Golden Moon Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

88
drank Sinharaja by Golden Moon Tea
332 tasting notes

I received a very generous sample of this from bluebelle in our February swap. Thank you!

This is a nice Ceylon. The cup smelled fruity with a sugary smell. This was very nice and smooth. I might try my next cup with a touch of milk and honey. I really enjoy Ceylon’s in the afternoon and this was a nice cup. Thank you for sharing!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Thank you ifjuly for sending me this sample.

This is one of those “I don’t get it” teas. This says black, but in my mind “honey orchid” is oolong. I’m not sure if it’s just me not being able to wrap my head around it, but this seems like oolong to me. It steeps really light in color – like an oolong, it tastes like a really mild oolong. I’m not really getting anything that screams black tea. Dunno if it’s just me, or that’s the way it is. In my world this is one of those “cross over” teas, a little oolong, a little black.
Tons of honey in this one though – really sweet.

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drank Kashmiri Chai by Golden Moon Tea
612 tasting notes

We got the revert-to-cold snap last night I was hoping for and I jumped on it as a chance to drink up some chai! I did them all proper even, the whole 10 to 20 minute stovetop dance with milk and honey as I’ve decided that’s just the only way I’m ever satisfied drinking chai.

Wasn’t nuts for this one. It was rather bitter. Not awful, but compared to the others I had last night it was my least favorite. Ah well.

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85
drank Coconut Pouchong by Golden Moon Tea
112 tasting notes

Sipdown!
Incredibly coconutty. Pretty much like coconut milk with a floral hint from the pouchong.
I’ll miss this one.

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Tea & Cards TTB #12
Ugh, today brought a string of little failures. I tried to mail off the TTB, but there was some problem with the tape or something. I was then late for class and couldn’t get hot water for my tumbler. Then as I was trying to keep awake in class, I somehow managed to get a papercut right between my fingers, eek. Anyway, I finally managed to get some hot water between classes (hooray!) for this tea. The tea was nice and bold as a breakfast tea should be, yet it was also a bit sweet. As it cooled down, I could swear I almost tasted an apple-like flavor, but that may be contamination from my tumbler or other teas stored next to it. Thankfully, it’s now the weekend, so I can recharge for a better start to next week!

Courtney

I hope tomorrow is better. :)

Kat_Maria

It’s a sign you have to sample more TTB teas!

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74
drank Vanilla Mint by Golden Moon Tea
407 tasting notes

This one came to me from LiberTEAS. I always seem to reach for mint teas when I’m a little under the weather, so maybe I don’t dislike them as much as I think. I’m just picky about when I drink them.

Sadly the flavor of this one doesn’t wow me. The vanilla and mint are both subtle enough that neither of them is really distinct. It blends into one flavor, but it’s not one that I like all that much. Just an okay cup.

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drank Vanilla Mint by Golden Moon Tea
332 tasting notes

I received a sample of this from bluebelle! Thank you so much for sharing.

I was really excited about this tea. I just ordered something very similar from Zen Tea. Vanilla and mint two of my favorite tea ingredients together as one. unfortunately I think I followed instructions on a package when I shouldn’t have. The package seemed much larger than one tsp, but I dumped the entire thing into my steeper and away I went. The resulting cup was really really bitter. I am going to leave this unrated and hopefully we will cross paths again some day.

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This is smooth, indeed rum-y, and relatively subtle, which I kind of liked for its novelty. It tastes real, not so much steeped as perfumed, so not like extract. It got a little lost in a froth of milk (I am addicted to that thing! And it’s helping me make up for some horrendous milk-drinking deficiency the last year or so, egads) but I still enjoyed it that way too.

Vanilla’s tricky. Too strong or carelessly done and it’s harsh, with an unpleasant burn that doesn’t meld well with other elements including the tea. Subtle like this, I think to myself, “this is nice, subtly sexy really, but I’m not sure how often I’d reach for this particular experience”. Heavy creamy and it just becomes one of a million rich dessert bombs. I begin to think nothing explicitly labeled vanilla and vanilla only will ever really suit me as cupboard staple, no matter how well done. It’s neat rolling my taste experiences over in the palm of my hand, still smoothing and sorting it all out, learning what works and what doesn’t for me and why. Often it’s through no fault of a tea on its own really.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Nightshifter

I’ve never found THE vanilla tea either yet. Best of luck on your quest!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

You might want to give my Golden Orchid a looksie :)

Kat

I imagine the above suggestion is better, but I actually really like Mighty Leaf’s vanilla. It’s been a long time since I had it, and I can veer into having a taste for sweet teas, but I remember it being subtle and comforting. It’s the ML tea I’m most likely to buy a cup of if I’m at a coffee shop that carries it, if that’s any sort of endorsement.

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85

Another super-subtly flavored tea from Golden Moon, where you must hunt the flavors down (not the other way around) – and you know what, that’s the best part, because it makes you focus on the tea more than usually

So I definitely detect carmel in the aroma, not so much in the flavor. I can taste a little bit of burnt sugar, especially as it cools down a bit. But the key role is for the oolong tea itself here – it is slightly roasted, full bodied, with rich sweetnes (much richer than just sugar-sweet sweetness) to it. Golden Moon never fails! And I still have a whole bunch of samples from them that I haven’t tried yet :O

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

i need to get around to an order with them someday…

Kat_Maria

You definitely do! I highly recommend getting their sample sizes – they are pretty small (1-2 servings) but then you can establish what you like best and stock up on just that (because their teas can be pretty pricey).

Sil

yep..i am ALL about the samples… there are just so many teas and so little time!

Kat_Maria

Yeah… Tell me about it! ;D

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This one was sent my way by Stephanie :)

This one seems quite similar to Coconut Oolong from David’s. Though I generally prefer darker oolongs, so perhaps someone with more of a palate for green oolongs would say differently.

It’s green oolong-y, it’s coconutty. Overall a tasty tea.

I’ve been researching fisheries and bycatch all day, and I am almost overwhelmed with the data I’ve found. There’s too much! Well, there’s too much to wade through to find what I need to find.

Flavors: Coconut

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 0 OZ / 0 ML
Stephanie

Fisheries…interesting :)

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Tea & Cards TTB #5
Backlog from yesterday. I so wanted to try more from the box yesterday, but had enough caffeine, so I snuck this one in, rationalizing that it probably had less caffeine anyway. It had a nice, light melon taste. I couldn’t really distinguish specific melon flavors (cantaloupe, honeydew, etc), but it wasn’t too overly artificial or perfume-y. Because the melon flavor wasn’t too overwhelming, I could also taste the grassy notes from the white tea itself. While I’m not a huge fan of grassy greens & whites, it was nice to see the base white tea flavor come out on its own for once.

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92
drank Orchid Temple by Golden Moon Tea
417 tasting notes

Tea & Cards TTB #3
I have to say that I’m surprised by all the low ratings on Steepster about this tea. Although I did notice that many of them are older, so maybe the tea changed a bit since then? Anyway, I decided to ignore the steeping parameters given by the packet and waited for my boiling water to cool a bit before steeping. I also did a quick rinse before my first steep and did not let the first steep sit as long as 2-3 min as suggested by the packet. All this resulted in a wonderfully floral but not artificially perfume-y oolong. The floral tastes transitioned smoothly into a nuttier, roastier taste toward the end of the sip. The tea also had a buttery feel. I actually really enjoyed this green oolong, and since there is a weirdly small amount left in the sample, I may just pull the rest of it from the TTB.

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Definite notes of Laoshan black! If only I hadn’t found the Laoshan first, this may have been a winner for me. But if you’re looking for a lightened up version? This is your tea.

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92
drank Golden Bi Lo by Golden Moon Tea
141 tasting notes

Well, hello my new friend. How have I never run into this tea before? Or any bi luo? I think this is what I’m craving when I want green tea. This tastes like a dragon well grassy base with notes of…burnt sugar? And a pervasive light woodiness. Even a hint of an oolongy butteriness. I fear it will launch yet another in-depth investigation through all the bi luos I can get my hands on, much as milk oolong did to me. Any advice on high (or low) priorities would be very much appreciated!

ifjuly

oh man, i LOVE bi luo chun. it’s my favorite style of green tea bar none. yay!

ifjuly

oh, and my favorite one last year was verdant’s laoshan bilochun. who knows how it’ll be this year—these things can vary so—but it blew my mind all summer last year, hot and cold (soooo good cold steeped!).

Flowery

Thanks! Very excited to try that one…will absolutely look out for it. I can’t remember how this stuff ended up on my wish list, but heck, it was probably from one of your notes. It completely redeemed the order that was driven by the far less successful coconut pouchong. Just threw this one it since it was sitting there on the wish list…so (probably) thanks for that too!

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It has been years since I fell in love with oolongs, but flavoring them just sounded like such a terrible thing to do to such an interesting tea as it is….but coconut? There is something about that particular flavor that just sounds like it would go SO well with oolong’s fruity nuttiness. Then half of Steepster seemed to be so in love with this one, I just couldn’t wait to try it.

When it arrived today, I of course tore open the package…and was scared. I only smelled coconut, with no oolonginess. This is what I was afraid someone would do to oolong. But I brewed it up anyway, and even the first few sips were concerning. Just coconut. Lovely coconut, but I wanted tea.

But then it cooled, and the magic happened! The coconut faded a bit, and a delicate oolong came forward. Much, much better. I will definitely finish and greatly enjoy this tea, but I’m still not sure it will ever call my name from the crowd of great oolongs. Except….iced. I bet this is insanely good iced. Will have to try that asap.

UPDATE: On the second steeping, my opinion is that this is a well-balanced cup but just not a match for my general aversion to flavored teas. It really would have been a miracle for me to love it, and I still bet most people would like it quite a bit.

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100
drank Sinharaja by Golden Moon Tea
407 tasting notes

Okay, I caved. I opened the enormous bag. Sometimes you just have to have a favorite, and this is probably my favorite straight black. That said it will probably be in my cabinet for a long time (8 oz!), so I’m glad I like it.

This is so intensely honeyed. I love honey flavors but this is so natural it’s amazing. It’s really as if I dumped a large amount of honey into my cup. It’s identifiable as a Ceylon—there are those citrus notes and the lightness of a good Ceylon—but it’s so intensely fruity and honeyed that it’s easy to forget that’s what it is. Such a great way to wake up in the morning.

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95

what finesse, what splendor…. this is a very fine tea. exquisitely delicate, nuanced & perfect without needing any additives. the sense of calm imparted by the infusion is so striking i imagine this would be the tea of choice in a Buddhist monastery. it is that serene.

the aroma of the tea liquor is of steamed brown rice & a very trace amount of the toasted coconut flavor that was extremely apparent (and wonderfully intoxicating) in the dry leaf.

i’m getting a slight fruit note! not really an orchid or floral note, but a fruit note. a teeny hint of fruit is detectable, though i have no idea what it is. if it is a floral note i’m picking up on, it’s how shall i say, fruity. but that is only a modicum of the taste here.

it’s primarily a buttery oolong with the brown rice flavor and aroma being most dominant. i wholeheartedly appreciate such a quality, as i love hojicha and genmaicha, yet this is not that…..but a very subtle variation on the ‘toasted’ or ‘brown rice’ theme. this is so delicate but as i said nuanced (and with a perfect flavor!), that i feel like raving about it! the delicacy in this tea is precious. i find it stunning.

there is a buttery mouthfeel and aftertaste from what i can detect, which i love. this is most definitely a toasty tea, but in a sylphlike sense. it is undoubtedly a swan.

beautiful.

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15
drank Sencha by Golden Moon Tea
407 tasting notes

Sipdown. This is not like the sencha I’m used to at all. Tiny broken leaves, and it brews up yellow instead of light green. I’m struggling to find something good to say about this, actually, and I almost always try unless it’s just completely horrible. What I was expecting was a middle-grade green that I wouldn’t purchase; what I got tasted like overcooked asparagus (yes, that tastes as bad as it sounds). There’s some sort of a note that’s trying to be sweet in there but it doesn’t make it. It’s also moderately bitter, not enough to make me dump it but enough that I would never drink this again.

ETA: This gets more bitter as it cools, so it looks like I will be dumping it.

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85

Thanks to bluebelle for this surprise in our swap! The dry leaves smelled so strongly of caramel and general sugary goodness that I was pretty impatient while letting it steep. The steeped tea smelled and tasted more like a combination of caramel and nuts. I was expecting the caramel, but was pleasantly surprised by the strength of the nuttiness in this tea. It did taste a bit artificial, but much better than other caramel teas that I’ve had that just taste like chemical caramel flavoring. I will savor the rest of my little sample while it lasts!

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60

excellent! a beautiful, delicate, fresh lightly floral aroma. i think the melon is giving me this impression. not at all what i expected melon to smell like in a tea! i think a white base is quite smart. the leaves are lovely….

the flavor is pretty much what you smell. and if i had to venture a guess, i’d say the melon in question is honeydew (green) as opposed to the sweeter cantaloupe. the tea itself is not at all bitter and has a smooth finish. but my experience with white teas has been that they are so subtle you feel as though you are drinking water.

this comes off as a lightly-flavored water reminiscent of champagne. actually, i think it’s more like beer (from what i remember…i don’t care for the taste). someone else here mentioned that this reminds them of beer and baking bread. i agree that there is a certain raw dough/yeasty flavor to this, which the melon-infused tea interestingly enough, conveys.

others have said wine. maybe a fermented melon white wine that’s been watered down by a pitcher of ice cubes. that’s pretty much my impression of this. i don’t find it particularly exciting, but it could perhaps work as a palate cleanser.

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75

I think this is the last black tea in the Golden Moon box. Sadly, it’s pretty average. There are some sweet fruity notes and a darker woody base to this, but that’s about all I notice and I’m not blown away by it. Luckily I have other Darjeelings that are more interesting! This is a sipdown (222).

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70

Yikes. This got bitter fast. Oddly it also has a sugary-sweet aftertaste. There are some rich cooked-vegetable notes, like artichokes or asparagus, and then a straight sugar flavor. It’s not a horrible cup but I just don’t know what to make of it. I’m guessing this is a Chinese green, and those tend to be very hit-or-miss for me. This one’s a miss, but it’s also a sipdown.

ETA: Oddly this is growing on me as it cools—possibly because it’s less bitter and more sugary. Still wouldn’t buy it but it’s not totally horrible.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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