Golden Moon Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
Amount: 5 tsp
Water: 750ml at 212°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 1 minute 30 seconds
Dry Leaf Smell: roasty
Steeped Tea Smell: floral, roasty, maybe even a little dirt (like puerh)
Flavor: nutty, floral, roasty, slightly gritty mouthfeel, sweet finish
Liquor: translucent light orange brown
very light and yet complex for this first steep
750ml at 212°F for 2 minutes
750ml at 212°F for 2 minutes 30 seconds
750ml at 212°F for 3 minutes
7 is a lie, no way
Rating: 2/4 leaves
After the near-disaster of earlier I’m not up to anything else new tonight. I decided to go with a favorite, and when I looked into my cabinet I was drawn to this one.
Why was this not rated 100 before? It’s by far my favorite of my full size Golden Moon tins. This is everything I like about simply flavored oolongs. Light, smooth, refreshing, perfect. I brewed this at a lower temperature this time and it made it amazingly creamy. I’ll have to do that again!
This is one of my favorite black teas. When I think of black tea this is what I want simple slightly robust intoxicating smell. Soothes me all over! I can get 2 flavorful steeps easily and the third just doesn’t quite do it for me. I use 1 heaping tsp. for 8 oz steep at 208 for 3 min first infusion and 4 min for second infusion. I have tried making sinharaja in my beloved Breville but it just doesn’t work for me the flavor is just not there.
Another sipdown. I have 11 of these Golden Moon samples left. I actually tried to brew this one up last night, but the Lapsang Souchong was so strong that it tainted the strainer and messed up the first cup. I had to (literally) scrub the strainer in water as hot as I could stand with mild soap. I also had to get a new mug.
This one is certainly no “golden-green cup”—it’s goldish brown like a black tea would be. In the bag it almost smelled like the Lapsang, but luckily brewed up it smells like the gunpowder tea I’ve had before. Sadly the taste is too smoky for me. I don’t notice anything aside from the green, smoky flavor. It doesn’t change at all—there’s no layers, no aftertaste, nothing. Another disappointing cup.
ETA: It cooled down by about 10 degrees and now it is so incredibly bitter I can’t drink it! Ugh. I didn’t oversteep, either.
Sipdown! (122) I’m on a roll with trying new things and with sipdowns today so I’m going to try and do some more of both. I made a pot of this and split it with mom, as usual with anything I have in a three-cup quantity. Luckily the samples of Golden Moon’s blacks are less of a one-cup thing and more of a “try a cup and then try another and another.”
The taste isn’t bad, it’s just not as good as I’d expect from this company. It kind of reminds me of a marshmallow flavor more than a true vanilla, and it’s weak and thin-tasting. It might be better overleafed, but I’m out of leaf so I can’t do that. Oh, well. If you want a taste like this I’d go with one of Della Terra’s marshmallow blends instead.
ETA: With milk added the marshmallow taste is even more intense. It’s like I melted down a few into a cup of hot water. Not impressed with this.
Sipdown technically, although I am going to try and resteep this time. (123) When I like something enough to have two cups in a row (or two cups in a day, period), it’s something special. This time I overleafed and put some milk in—lemon in EGs isn’t my favorite, but I do like them with milk.
This one holds up to milk well—it brings out the bergamot more and blends with the lavender to make the whole cup more smooth. Very nice!
Oh my goodness! This is a naturally sweet earl grey. I was dreading bitterness, but instead the bergamot and lavender combine to form a honeylike sweetness. It’s barely perfume-y at all, instead managing to make lavender taste like a fruit. There’s also no chalky aftertaste, which can happen with EG sometimes—I’m just getting a lightly floral honey flavor. I want this in my cabinet.
Sipdown (124). Cold-brewed this last night for about 15 hours. Sadly I’m not sure this one is ideal for it, because the leaves didn’t open up all that much. Despite that the tea flavor still got into the water.
Cold-brewed this tastes like smoke-flavored water. There’s a little bit of sweetness or even fruitiness in the aftertaste, but I’m really not wowed. I’m going to have to declare this as Not My Thing, but I won’t say that of all Lapsang Souchong until I’ve tried at least a couple more. It might be the intense burnt-pine flavor of this that’s putting me off.
By the way, I remembered what the smell reminded me of! It was a shampoo I hated a few years ago. Odd how smell can make you remember these things.
Another sipdown! (125) I ran out of things to steep tea in, so I got a little creative and made this in one of my teapots. Oolongs can only benefit from spreading out, right? I definitely understand the date and chestnut claims, and I can smell the cedar strongly, but there’s also something that smells like fresh-baked bread. It’s lovely.
The taste of this is delightful. It is bready and woody like the smell suggests, and then that gives way to an almost boozy note—it’s like what I wish beer tasted like. Still bready but almost fermented. The sip ends with the date note, and it’s strong and delicious. Another one I would buy—oh, my poor wallet.
Another one I’ve never touched before! It smells like a campfire, which in my opinion is a good thing but mom didn’t know what to make of it. She even said she’s had lapsang souchong before and it wasn’t this smoky! I could swear I’ve smelled this smokiness before (maybe in a food?), but now that the tea is under my nose and the other thing isn’t I can’t place it. Oh, well.
The taste is exactly like it smells. I honestly can’t decide if that’s a good thing. Do I like this? It’s certainly unlike anything else I’ve ever had. The smoke notes linger but after a strong punch of smoke at the front of the sip it mellows into a medium-bodied black with notes that almost remind me of coffee or chocolate. It doesn’t quite make it to bitter in spite of that.
I guess I’ll have to say this is another one I’m not feeling right now. Maybe I’d like it cold-brewed?
Okay, I liked this one so much that I sipped it down. I had never made chai on the stovetop before, so I looked in the tasting notes section for this tea. Luckily teaplz shared a method (http://steepster.com/teaplz/posts/20967) that seemed relatively easy. I used honey instead of sugar because it was easier to get to in the kitchen.
This is incredible this way! I’m so impressed that I’m upping the rating. There is so much flavor in this it’s amazing. I get more of the clove and pepper in this cup, but because of the milk and sugar it’s also round and sweet. There’s an almost savory quality to the aftertaste and the whole thing is calming, warming, amazing.
My tastes seem to be okay now, so it’s back to trying Golden Moon’s samples! This one smells amazing: there are whole cardamom pods in my tiny little sample envelope! I wasn’t expecting that.
I just made this with water, but I’d like to try the next cup with milk. It’s amazing. Most chais are too spicy for me, but I barely notice the pepper in this at all. There’s a lot of cardamom and cinnamon to it, which is delicious and warming and makes it a little sweet. I don’t need to add anything to this to make it drinkable, and in fact I’m kicking myself for not trying this sooner and adding it on to my Golden Moon order. No more orders for a while means this will probably be absent from my cabinet until next fall.
Resteep with last night’s leaves. Much more oolong taste this time around, but I’m definitely getting the caramel. It’s intense, with less roastiness than the last steep. Again I’m feeling like the first and the second steep are almost like different teas, but both are great. This tea is so interesting, and it seems different each time I drink it!
I was packaging some of this up for Jennkay (I realize it’s also in the T&C box, but I wanted to make sure it got to you!) when I realized I really wanted a cup. I’ve been avoiding oolongs since my tastes have been off, but this is probably the boldest one I have so I think it’ll be okay.
I’m really getting roasty notes this time, and not as much sugar. It’s almost like drinking a coffee-flavored tea, with maybe a slight burnt sugar aftertaste. My tastes are probably still a little off but it’s not bad.
Also, my tea count went up again. I found more teabags I had forgotten about. Darn.
This was ok. Not bad at all, especially not for a Ceylon, but not remarkable either. It is quite smooth and relatively gentle as Ceylon goes, with less of the woody drying element many have, but it doesn’t have the deep intense flavor I crave for a morning tea (it’s “too refined” for breakfast if that makes sense). I’d be more likely to appreciate it in the afternoon as a pick-me-up than first thing in the morning. It actually tastes better as it cools; I had a couple sips leftover in my second mug this morning that got nearly cold and they were actually quite tasty with a natural sweetness.
Decided to make the rest of this sample up. I wasn’t all that impressed by it last time so I didn’t think it would be much of a loss to drink it now. Golden Moon has plenty of other teas I love.
I put honey in it this time, which I normally wouldn’t do but it’s actually good this way. It’s a very light black and has some woody and citrusy notes to it. Probably not going to be buying it, but it’s not bad at all.
A one shot sample from Rachel’s sale a while back… in these wasteful one serving giant metallic packaging. Anyway, this is like Zen’s Vanilla Mint pu-erh but I like the pu-erh base with the mint and vanilla rather than the gunpowder and black tea. (And I love the gritty bits of vanilla in the Zen.) Though this is good too! I waited a half hour to brew the first cup because of the gunpowder, thus making the black tea lighter. But I love the vanilla mint combo. Plenty of mint and sweet creamy vanilla, just not as much vanilla as the Zen. The second cup was steeped just after boiling and didn’t seem to bitterize the gunpowder, but the black tea didn’t seem to be stronger either. I wouldn’t mind buying this one if Zen’s blend was no longer available!
Finally got everything set up at least tentatively working in the living room so I can start drinking gongfu-friendly teas (mm oolong) in the evening after dinner while watching my favorite shows or reading, yay. Involved playing the “how to rearrange the living room such that a) couches are not right next to drafty doors and windows b) couches don’t set on fire over heating old vents c) walkways between rooms aren’t blocked d) the electronics are situated such that they’re close enough to the only two outlets in the entire room, one of which by the way is only two pronged and the other which, the only three pronged/grounded one, is crazily wired such that if I run the dishwasher off in the kitchen (which I always do after dinner right when I want to drink oolong) and try using a water heater or kettle in here at the same time it shorts everything—the kicker, because now i have a water heater along with an area lamp and the TV” tetris puzzle game (fun times in midtown rentland). But anyway. It’s a little odd as it stands now but the comfy couch is a decent distance and angle away from the TV and all that, with an end table with my new water heater, a tea tray, and everything else I need to make tea (measuring spoon, timer, etc.) in a container that slides beneath. My gongfu-y and evening tea-friendly teaware (prized gaiwan, kyusu, cupping set, glass teapots with glass infusers, etc.) are all in the living room now too on the mantel, which is conveniently now right near the couch too. And my pull-out drawer of oolong and green tea is right in here as well. Yeah, that’s right: I’ve got it so that when I settle in for the evening, I don’t have to go to the kitchen for pretty much anything until it’s time to clean up and go to bed. Whee!
…that was a long intro to trying this tea, sorry. This is unlike any other oolong I’ve tried so far. The dry scent immediately made me go “whoa!” because it’s so sweet and straight up caramelized sugar. Steeped it’s not quite as intense, but it is incredibly sweet. There’s a floral lightness to it, and upon resteep a mysterious perfumed element grows strong, but there’s also that ever present toasty, nutty sugar. It was a surprise. I keep saying that this week about the teas I’m trying, eh? But it is! I would drink it again. Oh, and it takes a while to unfurl; I got 4 solid steeps of this, maybe more (I lost track).
Okay, I’m bad at this no-caffeine thing. In my defense, this is probably the lowest-caffeine option I could have chosen. I was craving one of Golden Moon’s white teas, and I’m honestly thinking about ordering one or two more. They’re just so delicate and wonderful! I’m also thinking about getting 8 oz. of Sinharaja, which may be too much but mom and I both love it. Plus with the promotion they have going on it’d be about $2 more than the 3.5 oz…
This smells so mouthwatering. It’s probably the only way I’m getting fresh melon anything in the middle of winter, so I’ll enjoy it. Not sure what I did differently this time around, but this cup has a bit of a spicy vegetal note to it. Still absolutely delicious either way.
This is my tea of choice for this evening. Thank you so much ifjuly for sending me a sample of this very popular tea.
I LOVE the coconut in this. Amazing true, natural coconut flavor. I’m not so crazy about the oolong. It’s a bit too floral for me – it is much better than the other coconut oolong she sent me – but still a little floral. It is better as it cools. This is really really good, and I understand why others adore it, for me it’s good but not perfect.
(Just for the record – I’m now down under 300, not for long – there are more teas on the way to me – but for now yay 299)