Golden Moon Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

77
drank Snow Sprout by Golden Moon Tea
414 tasting notes

Sipdown! My kettle is being weird again because of the weather, so all temperature notes are approximate today. This looked really delicate so I brewed it low like a white tea. It claims to be a green but I’ve seen snow sprout classified as a white before, and it has flavors like both… Huh.

It’s moderately grassy but more in a hay way than a vegetable way. It reminds me a little of snow peas, actually. The end of the sip and aftertaste blend together into a sweet green taste that’s almost floral. Not a bad cup but not a favorite for me.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C

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88
drank Jasmine Tea by Golden Moon Tea
414 tasting notes

A sipdown! I wasn’t actually sure what to get myself so I went for using something up. This got a little bitter with just an extra minute of steep time. Ouch. I think my main problem with this is that it doesn’t resteep well, because if I’m going to pay for high-quality jasmine tea I want to get two steeps out of it at minimum. It’s really a good jasmine taste on the first steep, and much lighter (fluffier, if you will) than most.

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88
drank Jasmine Tea by Golden Moon Tea
414 tasting notes

Longer steep this time with the same leaves. This time I’m mostly tasting green tea and almost no jasmine. It’s not bitter, and it’s a fine green, but where is all the nice floral flavor? 52/100 for this cup.

ETA: There is a teeny bit of jasmine there in the aftertaste. Teeny. I didn’t even notice it until halfway through the cup.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Jasmine Tea by Golden Moon Tea
414 tasting notes

Brewed lower and shorter than recommended just in case. Jasmine greens have a nasty habit of going bitter on me.

This is really pretty good. I still think there’s better jasmine out there, but brewed this way it’s surprisingly buttery (not a word I’ve ever used for a Chinese green before), and the jasmine is amazingly light and sweet. It’s almost like jasmine cotton candy, if you can imagine that. I may try the resteep a little longer just for comparison’s sake, but this is a good cup.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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51

Steep Information:
Amount: 5 tsp
Water: 750ml at 212°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 1 minute 30 seconds
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
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
Body: Medium
Aftertaste:
Liquor: translucent light orange brown

very light and yet complex for this first steep

Resteep:
750ml at 212°F for 2 minutes
roasty

Resteep:
750ml at 212°F for 2 minutes 30 seconds
lighter flavor

Resteep:
750ml at 212°F for 3 minutes
lighter flavor

7 is a lie, no way

Rating: 2/4 leaves

Blog http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2014/01/golden-moon-tea-company-loose-leaf.html

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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99
drank Sinharaja by Golden Moon Tea
13 tasting notes

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.

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27

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.

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57

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.

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97

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!

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97

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.

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89

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.

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67

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.

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67

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?

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97

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.

__Morgana__

Yeah, using the stovetop method really spoiled me so much that I can’t think about making chai any other way now. I wish it was a little less labor intensive but what can you do? Lol.

bluebelle

Luckily I’ve gotten used to a stovetop kettle in the last couple of weeks, so it’s not that much more work than that! The results are definitely worth it. :)

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97

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.

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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.

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

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88
I love this tea. I’ve had it a few times, and it is just so smooth. The coconut is not overwhelming in the slightest, and it works beautifully with the green tea. It is much more mild than you would expect when you take the lid off. A delicious tea.
Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Vanilla Mint by Golden Moon Tea
1333 tasting notes

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!

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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).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
scribbles

This sounds amazing

K S

Under the heading of you might be addicted… when your tea station takes over the living room :) Love it. I have a small station in the corner of the living room, mostly for decaf evening tea. My bigger station has taken over my den. How are you handling water? I have a Brita pitcher that I refill from an empty milk jug.

mrmopar

+1 on tea station intrusion. I am banned to the back room for the tea area.

Nxtdoor

Question about the brita. I have been wondering if I want filtered water devoid of oxygen (in the case of brita) ur unfiltered but oxygenated water. Anyone research inclined tried to detect differences in flavour?

TeaExplorer

My tea station has been banished to my office where it takes almost half of my desk, but at least I can leave it set up all the time.

Nxtdoor: No idea about water differences. We’re on a well with iron and sulfur content, so I buy bottled spring water for tea. Haven’t tried a Brita.

K S

The Brita I am using is just a carbon filter to remove floating stuff in our municipal water and to try and reduce the chlorine taste. Using it is an improvement over not using. As for oxygen, I don’t believe this filter affects it but you could always just pour water from up high to splash more oxygen into your pot.

ifjuly

K S, I’ve got a 4L Zoji heater so refilling at night is never an issue, whee. I’ve had it less than a week and I already love it to pieces. Honestly, I like it more—much more—than the Breville. I really wasn’t expecting that!

Nxtdoor, K S’s suggestion that if filtered water is important because your water source is very hard or otherwise affects flavor aversely too much (I’m lucky enough to live in a city with tap water for artesian wells, very sweet and clean tasting…I miss it whenever we go out of town!) you still filter it but pour from high to oxygenate makes sense to me and is the most hassle-free troubleshooting solution I can think of. Of course, with anything like this the best thing to do is sit down sometime and do a fairly controlled taste test—make a tea you’re familiar with, three different cups (one using filtered water, one using unfiltered, and one using filtered and poured from high above).

ifjuly

*FROM artesian wells, not for. sleepy brain!

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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)

Sil

Yay for 299! Celebrate the small milestones haha

Yvonne

Mmmm…

TranquiliTea81

What was the other one?? I’m still hunting for the holy grail of coconut teas!

Courtney

Coconut is the best. Woot, 299!

Dexter

The other one she sent me was Coconut Oolong by American Tea Room – that one was REALLY floral. I’m not sure what my favorite coconut oolong is but Coconut Bongo Tealish is really good and so is crazy coconut oolong Steep This. Just my thoughts….

Courtney

Hmm. I believe I’m been considering Coconut Bongo actually. And I do need more Winter Blend from Tealish. My tea orders have been out of hand this past week though.

TranquiliTea81

I might check out the one from Steep This! I have heard lots of good things about the one from Tealish but I just can’t bring myself to pay the $16 shipping to the US!

TheTeaFairy

(Hahaha, 299, I know why I’m laughing, mwahahaha!)

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drank Hojicha by Golden Moon Tea
729 tasting notes

Was drinking this one last night. Hojicha reminds me of genmaicha – it’s roasty, nutty, a little green – very nice. I really like it, and this is a very good example of it. Another winner from Golden Moon courtesy of the wonderful ifjuly. Thank you so much.

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70

Sample sipdown! (133) Smells very nice as before, sweet and mellow. Again I don’t think I’d buy it—Ceylon is a nice, smooth tea but a little boring on its own for me—but it’s a nice cup I’m having no trouble getting through. I do like how mild it is compared to other breakfast teas!

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70

Okay, I think I’ve got the hang of my kettle. I heard a whistle and a rolling boil going on in there. So far I’m pretty happy considering my only other options are a pan on the stove (takes forever), microwave (superheats water, inconsistent, guessing on temps, etc.), and a cheap electric kettle that makes everything taste like plastic (eww). It’s also really cute and will do up to six cups of water at a time—way more than I’ll ever need considering I’m the only one in this house who drinks tea in quantity.

This one smells nice dry. It’s a very clean black tea smell. I’m partial to Ceylons, probably because they’re the first real black tea I could identify as the base of earl grey. They’re also smooth, which I appreciate. It smells nice and rich brewed, with some of the honey notes the package claims the tea has. The taste is pretty generic, honestly. It’s a nice Ceylon and if I wanted a straight one I might get it, but I’m not thrilled. Smooth and slightly bright like citrus with a zing at the end and sweet notes throughout.

ETA: Oh, looks like this one is my 100th tasting note!

VariaTEA

CONGRATS ON 100!! That is so exciting!!

caile

Yay! Congrats!

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I drank this tea all day at work today. ifjuly sent me a generous sample, and I spent the day with it.
I don’t have much to say about it. It was great, nice smooth blend. I really enjoyed it. Some blends are too this or too that – I found this to be really well balanced for my tastes. Really enjoyed it.
I’ve been really happy with the Golden Moon Tea samples that she sent me. This is a company that I would like to explore further, if I ever get my cupboard under control.

Terri HarpLady

That’s the big ‘if’, right? If I followed that, I’d never get to order tea again, hahaha!

Dexter

LOL I think “if” leaves a little wiggle room or room for negotiation. Had I said – “when” I get my cupboard under control – then I’d never get to order tea again.
It’s just right out of control now….but it’s too much fun to stress over…. :))

keychange

I plan on exploring GM as well, actually. You know, “if” my cupboard controls itself soon.

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