Golden Moon sample No. 27 of 31. Only five teas left to sample. It will be bittersweet to reach the end, but it’s not like I don’t have a ridiculous number of other samples to try, both singles and sets. And next in this group is finally the Kashmiri Chai, which I definitely have to try today. I’ve been waiting for it for a while, and seeing it sitting there next in the stack is just too much for me.
But this isn’t about chai, this is about Rose Tea. I’ve had rose petals in a lot of teas, but their function seems mostly to be decorative. The only other tea I’ve had that really bills itself as a rose tea is the Numi Velvet Garden White Rose. I haven’t had it in a while, but I recall liking it. It doesn’t really seem a proper comparative vehicle here, though, as the GM Rose is a black tea, not a white.
Rose Tea smells utterly divine. I adore rose fragrance, the fresher the better. This smells very fresh. Like burying your nose in a bouquet of long-stemmed roses. The petals are a lovely purplish-reddish-pink and give the illusion of fresh softness. (If you actually pick one up in your fingers, you’ll find it to be dry and crisp.) The black tea adds a slight muskiness to the scent, but for the most part it is rose, rose and more rose.
The smell of the tea base is more prevalent in the aroma of the steeped tea. It has a sweet smell, suggesting sugar or honey, similar to the aromas in others of the GM black teas. The flavor is lovely. The rose predominates, but it is much gentler in the flavor here than it is in the Numi white. I’m not sure if that’s because the black base has more innate strong flavor than the white or for some other reason.
I don’t get any bath products in the flavor; nothing soapy or lotiony, or even perfumy. There’s a quaint nutty aftertaste that is unexpected and helps to banish all resemblance to bath products.
I like this a lot. It’s not something I could see drinking every day, but it’s something I would keep in my cupboard for when it’s the right taste for the right time.
With this in my cupboard, I could let the Numi go as a representative rose flavor without regret.