Golden Moon random sample No. 18 of 31. With the way my luck is going I will draw Kashmiri Chai dead last. ;-)

Dry leaves have a creamy vanilla scent, similar to the creaminess of the Vanilla Mint. An ice creamy sort of vanilla. It’s not as rich, deep or powerful a fragrance out of the box as I recall the Mariage Freres Black Orchid, which is a pretty high standard to live up to. I can see little pieces of vanilla bean among the dark brown leaves.

The aroma is quite nice. I do smell a somewhat alcoholic note, which I suppose could be rum and a sweet underlying black tea smell along with the vanilla which continues to be an ice creamy/cream soda-y vanilla fragrance. I notice there’s a reference to tropical flowers and I am reminded that some tropical flowers do have a vanilla-like fragrance. I think some orchids do. In any case, if this was meant to refer to other tropical floral scents I’m getting a goose egg, though there is vanilla in spades.

Flavor wise, this is a decent vanilla black, but not spectacular. Far better than the Numi decaf, not as good as the Mariage Freres Black Orchid, possibly not even as good as the Jade Teapot Starry Night, even considering the missing stars and all.

It would not be my go-to vanilla, but I’d be happy to accept it were things I like better not available.

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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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