’m making it the de facto standard “very good” for now, to be revisited as my experience grows.