Golden Moon Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

I bought this nearly a year ago and haven’t tried any until today. Bad Christina!

(I’m not a big oolong person, but this was part of the Golden Moon sampler pack I ordered. I remember quite liking their Coconut Pouchong.)

This….is not knocking my socks off. The dry leaf looks really dark and roasted, but I’m getting a really green, floral undercurrent to it. And I don’t think the sweet caramel flavour is playing very nicely with the base.

Meh. Ah well. If you’re reading this tasting note and think you can give it a better home in your belly, let me know – I’m happy to send it your way.

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80

Lovely, rich, robust black tea. I’d begun to worry that my Golden Moon Tea sampler might turn out to be a total bust, but this is by far the best and most flavorful tea that I’ve tried from the company so far. I added a small amount of milk and beet rock sugar, which enhances the flavor of this tea. It’s really nice with the banana nut bread I’m having for breakfast.

It’’s not the best black tea I’ve ever had. I’d like it to be a little stronger, but it’s good. I may be overrating it a little since the other 2 Golden Moon Teas I tried were so disappointing, but I’d definitely buy this one.

I used 1.5 tsp. per 8 oz. water since I’d found the other Golden Moon samples rather bland. It worked great, but the tea is flavorful enough that I’d probably try 1 tsp. per 8 oz. next time. Also, I followed the company’s brewing instructions and steeped this one for 4 minutes, and I did not think it became bitter, not even when I tried it before adding milk.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Malt, Nutty

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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48

A quick note about the ingredients list — I entered the list, but it doesn’t include some of the options I needed to add. So, the ingredient is cardamom pods, not seeds, and the final ingredient is organic black pepper. Also, I’m not sure whether or not this is the same tea others have reviewed called Kashmiri Chai — in this sampler, the label says Masala Chai.

This is the second disappointing tea I’ve tried in my Golden Moon Tea sampler. I brewed it in a teapot and then added warmed milk, but I suspect it would have been better brewed on the stove and steeped in the milk. A couple of days ago, I brewed this using 1 tsp. per 8 oz. water, but that tasted very bland. This time, I increased it to 1.5 tsp. per 8 oz., and I guess there’s slight improvement. Still, I mainly taste cinnamon and cloves, and certainly not black tea. Also, I like for my chai to have a peppery kick, and this doesn’t have that at all — I’m shocked that black pepper is actually one of the ingredients.

I haven’t had many bad chais, and this qualifies as one of the worst. I would rather brew my own chai using my own black tea and spices than drink this regularly. Honestly, even Stash makes more flavorful bagged chai tea than this. I don’t think the spices are very fresh, as they are far less potent than some of the spices in my own pantry — and some of my spices are quite old. I’d considered adding some of my own cardamon pods, black tea and maybe fennel seeds to see if I could improve this — if I had more of this tea on hand, I’d definitely do that next time.

It’s not bitter or anything. It’s just…boring.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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50

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50

I just got New Moon’s big sampler, and this is the second I’ve tried from it. But… A tea with real vanilla bean should not be bland . It does not take a great deal of vanilla to infuse something with a lot of flavor — I have no idea why this tea is so dissatisfying. It’s not terrible. I’m new to the tasting notes, so I may not give the most helpful description ever, but I find the tea very flat. I’ll have to brew with more tea leaves next time to have any flavor at all, I think. I’ve got black loose leaf tea in my pantry over two years old that tastes stronger than this.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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44
drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
5761 tasting notes

Dexter sent this one my way and i’m really glad i got the chance to try this as it would have likely ended up one of the ones i would have ordered eventually. I’m not a fan. lol I get very little honey and no pear…instead it’s sort of just a weirdly tasting cup of tea. It’s just not delivering on anything that i hoped it would. :( Thanks for sharing though dexter! i appreciate it!

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67
drank Snow Sprout by Golden Moon Tea
1666 tasting notes

Light, slightly sweet as it cools with vegetal and hay-light notes. Not a lot of substance over all, but this is an older sample. It’s nothing special really, just a rather light and delicate silver needle white tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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65

I got a small tin of this in the last TTB and decided to break into it. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Much sweeter than I wanted, almost syrupy. I think it would make a lovely iced tea in the summer, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for in the dead of winter.

I’m also not quite sure what the melons were – looking at the picture, I can see honeydew and cantaloupe, though neither came through distinctly when I was drinking. I wonder if I can taste them now that I know they are both there?

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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drank White Licorice by Golden Moon Tea
1666 tasting notes

I was never a big fan of licorice – in fact I downright loathed it as a kid. Time (and good tea) has eased my dislike considerably but it’s still not my favourite flavouring. As it turns out, this tea has it in spades. In the blend’s defense there aren’t any artificial licorice flavours used, instead the licorice was achieved with star anise. Star anise, while very licorice-y, has a unique flavour all of its own and none of the (sometimes overwhelming) sweetness that usually comes along with adding licorice root to teas. It complements the white tea base well and it isn’t horribly strong or anything. I personally wouldn’t buy it, but if you enjoy licorice flavours then this may well be the tea for you.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank White Licorice by Golden Moon Tea
1666 tasting notes

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44
drank Lapsang Souchong by Golden Moon Tea
1666 tasting notes

Mmmm nice crispy, bacon… At least that’s what the tea smells like. I’ll be honest I’m not a big fan of lapsang souchong, preferring its milder sibling Russian Caravan but I have found a few that I liked so I try and keep an open mind.

This one is definitely smokey but at same time apart from the smoke the flavour is curiously bland making this tea something like a one-note wonder. There’s just a bit of sweetness somewhere in the middle and something weird that might be pitch. Whatever it is I’m just not feeling it with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Pu-erh by Golden Moon Tea
1666 tasting notes

The smell of this tea is intriguing – as other people have described it I found it to be almost chocolate-like with a cured-hay undertone. Flavour-wise the earth notes were present but quite mild and smooth so I would definitely recommend this tea for someone who doesn’t like strong pu-erhs or is just starting to get in to that particular tea type. Unlike many pu-erhs it unfortunately doesn’t hold up all that well for resteeping as I found the 2nd steeping (@ 4 min) to be rather weak in comparison.
As someone who is (slightly) more familiar with pu-erh teas this one didn’t wow me particularly but it was pleasent enough to drink while I scroll through my tumblr.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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83

This was a bonus sample from my swap with Tealizzy. I’ve been interested in trying this tea for a while, though I’ve only ever tried one other tea from Golden Moon. They’re changed their business model lately, and now only carry organic teas, so this one looks to be discontinued. Hopefully I don’t fall in love! The pellets are quite small compared to other rolled oolongs I’ve had lately, and they look to be a medium to dark roast. Dry scent is sweet with a brown sugar note.

The steeped tea smells roasted and sweet. I’m surprised that it doesn’t taste overly sweet. The brown sugar and/or caramel notes are present and they make a nice accent to the slightly sweet, roasted flavor of the oolong. There’s a very light taste of apples as well. It’s pretty good, but luckily I don’t love it.

Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Nuts, Roasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

I enjoyed that one

Tealizzy

I noticed they changed their business model…wasn’t sure if this one was cut or not. Oh well, now you know what it was like. ;)

Amariel

Sounds lovely, though.

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57

A very old sample but sealed in metallic like packaging. The leaves are longer, larger, and the color seems a little bit on the brown side. The flavor was okay, definitely no old-green-tea-flavor which was nice, but overall, this one doesn’t really have too much other flavor either. Almost like drinking plain hot water. Nothing offensive, but also nothing special. Too bad. Not a resteep for me.
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep

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84

Backlog from a couple days ago. This is an older sample, but it’s basically completely sealed in metal (well, plastic metal) so I thought it would be fine. I’m surprised Golden Moon is now rid of most of their usually stocked teas because they went completely organic. (They still have a couple of my favorites like Sinharaja but I don’t want to think about it too long to remember my favorites that I’ll miss.) This is one of the teas missing. I’m guessing by the odd flavor, probably due to the age, that this one wasn’t entirely organic.

Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // 2 min
There is definitely an odd old flavor that a typical oolong wouldn’t normally have. Honestly, it tastes a bit like paint. It’s really only at the top of the first cup and definitely disappears after that. I think it’s what should be the sugar caramel flavor. Which is a shame because underlying that flavor is what I think is a gorgeous oolong. Mostly floral with undertones of peach. My favorite.

Steep #2 // few min after boiling // 2 min
Another delicious cup (thankfully missing that off flavor). This time along with the floral and hints of peach there is pineapple. There you have my three favorite flavor notes in an oolong.

Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min
Another delicious cup and the flavor could keep going. I’ll rate this tea even though it is on the older side, since the base tea is so nice. I think oolongs can last a really long while. They don’t seem to age too badly. A decent oolong like this one doesn’t need flavoring… I was a little skeptical of “sugar caramel” anyway.

Dustin

Awww, that’s too bad that they don’t make all their old ones and just label the new ones as organic. Zhi tea discontinued one of my favorites because they couldn’t source those particular ingredients organic anymore. I’d still buy it even if it wasn’t organic.

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drank Pu-erh Chai by Golden Moon Tea
517 tasting notes

I have a confession to make; I am terrified of pu-erh. After trying this tea, I’m pretty sure it knows. I don’t get any spice out of this, just overwhelming bitterness and earthiness. It tastes like wet, moldy leaves smell in the fall when no amount of raking or collecting seems to get rid of them (and for the record, I am allergic to the mold on those leaves). There’s maybe a hint of orange peel that lingers after the sip, but since I’m not a fan of orange peel either I don’t consider that a plus. I’m going to refrain from rating this since pu-erh seems to really not be my thing. At least I know that for sure now.

Nicole

That’s been my thought about pu-erh – it senses my fear.

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65

Well, having gotten a couple of emails by now about Golden Moon changing the way they do things, I’m looking at the couple of old sample pouches I have left and feeling bemused. I’m not sure what the point of sampling is if they’re going to have all new tea! But at least it’s a sipdown.

This is fine, but I’ve had better jasmines. The floral flavor is intense at the start of the sip and then just disappears. There’s a hint of sweetness but it’s also there and gone, and the base is lackluster. Luckily I’ve already found several jasmines I love, because this is not going to be added to that list.

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drank Sinharaja by Golden Moon Tea
609 tasting notes

Okay, I needed to follow the directions, I guess. I was a little nervous about steeping a Ceylon type of tea for 4-5 minutes. But at 3 minutes I get a pretty standard, unremarkable tea with none of the notes that other reviewers have noticed. Gonna have to try it again. Longer time, maybe more leaf.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

Oolongs! I really want to try more oolongs. They’re so interesting, so different. Such interesting flavors can happen with them.
Ost sent me this, which was lovely, as I wanted to try it.
Its light, with a faint sugar note laced through it. Mellow, pale, and very good. It was a good accompaniment to the rain that we’re having right now. I like oolongs as afternoon teas.
Thanks to Ost for this sample!

gmathis

It’s interesting, isn’t it? You’d think with “sugar caramel” in the name, it would taste like Sugar Babies…much more delicate than that.

Ost

Wish it had tasted more like Sugar Babies…that would be amazing!!

Kittenna

I also wished this one was sweeter :(

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drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
606 tasting notes

HHTTB

Honey flavored stuff is strange. It is almost a perfume like taste that I associate with honey candies from my childhood, but it never really captures true honey. It makes for a really nice aftertaste, but it never does much for me in the sip. The pear in this is okay, but isn’t very prominent or true to the fruit. It almost matches the honey in perfuminess. I’m kinda eh on this one.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
287 tasting notes

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95
drank Sinharaja by Golden Moon Tea
412 tasting notes

The wonderful and generous DigniTea sent me this tea as part of a swap, and the only label on the bag was “Golden Moon Tea Sinharaja”. I’ve never heard of Golden Moon Tea, or of Sinharaja before, so when I looked at the medium length, black tightly twisted leaves, I had no idea what I was up for.
But then I opened the bag.
Do you know the wonderful smell a really good Ceylon has? Of juicy plums, and sweet, sweet raisins? This tea has it, abundantly.
So, first for the Ceylon haters among you – yes, it is astringent. But it is a very, very mild astringency – something that you oftentimes get with Assams, Nilgiris, Kenyans or other non-Chinese black teas.
And now for the Ceylon lovers – how is it?
Silky smooth, with a juicy sweetness to it that has a slightly darker twist on the Ceylon flavour profile than more sparkling Ceylons and Ceylon blends have. This is like a Ceylon grown up – no longer playing the trumpet, but taking on a baritone saxophone instead. So there isn’t the bass of an Assam, or the super smoothness of the Nilgiri, but it is leaning in that direction.
An interesting and excellent Ceylon that is probably a must buy if you like Ceylons, and a “yes, you should certainly give this a go” for people who don’t normally go for the Ceylon flavour.
P.S. I wouldn’t couple this with milk, although if the astringency bothers you, sugar will take what little edge there is off.
P.S. 2 – Sipdown!

Flavors: Molasses, Plums, Raisins

Tealizzy

I really like this one!

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