Golden Moon TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I had a feeling that I wanted straight, unadulterated tea this morning. So I rooted through the glorious Golden Moon sampler and came out with this French Breakfast. From what the packaging says, it’s an estate Ceylon, which I found quite interesting. I like Ceylon, but I usually think it’s better suited for blending instead of as a stand-alone.
The dry leaves smell like… black tea. That earthy aroma that just screams “default!” to me. They’re fairly small and wiry, so if you’re expecting a show in your teapot, don’t put this one in. This one brews up to be a very pretty red/copper color, quite typical of the Ceylon varietal but still very yummy looking. I can detect a slight sweetness in the smell, but other than that, it smells like… Ceylon. As do the wet leaves.
I have a fairly difficult time describing Ceylon. The word I usually use is “smooth.” I think if you want to start someone out on black teas and don’t know where to begin, Ceylon would be an excellent choice. It’s familiar, in that it tastes like a WAY higher quality Lipton (and I’m pretty sure their normal teabags are Ceylon dust/fannings). It’s pretty much a baseline tea. As a result, I’m never completely blown away by it – it’s not surprising, but it is comfortingly familiar. Like that old sweater you don’t wear as often, but still keep around just because on cold winter days it feels good to snuggle down with.
I actually found that when I stopped sipping the tea and went off to do something else, the flavor actually subtly expanded to include that elusive honey-like note Golden Moon describes in their tasting notes. It’s a sweetness that doesn’t usually come out particularly strong in black teas, so that was a welcome surprise.
Something like this French Breakfast would be a great daily drinker. While I definitely prefer something with a bit more complexity and oomph to it, this one is smooth and entirely sippable.
This caught my eye yesterday but I made the coconut pouchong instead. Today, it is this one’s turn.
More leaf in this sample so I’m making a big cup tonight. Yay! The dry leaf smells nice. Almost candy-like but not quite like a caramel chew. It brews up to a pretty dark golden liquid with a smell that reminds me of a more roasted oolong – almost a sweet cigar smell – but with heavy caramel overtones. It’s more of a rich, decadent caramel syrup that you’d put in coffee smell instead of a caramel candy smell. I imagine that comes from the burnt sugar part of the flavoring.
The taste is rich yet mild. I can’t taste a lot of oolong, however the caramel taste is such that it doesn’t taste like I’m drinking a flavored tea but more like a scented tea. (Now I’m picturing tea leaves spread out with little caramel candy buds being set on them in preparation for their opening to flavor the tea before they are switched out for more. And more. Anyone know where I can get a caramel plant?) No chemical or fake flavoring taste to be found. This is another well-flavored tea – I’m impressed!
The caramel taste is strongest on the front end, when I can smell it, too, though the smell seems more burnt/caramelized sugar. Then the tastes morphs seamlessly into a sweet dark oolong flavor of floral cigar (though no smoky hints at all – there’s just a similar sweetness) and then the finish that coats my mouth after I swallow is more of the sugar but with caramel tones. Almost like about five minutes ago I finished a dessert that had a caramel whipped cream topping.
I like the coconut pouchong best between these two, but this is still a very good tea. Darker and sweeter in taste than the coconut. But just as good of a pairing of flavoring + tea. If GM’s plain teas are as good as these two flavored have been, I’m going to be a big fan.
ETA: The second steep has lost a lot of the overt caramel/burnt sugar flavoring. Or else that was because of the spicy peanut sauce I just had. But even though the smell and taste aren’t as obvious this time around, it’s still got a great dark sweetness to it and a soft burnt sugar smell.
It is cold in my classroom. Is working heat too much to ask for?!
I have this on my tea table next to me and have been drinking it all morning trying to warm up. This is the 1st Earl Grey I have liked so I can’t really compare it to any others. I will say that the addition of lavender seems to really balance out the overpowering nature of the bergamont and perhaps that is why I like it.
Whoo! The goal is to finish off some teaness, and I figured I’d start with tea that I wasn’t too hot on, but was still nice and somewhat non-caffeinated for bedtime. And also, to finish off bits of samples that I have lying around, when I have more tea coming in. The vicious cycle continues…
Anyway, this one today was a lot lighter than I remember it. Maybe it’s because I had not enough leaf this time around? In any case, the licorice is really soft and gasp inviting, even though I don’t particularly care for its brand of flavor. The white tea here adds a nice sweetness and backdrop to the entire thing. It’s almost sort of like a caffeinated lullaby.
I can’t see myself ordering this one again, just because I’m not the biggest fan of licorice. But people who love fennel/anise/licorice root would definitely be able to get on board with this Golden Moon offering. It’s refreshingly sweet and flavorful, while having a very authentic star anise flavor.
Pretty cool indeed.
Oh my god Golden Moon, I think I’m in love with you.
Honestly, I popped this one open because I figured I’d HATE it. But I really, really wanted another cup of tea, and I wanted something white. I really, really dislike the taste of licorice. But anise is mildly better (they do taste different!). Still, I smelled the tea and shook my head. There it was. The scent.
I probably used about a teaspoon and a half of this stuff, and there’s about that much left in the little sample. These leaves pretty much look like… leaves. There are brown stems and green buds and it’s all very pretty, if not a bit rustic.
The resulting jus de tea was very pale in color, a pretty beige. I took a hesitant sniff. More anise. And then I braced myself, grimacing, and took the first sip.
Oh. My God. This actually tastes good. No, it tastes delicious! I’m actually pleasantly surprised. No, rather, I’m really shocked. The anise lends a very delicate flavor to the white tea, but doesn’t overwhelm it in the slightest. In fact, it almost tastes “scented,” which I know makes absolutely no sense, but it does to me! There’s the absolutely WONDERFUL sweet-nectar-white taste that envelops your mouth, and the anise almost makes the blend soft and warm. The tastes linger on your tongue in perfect harmony and complexity.
I don’t really know much about tea, but from what I’ve tasted so far, Golden Moon really knows how to blend their stuff. You can taste the individual components, yet at the same time, they meld together to create a unique and wonderful sensory experience. I’m just amazed. I would definitely have this again, no questions asked!
The Final Sipdown: Day 21
Decupboarding Total: 42
I’ve been so busy today I haven’t had much time to do much of anything. Yet I hit a lull about 6:30pm and was able to squeeze in a last cup of this tea. I love coconut and I love pouchong so these two together are made of win. It’s so creamy and comforting. A perfect tea for the crazy day. Kind of sad that it is gone. I’m sure I’ll eventually pick up more.
As a reward for going though many teas today, I’m having another one!
Well, at least I hope it is a reward since I’ve never had a coconut pouchong and don’t have the best luck with flavored oolongs (unless it is jasmine). But it smells like toasted coconut, not like raw coconut, so I know we are going in the right direction.
Small sampler so I am doing a small cup. And I’m sniffing the bag as I’m waiting for the tea to brew. Coconut – creamy, rich, toasted coconut. I hope I’ll like this but honestly, not expecting to.
Oooh, now that it is all brewed up, I smell the pouchong. It almost seems stronger than the coconut and surprisingly the coconut matches really well with the sweet scent of the pouchong. I love pouchong. I need to order some. I have none. :( (Wait, I have some in my Steepster cabinet – maybe I still have a little in my pantry… I thought I was out but if I do have some, happy days!)
Oh wow. That’s good. Just like the scent, the coconut doesn’t overpower the pouchong but rather they blend wonderfully together. It’s sweet but not sugary. The coconut is soft but distinctly coconut. And the pouchong is there and yummy in the way that pouchong always seems to be for me. The flavors mesh so well that it doesn’t seem like a flavored oolong – it seems like an oolong with strong coconut notes. The coconut is the first thing I taste (and smell) but it blends seamlessly into the pouchong and then I get a pouchong taste at the end, but then the flavor left in my mouth is mostly coconut but with a hint of green buttery pouchong.
It doesn’t make me want to chew the tea like some straight pouchongs do, but it’s really quite lovely. Big fan.
Usually Golden Moon never ever misses with me. I can open up anything they send and adore it absolutely. Not this one. It is a very nice scented green but I have had better. I’ve had a TON worse and this is in no way a bad tea… but Ive had better. I’m just disappointed that this isn’t as good as the vast majority of their other teas.
What I was looking for was a deep toasted green base to add depth paired with the bright floral notes extending down into the base to pull it up into the light. The green tea feels like it is living up to my expectations but the jasmine seems to be the part falling short. It seems almost two dimensional and weak next to the base. Not weak as if you couldn’t taste it but weak like brittle. It does not have depth into the lower notes of jasmine flavor that would add richness to the blend and a more full mouth feel.
It’s ok. It is what they promise but I know that they can do better because they usually do. If you are looking for a light, pleasant and unoffensive Jasmine blend definitely give this one a shot. If you are like me and you want to be dazzled by new, bold and exciting flavors you might think this one is too calm.
Dear the Earl of Grey,
We have such a complicated relationship, and it’s really beginning to make my head spin. I’m not sure if we should break it off or not. I keep coming back for more, but instead of embracing me in your earl-y arms, you just forsake me, and leave me weeping, begging for a cup of something else.
I had faith that today you would be a bit less moody than normal. After all, Golden Moon blends you with the the tips of black tea, and lavender. I figured you’d be complex and mysterious and intriguing. That your bergamot would blend with your black and that for once, everything would be copacetic.
So, with slight anticipation (because I’ve been let down by you so many times before), I steeped a cup. Your leaves this time were quite gorgeous, with lovely golds and browns and greens. And you smelled absolutely delicious this morning – more on the floral side of bergamot than the citrus side.
The infusion today was red and copper, a beautiful color. And the smell coming from the steeped cup was more black tea toasty-ness than actual bergamot. Could it be? Were you ready to embrace me with open arms?
Mr. Grey, I have to say, you were quite tolerable today. But still heavily disappointing, just because I was expecting you to be that much better. I think the lavender smoothed out your rough edges, and took a bite out of your bergamot sharpness. Although I couldn’t taste the lavender component of the tea, there was a soothing feeling about you today. Your black base was definitely more delicious than usual, and a bit more complex than normal. But then your bergamot flavors had to invade and ruin the party. Granted, you weren’t as bitter or abrasive today. You were almost soothing. But there’s still something off between us.
Maybe we’re just not meant to be together. Yet I’m still attracted to your tweed and monocle. I just can’t help myself. Maybe our next date will be better.
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.