Golden Moon Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea is a light fermented Wuyi Oolong which means the leaves were grown in a specific area in the Fujian Provence of China. Even though this is a light Oolong it is remarkably toasty in the first infusion. Not toasty like a dark roasted Oolong but a lighter flavor version that retains the complexity without the strength.
The second infusion loses a lot of the toastiness and really showcases the floral undertones and sweetness. Don’t get me wrong it still tastes fermented. This is absolutely no where near a pouchong but it does have that kind of lightness to it.
Anyways light but complex flavor.
Brewed 3 minutes. Taken Plain. Sampling first and second infusions.
I can’t even begin to describe how delicious this tea smells.
This is my first experience with jasmine tea, and I was definitely not disappointed in any way. I opened Golden Moon’s little sample packet, and out wafted that most mesmerizing smell. A perfume that was wonderfully fruity and floral. I’d never smelled anything like it.
I’m not the resident expert on aromatherapy and lotions and the like. As a result, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from jasmine. Before today, if you asked me to identify jasmine, I wouldn’t have been able to. Now, it’s a scent that is so sharply ingrained in my thoughts and nose that I can recall it instantly from memory. I thought to myself, if this tastes as good as it smells, we have a winner.
The leaves unfurled delicately, and the resulting liquid was yellow, but rich-colored. The scent coming from the hot cup was amazing – a bit more floral than the dry leaves, but rich and fruity.
On first taste it was a bit difficult to grasp any of the distinct flavors, but as the cup cooled slightly I was in heaven. Seriously. The jasmine flavor is strong and wonderful and complements the taste of the green tea perfectly. It’s juicy and buttery and floral, fruity like ripe pears or something along those lines. The flavors all mingle together nicely on the green tea sweetness. It’s difficult to pick the jasmine apart from the green, since they’re blended so well together. Each complements the other so well!
If you hate jasmine, I wouldn’t recommend this. It’s really very jasmine-y. But if you love it, this tea is probably perfect for you. Golden Moon says that it would taste good iced, and while I won’t try it like that (I’m not a fan of iced tea), I can see why they’d suggest it. I’m so happy that my sampler was overstuffed with jasmine tea, and that I definitely have enough for another cup of this beauty.
I’m going to attempt to resteep this, but I’ll probably just include the notes here. The leaves still have retained their jasmine scent, and they haven’t completely unfurled, so we’ll see what happens.
EDIT: So I resteeped this baby for four minutes, and it brewed up to identically the same color. The smell this time had lost some of its fruitiness and become more of a straight floral scent. The taste… was okay. It’s probably one of the better resteeps I’ve tried in a while, but the evil-green-vegetal-second-steep taste started to drown out the delicate jasmine flavor and sweetness. I also found that I really didn’t want another cup of jasmine. I can see this not as an everyday sort of flavor, but as a special occasion or less-often tea experience.
Remind me never to steep this three times ever again.
Surprisingly enough, this third steep had a darker liquid than the past two, but the veggie-like smell was in full effect. And it wasn’t in a good way. This was like spinach crossed with wet leaves. The smell emanating from the cup was much of the same. I was also getting a lot of sediment at the bottom of my cup after the pour, which was pretty bizarre.
Anyway, the flavor was completely divorced from anything before it. The sweetness was still there, but very mild… and the flavor was like wet leaf water. I’m pretty sure I could get a similar flavor by going outside and collecting the rain-sodden leaves from the dirt. Earthy in a very unpleasant way (and I love earthy things!).
This white was pretty much done after the first steep, flavor-wise. All of the beauty of its delicacy and fragility was lost the more times I dumped hot water on the leaves. Not a pleasant experience. But since my first cup was absolutely gorgeous, my rating’s going to stay as is!
Steep #2 coming your way!
I figured out how I’m going to organize my logs. The first time that I try a tea and resteep it, each steep will have multiple logs so I can correctly work out how I felt about each steep. Every time after that, though, the resteeps will appear in the same log as the initial steep.
My ratings will always be based on first steep alone. Resteeps that are good are merely extras, add-ons, little gifts my tea is giving to me if they’re good.
Now that that’s out of the way, I found that I was a little disappointed with this second steep. I guess I need to get used to the fact that the tea’s flavors will change and mutate through the multiple steepings. I definitely think that the first cup was a real treat, and while this cup isn’t amazing, it definitely isn’t bad either.
The liquid was around the same color as the first time around, and the smell this time was a bit more… earthy? And floral. The butter component was nowhere to be found, and the wet leaves smelled more vegetal this time.
The initial taste surprised me once again, and the word that popped into my head to describe this one was “reedy.” This steep definitely has an earthier component, something that I wouldn’t call leafy but rather “woodsy.” Some of the flavor notes are even a bit tart and citrus-y, which I found to be pretty bizarre. The sweetness here was only a lingering afternote, not really pronounced and fading much more quickly than the first cup.
Since that delicious nectar-like flavor was pretty much an afterthought in the taste of this cup, and since that’s what I enjoyed the first time around, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first. I’m going to go for a third steep anyway, and see if the flavor profile is more to my liking the next time around.
I think I’m in love.
I had never tasted white tea before in my life. The closest I’d come to it before this was that Lipton bottled stuff flavored with raspberry. And while I enjoyed it as a throwaway soft drink, it would never, ever compare to something like this.
I was really anticipating this particular steeping. I’ve been hearing a lot about whites and their wonderfulness, and I figured it was time to give one a try. So I sifted through my Golden Moon sampler and picked out the most basic white in there: White Tea. I’m not quite sure what kind of white tea this is, but my sampler had a chrysanthemum blossom in there too.
The leaves were so many different colors when dry! A beautiful deep green that reminded me of evergreens and Christmas. Some brown-speckled leaves. And these beautiful little needle-looking things with downy fuzz! I was so intrigued by this that I picked one up to feel it. So velvety and soft! I’d love to make a coat out of that fuzzy wonderfulness. These were the most leaf-like out of any of the leaves that I’d seen loose before.
I was really nervous about this tea, because I don’t have a thermometer and my kettle is not clear. So I waited for it to boil and let it cool for around 5 minutes. Then I made sure to steep the leaves for the 2 minutes that Golden Moon recommended. There wasn’t much dancing and grooving in my IngeniuTEA. I think it’s because the leaves were already pretty much open.
When I poured the lovely tea juice into my cup, it was a pretty light yellow color. The wet leaves didn’t smell like much, but the liquid smelled a touch floral, and for some reason, buttery. I braced myself, and took the first sip.
And my head jerked back in surprise! Because whatever preconceived notions I had about whites was wrong, or at least off. The taste is, in a word, incredible. It’s extremely delicate but succulent. When the tea was piping hot, it was a bit difficult to pick out any flavors, but as it cooled, it came together. Each sip had a light floral component to it, that gave way to one of the most delicious sweetnesses I’ve ever tasted. Like nectar from the gods. Honeyed and delicious and lingering. I was in heaven. I know I really like a tea when I pace around my house, sipping it and thinking and smiling. This was one of those moments.
The sweetness only got stronger as the cup cooled. There was a slight astringency, but nothing that detracted from the taste. In fact, I think the dry feeling enhanced the sweetness. And that ambrosia-like sweet lasted in my mouth for several minutes after I’d finished the cup. This tea’s quiet beauty really reminded me of a dance routine I saw on So You Think You Can dance last night that gave me a serious case of the goosebumps (Jakob and Mollee’s Viennese Waltz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz3quyRMiGI and watch!). It just had this soft touch, this beautiful taste that really lightened up this awful, awful rainy day.
My mom also really loved this one. She took a sip of it, gave a thumbs-up, and said it tasted delicious, delicate, and sweet.
I’m almost afraid to steep this again, because I don’t know if the magic will happen twice. But I’m going to try it anyway, and see what happens. Stay tuned!
This is the last of my sample and I am purposely oversteeping to see the difference. I steeped for about 5 to 6 mins. I strongly suggest this. It has more flavor and it isn’t bitter but on the verge of maybe getting bitter if steeped longer. The pineapple like scent DOES come out more if steeped longer. I am going to try multiple infusions.
OH MY GOD THE INTERNET WAS DOWN.
I am addicted to the internet. I am not ashamed to admit it. I freak out when it’s not working. This tealog was originally supposed to be posted around noon today (I actually wrote it out in Word so my impressions would be lost – NERD), but because the internet went bye-bye, it’s going up now.
This is an extremely intriguing tea. Once again, with Golden Moon, I’ve been trying to get through some of the more basic teas before I vault into the complex and interesting ones.
There was enough for two servings in my sampler packet. The smell that came from the little GM Packet of Joy was interesting and nuanced. I knew I was smelling good tea, but I really couldn’t distinguish any components. The leaves are obviously of a variety of varietels – some are long, some are short, and there’s a fair amount of broken bits.
This one steeped to a dark copper color, and the tea liquid was had a scent similar to the dry leaves.
On first sip, I let out a little sigh. This one is good. Very good. There are four different teas at play in Golden Moon’s blend: Assam, Ceylon, Keemum, and Darjeeling, and each plays a distinct and interesting role in the tea. Part of the fun of drinking this was trying to distinguish all the flavor components. Golden Moon really has done a stellar job of blending these beauties together so they create one complex taste with individual components. If I concentrate really hard, I can almost taste each individual tea. The boldness from the Assam, the smoothness of the Ceylon, that somewhat tart component of the Keemum, and something extra, that I could only guess is Darjeeling.
I wish I could have actually sat down and enjoyed this a bit more, but this morning was pretty hectic. Our internet is down, and everyone in the house is pretty much in a frenzy. I’m glad my sample has a bit more, that way I can have some of this tea again.
Although I don’t think that this is a beginner’s tea, I think a budding tea enthusiast and a tea expert would both enjoy this. I gave a few sips to my mom, who commented, “Wow, this is really interesting tasting. And complex.” This ain’t Liptons, baby. This is TEA.
Zarafina: black, loose, medium
sweetened with rock sugar
There’s a strong musky honey note dominating this tea. Detecting the pear taste is difficult, and I’m realizing that I much prefer teas flavored with actual bits of whatever rather than flavor oils.
I got this as part of Golden Moon’s sampler set, but I won’t buy it.
It seems there was enough left for 1 and a half attempts left so I am over steeping the amount but not the length. After today’s steep this smells a lot like ‘green roughage’ as my mother used to say while talking about Spinach, Kale, and other dark leafy greens. Over the past year I have become quite fond of Coconut Pouchongs and this one is no exception.
This cup steeped up to around the same color as the first, and the leaves opened up a bit more. The taste is surprisingly stronger than the first cup, but it’s still a bit weak tasting. It tastes grassier by far, and there’s still the lingering sweet note. There’s almost an earthy note to this as well. I actually think the sweet aftertaste has mellowed out completely, and I doubt that anyone would be able to pick out “candied pineapple” in this second steep. So it’s probably more green-tea-like. However, I think I actually favor the first cup more. There’s still a wonderful purity to the entire taste. It really is clean and fresh. The first cup was more subtle, and water-ish, but the nuanced flavor profile in it was more interesting than this one.
I’m starting to love the fact that green teas really just have this natural sugary flavor to them. I can’t imagine anyone adding anything to Golden Moon’s Green. Maybe the tiniest bit of honey, but I think it’d overwhelm the delicacy that’s at play here.
I probably could have gotten another steep out, but I’m tiring of the tea, so I dumped the leaves. Still, pretty good for a basic green!
If you haven’t heard, I have the best boyfriend in the entire world.
So, my boyfriend is always amused by my various obsessiveness. I tend to cycle through hobbies and pastimes pretty quickly, and he’s always along for the ride. When he found out that I was getting into loose leaf tea, and made my first order from Adagio, he surprised me with the Golden Moon Tea Taster’s Sampler set (http://www.goldenmoontea.com/Tea_Taster_s_Sampler_P56C28.cfm for those that aren’t in the know). It’s $20 for their entire catalog, 1-2 cups of each of their 31 varieties, and if you use the code “teareviewblog” you get free shipping (it worked when I ordered, at least). It was the perfect gift, and as a result, I have the chance to work my way through the various and interesting teas of a highly respected company.
The box is a bit daunting, so I figured I’d start with the basics. And what’s more basic than plain green tea? I don’t have much experience with green tea overall, but I read on here and elsewhere that this was just straight green tea, with a very mild flavor.
When I opened the little packet, I was sort of surprised at how much there was in there. The leaves were pretty and twisted, a wonderful verdant color. There were some broken bits at the bottom of the packet, but for the most part, most of the leaves were intact. I’d read that many of the offerings were really one cup only, but I measured out a heaping teaspoon of this, and I still had half left. Since I didn’t want to overdue it with the leaves, and add too many to the pot with no knowledge of the the temperament of this tea, I just did the one heaping teaspoon and sealed the rest of the bag up for another time.
The dry leaves smelled… leafy. Green in a plant-like way. Nothing distinctive. The resulting liquid after brewed was a light yellow color. A very, very pale goldenrod. The cup had literally no smell.
On my first sip I was a bit surprised. This tea doesn’t have a strong flavor at all. As someone that’s accustomed to blacks in the morning, it was a bit interesting. There are barely any tasting notes to be had while the cup is still piping hot. A hint of vegetation, a sweet aftertaste.
As the cup cooled, however, the sweetness really came into prominence. I only really tasted the “candied pineapple” tasting note once or twice (this is not flavored with pineapple, so don’t expect a strong flavor at all). The best thing that I can say about this tea is that if it was cold, it’d be immensely chuggable. And I mean that as a compliment. It’s refreshing and light and tasty, with a very pleasing sweet note. It tastes pure and refined. Does it taste like “tea”? No. So if you’re going into this expecting a flavor parade, you will be disappointed. It tastes more like drinking dew from a large leaf in the morning. What I would imagine the water served up on Olympus tastes like.
All great compliments, but when I’m drinking tea, I don’t really want water, I want tea. I really enjoyed the subtleties of this tea, and I’m going to try resteeping it (some of the leaves still have a twisted shape and didn’t unfurl completely), but I can’t imagine ordering more of this.
Starting is a sweet smooth chrysanthemum taste with a floral over tone that fades quickly to sweet and toasty and then finally to the white tea base.
This tea is exactly what Golden Moon advertises and it is wonderfully smooth and calming.
Pairing chrysanthemum over the white tea adds interest to a very simple flavor and accents the mouth feel to make this a more full bodied tea.
The tea leaves prior to brewing show full chrysanthemum buds so if you have certain plant allergies you may want to check to make sure this wont bother you.
But if you can drink this it is wonderful.
Taken with a sprinkle of sugar.
As with the vast majority of Golden Moon teas this blend demonstrates a balance between flavoring agent and tea. Neither fight for dominance. Both can be tasted. Which is awesome and something I think more blending professionals should aspire to.
It seems that the rose is the balancing part of the tea. First hint is of an almost tin-ie (for all of you non-musicians out there tin-ie is a description for a sound that has no resonance… most commonly piccolos and trumpets… you know… the annoying instruments ;p ) black tea. After that the rose flavor develops over the black tea base.
Obviously this is extremely floral but the rose flavoring does not become a perfumed mess when chilled which is nice.
What makes this blend work though is a tertiary flavor that reminds me of teas that are defined as smoky. Think Lapsang super duper light. I honnestly don’t know if this is a quality in the leaves they chose to blend with or if they added a bit of oil or what-not but I’m pretty sure that’s what keeps the flavor in this blend together.
Anyways… pleasant treat!