Golden Moon Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Lapsang Souchong by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

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. ♥

gmathis

Don’t care for it, but I can see L/S covering up the nastiest hotel coffee-pot water! Good call for travel.

Tea for Me Please - Nicole Martin

This is one of my absolute favorites too. the aroma clears a room in my house though, my family can’t stand it :p

Auggy

gmathis, Well, I used tap water but it was still pretty nasty tasting water. This did cover it up nicely though!
HorseNcl, This is one of my favorite smokies, too. Fortunately I’m starting to change the husband’s mind about smoky teas so he doesn’t make brisket comments near as often now. He had the second steep of this one (nasty hotel water and all) and didn’t even ask for sugar! :)

Cinoi

I love this tea because it is so forgiving with you temperature and brewing.

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86
drank Lapsang Souchong by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

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.
4.6g/12oz

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
sophistre

Mine too!

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86
drank Lapsang Souchong by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
teaplz

So interesting that you did this, Auggy! I’m glad he enjoyed the tea, regardless.. and I’m glad you found GM’s Lapsang to be a LOVE!

Ricky

Oh why must you torture yourself Auggy =P

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86
drank Lapsang Souchong by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
teaplz

Whee! I think I just couldn’t get over the fact that it tasted like bacon and smoke and all that weird stuff. I think I need to try it again. It’s definitely very juicy and savory, but it’s SO strange. I can taste that it’s quality, but it’s just… WEIRD.

Auggy

This one is better than ROT’s for sure and having ROT’s previously let me not think about the “OMG! SMOKED MEAT TEA!” (which I totally did before) on this one and concentrate on the tea itself. I actually kind of love it. I really really hope the second steep is a good one.

Ricky

I’m glad someone enjoyed this cup of tea :D

sophistre

See? Just as I get accustomed to seeing the other runners faceplant over this one hurdle — enough of them that I feel reasonably confident I will do the same thing, when I get there — someone goes soaring over it, and I’m left to wonder all over again.

teaplz

Your 2nd and 3rd steeps sounded pretty awesome! Unfortunately, I tossed those leaves right after the first steep. I think my family might have done me bodily harm if they had to smell the tea for longer than it took to steep.

They were threatening to throw out the rest of my sample, and I had to squirrel it away!

Auggy

@sophistre, I think I’ll have to agree with those that have said this type of tea is a love it or hate it tea. And I’d guess more people would hate lapsang souchong that love it, but I’m going to have to fall in the ‘love it’ category – at least for this one (wasn’t huge on ROT’s).

@teazplz, Hahah! Fortunately the husband was intrigued by the smoke smell and had already dealt with the must stronger smelling ROT one not too long before, so he wasn’t fussy about the scent at all. I plan on taking my remaining sample of this one and the bit of the ROT I have left to my parents for Christmas and do a little taste testing with my dad. We’ll see how many family members throw out threats during that event!

takgoti

Oooh, I don’t think I’ve ever gone past a second steeping of LS. Might need to sit down and go for thirds soon.

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78

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Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

“One sip and a rush of bitterness hit me. I was so hurt, how come something that smelled so succulent, be so bitter.” Tea is like a lot of things in life, and unfortunately I guess this is one of them:(

Ricky

Haha, I agree. Nonetheless, this was still a great cup of tea. GM never disappoints… eh most of the time.

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1
drank Lapsang Souchong by Golden Moon Tea
358 tasting notes

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Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 30 sec
Suzi

I had Lapsang Souchong for the first time a few weeks ago and it was just UGH YICK! I couldn’t choke down more than a few sips. I like my tea flavored, but apparently not as smoked meat.. LOL.

Ricky

Haha, agreed. Meat and tea should not be mixed together. I can still feel it, argh. Must make something mild to rinse this nastiness out of my system.

Bethany

Haha, once again, I reiterate that Lapsang Souchong is a love it or hate it proposition. I love curling up with a big mug of it.

Ricky

Yep, I agree. It’s a hit or miss. There’s no in between.

Auggy

Haha – oh no! I’m putting this one on my list of teas to try this weekend!

sophistre

I am watching all of the GM-sampler testers jump this particular hurdle on the obstacle course with increasing fascination. I can’t decide yet if it’s curiosity or horror.

teaplz

Ahhhhh! I’m actually laughing over here. It tastes like a cigarette! BLAH. My parents were yelling about the smell for the entire day.

Ricky

I can’t wait to see what my friends think of it when I give them the sampler. What’s funny is one of my friends love Bacon! =D That should be interesting.

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78

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Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Erin

I first read “Breaking the Sorapot” and began to panic! Haha, I need to read things more carefully.

Ricky

Oh my, I’d be quite upset if Sorapot broke.

~lauren.

Just googled it, and the Sorapot is gorgeous! I wish you many happy magic tea moments with your newly opened teapot!

sophistre

Actually, I did a little test of my own yesterday because I was curious. I know that my glass infuser mug holds two cups and just a hair over, because I made sure when I bought it, using my measuring cup. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t overfill it if I used the sorapot, so I poured it into the sorapot chamber and found that I need to leave about 3/4ths of an inch of space at the top when the whole thing is horizontal, if not a full inch (hard to say, cylindrical and all), to make a full 16oz cup consisting of two liquid ‘cups’ of tea. Hope that helps!

JacquelineM

The Sorapot is so beautiful – your friends will change their minds once you serve them tea from it :)

Ricky

Isn’t it Lauren? Steepster offers it on their Steepster Select every once in a blue moon.

Yeah, right after I made the post I did a test of my own sophistre. I filled up my Nalgene which holds 24oz and I was able to empty all of it into it, but I spilled some. So moral of the story, fill it up half way to get the 11oz. Now, I’m glad it fills up to about 20z =]. I usually make about 16oz so 3/4 ways would be good.

Does it taste better if it comes from the Sorapot Jacqueline? Oh I do wonder =] It’s like drinking from expensive chinaware, or teaware in this case =]

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78

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Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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61
drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

And another tea is out of my pantry! YAY! Slowly I’m getting rid of the little single or double cup amounts of leaf I have. Whee!

Honestly, not as good as the first time I had it. I let it cool too long and they honey pear flavors have flattened out and gotten musty. And overall, there’s just too much honey taste to it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Ricky

Only four more GM samplers for me! What shall I do when I’m all out?!?!?

teaplz

I think I have… 7 more? And a lot more with more in each package… bah. SO MUCH TEA. I think I’m finally going to be able to pawn some off to Jon, though!

Ricky

Haha, great idea! Just make sure he posts up a tasting note =P or you can write one for him ;)

Cofftea

He should:)

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61
drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

Didn’t get to have this at work so I’m having it now that I am home.

Holy crap does the dry leaf smell like pears! Big, juicy, mess-making pears. Wow! That’s a slight, possible floral smell added to it that is maybe the honey? No idea. 98% of this is full on pear smell.

So my timer went off and I went into the kitchen to pour my cup? HOLY HONEY MONKEYS, BATMAN! I was still a few feet from the counter when I got slammed with succulent fruit juiciness and honey. The honey smell is very obvious now and makes it smell like pears, soaked in honey. Quite why they are soaked in honey, no one knows, because it stops them tasting like pears and makes them taste like honey… and if you wanted honey, you could just… buy honey. Instead of pears.

ahem But I digress.

Sipping on the tea though and the BAM ness of the honey pear is in the scent and the actual taste is much more normal and sane. There is honey, then tea, then pear, then honey again. It is like a lightly flavored pear tea was sweetened with honey. Or maybe a gentle tea was sweetened with honey and then had a splash of pear juice added.

This is smooth with a little dryness showing up right after I swallow but quickly fading. It’s sweet but in a wild, honey/musky fruit way. And the body is pretty light. No desire or need to chew the tea here (which I might actually enjoy…) I really want to see how this will turn out when cooler, but I may be too impatient (and it may be too yummy) for me to see. I think a bit more pear is coming out, but again, I’m impatient.

So this all sounds great, right? So why is my rating just at the lime green happy face and not higher? This seems like it has all the elements of wonderfulness: strong and recognizable smell, no chemical taste, the flavoring doesn’t overpower the tea, no additives needed to make it yummy….

I dislike honey.

Yeah, I know. I’m weird. Just not a big fan of honey. Sure, I’ll mix it with mustard and dip chicken into it. I have occasionally put it on a biscuit. But generally, I’m pretty particular about my honey. I go for the lighter, sweeter honeys – orange blossom over plum (which strikes me as a very dark-tasting, wild honey), the local wildflower honey over sourwood honey. I don’t even really like the taste of the ‘typical’ clover honey. And this honey strikes me as a slightly-darker-tasting-than-clover honey. So while I recognize that this is a good tea, this is just something that’s not up my alley.

However, those that like pears and honey both? Will probably love this one. Now I vote that GM makes a pear tea (I don’t think there is one in my sample box, right?) because this tea minus the honey, I think I’d LOVE.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
silvermage2000

That was a nice review this sounds good to me.

Bethany

I love honey and I love pear, so this is yet another GM tea that I would/will probably love.

Ricky

Aww, you don’t like the honey! I love this tea, I would get it again. The scent was definitely too strong for me though. I can’t deal with the ripe fruit smell. As it cools the smell dies down =D just be patient!

sophistre

This sounds divine, the way that you describe it. Maybe a pear flavored blend that I might actually like, rather than the abomination of a ruined white sitting in my cupboard right now…?

teaplz

Mmmmm. This one sounds awesome. I, too, really love honey and pear, so I’m sort of saving this one. :) At least the flavors were really delicious, though!

Auggy

Seriously all, if I liked darker honeys, I would love this. But if the honey isn’t so light is it almost lemon-colored, I don’t really enjoy it. But yeah, I fully support the wonderness of this tea – to others, just not myself! :)

I gave the second steep to the husband and I think the smell threw him off a bit, but he said that once it cooled a bit, the pear and honey tastes really came through and were identifiable and natural. He tends to prefer VERY strongly flavored things so I think he was a little disappointed with the fact that the tea taste came through some, but I count that in GM’s favor.

Suzi

This one sounds amazing but I love honey so yeah, it would! Sorry it’s not your cup of tea X-D but if I had been hoping for a fairly straightforward pear I would have been disappointed, too.

Auggy

Well, now I’m hoping for a straight forward pear because I bet GM would do it well! But mostly I was hoping for a honey taste that was less… well, real honey tasting. Or not as obvious. But I do have another cup’s worth of the leaves yet and I won’t have any problem enjoying that. Because while it isn’t something I’d go for intentionally, it is a good cup.

takgoti

Thank you for writing this. I can now confirm that I will be ordering a tin of this when I put my GM order through. Because, you know, I know y’all care. [Hah.]

Micah

Nice review! I just put in an order of about 10 samples from Golden Moon and I’m glad I added this one because I definitely LOVE honey.

teaplz

Micah – you could have done their sampler set… 31 teas (their entire catalog) for $20. :) I’ve been pimping this all over Steepster, just because a lot of the stuff in there (especially the flavored and blended stuff) is pretty high quality!

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57

Taken with rock sugar.

I don’t taste any jasmine (Nathaniel says I put too much sugar in and overpowered it… then he said the vanilla masks it…. I’m not sure if it’s my fault or GM’s fault).

An okay vanilla tea, but I’m not terribly fond of vanilla teas.

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59

Taken unsweetened.

My husband is a fan of all things caramel, so I gave this sample to him. I’m snagging sips now as he’s on the phone.

I taste a bit of the oolong, but mostly burnt sugar caramel taste. It’s interesting, but I’m not so much of a fan of it that I would buy it. We’ll see what he thinks of it.

I might like it better if it was sweetened, but it’s his cup, and he doesn’t sweeten. :-(


Here are his words (until I can get him to get his own account):
It’s a very mellow oolong. The sweetness of the caramel is present but there’s not a lot of burnt sugar. It’s subtle and pleasant.

I’d drink it again, but am not impressed enough with it to buy it. It’s probably a good afternoon home from work, relax tea. Due to the caffeine content it would have to be early, though.

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94
drank Kashmiri Chai by Golden Moon Tea
187 tasting notes

Oh my god. I think I’m in LOVE.

I’ve been wanting to try chai, but I didn’t know how, and frankly, the process can seem somewhat intimidating. But takgoti and Auggy really broke it down for me, and I ended up using takgoti’s super-long chai special process (which I think is really close to Samovar’s, but what do I know?). Anyway, when I opened the packet of Kashmiri, my nose did a dance and then died from happiness. It’s so rich and spicy-smelling and warm and inviting. I can smell the cloves and cinnamon and cardamom. And it all smells like a heavenly mixture of wonderful.

I used the entire packet for this one, and followed takgoti’s brewing instructions, which I will type out for one serving right here:
1 cup of water, 1 cup of milk/milk equivalent (I used vanilla soy, as I’m lactose intolerant), 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tbsp of chai (I used the entire GM packet).

Boil water and sugar together in a saucepan until sugar dissolves into water. Into a syrup.
Add the chai, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the milk, simmering and stirring.
When it comes to a boil (be careful that it doesn’t boil over!), turn the heat off and let it sit for a long time. Like 7-10 minutes long. I let it sit for around 8-9 or so.
Strain and serve.

OH MY GOD. The mixture smelled AMAZING cooking. Seriously. It was like this fragrant warm beverage. Everything you ever think of when you think the word “chai.” It’s got a light brown color, and it smells delicious. And the taste is nothing short of amazing. I can taste all the spices individually, but they meld together. And amazingly enough, I am tasting a tea flavor as well. I can’t pick out green and black and whatnot, but I don’t think that’s the point of chai. It’s supposed to just be a nice and spicy and warn and delicious milky beverage. And that’s what I have right here. This would probably taste better without the nuttiness of the soy, but it does add an interesting dimension. I would definitely want to try this with my Very Vanilla Silk, which tastes like a vanilla milkshake. Mmmm.

I did get more than 8 oz. of chai… it was more like 12. So I have about a half-cup that’s going into the fridge to chill. And I bet that’ll taste amazing when it comes out.

Seriously, I’m so happy that I bit the bullet and actually made this a more proper and authentic way instead of steeping it normally and then just dumping milk into it. It tastes much deeper and well-rounded as a result. Full of flavor and deliciousness. I’m having a tea-gasm here. Can I tell you how it compares to other chais? Absolutely not. I think this one overall isn’t very aggressive with its spices. It’s more mellow and comforting. The only thing I regret is that I don’t have more of this GM blend to use!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
sophistre

Now you know why chai is, whenever possible, a part of my morning ritual. :) The only way in which my method differs from the above is that I don’t condense the sugar into simple syrup, though that sounds lovely, too…I just add it with the tea once the water is hot.

There are just so many mornings when I don’t want to be awake early, and the thought of my whole house smelling like simmering chai while the world is still and quiet is enough to get my feet on the floor.

denisend

Oh, wow, this does sound lovely. Thanks for sharing this method; I haven’t really been happy with any of the chais I’ve made so far, so perhaps this will do it. :-)

Bethany

Mmmm, I might have to try this this weekend..

teaplz

It doesn’t really become a syrup-like concoction… like, it’s still extremely watery. But the sugar needs to just completely dissolve. At least, that’s what I think takgoti meant. One mixture. Unless I’m completely wrong and needed to wait until it boiled down completely into a syrup. Which I’d imagine would taste lovely too. Hrm. She’ll be around to comment on this, probably! Either way, it was wonderific!

No problem sharing the method, denisend! :) You’ll have to thank takgoti for that. Definitely let it sit for as long as you can stand, though, because it grows in depth and flavor. It’s all a bit time-consuming, but I really think it was worth it. It tastes like a unified beverage, instead of tea-with-milk-and-sugar-added in.

teafiend

Normally, I’m in a state of general upset-ness that I don’t have ready access to a kitchen/ stovetop, but this made it compete with the upset-ness of finals. Once I get home I’ll have to try this out!

Kitch3ntools

i have to try this!!! i bet it will soothe my sore throat too :D im very excited about this!!

Charisma

Great post! :) This is the only way I make ‘chai’. Sometimes adding other spices and mixing other teas is fun to try out as well. If you run out of that mix, you can buy your own spices and mix your own blend. Thanks for sharing this post!

sophistre

I definitely like tossing chunks of crystalized ginger in, sometimes. And you get to gnosh it at the end. It’s like getting a prize at the bottom of another prize.

takgoti

Hee! It tickles me so that this worked and you enjoyed it so much. My method is absolutely and completely ganked from Samovar, but I believe it’s also the traditional preparation method for making chai. As for the sugar, I just wait for it to dissolve, but I do believe that dissolved sugar in water is technically considered a simple syrup? Could be wrong on that, but yes, I add the sugar at the beginning instead of at the end.

Also, the crystalized ginger sounds awesome. Might need to try that sometime.

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81
drank Pu-erh by Golden Moon Tea
17 tasting notes

Very dark amber in the cup. With most teas, the bottom of the cup can be seen – not with this, it is very nearly opaque. This tea tastes exactly as most people describe, strong and earthy. This is a tea that one generally has to get used to – it will be an acquired taste for most people.

The “earthy” taste – some people just call it strange – comes from a unique ingredient that appears during the curing: fungus, bacteria, or mold. Anyone who has ever scraped out the deep blue veins from a strong Danish cheese and licked the mold off the knife is going to recognize the source of the “earthy” taste in Pu-erh immediately.

Extremely old (40-50+ years) Pu-erhs are known to have visible strands of blue mold. Even on younger Pu-erhs, the mold is still present, just not visible. It is that fungal growth that gives it the unique taste.

The age of a Pu-erh is important when thinking about the tea, Golden moon does state what year it may be from but they describe the ingredients in the tea as: Aged Chinese Tea from the Last Century. Pretty vague, but given the price, the tea probably a recent vintage from the last 2-3 years.

We brewed this for 2 minutes, 30 seconds using boiling water.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Carolyn

Thank you so much for the information on Pu-erhs! It’s invaluable to me since I’m trying to feel my way around them.

Micah

That’s very interesting that the flavor is caused by mold. I suppose that’s why pu-erh ages like it does, right? The only pu-erh I’ve had are the tuochas from Tea Source so I’m excited to try the sample of this that I ordered.

Pamela Dean

If it’s from the Last Century, wouldn’t that mean it’s at least 10 yrs old?

How many infusions did you try?

Leafbox Tea

There was no way of knowing how old it was. Given the price of the tea and what we’ve seen of Puerhs from other vendors this is probably from the last several years and not anything ancient. Even 10+ year old Puerh would be more expensive than this giving us the idea that it is much younger.

We did three infusions and each one was full of flavor. Puerh is reported to be good for about 5-6 depending on the tea. The third infusion we did was smooth and mild but still had plenty of that unique Puerh taste.

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75
drank Vanilla Jasmine by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

Had enough leaf to make a squidge more than half a cup. Very cream soda-y. I didn’t have enough tea to get to the point where it developed enough to get me to the super yumminess of before. I’m thinking larger cups of this are tastier.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Vanilla Jasmine by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

Today has been a pretty rough day but thanks to takgoti and teaplz I’ve finally gotten in a good enough mood to feel up to making comfort tea. At least I hope this will be comfort tea. Here’s hoping.

Larger sample size for this one – looks like I’ll be able to try this one twice! The leaf smells pretty cool but rather different than what I was expecting because I get a distinct cream soda smell from it I was expecting the jasmine to be the strongest flavor but it looks like the vanilla wins.

The tea looks pretty light – kind of a dark cider color… maybe I should have done a little longer? But I’m impatient. So I didn’t. Smells nice though. Not getting cream soda anymore (which is a bit sad but ultimately okay because I’m not sure if I’m ready to drink cream soda tea), but there seems to be some chocolate smell in there tucked under the vanilla. Or maybe a cocoa scent is more accurate. It does smell good. Vanilla (homemade-ice-cream vanilla, not high-and-sweet-vanilla-cake-from-a-box vanilla) with that cocoa note peaking out and then a soft floral of the jasmine on the tail end. It makes me want to eat s’mores. I’m nervous now because I’m afraid the taste will be a let down. This just smells SO good. I can’t see how the taste won’t be a let down.

Okay, it’s not a let down but it is definitely tastes different than it smells. Smell-wise I get sweet and sweet and a little rich and sweet. The taste is a little darker. The tea is more evident. And the aftertaste is back to a bit of sweet vanilla cream soda (but not as strong as was in the smell of the dry leaf). But sipping this is a pretty awesome experience. The taste changes and expands as it hits my tongue. At first, it is a darker, almost graham cracker taste (sorry – the s’mores association is stuck in my head), or maybe even caramel. But then the second I swallow, the taste lightens and expands – first with the vanilla and then with the jasmine. I still can find some similarity to cream soda, but it’s pretty neat and not overwhelming (and this is from someone that doesn’t like cream soda).

I’m a bit curious as to how this would be with sugar, so for the last half of my cup, I’m going to sprinkle a little in. And apparently I’m going to put a little in my keyboard too. Oops. The sugar shortens the taste expansion a bit and makes the similarity to cream soda more evident. The dark taste at the front is muted and I almost instantly taste the vanilla. And that vanilla taste seems to continue a bit more to cover up the jasmine. The sugar also adds a slight aftertaste that makes me think eventually I will need either gum or water to cleanse, but prior to the sugar addition, the tea left me with a pleasantly clean and light jasmine aftertaste. Ultimately, I prefer this without sugar but neither way is bad.

This reminds me a lot of two of my favorite flavored teas, SerendipiTEA’s City Harvest Black and Colonille. I’d rank this as number three in that group, which is pretty good company to be in. It’s distinctive enough that I don’t feel like I might as well drink one of those other teas but similar enough in the nicely flavored vanilla and chocolaty tones that I do group them together.

So yeah, different than what I was expecting from the smell but honestly? The difference is good. Sure, it’s not quite like eating s’mores but the depth of flavor this tea has is really nifty. Less like candy and more like comfort tea. An easy 4/5 stars for me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
teaplz

Whoo! Yay! Score another one for GM. I can’t wait to try this one, as it sounds absolutely delicious! I’m glad that the vanilla and the jasmine get equal playing time. I just had an AMAZING cup of the Almond Cookie you sent me, so review is coming ASAP!

Auggy

Oooh, try this one soon! I want to know your thoughts on it! And yay almond cookie!

TeaEqualsBliss

I’d like to try this one at some point!

takgoti

Huh. That sounds good. I don’t think I’ve seen someone try to do jasmine and vanilla together but I can see that working really well.

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61

Our taster was disappointed with this tea. Vanilla Black tea is her number one favorite tea of all time (as in – vanilla tea must never be missing from the cupboard) but this one was found lacking in the vanilla flavor.

Golden Moon uses Vanilla extract and pieces of bean. Our taster said that it seemed like the vanilla flavor never took. There is a method for making vanilla bean-based teas that goes far beyond simply blending the ingredients together. The dry tea leaves need to absorb the vanilla oils and aroma and this takes time (about a month) and a sealed container (similar to making vanilla sugar) – using that method reduces the need for extracts which is a shortcut method.

Using extract to flavor vanilla tea is acceptable practice but it doesn’t always work well; some blenders manage it better than others. Whatever batch our sample came from; the result was disappointing.

Our taster also thought the tea as a whole seemed a little stale. It came to use in GM’s usual heat-sealed packaging so if it was stale or off then there may have been a storage issue at some point in its handling.

Golden Moon’s brewing instructions were followed: Infuse 3-4 minutes in freshly boiled water.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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40

So, I… er… hrm.

This one difficult. Really difficult. It’s my first experience with lapsang souchong, and… I. Wow, I’m just flabbergasted.

Well, let’s start with the basics, shall we? I was actually really looking forward to lapsang souwhatever because I really liked the smokiness of gunpowder, and figured that this was the black tea equivalent. And let me tell you, from the get go, Golden Moon’s blend smells fantastic! It smells like BACON. I was practically skipping around my kitchen, sniffing the little package and smiling. Bacon! Bacon tea! MMMMM. The smell is like hickory BBQ, savory and sweet and a bit ashy. I was entranced. I kept thinking of foods to pair with it. “I bet this would be AWESOME with eggs!”

So anyway, I steeped this one up, and that’s when I ran into the first sign of trouble. The leaves smell like ashes. Wet ashes from a cigarette. I’m not a fan of cigarettes at all; in fact, I pretty much loathe the smell of them. So now I’m wrinkling my nose and dumping those leaves, stat. The liquid still has a smoky smell, but there’s really a wet ash smell down in the pit of it. And now I’m not so sure anymore about how I feel about this one… The infusion was a really pretty dark copper, by the way.

So I brace myself and take my first sip. And I’m utterly confused and perplexed. It’s just… weird. Very savory, and very deep and dark. Ultra-smokey. Like I just inhaled a bunch of smoke from a campfire and somehow it’s in liquid form and now it’s in my tummy. I think I’m tasting hints of pine, and touches of the black tea base, but I’m just getting really weirded out by the entire experience.

I almost feel like I’m drinking carcinogens in a mug. Seriously. I keep thinking to myself, is this good for me? As it’s cooling down, the upfront ashy taste is mellowing out, but I’m sipping this one slowly. Very, very slowly. I’m actually not really sure if I like this or not. If I’m just so weirded out by the entire sensory experience and can’t process it properly. If it tastes awesome or just plain horrible. I’m actually leaning more towards the horrible side with this.

And I’m actually sort of tremendously disappointing. My entire family is now complaining that my kitchen smells like smoke. Hell, I’m pretty sure I smell like smoke. This is just very, very strange. I can’t get over how WEIRD this is. Okay, I know I’m babbling though, but… it’s weird. WEIRD.

I think I’m done now.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I totally agree about the bacon smell. :)
A colleague of mine has described LS as ’standing in a smokefilled room with a mouth full of water. :)

It can be a bit much on it’s own. I would suggest trying with a bit of milk? That can smooth it out some. I also seem to like it more when in a blend these days, but given your initial reaction to it I’m not sure it would really help you much. Bit like rooibos IMO, for most people it’s a love or hate thing.

teaplz

As it’s hitting room temperature, it’s definitely getting a bit more tolerable and bacon-like, but the wet smell of ashes was just killing me! Maybe I’ll try adding a bit of milk to smooth it out, or even bringing the steep time way down. GM suggest 5-7 minutes, so yeah, it’s like smoke to the extreme.

And I LOVE bacon, so this is just a cup of weird for me.

Auggy

I reserve the right to recommend you try ROT’s lapsang souchong once I see how GM’s compares to it. It was more sweet cigar and maple-smoked ham than cigarette ash (gross, btw) but I might have had a better reaction to it because I approached with fear, not anticipation. Maybe I’ll get the chance to try this one this weekend.

Angrboda

7 minutes definitely sounds like a very long steep for such a strong tea. Auggy’s mention of maple-smoked makes me want to try and sweeten a cup of mine with a little bit of maple syrup. :p

sophistre

Man. This is super-depressing to me. The fireside smoke aspect sounded so alluring to me, even if only in small doses now and then. I’ve rarely ever hated smelling like a good campfire…such a cozy smell…and, well, living on the 18th floor the way I do, you can guess how often I get to smell THAT anymore.

I don’t smoke though. And I am allergic. And the smell of intentionally-inhaled-smoke repulses me. I will be eagerly watching for your updates to see whether or not you can make this work for you!

Bethany

Yeah, 7 minutes is WAY too long for a Lapsang Souchong. 5 is the most I can stand.

It really is one of those love it or hate it things. I have Adagio’s version and I adore it.

teaplz

I did it at 6, but man… oh man. This tea is now an entity that is sitting around my house, preying on everyone that walks into my basement. Seriously. Everyone’s like, “WHAT IS THAT SMELL WHAT DID YOU DO.”

feel it’s PERMEATED EVERY ONE OF MY PORES and now I’m just one big piece of smoked meat.

Cofftea

You get bacon? I just get campfire. 52teas has a maple bacon tea if you’re interested.;)

teaplz

OMG I needed to wash out and dismantle my IngenuiTEA about 7 times just to get the smell out. NEVER AGAIN.

Bethany

Hey, how much do you have left of the sample? Interested in a trade?

Janni

@cofftea: Maple. Bacon. TEA?!? Oh dear, must investigate. Sounds much better than this. I’m not the biggest lapsang souchong fan either, BTW. D:

Jillian

I think I remember someone describing Lapsang as wet socks that got dropped in a campfire, LOL. To me it’s more like liquid BBQ, bleh! I’ll stick to my Russian Caravan, thank you very much! :D

teaplz

Bethany, there is probably ~1/2 cup left, so it’s probably not a good idea to trade it away, hehe. I’ll probably give it to my boyfriend as a “surprise.”

Jillian, wet socks! Hahahaha! Russian Caravan… I know it’s related to Lapsang, but how does it differ?

Ricky

I’m going to have a field day with this tea! Maybe I should make some pasta with this tea. Bacon tea flavored pasta, yum! xD

Carolyn

Lapsang Souchong is one of the very few teas I sweeten. I also add creamer to it (but I do that with all blacks). Taken like that the flavors round out a bit. No question that it’s a weird tea experience, but it is one that I will probably do again. I have the sense that there is something in me that likes this tea, I just need to make contact. I think it would be wonderful to marinate tofu in.

Jillian

Russian Caravan is a blended tea that contains Lapsang mixed with other black teas, usually Keemum or Ceylon – so it’s a lot less smokey. However how much less smokey it is can really vary from company to company as there are no set ratios for the amount of Lapsang in the mix.

Angrboda

Jillian, if you added a green tea to that it sounds like you would end up with something similar to my gunpowder blend. To think I’ve been pretty much sitting on a nearly Russian Caravan all this time and I didn’t know it.

teaplz

I didn’t think that the smokiness of Gunpowder and the smokiness of Lapsang tasted the same at all. They’re actually really distinctive. Lapsang is definitely the stronger of the two, with a more of a southern BBQ taste. Gunpowder… I can’t even describe, but it’s more mellow.

denisend

Oh, my. Russian Caravan is LESS smoky than this? I’m FRIGHTENED to try this, since I REALLY didn’t like the RC I had last year. Wow.

laurenpressley

It’s no wonder I don’t like LS…. I can’t stand bacon either!! :)

Cofftea

I agree teaplz. I think that’s also because they’re different types of tea- green just couldn’t hold up to the flavor bang of lapsang souchong.

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77
drank White Ginger by Golden Moon Tea
358 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Auggy

And…. now I want to try this one too. Right now.

Ricky

Dooooo it! We’re having a party. Lemme get teaplz while we’re at it! Let’s both spam her!

teaplz

You steeped the leaves for an HOUR?! Damn, Ricky, that’s a LONG time!

And this is SO a flavored tea.

Angrboda

It depends, I think on whether you would call a tisane a tea or not. If you would, it’s blended. If you wouldn’t, it’s flavoured. :)
On the other hand you could brew ginger on its own, which you can’t do with for example fruit flavours and the like, so therefore it would be a blend regardless.

…It’s a flavoured blend. Yes.

Ricky

Hey, in my defense that was the third infusion and I totally forgot it was sitting in the kitchen table. We have a flavor blended tea! Ahhh! You guys are going to classify the teas from now on.

Cofftea

This is on my top 2 to try from this sampler! An HR??? The thought of ginger steeping for an hr physically hurts my mouth:) And I’d go for blended since the leaves themselves aren’t actually flavored. That’s the difference for me.

Ricky

Yeah, I think that hour steeping might of made the ginger too strong. The white tea flavor seems to have disappeared, but what’s left is an incredible sore throat ginger kick. Yack.

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59
drank Jasmine Tea by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

A little birdie that goes told me I should try this one so I thought I’d brew it up. The jasmine smell is lovely but I’ve become a bit cautious (and pretty darn picky) with jasmine flavored things, so we shall see.

This sampler has 4g of tea, so I’m making a big cup. The packaging states that this is green tea but that it should be brewed in water ‘just below the boiling point’, which I am taking as 195° (and water that has been freshly boiled ‘but allowed to cool slightly’ I’m taking as 175°). But since it is green tea, I want to do it at 175°. But I’m not. We’ll see how it goes. And in fact, the leaves don’t look super green. More dark olive maybe. And once the leaves are wet, I think they’d definitely be classed as olive.

On one hand, that’s good right? Not a super-green leaf so it should be happier at a higher temp, yes? But at the same time… olive? I would be lying if I weren’t starting to get just a little concerned. After all, GM has to strike out sometime, yes?

Hmmmmm…. I’m a bit torn. It definitely isn’t a strike out, but I don’t know if I love it. It’s different than what I was expecting and from what I’ve had before but I can’t quite figure out why. There’s an additional flavor there that I don’t normally get with jasmine teas.

AH! I’m a dork! I just figured out what that end taste/aftertaste is! TEA! There’s the blip at the end, right before I swallow, that is almost all green tea and then it reappears in the aftertaste when I inhale (after an exhale of jasmine). It makes this one of the more deeply flavored jasmines that I’ve had. Samovar’s had a good depth to it but a more cookie depth. This one has more of a salty, almost astringent Chinese green depth which, as it flows back into the jasmine, gives a bit of a tang for me. Of course, along with being hard to please with my jasmines, I’m hard to please with my Chinese greens.

So, is it good? Well, it’s not fake tasting or heavily done so sure. It’s good. Is it in the same class as there coconut pouchong, sugar caramel oolong or rose? Nope. It’s a good jasmine that I don’t hate and it has a brilliant scent to it which is so delightful that I could probably smell my cup for days. But I like Samovar’s jasmine pearl better for a jasmine tea with depth and I like Adagio’s jasmine silver needle best for a soft, fluffy, light jasmine. I think both of those are better done than this one, at least for my own personal tastes.

That being said, I might enjoy this more if I had done it at 175°.

ETA: Resteep at 175° for 4mins. Still good but not in love. This one reminds me a lot of Adagio’s Jasmine #12. That’s a good thing.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Preparing the entire sample, gutsy:)

Ricky

I think that GM’s plain tea are good, not amazing. It doesn’t help that you’ve been drinking their blends lately =P. See this is why I wanted to drink all their plain tea before moving onto the blends.

Auggy

@Cofftea, Well, it was either do the whole sample or have a tiny cup. Give me a big cup!

@Ricky, I don’t think I’d call this a plain tea though. Well, or a blend either. I have been drinking flavored stuff from them so far – 3 for 3. I do need to branch out and have some unflavored stuff, though!

Cofftea

@Auggy, I agree- but since you were leary about this one I thought you might go w/ a smaller cup so you could do 2 sets of steeping parameters.

Auggy

Very true! But ultimately I’m a more ‘damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead’ kinda gal.

Ricky

Sorry, my definition of plain is when the only ingredient is a single type of tea leaf. Jasmine Pearl, Gunpowder, Sencha, though I’d call English Breakfast (plain). I guess plain meaning standard types.

I also interchange the term blended tea with flavored tea, because it’s a blend of different ingredients.

Ahh, this reminds me of anthropology ;)

Auggy

The evolution and deconstruction of words and meanings! Hehe! Sometimes I include jasmine (and milk) flavored teas in with the ‘normal’ teas but I’m not consistent. I should work on that. Be decisive.

Ricky

I know, there needs to be an official Steepster Wiki. Then again Rose Tea could technically be considered normal. I noticed it was being offered on the menu at two places I visited today. Oh the dilemma!

teaplz

Wheee! Well, it didn’t win any prizes, but it was still halfway decent! This one SMELLS SO GOOD. And it was my first jasmine, so I have nothing to compare it to. But it didn’t taste like old-lady-perfume, which is good!

I let my water cool for a good three minutes before I steeped this one, which probably put the temperature probably around 180, so maybe that’s why I liked it a bit better? I didn’t get a salty green taste… I got more of the traditional green sweetness. Interesting, though! Still, above average and YAY SAMPLES.

I think there are 3 categories:
plain tea
flavored tea
blended tea

Ricky

Wikipedia lying to me =O. That’s absurd! They have an article on blending / flavored tea and it’s TOGETHER!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_blending_and_additives

Auggy

But what about a blended Earl Grey? Would that be flavored? Or blended? Or will my head just explode???

And I’m with you Ricky – blended is not flavored! Well, unless it is blended AND flavored. But I refuse to think about that.

Ricky

AHHH! I feel a headache coming.

teaplz

Here’s how I see it:
plain: one type of tea, no additives.
blended: different types of tea, no flavors (i.e. Irish Breakfast is Ceylon and Assam blacks)
flavored: additional add-ons to either a plain or blended base (like a coconut pouchong)

Ricky

What’s Tippy Earl Grey =D

Ingredients: Black Tea, Oil of Bergamot…

Is it plain? Or is it flavored? I mean they do all lavender into it.

Auggy

I’m gonna go with teaplz on the classifications (and try to get jasmine and silk oolongs in my mental “flavored” category – because they are). And so EG would be flavored. Yes?

So I think now I’m going to get a blended (?) herbal tea. Multiple herbals, no flavoring. Is blend, yes?

Ricky

I agree that jasmine is a flavor, BUT if Jasmine is a flavored tea. Then what is it’s base tea? Green tea, but what type? Just like Gunpowder is a green tea. And what is Jasmine Pearl? I’m so confused!

Foxtrot from Adagio would be a blend. It’s made up for multiple base tea (chamomile, peppermint, rooibos).

Auggy

The tea base on a jasmine could be anything. I’ve had green, white and oolong teas scented or flavored with jasmine. And I think GM has a black jasmine tea? Which I really want to try.

Wait, but would there be a difference between a jasmine that’s been scented/flavored with jasmine flowers and then the flowers removed and a tea that has jasmine petals blended in?

teaplz

Earl Grey could technically be BOTH a flavored and a blended if there is bergamot AND multiple types of tea in there. But I’m pretty sure it’s normally just flavored.

Green is the base of jasmine tea, but just like we don’t know what exactly the base is. Pearl just refers to the shape that it’s rolled into, I think.

I’m pretty sure that Harney & Sons classifies all their teas like this.

Ricky

Yes, yes. Jasmine is a flavor, but you can’t call green tea, green tea. I mean Sencha, Dragonwell, Gunpowder are all considered Jasmine. I guess my question is what is the green tea base that GM is using as it’s labeled “green tea leaves”. I mean Ceylon is a base (right?), it’s black tea leaves, but the base is Ceylon.

Ahh the confusion!

Jasmine scented would be flavored? Physical Jasmine petals = blended?

But wait, would that mean Adagio’s flavor teas are really blended teas? Uhoh.

No. Taking teaplz’s definition of “blended: different types of tea, no flavors.” Therefore, Jasmine is a blend! Not a flavor! Oh wait, okay I’m totally confused. Can we just go back to interchanging the two words like our trusty source wikipedia?

Ricky

Ehh, ignore the confusion in the first part of my previous comment. I was typing it up before your explanation of Jasmine / Green base showed up.

Auggy

teaplz. The voice of reason in a mind-hurty world.

teaplz

Well, I wasn’t thinking so far into it as to include stand-alone herbals, but I think that if an herbal is blended with a tea, then it’s a flavored instead of a blend. A blend still creates a standard tea taste. Like Irish Breakfast or English Breakfast. Those are blends. But when you add any other additional components on top of the tea plant itself, I’d say that it’s flavored.

teaplz

http://www.harney.com/Black-Teas/departments/2/ Look at the way Harney organizes its blacks. This is how I see plain, blended, and flavored.

Auggy

Okay, you linked to that specifically so I’d be even MORE tempted to get some H&S samplers, right? Because that is what you accomplished.

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80
drank Rose Tea by Golden Moon Tea
358 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

A guy drinking rose tea. I love it:)

Ricky

I wasn’t planning to. This was on the bottom of my basket, well I tossed the basket aside and replaced it with a plastic carton. The basket was a bit too feminine =D and it didn’t go with my cardboard box aka cupboard. It messed with the feng shui or something. Kidding. Err, about the feng shui and not the basket. If GM didn’t include it in the sampler, I would of never had tried it.

Auggy

Yay! You joined our little e-tasting!

And how dare you get your A&D DFTs before me!!! Of course, I haven’t checked the mail yet so maybe? Maybe?

Ricky

YOU CAVED AS WELL!?!?! Haha, I bet teaplz secretly did too, but she’s spent so much she doesn’t want to tell us. UPS just left it on my front door. It’s NYC someone could of stolen it! They even left my front gate open, argh!

Auggy

I totally caved! Seems like when I try to suspend tea buying to clean out my pantry, I end up buying more tea!

Ricky

More companies just have to offer 1-2 cup samplers of all their tea selections like GM. That would make life easier.

Auggy

Or more dangerous.

Ricky

It’s okay, I’ll just steal your pantry afterward you make a purchase. On that note, which tea to have next!

Jillian

I love the label on the Dragonwell – so awesome! ;)

teaplz

I totes did not cave on the AD stuff. I caved on TeaGschwendner and Harney & Sons instead. EVIL.

Ricky

Are we admiring the tea or the label ;D. Oh Andrews & Dunham, how you’ve done such a good job marketing. We all admire the labels, maybe a tad too much!

Ricky

I bet they ran out of stock before you had a chance to purchase it =P. You can’t deceive me! Oh, did you purchase the dessert tea as well :D

teaplz

I haven’t caved on the dessert tea… yet… >.>

Ricky

Still a chance to get it before Christmas =D

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Still haven’t tried your DFT yet, Ricky? I couldn’t manage to wait until the next morning, even with a headache.

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77
drank Rose Tea by Golden Moon Tea
187 tasting notes

Auggy and I just busted open our packets of GM’s Rose Tea together, and had a little e-tea party! So I bet her review is forthcoming as well, as we’ve been discussing the tea throughout our entire sipping process. Good times!

When I opened the package, the immediate smell of rose hit my nose. This really is rose. I can’t describe it any other way. If you’ve stuck your face in a rose and taken a deep breath, this is that smell in its most concentrated form. And let me tell you, it’s an absolutely gorgeous smell. Fresh and inviting and glowing. Floral, yes, but not overwhelming to the point of throw-uppy-ness. And not fake rose at all, because that’d be disgusting. The tea itself is some black. It looks like a Ceylon, and the smell of it does come across.

The resulting tea-and-flower juice was actually a bit darker than I expected, but still somewhere around the copper color of the Ceylons. In the smell of the liquid, the rose was a bit more muted than the dry, but it was still there. And now it was mingling deliciously with a black tea smell.

Let me tell you, this is another winner by Golden Moon. At my first sip, I could just taste the quality of the flavoring. The rose is very much a present and dominant force, but it’s neither overpowering nor domineering. It tastes rich but light, and definitely floral but not overwhelmingly so. This one has a lovely sweetness that’ll creep up on you after multiple sips in a row, and lingers on the tongue well after the tea is all gone and in your tummy.

The only criticism I could have of this tea is not with the flavor of the rose, but with the black tea itself. It’s fairly weak. I can definitely taste that it’s something of quality, as it doesn’t have bitterness or astringency, but it definitely plays second fiddle to the rose. Not that that’s a bad thing, per se, but it would be nice if the black brought something a little stronger to the flavor profile. I feel like the tea would be better rounded out if that was the case. The black did start to make an appearance as the cup began to cool, but by that point I was already at the bottom and nearly finished.

That being said, this was still really tasty and yummy, and I finished the cup pretty quickly. Could I drink this every day? Absolutely not. I’d get tired of it immediately. I probably couldn’t drink another cup today. But this one is another testament to the wonderfulness that is Golden Moon!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Auggy

Yay! I loved our tea party! And it makes me laugh how similar our ratings and thoughts on the tea are! Get out of my mind!!!!

No wait, you’re fun. You may stay in.

Ricky

Yawns, I’m late to the game. Making my cup soon!

teaplz

THE TEA PARTY CONTINUES! Yay, Ricky! Make some rose tea and write a review for us! :D

Auggy, I luffs your brain. It’s very comfy with teacups and shared experiences. I think I’ll stay here. :)

takgoti

You guys are cute.

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70
drank Rose Tea by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

I can’t help but compare this tea to the Rose Congou I had this morning. The smell of the leaf is SO much better (not that that would be hard, mind). While the other smelled sour and a little floral, this smells like roses. Actual roses plus maybe a tiny little hint of candy. The dry leaf battle totally goes to this one.

Wow, as this flowed out of my handy dandy ingenuiTEA, I’m hit with a soft wall of rose scent. It actually reminded me a bit of Teavana’s now discontinued Rose Marzipan. But, you know, without the marzipan. But now that the tea is fully dispensed into my Totoro mug, it’s muted a bit. I can smell the rose, but I can also totally smell the tea. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled the tea when we are talking about a flavored tea. It’s always hiding underneath the flavoring. But not this one! This makes me happy.

No sugar for this (though I do have some in my desk, just in case). Oooh, don’t need sugar though. This is nice. Smooth and sweet. Very rose-y, but not like I swallowed a flower bush. I seem to get it more of a distinct rose on the exhale after the sip. Otherwise is it a sweet, fluffy tasting tea. As it cools, I seem to get more tea flavor out of it.

This isn’t an overly deep tea taste-wise but it does have more… roundness (for want of a better word) than the Rose Congou this morning. This is better than the rose/floral aspect of Rose Marzipan, too. I think the roundness of flavor is coming from the tea base (Ceylon, it seems like?) and it increases as it cools. My last sip had a little edge of something that was delicious and I want more of but I’m afraid I’m too impatient to let it cool enough to get that.

This tea makes me feel like I’m strolling through my grandmother’s rose garden. She used to have rows and rows of bushes. Strangers would pull off the highway to compliment her. It was fairly impressive. And this tea makes me mentally wander down one of the rows. It’s not so overpowering that I feel like I’m stopping to stick my nose in the closest rose bush, just wandering through the nicely spaced rows, enjoying the scent of rose lingering in the air.

This isn’t a tea I’m going to reach for daily because ultimately, I find roses (both tea-wise and flower-wise) a bit too perfume-y and sweet (even (or especially?) when the flavoring tastes as natural as this) for daily contact. But this is a lovely make-me-mellow type tea. Again, mental rose garden.

So the rose tea battle goes to Golden Moon. I will still try the Rose Congou sugar-less some time in the future (this weekend maybe?) but I have a feeling it won’t be able to compete.

ETA: Did a second steep just because I can. Initially had the timer set for 4:30 but the tea looked a little light so I added a minute. It’s still a light (but pretty) bronze color. Still smells lovely but is more similar in scent to the Rose Congou this morning. Tastes a little more like it, too, since it isn’t quite as smooth. Much thinner too. In fact, this is a (still) smoother version of this morning’s tea but without sugar.

In other words, Golden Moon’s SECOND STEEP is equivalent (and actually a hair better) than a similar tea’s FIRST steep. Go Golden Moon. That being said, this tea is probably not the best one for a second steep.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Cofftea

When I started drinking hot tea I never thought I’d drink rose tea. Now I love it:)

Bethany

My wallet is making sad faces at you and Auggy for all of these GM reviews.. I have bookmarked the sampler..

Auggy

Instead of bookmarking, you should BUY it! Muahahahaha! :D

Ricky

+1 for purchasing it. I actually have 3 boxes of GM samplers =X. Two of which I’m giving away as gifts, of course.

Auggy

Aw, Ricky! You got me a Christmas gift! That was so nice but I’ve already got this sampler! Okay, okay. I’ll take it but only because you insist.

teaplz

Hey, the other one must be for me! Why thank you, Ricky!

Ricky

LOL, yes it’s for you two. We could use it to float Auggy’s boat and a whale while we’re at it. I’ll even purchase some licorice on the side for you, cause I know how much you love them ;)

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