Golden Moon TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is the first of my tea-of-the-month collection to finish off. This saddens me. I adore this tea.It’s the first days of summer heat, but I’m steeping this up anyway. My last cup of Snow Dragon is sitting beside me now, filling the air with its clean, vegetal fragrance. It’s such a crisp cup of tea, and it even tastes smooth and relaxing. I get nervous brewing teas with short steep times (fifteen seconds!) but I didn’t botch it up this time. Despite the summer heat, it’s refreshing. It’s so light that I hardly notice the thin film of sweat across my brow.
My tin may be empty, but this one works for multiple steeps. It’s rare that I’ll dry out leaves to steep them again later, but this one is well worth the effort.
Here’s Hoping TTB
Ooo, this is yummy! Rich and chocolatey with a hint of sweetness and a touch of astringency that keeps you going back for one more sip. Definitely wouldn’t mind having this one in my cupboard!
Flavors: Astringent, Chocolate, Sweet
Ah, the reason I rejoined steepster. I spoiled myself and signed up for Golden Moon’s insider tea club, and already it’s off to a fabulous start.
This isn’t a tea you make with the “hot water” of the work water cooler and forget about as it sits on your desk. This requires precision and adequate time to prepare and savor. And a proper cup—I broke out my porcelain for this one. This tea is SO smooth. I didn’t catch that the first few steeps, since I oversteeped it, but my fourth attempt is perfect. (The steep time is incorrect on this review, since 15 seconds is the shortest it will go. It’s actually five. Yes, seconds. That’s just enough time to pour in the water and pour it out again. It makes me feel like a scientist.)
This tea was grown on a private lot in the mountains of China, and you can almost SMELL it. I don’t know what standing in the middle of a tea farm smells like, but I’d bet this is it. Smooth, fresh, with a scent of dew-dropped grass. This tea deserves a porch on a mountain overlooking China. Unfortunately, I’m in New Jersey, but the Hudson River is pretty, too.
It’s sweet and buttery in your mouth, and smooth on the way down. There’s no overwhelming aftertaste, just the slightest hint of that dew-dropped grass. I intended to make my current cup last long enough to finish this review, but… well, I don’t have to tell you how THAT went.
A side note: this can be stepped up to 20 times (!), and is thus far the only tea I’ve dried out between steeps to keep for future use. And it just gets better each time. (I’m responsible for the photo here in the swanky glass teapot, because why wouldn’t I use a swanky glass teapot?)
This oolong is not as sweet as I was expecting it to be (judging by the name). It was smooth caramel with nutty/woodsy notes. The oolong not base is fairly decent. The mouthfeel is silky with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It is a fairly enjoyable tea. However, there is something that is just kind of “blah” for me, kind of plain and boring for some reason. I am not sure why, because usually I really enjoy this flavour profile. IDK.
Resteeped for 4 minutes and it was much the same.
On national tea day I happened upon the Perennial tea room in Seattle. If you live in Seattle or will be visiting I highly recommend this store. They are incredibly nice and very knowledgeable. I had smelled a sample of this tea and the lady behind the desk said “If you like how it smells just wait till you smell this from the jar.” She was right. Its amazing. Very smooth and the coconut extract has just the right amount so that it’s not too over powering.
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Grass
Thank you for the sample TeaNTees!!!
So, this tea is incredibly aromatic – even with my sample in a Ziploc over top of the foil sample pouch I can see smell intense, fragrant notes of pear. It reminds me of this really sweet, kind of ‘dewy’ pear scented hair detangler I used to have before I shaved off all of my hair. I know that doesn’t sound appealing, but I think that hair detangler was the best smelling ‘beauty product’ I’ve EVER owned. I remember even spraying it as a ‘perfume’ too (I was twelve at the time; don’t judge). And then, when I was out of it I was never able to find it again. If the taste of this tea translates into the smell of that detangler as well as the dry aroma makes me think it will I know I’m gonna be all over this tea.
I cold brewed my sample; and I have to say this turned out to be absolutely incredible. Honestly, the black base is a little drowned out but it’s not surprising given how intense the flavourings are. I would have been more surprised if the base had been able to compete with pear notes that strong. The mouthfeel is also incredibly thick and full; if I didn’t know better I could probably be persuaded that I was drinking the sweetened pear juices from a can of halved pears. It’s also just a sliver floral tasting. It compliments the pear notes well though. And you know what? It does kind of taste like that detangler smelled.
One thing I will say is that the ‘honey’ seems a lot less obvious; sure there’s absolutely 100% a sweetness to this tea that isn’t representative of just the pear on its own, but nothing identifies it specifically as honey. Though comparing this again to a ‘beauty product’ (but in the best way), my personal favourite perfume is ‘white tea and honey’ scented and this does have the same effervescent, fresh sweetness that I enjoy when I wear that perfume. The common denominator between the two is the ‘honey’. So that’s something.
Overall, I’m really impressed with this tea! At this point, it takes A LOT for a pear tea to sweep me off my feet and this blend certainly did it. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a good pear tea or just a fruity tea in general with an over the top juiciness and freshness.
I have a bad habit of letting my tea oversteep, but I honestly do prefer the resulting astringency. The jasmine tastes appropriate to how the flower smells, and the aroma of the jasmine tea is authentic in comparison to the flower: it smells like a single-blooming Arabian jasmine.
It is not my absolute favorite jasmine green, but it’s a very close second.
Just because I’m still finding my taste buds for black teas (even though they most often have the fun flavors!), I steeped this for 3 instead of the recommended 4 minutes. Added sugar on my way to work, it didn’t help. This one isn’t for me. I am very happy I was able to try it though. Thanks again TeaNTees :)
Whoa, with a Steepster rating of 50 I thought this one would be a lot worse. Especially as I’m just now opening my ancient single serving sample. But this one isn’t bad! Maybe I’m just missing green teas that I haven’t been sipping as much lately. Yes, the pieces of the tea were pretty small, but the sample has probably been crushed a few times. But the flavor is decent. Maybe the under a minute steep does the trick? The flavor is a little vegetal and buttery, surprisingly fresh.
Second steep: OH. I can see why this one might not get such a high rating. The basket eventually is almost half full of steeped leaves which is probably way too much for sencha. The flavor does get a little bitey. Nothing like the delicious previous cup. I think Golden Moon’s sample amounts might have been hurting themselves.
Steep #1 // 30 minutes after boiling // under minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // under 2 minute steep
Hello Thursday! The day of throwbacks, and more importantly, D&D! Tonight I will finally be unveiling my newly painted druid miniature, which is very excited. Sadly I am still having a hard time finding various animals and such since she is shapeshifter, so alas, sometimes my druid is played by a d20.
It is time for a #TBT tea review, rumaging through my old notebooks for long neglected tea notes, and that neglected tea is none other than Golden Moon Tea’s Sinharaja, a Black Tea from Ceylon, grown bordering the Sinharaja Rain forest. Of course by Ceylon I mean Sri Lanka, old habits die hard, not that I am from a century ago or anything. The aroma of the dark leaves is very rich, strong notes of molasses and malt, caramelized sugar, and a tiny bit of nuttiness arise from the now sniffed leaves. After it has been thoroughly warmed by my nose I also got some honey and cocoa at the finish, fun!
Into the steeping basket the leaves went, for their nice sauna visit. Sometimes I envy tea, and then I remember how many hot baths I take, and realized that was silly. The leaves are woody, the aroma reminds me of tree bark, specifically walnut tree, with an addition of molasses and a touch of honey. the liquid is still quite woody, but with an addition of caramelized sugar and molasses with just a touch of yam.
Moment of truth, tasting time! Ok, the actual tasting happened a while ago, but the notes make it seem like yesterday! The taste is very rich, starting off with strong notes of oak and walnut wood and molasses, mixes richness with briskness, waking up the mouth. It then moves on to cocoa, malt, and a touch of honey, with a finish of caramel at the finish. I decided to add cream and sugar, haven’t done that in a while, mostly because I tend to always be out of cream when I want to go all tea additive happy! Adding the cream and sugar brings out the malt and molasses notes and makes them foremost, all of the brisk notes are removed, honestly did not need much in the way of sugar since it was already subtly sweet. Overall this tea is quite solid, a good example of a quality Ceylon tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Honey, Molasses, Oak wood, Sugar, Walnut, Yams
This tea must be ANCIENT but it’s a single serving that is in one of those hilarious metallic packagings like a bank vault, so I’m sure the flavor isn’t too much older. If there wasn’t one big ole chrysanthemum flower mixed with what looks like bai mu dan, maybe the flavor would have been fine. I definitely notice the flower’s flavor in the cup and I don’t think I’m much of a fan of chrysanthemum. There is like a tangy, buzzy flavor too. The white tea alone probably would have been fine, especially if it was fresher, though it didn’t taste old to me.
Steep #1 // 10 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // couple minutes steep
Coming back to a blended tea now. Even just the smell of this is soothing. I was a little sceptical of following the instructions to boil the water, given that this is a green and black blend, but I figured Golden Moon probably knows what they’re doing. The result? Not bad at all! There’s a slight bit more bitterness than I strictly enjoy, but it doesn’t ruin it by any means. I might have accidentally left it for a couple of seconds passed the recommended 4 min as well. On the first few sips, there’s a touch of bite from the gunpowder, but it’s quickly washed away by sweetness. I can’t taste that bite passed the first few sips though. The black base is fairly muted as well, but I don’t mind! I’m here for the vanilla and mint! There is an ice cream or frosting edge to the vanilla, but is still doesn’t seem artificial. Nothing complex, not a lot of notes to pick out, just simple, comforting goodness. Yum! PS: I tried to resteep it later, with not a lot of luck. Too much green veggie, that mixed weird with the bit of remaining vanilla. Good first cup though!
I never have enough time on Thursdays, what was once my favorite day of the week is more and more becoming one of my least favorites. Oddly enough, I am being overwhelmed by gaming, who would have thought? Seafall Playtesting and D&D, while both being immensely enjoyable, just eat up so much time. And with sharing a computer and Ben needing it a lot lately, I have fallen so behind in things that it has become a source of massive stress. Tomorrow is shaping up to be crazy too, going house hunting and such, so maybe…just maybe…this weekend I can catch up on things. What I really need to do is stop letting things overwhelm me, go back to practicing Wu Wei and just chill out, be as water and let things flow.
Philosophy and stress aside, it is Thursday, meaning it is time for a Throwback! Today we are taking a look at Golden Moon Tea’s Coconut Pouchong, a blend of Pouchong Oolong (Bao Zhong as it is also called) and Coconut Extract. At the time of procuring this tea, I was having a serious coconut craving and just kept being disappointed by various ones I tried. I should have immediately gone to oolong blended with coconut, but for some reason the idea sounded kinda nasty, in hindsight, maybe it was because I was drinking mostly roasted oolongs at the time, I could see roasted oolong and coconut tasting weird…or really good…not sure. Anyway, I am rambling, the long, curly, and fairly green leaves smell really delicious, like mouthwateringly so, blending creamy sweet coconut (like breaking into a fresh coconut rather than coconut milk or water) with chestnuts, toasted almonds, and a slightly distant floral finish. The aroma is super creamy and rich, bordering on buttery, it is super intense, definitely the most ‘coconutty’ of the various coconut teas I have sniffed.
In my steeping basket, the entire room smells like coconut. Feel bad for Ben, since he hates coconut with a passion, like he doesn’t even like curries with coconut, and those tend to be really mild, so tragic! Really though, it is pervasive, like a tropical breeze slowly drifting out of my cup like a heady mist. All I get is coconut in the wet leaves, the liquid, however is joined by nutty notes of chestnut and a delicate orchid aroma.
First off, let’s discuss this mouthfeel, it is super creamy, it is one of those mouthfeels that coats the entire mouth, bordering on oily…much like eating coconuts! The taste, well, unsurprisingly it starts out with a full blast of coconut, like blending fresh coconut and refreshing coconut water (I love that stuff, one time on a 22 hour bus trip I brought two huge containers of it and drank nothing but coconut water, good times) it is intensely rich. The midtaste is chestnuts and sweetness, and the finish has a delicate touch of orchids that lingers. As the tea cools (one of the joys of drinking out of a mug, you get to experience the slow taste change as the tea cools) it brings out more of the floral and chestnut notes.
I went for a second steep, the aroma is still intensely coconutty, but it no longer fills the entire room turning it into a tropical adventure. There is a note of spring vegetation and chestnut as well! The taste is still intensely coconut, and the mouthfeel smooth, but this steep lets the Bao Zhong base shine through more, bringing out more the floral and fresh vegetation notes. Notes of orchid and honeysuckle blend delicately with growing things and fresh leaves. On a whim once I gaiwaned this tea and got a whopping eight steeps out of it before the coconut died, oddly brewing it in a gaiwan made it less nuanced, which I found fascinating. I got this as a sample, loved it, and then bought a large pouch of it…drank a few cups…and then have not touched it since. The coconut is so intense in this tea that you really have to be in the mood for coconut, and this tea satisfied that craving so thoroughly I have not really craved it since. I know I will want it again, which is why I have not traded or gifted it away.
Flavors: Chestnut, Coconut, Floral, Orchid
My previous experiences with melon teas comes from David’s tea, and we know those are loaded up with stuff. So I was interested to see how this would compare, and if I would actually pick up on the melon.
The dry leaf had a definite scent of melon. Once brewed, I found that it a very fruity aroma. The taste of the melon was subtle, but I found it. I accidentally steeped it too long, so the white base was quite dominant. Despite the slight over-steep, it was still enjoyable.
Side by side comparison time! Note: this is cross-posted with http://steepster.com/cvasilevski/posts/302700
I bought this tea because I got a coupon code from GM for free shipping, and since I’m in Canada, decided to go for it. I’ve had a last smidgen of Golden Moon’s Kashmiri Chai in my cupboard for the longest time and been dreading finishing off my sample since it’s a lovely chai, but I hope that the new organic Masala Chai blend they’ve made to replace their non-organic teas would suit.
So, once I got this Masala Chai in, I decided to do a side-by-side taste test!
Both teas were brewed for 5 minutes in identical mugs using identical filters and a nearly identical amount of leaf. So here’s what I’m noticing about each tea.
The dry leaf: The leaf of the Kashmiri Chai looks larger and more intact, and you can definitely see whole chunks of cinnamon and pods of cardamom. In contrast, the leaf of the Masala Chai looks much more like a CTC tea, and while I can see the occasional cardamom pod, I see a lot of ginger and not much cinnamon. The smell of both varieties holds this up – the Kashmiri Chai smells much more of cinnamon and cardamom, while the Masala Chai smells much more of ginger.
The tea liquor: When they started brewing, the Masala Chai had a reddish tint to it and the Kashmiri Chai looked like more of a cool brown/umber colour. However, after a 5-minute steep, the colour of both teas was pretty much identical. The smell was fairly similar to the dry leaf: Kashmiri smelled cinnamon-ish, while Masala smelled like ginger.
Taste and mouthfeel: The Kashmiri Chai had a smooth sweet taste that coated the tongue and lingered long after the sip was over. I could taste the earthy base of the tea underneath, but could definitely sense the play of spices. In contrast, the Masala Chai smells and tastes strongly of ginger and malt, like gingerbread. Not quite a gingerbread cookie, but if you actually had a loaf of ginger-infused bread. I got a sweet potato note and a citrus note. I really can’t tell here what the base is, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the base were a Ceylon tea of some sort. It didn’t linger much on the palate, but was somewhat malty.
Verdict: I prefer the Kashmiri Chai tea, but considering they don’t make that blend anymore AND that this taste test was a sipdown of the last of the KC leaf, I’m out of luck.
Next, I might consider mixing this Masala Chai with some of Just Organic’s Just Charming Chai – the JO Charming Chai is too cinnamon-heavy, so they might complement each other really well. We’ll have to see.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Ginger, Malt
’Here’s Hoping’ Teabox Round #4 – Tea #21
I don’t see this one on Steepster anywhere, so I didn’t think it was older Golden Moon tea (pre-overhaul), but then I didn’t see it anywhere with the new stock of teas. Hmm. This is an okay bai mu dan… a little more pickley in flavor than I’d like my white teas to be. I don’t really notice the chrysanthemums lending much to the blend, but I don’t think any went into my infuser and I’m not sure what they should taste like anyway.
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 2-3 min
Steep #2 // 20 min a.b. // 3 min
The dry tea smells very minty like Trident gum but I found the flavour to be curiously bland. The mint was present and not much else as the gunpowder base seemed rather weak. I think I prefer the black-green mix of the Vanilla Mint blend which gave the tea more body. I find this blend to be only okay.
I was looking for something to perk me up in the late afternoon and something minty was perfect. I’d say this tea is more mint than vanilla but it does give the tea a creamy, sweet undertone. The mixed black/green base is an interesting one and it gives the tea more body than what you’d get a from a straight gunpowder green. Nice and refreshing it hit the spot.
There’s definitely vanilla in this tea but there more to it than that – there a toasty, almost pastry-like scent and flavour, possibly due to the base, making this tea very dessert-like. It’s a very smooth tea with nice, creamy undertones and slight hints of fruitiness in the aftertaste.