Golden Moon Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes


Sipdown of a very old sample, not even sure who sent it to me at this point!

I enjoyed this though, it reminded me a lot of Davidstea’s version of coconut oolong (the pre-lemongrass edition). Which I love and hoarded.

This type of tea is everything I want when I crave a coconut tea, that is to say it’s creamy, buttery and super coconutty! The buttery base definitely lends itself well to this sort of flavoring.

Since it’s so similar to the DT old version which I still have plenty of, I wouldn’t need to own this one, but I enjoyed it just as much. Thanks to whoever sent it long ago in my pre baby days!

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Sipdown and side by side comparison! Note: this is cross-posted with

A few months ago Golden Moon switched almost all of their blends so that they were organic. This was one of the affected ones, and I was mighty curious to see how the organic replacement, Masala Chai, would compare. When I got a coupon code from GM for free shipping, and since I’m in Canada, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go for it. I’ve had a last smidgen of this Kashmiri Chai in my cupboard for the longest time and been dreading finishing it since it’s a lovely chai.

However, I was curious to see whether the Masala Chai would be a worthy replacement. So once the Masala Chai came on Wednesday, 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 this 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 the 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.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’m nearing the end of this sample, and sad about it. It’s a lovely-smelling chai – very cinnamon-y and cardamom-y, without being too oppressively candy-like.

I really want to order the Masala Chai that Golden Moon offers since they switched to stocking organic blends, but I have no idea how similar it will taste. The reviews on Steepster so far are meh. (This makes me very sad)


ETA: I totally caved in and made the Golden Moon order once I realized that I had a coupon I could use. Will report on how similar the two blends (old Kashmiri Chai and new Masala Chai) will taste.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Stash carries a Kashmiri Chai made with green tea, spices, and some almond. Really good. And much better than their regular green chai.


I’ve found that I dislike green tea chais. Green tea generally has a sharp and vegetal profile that I think clashes with the sweet/savoury flavours of most chai spices.

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Man, I’m going to be sad when I finish up this tea. The cinnamon smell is so strong and sweet, I love it. I love the whole pods of cardamom, too. I think this chai is an excellent blend – though of course I know others prefer chais that are less cinammony.

Unfortunately, shipping from Golden Moon to Canada is so ridiculous that this definitely will not be a restock. :(

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Backlog from yesterday morning:

This tea is so cinnamon-y, and so tasty as a result. I can taste and see lots of cardamom in the dried leaf, and perhaps some clove or ginger, but the cinnamon is definitely the strongest flavour.

There’s an earthy undertone to the base leaf that I also find interesting. Adding a bit of cinnamon honey just kicks everything up a notch, in a good way.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Backlog from last night:

I took this with me in a thermos last night – my husband and I walked down to the waterfront to see if we could catch any fireworks. We weren’t disappointed. We originally hoped to see about watching the fireworks that took place a few km down the shore in the distance, but a bunch of random local people brought their own fireworks to set off. It was quite a show! We had our camp chairs and sat under a tree, and I sipped this.

However, thermos drinking really doesn’t allow the flavour of this tea to come to the fore. I need to get some more chais in my collection – this is nice, but the shipping cost from Golden Moon to Canada is ridiculous. Here’s hoping my order of Just Charming Chai from Just Organic Tea’s Kickstarter (it’s shipping in about a week!) will be just as good.

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Last time I tried this tea, I brewed it the normal way – pour the hot water over the leaf, let the whole thing steep for a few minutes.

This time, based on reviews by others about this tea, I tried making it as a latte. I took 2.5 tsp of leaf, 2 cups of almond milk, and then simmered the tea in the milk. I then took a mug and put a dollop of cinnamon honey in the bottom. It took a few minutes at least for the liquid to boil, but once it did boil, I simmered it the boiling milk for 5 minutes, then poured this beautiful mocha-coloured liquid into the mug with the waiting honey, and then stirred.

Oh. My. God. This is good. The nuttiness of the almond really comes through, but it mixes so well with the earthiness of the tea and the spices. The flavour is just full and round inside my mouth – so full, that I have to drink this tea in slow sips or my tongue will get overwhelmed. It does leave a slightly sour aftertaste, but I don’t mind, since the milk is dairy-free.


Oooh, this is tasty! I’m bumping up the rating accordingly, from 77 to 80.

PS: I just got notice this morning that a non-fiction memoir piece of mine will be published in an anthology later on this year! Yay!

Edit: I also think I’ll try to use up my cinnamon honey in the same way – with milk lattes like this. Yum.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Nuts

Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Congratulations on having your memoir piece published! That’s awesome!!!


OOooh!! Mucho congrats. That’s awesome!

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My aunt and uncle came over today, and when I asked them what tea they wanted, they told me to suprise them. So why not surprise myself too with something I haven’t tried yet?

This is very spicy and full of cinnamon. However, there was a taste of earth in the leaf that I wasn’t sure how I felt about. I’d LOVE to try making this with boiling milk, though, like others have tried with this tea. I bet that would be amazing.

Note: this tea doesn’t do quite so well on the resteep. It’s a bit weak.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Well all, I am starting to feel better, it seems whatever was wrong with me is mostly on the mend, the only problem is I am bushed. I keep feeling really exhausted and sleeping a lot so my sleep schedule has gotten weird and I have some serious confusion as to what day it is! A few hearty meals and some rest should have me back to normal in no time. I did use some of my time today working on a new origami piece, a modular star themed kusudama that was a real pain to assemble when using slippery chiyogami, but worked quite well with junky memo paper.

Break out your Beret, because today’s tea is French Breakfast by Golden Moon Tea, a classic black tea from Kenilworth Estate in Sri Lanka (or Ceylon if you are old fashioned about it). The website recommends this tea for people who like ‘standard’ black tea or who are starting out on their adventure into loose leaf tea. I am most certainly not new to loose leaf tea, but I am always on the hunt for a new breakfast tea. The aroma of this tea is bright, bold, and malty with a hint of pecans and dried leaves. Very much a standard black tea indeed!

The brewed leaves are very bright and quite sweet with a berry like quality to it that blends with an oak wood aroma. It does not have a brisk quality, just bright and sweet. The aroma of the liquid sans leaves is malty and sweet, like caramel, with a nice oaky finish.

This tea has a nice mild briskness, just enough to wake you up but not too much, no need to worry about your moth turning inside out. There is a bold malty and oak wood taste that fades to a sweetness reminiscent of berries. Adding cream and sugar takes away that mild briskness and replaces it with a very smooth morning cup. I agree with the company’s description, this is a great beginners tea, but it has enough going on that it does not bore a more experienced sipper.

For blog and photos:

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I had this as my breakfast travel mug tea and it was fantastic. The sugar and caramel flavors are dead on, but the oolong is what really shines here. It’s smooth and… hefty, for lack of a better word. I did the second steep at 185f for 3 ½ minutes and it came out weaker than expected. The sugar and caramel came to the fore. The oolong kind of just dropped out of the show in the second act. The inverse happened after the third steep (boiling water, about 6 minutes). The sugar and caramel faded into the background. The oolong took on a new flavor that I can’t describe. It tastes how I imagine a maple tree would taste. Not maple-y, but dark and woody. Really tasty. Thanks for this one, Christina!


This sounds awesome – I just got my first Golden Moon order, and haven’t tried this yet. Kaylee what were the parameters that you used for your first steep? Would like to try and replicate your experience. :))


1tsp/8oz,180f at 3 minutes, per the company’s suggestion.


Thank you.

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drank Sinharaja by Golden Moon Tea
257 tasting notes

Delicious cup this early AM. Sweet with a subtle honey flavor. Decided to try to enhance the flavor with a bit of cream and sugar – sweet, creamy decadence! Just what I was looking for…….

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Oh. my. gosh.

Thank you tons to QueenOfTarts for sending me a sample of this!

It smells like caramel cookies and brown sugar and ahh I just love sugary smelling teas! I have high hopes for this one :)
Now that it’s steeping, it definitely started smelling like an oolong!
I love oolong so freakin much okay. Partially because I love seeing the leaves unravel, but dude, I love all the oolongs I have okay.
I think this might actually be my first dessert oolong so I’m quite excited for that.

Hmm. The sugar/caramel bit does get lost. I’m kinda sad about that! It smelled sooo nice dry, but the flavour didn’t carry out through the steeping process, and now it just tastes like any regular slightly roasted oolong. It’s good, not gunna lie, but the sugar/caramel bits that I was looking forward to didn’t come through.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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T&C TTB #19

I had a cup of this last night. I think I am learning that I really have to be in the mood for flavored oolongs as well as coconut. This was nice, but nothing that knocked my socks off. I could see this being really good iced. I don’t think this is something I would purchase, but I am glad for the opportunity to try it.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Sugar Caramel Oolong by Golden Moon Tea
6601 tasting notes

this has been on my wishlist for a while and dinosara was kind enough to send some my way for me to try. “But Sil! it’s an oolong” you might say…. I’m well aware, but i’m always open to trying things that a bunch of ppl seem to love. Turns out? this is a really boring tea for me. It’s not even oo-wrong…it’s just meh. It smells delicious in dry form, but then brewing it up…SNORE FEST. it’s not even enough of an oolong to get me all riled up about how i don’t like oolongs. it’s really just sort of there. hanging out. being BOOOOORIIIINGGGGGG…. lol


LOL! Sorry this tea was so boring for you. Best to move on to something more lively!


haha i’m trying a bunch of things today. sad that this one was just kinda there…but glad i tried it, as always :)


OH SNORE FEST is not a good thing. I actually have some of this in the mail to me right now – interesting….


Haha! Hilarious!! Oo-wrong…almost as funny as bleeergamot!


I like it a lot…but I’m also a big fan of oolong in general :)

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I remember this being a very decent earl grey, slightly on the creamy side, but still with a fair dose of citrusy bergamot (blergophobics beware!). The base tea was top-quality and very, very tasty.

While this would not win the earl-grey-on-hand spot in my cupboard, I am really glad I tried it. It was certainly a good cup and it resteeped very nicely too. Anyone who is on a hunt to try as many EGs as possible should check this one out!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Ok, this is the second EG tea of the day for me.

When I got this tin last week, I opened it up and was unprepared for the sheer tidal wave of lavender scent that was unleashed. Seriously, the lavender smell was overwhelming, and I was worried that it would taste like a bar of soap.

Tentatively, I tried this today to compare to the other EG I’ve got, Davids Tea’s Cream of Earl Grey. And oh boy, were my fears confirmed.

I opened the tin. The overpowering lavender smell escaped. I carefully measured out a spoonful and put it in my infuser. I poured the hot water over the leaf. Upon first sniff, my fears were allayed – the immediate smell of the wet leaf when it was brewing was bergamot.

Then, as I let it steep, the lavender smell returned, albeit not as strong. I pulled out the infuser, set it aside, inhaled, and then took a sip.

God, this tastes like soap. I have never had lavender in a tea before, but if they’re all like this, then I will stay FAR away from it in the future. As a perfume? Great. As a soap? Lovely. But as a tea? Blech. As the tea cools down, the lavender flavour becomes more apparent, and actually feels like acid or something peppery on my tongue. The tea itself is not astringent, but the lavender in it contributes to an astringent sensation. Not sure if I’m explaining this right, but the mouthfeel is definitely affected.

I can smell bergamot in there and taste it in the aftertaste, but this is NOT a good mix. Someone, anyone, if you’re reading this: I will gladly send it to you as a swap. Pretty please?

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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walnut sweet sugar, i think a squirrel fell into my cup (oh wait, those are acorns…)

so delicate, perhaps a bit too mild & i just wish there were something to hold onto- anything—-the buttery texture or sticky rice pudding flavor of Coconut Pouchong, the buttery mouthfeel and green floral tang of Maple Cheesecake Ti Kwan Yin, or even the ‘honey bunches of oats’ in Maple Pecan Oolong.

but this does smell outrageous & and is certainly a pleasant cup. nothing i’d ever refuse! maybe they could pair the ‘Sugar Caramel’ flavoring with a more roasted oolong, like say, a Laoshan or Formosa! even a TGY that has somewhat of a pucker to it. so that the sweet seemingly banana flavor can cling to something well, tangible.

then again i’m no tea connoisseur or mixologist. perhaps the wonderful taste i attribute to the flavoring could be coming from the oolong itself! i just wish i knew what kind they used.

keep in mind this note comes after the 2nd steep of this tea- maybe something more will reveal itself in the 3rd infusion?

Flavors: banana, Burnt Sugar, Oats, Walnut


This one is certainly not what you expect—but once you get over the shock, then you realize how excellent it really is!


haha yes indeed! the same thing happened to me with their Coconut Pouchong! once you become attuned to the delicacy and subtle nuances of oolongs, you really get a lot out of them. the nose on the dry leaf for this, Sugar Caramel Oolong, is one of the yummiest things i’ve smelled by far!

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what a beautiful, delicate cup. i’ve had this twice already but have never logged it. again…the weight & the color of the liquor are so sylphlike! my experience with many oolongs is that they are very delicate. never harsh. no bitterness, no astringency. conducive to meditation (although i don’t meditate). a tea i’d recommend for those who do!

Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong was also meek & mild, and while Butiki’s Maple Pecan Oolong is bursting with fragrance, the brew is surprisingly light, as is this one. either way, i certainly enjoy such a tea, although i wish there were a bit more weight to the body. something tangible.

aroma of the tea liquor: sweet, honey, light maple syrup all mix together to make banana bread!! Sugar Caramel. there is definitely a sweetness, but i don’t quite get caramel. i truly get banana bread. warm, sweet banana bread that is soft and moist. and it’s funny because i was never much a fan of banana bread til recently. i’m starting to develop a taste for it. then when i smelled this tea dry, it was unmistakably sweet banana bread, perhaps soaked in kahlua and drizzled with caramel syrup ;) yum!

the flavor: as the aroma suggests—-lightly sweet, with notes of banana and pecan. unfortunately, the richness of the fragrant dry leaf doesn’t translate fully when infused. but it is beautiful nonetheless.

Flavors: Honey, Nuts


i just received a sample of it. i should try it asap. All your description of banana bread made me hungry:)


I’m right there with boychik…my stomach is now rumbling (and my mouth is watering, because this tea sounds delightful!).


hahaha…what do u plan on having? if you have not yet eaten, smelling this tea will really make you hungry, it smells so luscious. i find the fragrance far more decadent than the liquor, but if that’s par for the course with oolongs, i’ll be happy to know it isn’t me.

i really need to get a gaiwan asap. something tells me a lot less water will let the flavor truly shine.


you should get yourself easy gaiwan, not to delicate and you won’t burn your fingers


thank you so much, boychik :) that set’s adorable! i truly wonder what you’ll think of this oolong. look forward to your review.

thank you, deliriumsfrogs for ur kind compliments- i think you’d perceive a lot from this tea :D

smelled my sample tin again- brown sugar and banana, perhaps caramelized. pecan or walnut comes out in the steep (for me) though Golden Moon mentions chestnut.


I had a salad, with egg and avocado… but I would have really much rather had banana bread. lol
That gaiwan is so interesting, boychik! I’ve never seen that type before. I tend to still burn my fingers sometimes when using my gaiwan (ifjuly sent me one, and it’s pretty much my most loved possession).
That whole set is really beautiful. :)


the seller is very good too. reliable and fast. i think i got it in about 10 days, maybe less. its a life saver, i use it everyday. Mine has diff design, called blue fish.


I did tried the sample. while its lovely you are absolutely right the smell doesnt translate to taste. Rather weak, but clean and nice,nothing wrong. Again, im not a green oolong lover with one exception – Madala Milk oolong. teavivre strawberry oolong is good too. I dont know if you tried Silk Dragon by Tea Merchant. i think its amazing.

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drank Peach Oolong by Golden Moon Tea
218 tasting notes

I can’t believe I actually had to add this one to the database! I’m sorry I didn’t put any picture up. I couldn’t figure out how to save it from GMT website since the simple “save image as…” option did not appear, probably of all the picture zooming fanciness they have going on there.

Anyway. I had a sample of it last night, and, as I had predicted, it didn’t floor me but it wasn’t unpleasant either. I even re-steeped it. The peach flavoring is mild but agreeable with no artificiality to it. The oolong base has very little character but isn’t otherwise funky.

An okay tea. Nothing to crave or die for, but decent. It probably would work a little better iced?

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

(Well, that was a really silly site interface – I added the picture for you.)


Thank you, Anna! :)

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this is a sample from very generous ifjuly . Thank you so much!
I decided to try it today,its last day for free ship on GMT. I have this sample for a awhile but wanted to sample just before placing the order.
The leaves are gorgeous long black twisty its hard to measure with a spoon so I dump the whole sample, my guess at least 5-6g. 8oz boil 3min steep
produced dark golden brew. the taste is strong of honey and roast. i say roasted buckwheat drizzled with buckwheat honey. very smooth. I love it. as I read other ppl reviews complaining about pale color and not enough taste i came to conclusion that they underleaved it. Seriously, this tea is nothing short of flavor. Havent noticed any flowers, it reminds me more of Laoshan Black smell. Cocoa, honey,roasted buckweat.
2nd steep. @ 4min less honey,still roasty and some rye bread notes.
I’m sold. if ifjuly wouldn’t give me a sample I really dont know if i blind buy it. its not cheap and not offered as a sample.
Thank you ifjuly for being you!

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Sounds amazing :D


this sounds terrific! thank you for your nuanced description :)


I’m so glad you like it! I think a lot of people who’ve tried it because I went on about how much I like it feel disappointed—it’s a little delicate maybe?—so I’m glad you could taste the honey, yum.

And I know what you mean about it. It’s hard to get—hidden on the site, and sometimes they don’t have any in stock when I’ve ordered it—and definitely not cheap. Alas. It’s one of my “I’ve been really good and it’s been a terrible day” treat teas. (:


I’ve gotta put this at the top of my ‘future order from Golden Moon Tea’ list…. it sounds fantastic! I love your description of it all…I could see and smell everything. :)


DeliriumsFrogs, i’ve got some i can send you to try! it’s way pricey so try before you buy is a good thing in this case. i will throw it in the “send to DF someday” pile.


Thank you DeliriumsFrogs. its hard to describe this complex tea, but i tried:) ifjuly is better at descriptions


sooo untrue. i love your logs, boychik. (:

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drank Madagascar Vanilla by Golden Moon Tea
253 tasting notes

This is April Fool’s Day. This tea April Fooled me :( The dry tea smells great like vanilla beans.
The flavor is vanilla and
it has a briny orange flavor to the liquor that is different. I don’t know what tea this is made with :(
This is what Steepster is for so you can know about a tea before purchasing. This is tea like you get in the grocery store, ok but not high end and you don’t know what you are drinking. :(

Flavors: Orange Zest, Vanilla

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

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drank Coconut Pouchong by Golden Moon Tea
253 tasting notes

When I opened this package, I was overwhelmed by a strong piña colada scent and I was a little scared.
The leaves are large, slightly twisted, and mixed colors of dark brown and moss green.
But after I brewed this Oolong, it tasted pretty good!! The Oolong gives a pineapple scent and flavor then the accent of the coconut makes it taste very island drink like but in a hot tea. The scent when you bring your nose up to the cup is spot on piña colada.
No bitterness or greenness to the Oolong either.
This is a great one for people who like flavored teas and especially piña colada.

Flavors: Coconut, Fruit Tree Flowers

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I don’t like roses. But since I have this sample, I thought I would give it a shot.

Smells like roses, even small rose petals in the tea. Tastes like it smells. Tried it hot and iced. Tastes the same.

I still don’t like roses. I’m sure this is good for people who like roses. The black base doesn’t overpower the floral, perhaps tones it down some, because I can only imagine if you steeped only rose petals, it would taste different than this. If someone loved roses, I would totally recommend this to them, and gladly hand them my cup! :-)

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Why not go with another GM sample sipdown? I’m not sure why this gets such a low rating! It’s a nice representative of Darjeeling… the standard flavors are there. However you could describe a Darjeeling. The flavor here is kind of bold – probably because the sample actually had closer to two teaspoons. Classic delicious Darjeeling. I’m a fan! Not much else to say, but I don’t understand such a low rating for such a tasty Darjeeling (growing to love them, I guess.)
Steep #1 // waited 13 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 min
Steep #2 // 13 mins after boiling // 2 1/2 min

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