Golden Moon Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
The dry leaf makes me sad. Not shiny, not a pretty green and the needles have a few full ones but a lot of broken ones – and this has no indication of being a deeply steamed sencha so we should have longer, full leaves. I wasn’t really expecting anything more, but one can hope, you know? The smell was interesting… faint but sweet but dry and not rich or buttery or vegetal at all. Once put in my preheated Tokoname pot, they did smell better but I’m not going to take that to mean too much because my pot alone smells nice when it’s been heated because it’s been used for sencha so much. The tea does smell stronger than my pot alone, so it’s not a total lost cause, but it’s still not looking good.
The resulting liquid is… yellow. And wet. That’s pretty much it. Very little smell and the taste is hot and… astringent at the end. And that astringency builds quickly to a salty taste that takes up residency at the tip of my tongue and just hangs on. That tastes adds a little thickness to an otherwise very thin bodied tea.
Problem one with this tea: it’s not the type of sencha I like. It’s obviously a lighter steamed sencha based on the clear yellow color and I prefer the richness from a deep steamed sencha. But problem number two: it’s not a good example of a lightly steamed sencha. It’s bland and has very little taste, only bitterness. The leaves are either old or weren’t stored well and that probably doesn’t help the lack of taste.
The only positive I’m going to give this tea is that I did finish my whole cup. But I’m not even going to try a second steep.
Three minutes seems short, but it says 2 – 3 so I’m gonna give it a shot.
The dry leaves smell lovely. Earthy and smooth and a little sweet. No fish to be found so fingers crossed.
My first thought upon smelling the wet leaf was ‘seaweed’. But not exactly. Kind of like… dirt-covered, boiled wakame. The tea itself smells sweet but there is an undertone of… not quite fish but something oceanic or seafood-ish in it. But the dominant smell hits me as dried sweet hay that has been rained on. This reminds me of the fish pu-erh so I’m nervous.
The taste is better than ROT’s. No sweet smoked fish. There are similarities though. But not in the bad tastes, only in the good. This one does have a weird aftertaste, though. Not weird, just… not expected. There’s actually a little bit of dryness that kicks in within the sweet hay flavor at the tail end of the swallow.
I’m not 100% sold on this one. I definitely like it more than ROT’s but it doesn’t come together quite as happily for me as Samovar’s Maiden’s Ecstasy.
Had a little false start with this one. Went to sip from my cup and apparently I didn’t rinse it out well enough because I could still smell vanilla. So I poured it into a fresh-from-the-dishwasher cup (strawberry teacups from my MIL! YAY!) and we were vanilla-less from then on.
First of, the dry leaf? Lovely. So so pretty. Small but squiggly with love little bits of gold. So cute. And they smell sweet – I’d probably go with Lotus because it reminds me of the smell I got at Chusonji and I know they are big on having lotuses planted around the temple site. Plus, my other options based on the description were honey or sandalwood and neither quite fit.
Once brewed though, the tea smells more like a mild version of one of the husband’s single malts. Spicy but sweet. I’m going to go with sandalwood with a hint of honey on that, but the spice isn’t as incense-y as I typically think of sandalwood. So maybe I should just go with faint single malt with light honey.
Sipping, it is nice. There’s a large flavor that is just ‘tea’ to me but it has notes. There’s a little spice (more pepper than sandalwood to me as I can feel it make a little prickle on the tip of my tongue) but it is sweet, too. Not overwhelmingly so. Just enough to keep this from making me think of chai. There’s a dry, slightly astringent hit right at the end of the swallow that hits the back of my tongue and reminds me of some rougher Darjeelings and it seems to oddly bring the taste full circle from the spicy tickle at the beginning of the sip (and at the tip of my tongue).
I think with the spice and astringency and only hint of sweet, this tea just isn’t for me. But it’s got some good notes and an interesting flavor so I can see people that prefer bolder or spicy teas enjoying this one than I did. It’s surprisingly dark and broody tasting for such a light-colored and light-bodied tea.
I LOVE TAKGOTI AND AUGGY. LOVE THEM LOVE THEM. This must be known, to everyone. Sorry if this is coming off as a bit incoherent but takgoti just sent me the hugest box of tea known to man. And I’m all weepy and excited and happy and wonderific.
So, how do you rate a tea when you don’t like the main flavoring agent?
I hate melons. Like, really really hate them. The taste of them makes me want to gag, actually. I don’t like their texture. Honeydew? Nope. Cantaloupe? EW. Watermelon? Gross! (Yeah I know, I dislike watermelon, I’m weird, blahblahblah).
So when I opened the GM sample of this, I immediately smelled melon. Ripe, fresh melon. Mixed in with a sweetness that must’ve been the white tea base. Very pretty, but very…melon. I wasn’t that happy, but I dumped the entire sample into my pot and got it cooking. Or steeping, rather.
The resulting tea was a beautiful color. A darker white tea than most, like a very light copper. And the fragrance must be mouth-watering for a melon-lover, but for me… I just wrinkled my nose.
The first sip was a bit… interesting, to say the least. It’s pretty much straight melon, with a nice white tea base. It tastes like a hybrid version of a cantaloupe and honeydew, but actually comes closer to Midori in taste than either. I can actually stomach Midori in small doses, but yeah. I finished the cup, but I can’t say I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t order it again, but it was extremely high-quality! And tasted just like melon! So if you love melon, I’m sure you’ll love this.
My mom kept sipping it, smiling, and going, “Mmmmmm” over and over again.
This one was so difficult to rate. But there it is!
And OMG TAKGOTI AND AUGGY LOVE FOR REAL.
I feel like I’ve already tried a ton of Golden Moon teas so far, but my little sample basket from them is still overflowing with goodies! I decided on this one today, mostly because I had just gotten up and this is the first one I saw that was to be made with boiling water. The Zojirushi being on 208, I went ahead and grabbed it. When I am more awake I can worry about what I want to drink. Right now I just need something.
My cup of tea smells lovely. The vanilla is creamy and sweet and almost candy-like. In fact, the smell reminds me of SerendipiTEA’s Colonille and City Harvest Black. Upon dipping though, it fails to fill those (admittedly very large) shoes. The vanilla isn’t overwhelming but is soft, a little sweet and creamy and really delicious. But there is a disconnect between the vanilla flavor and the tea. The two don’t fully merge. There’s vanilla, then there’s tea, then there is a little vanilla aftertaste. I don’t taste vanilla tea so much as vanilla and tea. And I want those tastes squished together.
If I were rating this tea on scent alone, this would get a very high score. It smells awesome. But the taste is a little disappointing when hit with that lovely smell. As it cools, the two tastes seem to blend a bit, but the delightful smell goes away so I prefer it hot. However, now I seem to be getting a bit of a dry, powdery aftertaste feeling in my mouth. Sort of like when a potato hasn’t been fully reheated and you’re left with a little mealy taste that goes back to creamy once you pop it in the microwave another minute.
For me, this tea just doesn’t hit all the right notes. I gave the husband a sip of it hot and his face lit up when he smelled it but he got a bit of a confused look on his face post-sip and stated, “That’s interesting.” So yeah. Great smell but the flavors just don’t match up to the smell. And once the tea and vanilla flavors starts to combine, the tea temp is close to starting to get cold enough that the aftertaste feels heavy and uncomfortable.
I think if I had finished the tea before it got to that funky aftertaste/feel point, I might have given the tea a little higher rating simply because the smell was awesome. But right now when it is time to move that little slider, I just have an odd taste in my mouth that leaves me kind of grumpy so it’s hard to remember the happy smell and odd (but not as bad as the aftertaste) taste of the hot tea.
I’m finding that I really love the way teas with golden tips look. The black and gold just look so amazing and beautiful together… it really makes the experience all the more worthwhile.
Anyway, when I opened this little packet by GM this morning, I was hit with a lot of different and complex yummy notes. Earthy, fruity, dark, complex. Even some sweetness thrown in there for good measure.
The wiry leaves are very pretty; the whole thing just looks high-quality. So I steeped up a teaspoon of this in the IngenuiTEA. The leaves didn’t expand all that much, but they did unfurl a bit, and the resulting cup was a deep copper. Not as dark as some Irish Breakfasts I’ve seen, but still fairly dark.
On first sip I was in happyland. There’s actually a lot of complexity in this cup. It’s fairly smooth at the forefront of the sip, with lots of notes of fruit, and a slight subtle sweetness. As you swallow, a subtle maltiness presents itself, with just a bit of astringency. There’s a lot of the earthy flavors that are present in most blacks. I have no idea what prunes taste like, so I couldn’t find that in my tea. But I could see the cherry, and even perhaps some honey as an aftertaste. There is a mild sweet component to this tea, which I liked. It’s a fairly complex and subtle black by itself, so I don’t think this is one IB that you’d want to put milk into immediately.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more of a malty “kick” that I associate strongly with a good Irish Breakfast, but the interesting flavors that kept peeking out of this cup more than made up for that lack. It tastes like it’s high quality, and I think it could function on two levels: as a daily drinker, and as a fun, tasting journey as you try to nail all of those components that are highlighted in each sip.
DUN DUN DUN….
Pu-erh. The dreaded tea with the reputation that would make you want to run for the hills. Fishy tastes and smells. Bird feathers/droppings, nail clippings. Earth and dirt.
Needless to say, I was terrified to try this one. But I mustered up the courage and cut open that packet from GM. Then I hesitantly, very carefully, took a little sniff. You know what? This doesn’t smell bad at all! I thought to myself. It’s very earthy and rich and deep, with an almost bake-y smell. It’s very difficult to describe. The overall smell is similar to a black tea, but it smelled… aged. In a good way. Like an old, leather-bound book. Friendly, almost.
So I began to feel a bit more confident about the cup that awaited me. The leaves don’t do all that much in the pot, and they’re pretty plain looking, but a bit thicker-looking than most blacks (and they are jet black with some brown intertwined). The cup that this steeps up to be is DARK. A deep, deep amber, that you can only see as transparent if you stick it in direct sunlight. Otherwise, it looks like your spoon as disappeared into the black lagoon.
With lots of trepidation, I look the sip, and I was shocked at how inoffensive this was! Then I took another sip, and I thought, mmmmm. Boy is this tea complex. Infinitely smooth, with no astringency, and ridiculously sippable. Now onto the taste, which is so layered, I’m loving it. There’s a taste of earthiness. But we’re talking about more of a savory earthiness, like you’d get from mushrooms. Not dirt outside your house. There’s a level of smokiness. In fact, it’s the smokiness that I thought lapsang souchong was going to taste like. And then, the aftertaste… it’s earthy and deliciously sweet. I mean, as sweet as a green tea tastes on the aftertaste. I was thoroughly shocked at that flavor coming through. It almost has a thick mouthfeel, but is still so smooth and wonderful. I’m still boggled at that sweet component, because it is downright addictive. It’s savory and amazing. Ricky, the resident pu-erh king, really liked this cup as well.
If you’re really afraid of pu-erh, I suggest trying this one. It has its own unique flavor, but really isn’t that frightening. No fish components, and it’s loose, so you don’t have to worry about picking foreign objects out of the cake! Yay! I’m still marveling at the depth of flavors and wonderful savory elements. And that sweetness! MMMMM.
It’s a bit sweeter this time around, with less nuances and complexity. It’s probably the best second steep I’ve had of any tea, ever, but it still pales in comparison to the glorious first time around. I also find myself tiring of a tea and its flavors after one cup. Maybe multiple steeping and I aren’t made to be friends.
Well, this one is actually really interesting, and I’m sitting here puzzled, scratching my head.
When I opened up the Golden Moon packet, it instantly smelled of gunpowder. That earthy, smokey, Rome-burning smell that I absolutely adore. I believe that Temple of Heaven is a higher grade of gunpowder, and let me tell you, the dry leaf was absolutely beautiful. Tiny little blue-green pearls. Way tinier than Adagio’s, and smooth and silky to the touch. So pretty!
So I dumped a level teaspoon into my IngenuiTEA and watched as the fireworks happen. This one’s pretty bombastic in the pot. It start with little bubbles, and then, within a matter of seconds after the hot water hitting the leaves, they start unfurling and writhing and wriggling like they’re dirty dancing.
In the cup, this one’s a honey hue, with a smell that can only be described as smokey gunpowder. So I lift my mouth to the cup and.. hrm. The smoke on this one is definitely lighter than Adagio’s blend. It actually is more seamlessly “one” with the tea flavors than a simple overlay of flavor. And while I enjoy that aspect of it, I wanted the smoke to come out a bit more assertive.
Then the oddity began. I’m picking up that mineral-like flavor and mouthfeel that I got from Rishi’s Jade Fire! The astringency is leaving my mouth dry, and there’s almost a briny component that I didn’t expect. As the cup cooled down, this element faded into the background (although there was still a high component of astringency), and the delicate smoke flavors became the prime focus. There’s a sweet green aftertaste that is really pleasant, but it’s almost a bit too mild.
In fact, I think overall the cup is too delicate for my tastes, and it falls into this bizarre crack. Gunpowder really isn’t a delicate flavor, so it’s strange to have it come across as a wisp of smoke instead of a cloud. Add to that the mineral/brine/weird taste that came with Rishi’s Jade Fire (which is another rolled tea, by the way, but it doesn’t have the smoke of a gunpowder) and you have me perplexed. It’s like if Adagio’s Gunpowder and Rishi’s Jade Fire decided to have a baby and the genetics got mixed up along the way.
Light brown in color for a black.
Dry leaf smells quite HONEY.
Wet leaf smells more like the Honey Pear Combo along with a woodsy-type scent.
After removing the steeping loose leaf there is an added floral scent as well.
It’s a nice even taste. I can taste more honey than pear.
It’s semi-refreshing. A nice blend.
I was nibbling on a piece of orange chocolate fudge while sipping and must say it pairs with Chocolate well!! :P
A comfort tea, perhaps!? But then again…aren’t most teas comforting!?
Stupid Firefox crashed and I lost my review. UGH! Take two…
It seems like whenever teaplz and Ricky don’t like a GM tea (or rather don’t love one), I suddenly need to try it. It’s like I want to torture myself with tea. It didn’t work last time with the Lapsang Souchong but I’m thinking it might work this time.
The leaves? Are not happy looking. They are dark olive and brown and dry looking and there seems to be a lot of twiggyness going on. I’m betting on a strike out here. The tea smells… dusty. And I’m not even talking about the dry leaves. I’m talking about the liquid. You know, the wet stuff. And when wet stuff smells dusty? That’s not cool.
Okay, it’s not as bad as I feared. I mean, I was expecting the little red icky face, but this isn’t bad. First off, it’s pretty sweet. Not quite a honey sweet but almost like it’s been sweetened with sugar. Even to the point of an almost sugary aftertaste. As it cools a little bit some tartness is coming in on aftertaste. I’m starting to make a little face after I swallow but it’s nothing horrid. But… that’s it. That’s all I get out of this tea.
So yeah, not nasty but not great. Sort of a generic green tea flavor that really isn’t anything other than wet and a bit sweet. I think this would be a good ‘starter’ tea for someone that just wants to drink tea as some sort of medicinal supplement. It’s not offensive and just a bit boring. But for me it’s not really a good representation of what’s available in the world of green teas.
So not quite torture via tea, but not something I’ll ever want to have again. I might do a second steep just because I pretty much always give greens a second steep. But if I do, no guarantee that I’ll drink the whole cup.
I like the flavor of this tea a lot. It does not need sugar. It is fantastic hot and also delicious cold. This is a win-win tea. Today since the ground is covered with a foot and a half of snow, it is a hot tea.
The aroma of the tea is coconut, hands down. The flavor of the tea is coconut, carried by a green tea with a sweet almost minty after taste. It is absolutely wonderful. The first time I tried the tea, I knew I had to buy one of my own, and I did.
As a note: I tend to use a lot more leaves than I should, this is just a force of habit, but I think it makes multiple steeps of the tea better when you have more leaves.
Received a free sample from Golden Moon Tea and tried it with great anticipation. Exquisite oolong. Far superior to the oolong bought locally from the Asian Market. See the full review at http://bit.ly/8dNfqd.
Backlogging from the weekend in Louisiana.
This tea has officially become a required vacation staple. Uncontrollable brewing parameters? Pshaw! This tea is forgiving enough to take it! Bad tasting water? No problem! This is strong enough to cover it up and still taste delightful. This tea is a hero in my book. ♥
Whee! Smoky! I kind of feel like this is so smoky that it is seeping smoke out my pores. But I like this one – it’s a bit sweeter and much less tarry than any other lapsang souchong I’ve had. So it is super-smoky but it isn’t thick or too heavy. Lighter bodied for such a strongly smoky tea. Really glad I got a tin of this. It’s my favorite lapsang souchong, hands down.
Had a little side by side tasting of this and ROT’s lapsang souchong with my dad pre-present opening tonight. Ultimately he preferred ROT’s as it is a bit of a stronger taste and with a fuller body but I liked this one. It sweeter and softer with a note of a faint honey taste running through the tea. It is a thinner-bodied tea and not as dark and murky as ROT’s. There is a smoky flavor all over this tea but nothing overpowering. Instead, it is smooth and lovely. I will be ordering more of this one.
The dry leaf smells like meat that’s been soaked in soy sauce before smoking. Or like the meat has been smoked at too high of a temperature and almost burned but didn’t quite. Instead, it’s just really really dark. And salty. I only have the ROT’s to compare it to and this one smells more… carcinogenic.
All brewed up, this tea doesn’t smell near as strong as ROT’s, but instead of sweet maple tones to the smell, I get… pickle. BBQ’ed pickle. There’s a tartness in is somewhat vinegar-y. The husband was actually intrigued enough by the smell to try this before I did and his response was “Not a fan, but good.” I asked him explain because that’s… confusing. He replied that it was a good smoky taste but was too much for him – there was nothing else to it, unlike with overly smoked brisket, at least there is brisket under there. (He pretty much felt the same way about ROT’s – he felt no need to drink Liquid Smoke).
It’s cooled a little so I’m ready to try it. The scent I inhale is sweeter than what I was smelling before. No sweet maple or anything but no vinegar/pickle either. Just like a sweeter BBQ sauce. The taste initially is a lot milder than ROT’s, but it seems to expand in my mouth. Faint smoky tea building until my mouth is filled with a smoky but smooth flavor. If I keep sipping, that taste builds but if I take a little longer between sips, it fades.
I can actually get a little tea undertone to this after I swallow. It doesn’t appear regularly but rather when it’s been a bit longer between my sips so the smoke flavor that has built up in my mouth has faded some. Also, I’m getting a sweet, somewhat meat-like aftertaste.
I’m actually really liking this. I mean, I don’t think I could drink it every day, but I do really like it. To the point that, depending on how the second (and maybe third?) steeps go, I would seriously consider adding this to a GM order when I make one. It’s mild when compared to the ROT but definitely not too mild. Just really smooth and not overpowering. Definitely distinctive but…. relaxing and pleasant. I hope I have enough left of this for a second cup because I want to do a tasting with my dad over Christmas of this one and ROT’s – because if anyone could appreciate a smoke tea, it would be him.
ETA: Second steep @ 6:00. Smooth, smoky, sweet and really yummy. Yeah, I’m going to have to order some of this.
Third steep @ 8:00. Smooth, very sweet and a tail of smoky. SO. FREAKIN. GOOD.