Golden Moon sample No. 17 of 31. Still no Kashmiri Chai. Sigh. And I’ve not been looking forward to this one as I have recently discovered I don’t care for the way dried chrysanthemums smell to the point where it sets my stomach on edge. I have also discovered that I am able to drink the plain chrysanthemum and enjoy it reasonably well (though I wouldn’t buy it after the sample is gone), as long as I don’t allow myself to smell the dry leaves, or to inhale the aroma of the tea too deeply while I’m drinking. The steeped aroma is just a shadow of the dry, so it’s not quite so problematic for me.
In any case, after reading Rabs’ note on this I realized for the first time this actually did have chrysanthemum in it so I was a little worried about trying it. Fortunately, I do not have the stomach-driven aversion to the scent of the dry leaves here, perhaps because there are only two flowers in the sample. Or perhaps because the salty/marshy note to the white tea that I noticed with the snow buds is present here as well and it overpowers any smell the chrysanthemums might contribute. Or it could even be that this is a different kind of chrysanthemum. It is white, where the others were purple.
In any case, no problem on the smell front. The dry leaves are interesting in that they have some flat, open leaves in them. Almost as many are flat and open as are twisty-pointed. I am not well versed enough to know what kind of tea this is but if I was guessing I’d guess white peony as it is fairly dark in color and seems to contain mostly leaves.
The sample wasn’t big enough to make a full cup, so I’m making about 2/3 of a cup. It makes a pale yellow liquor with a sweet, delicate, lightly floral aroma. No problem here either — either the flowers smell different or there aren’t enough to contribute to the aroma in a significant way.
Tastes like… chicken! Not really. I just have always wanted to say that in a tasting note and just finished having some broiled chicken breast for lunch and was wondering how that would affect the taste if at all.
In reality, it doesn’t taste anything like chicken. It does taste a fair amount like the tea base for the Numi white bagged teas that I was writing about around this time last week, only not as heavy and fresher. It’s sweet and slightly green/floral, with an interesting almost black tea note to it.
At least in my experience, White Tea is an apt descriptor here as I don’t really get any chrysanthemum flavor, unless it’s an intangible contributor to the overall sweetness of the tea. But from my perspective, not getting the chrysanthemum is a really good thing.
I’d probably just as soon try it straight, though. I do worry that in a full tin, the chrysanthemums would be harder to avoid and perhaps have a different effect than I experienced here. That’s enough to make me not want to take a chance on buying more of this.