Golden Moon sample No. 29 of 31. The end is so near, and I’m making a push to finish my samples in a fit of completion compulsion.

I’ve been looking forward to this. I haven’t had a non-green, non-flavored oolong in a while. I’m excited to revisit one.

The dry leaves are multicolored: dark brown, lighter brown, some green and some silver. They have a rich, dark, roasty nose that reminds me of the Formosa oolongs from the Upton sampler. Very nice. Toasty/nutty. Steeps to a deep, golden yellow.

The aroma is as I expected from my earlier experiences with different Formosa oolongs. Fruity. Nutty.

It’s very tasty, though I’m not sure I’m getting everything described, at least not in the first steep. I’m not getting chestnuts so much as something that is almost like a Brazil nut; I’m not getting dates so much as something that is almost like apricot. Floral? Some, but I can’t be sure it’s orange blossom. I am not sure I could identify the scent of an orange blossom. If it is citrusy, I’m not getting citrus. Cedar? Well, the roastiness does have something in common with wood, but… hmm.

Second steep: 3 mins. Deeper gold liquor, closer to amber. A very obvious floral note to the aroma, which must be the orange blossom. It’s even slightly orangy smelling, but only very slightly. Flavor is deeper and more complex. I taste citrus! And a nutty/fruity/woody flavor, like you get from sucking on a peach pit, but without bitterness.

Third steep: 4 mins. Still an amber liquor, but in other respects, starting to fade. The citrus/floral note to the aroma is more obvious this time around but against a background that seems a little flat. There is more wood in the flavor this time, and less suggestion of fruit and nut.

I feel like I should try a fourth steep, but I’m afraid to. This seems already to be on the descrescendo.

I like it. I’m not sure I like it more than the Formosa Oolongs I have from Upton though admittedly I haven’t tasted those in a while. I’m going to get another sample instead of a full tin at this point and taste some other oxidized oolongs in the meantime to see how this one rates against them before I commit to a full tin.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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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