Golden Moon TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
DUN DUN DUN….
Pu-erh. The dreaded tea with the reputation that would make you want to run for the hills. Fishy tastes and smells. Bird feathers/droppings, nail clippings. Earth and dirt.
Needless to say, I was terrified to try this one. But I mustered up the courage and cut open that packet from GM. Then I hesitantly, very carefully, took a little sniff. You know what? This doesn’t smell bad at all! I thought to myself. It’s very earthy and rich and deep, with an almost bake-y smell. It’s very difficult to describe. The overall smell is similar to a black tea, but it smelled… aged. In a good way. Like an old, leather-bound book. Friendly, almost.
So I began to feel a bit more confident about the cup that awaited me. The leaves don’t do all that much in the pot, and they’re pretty plain looking, but a bit thicker-looking than most blacks (and they are jet black with some brown intertwined). The cup that this steeps up to be is DARK. A deep, deep amber, that you can only see as transparent if you stick it in direct sunlight. Otherwise, it looks like your spoon as disappeared into the black lagoon.
With lots of trepidation, I look the sip, and I was shocked at how inoffensive this was! Then I took another sip, and I thought, mmmmm. Boy is this tea complex. Infinitely smooth, with no astringency, and ridiculously sippable. Now onto the taste, which is so layered, I’m loving it. There’s a taste of earthiness. But we’re talking about more of a savory earthiness, like you’d get from mushrooms. Not dirt outside your house. There’s a level of smokiness. In fact, it’s the smokiness that I thought lapsang souchong was going to taste like. And then, the aftertaste… it’s earthy and deliciously sweet. I mean, as sweet as a green tea tastes on the aftertaste. I was thoroughly shocked at that flavor coming through. It almost has a thick mouthfeel, but is still so smooth and wonderful. I’m still boggled at that sweet component, because it is downright addictive. It’s savory and amazing. Ricky, the resident pu-erh king, really liked this cup as well.
If you’re really afraid of pu-erh, I suggest trying this one. It has its own unique flavor, but really isn’t that frightening. No fish components, and it’s loose, so you don’t have to worry about picking foreign objects out of the cake! Yay! I’m still marveling at the depth of flavors and wonderful savory elements. And that sweetness! MMMMM.
It’s a bit sweeter this time around, with less nuances and complexity. It’s probably the best second steep I’ve had of any tea, ever, but it still pales in comparison to the glorious first time around. I also find myself tiring of a tea and its flavors after one cup. Maybe multiple steeping and I aren’t made to be friends.
Well, this one is actually really interesting, and I’m sitting here puzzled, scratching my head.
When I opened up the Golden Moon packet, it instantly smelled of gunpowder. That earthy, smokey, Rome-burning smell that I absolutely adore. I believe that Temple of Heaven is a higher grade of gunpowder, and let me tell you, the dry leaf was absolutely beautiful. Tiny little blue-green pearls. Way tinier than Adagio’s, and smooth and silky to the touch. So pretty!
So I dumped a level teaspoon into my IngenuiTEA and watched as the fireworks happen. This one’s pretty bombastic in the pot. It start with little bubbles, and then, within a matter of seconds after the hot water hitting the leaves, they start unfurling and writhing and wriggling like they’re dirty dancing.
In the cup, this one’s a honey hue, with a smell that can only be described as smokey gunpowder. So I lift my mouth to the cup and.. hrm. The smoke on this one is definitely lighter than Adagio’s blend. It actually is more seamlessly “one” with the tea flavors than a simple overlay of flavor. And while I enjoy that aspect of it, I wanted the smoke to come out a bit more assertive.
Then the oddity began. I’m picking up that mineral-like flavor and mouthfeel that I got from Rishi’s Jade Fire! The astringency is leaving my mouth dry, and there’s almost a briny component that I didn’t expect. As the cup cooled down, this element faded into the background (although there was still a high component of astringency), and the delicate smoke flavors became the prime focus. There’s a sweet green aftertaste that is really pleasant, but it’s almost a bit too mild.
In fact, I think overall the cup is too delicate for my tastes, and it falls into this bizarre crack. Gunpowder really isn’t a delicate flavor, so it’s strange to have it come across as a wisp of smoke instead of a cloud. Add to that the mineral/brine/weird taste that came with Rishi’s Jade Fire (which is another rolled tea, by the way, but it doesn’t have the smoke of a gunpowder) and you have me perplexed. It’s like if Adagio’s Gunpowder and Rishi’s Jade Fire decided to have a baby and the genetics got mixed up along the way.
Light brown in color for a black.
Dry leaf smells quite HONEY.
Wet leaf smells more like the Honey Pear Combo along with a woodsy-type scent.
After removing the steeping loose leaf there is an added floral scent as well.
It’s a nice even taste. I can taste more honey than pear.
It’s semi-refreshing. A nice blend.
I was nibbling on a piece of orange chocolate fudge while sipping and must say it pairs with Chocolate well!! :P
A comfort tea, perhaps!? But then again…aren’t most teas comforting!?
Stupid Firefox crashed and I lost my review. UGH! Take two…
It seems like whenever teaplz and Ricky don’t like a GM tea (or rather don’t love one), I suddenly need to try it. It’s like I want to torture myself with tea. It didn’t work last time with the Lapsang Souchong but I’m thinking it might work this time.
The leaves? Are not happy looking. They are dark olive and brown and dry looking and there seems to be a lot of twiggyness going on. I’m betting on a strike out here. The tea smells… dusty. And I’m not even talking about the dry leaves. I’m talking about the liquid. You know, the wet stuff. And when wet stuff smells dusty? That’s not cool.
Okay, it’s not as bad as I feared. I mean, I was expecting the little red icky face, but this isn’t bad. First off, it’s pretty sweet. Not quite a honey sweet but almost like it’s been sweetened with sugar. Even to the point of an almost sugary aftertaste. As it cools a little bit some tartness is coming in on aftertaste. I’m starting to make a little face after I swallow but it’s nothing horrid. But… that’s it. That’s all I get out of this tea.
So yeah, not nasty but not great. Sort of a generic green tea flavor that really isn’t anything other than wet and a bit sweet. I think this would be a good ‘starter’ tea for someone that just wants to drink tea as some sort of medicinal supplement. It’s not offensive and just a bit boring. But for me it’s not really a good representation of what’s available in the world of green teas.
So not quite torture via tea, but not something I’ll ever want to have again. I might do a second steep just because I pretty much always give greens a second steep. But if I do, no guarantee that I’ll drink the whole cup.
I like the flavor of this tea a lot. It does not need sugar. It is fantastic hot and also delicious cold. This is a win-win tea. Today since the ground is covered with a foot and a half of snow, it is a hot tea.
The aroma of the tea is coconut, hands down. The flavor of the tea is coconut, carried by a green tea with a sweet almost minty after taste. It is absolutely wonderful. The first time I tried the tea, I knew I had to buy one of my own, and I did.
As a note: I tend to use a lot more leaves than I should, this is just a force of habit, but I think it makes multiple steeps of the tea better when you have more leaves.
Received a free sample from Golden Moon Tea and tried it with great anticipation. Exquisite oolong. Far superior to the oolong bought locally from the Asian Market. See the full review at http://bit.ly/8dNfqd.
Backlogging from the weekend in Louisiana.
This tea has officially become a required vacation staple. Uncontrollable brewing parameters? Pshaw! This tea is forgiving enough to take it! Bad tasting water? No problem! This is strong enough to cover it up and still taste delightful. This tea is a hero in my book. ♥
Whee! Smoky! I kind of feel like this is so smoky that it is seeping smoke out my pores. But I like this one – it’s a bit sweeter and much less tarry than any other lapsang souchong I’ve had. So it is super-smoky but it isn’t thick or too heavy. Lighter bodied for such a strongly smoky tea. Really glad I got a tin of this. It’s my favorite lapsang souchong, hands down.
Had a little side by side tasting of this and ROT’s lapsang souchong with my dad pre-present opening tonight. Ultimately he preferred ROT’s as it is a bit of a stronger taste and with a fuller body but I liked this one. It sweeter and softer with a note of a faint honey taste running through the tea. It is a thinner-bodied tea and not as dark and murky as ROT’s. There is a smoky flavor all over this tea but nothing overpowering. Instead, it is smooth and lovely. I will be ordering more of this one.
The dry leaf smells like meat that’s been soaked in soy sauce before smoking. Or like the meat has been smoked at too high of a temperature and almost burned but didn’t quite. Instead, it’s just really really dark. And salty. I only have the ROT’s to compare it to and this one smells more… carcinogenic.
All brewed up, this tea doesn’t smell near as strong as ROT’s, but instead of sweet maple tones to the smell, I get… pickle. BBQ’ed pickle. There’s a tartness in is somewhat vinegar-y. The husband was actually intrigued enough by the smell to try this before I did and his response was “Not a fan, but good.” I asked him explain because that’s… confusing. He replied that it was a good smoky taste but was too much for him – there was nothing else to it, unlike with overly smoked brisket, at least there is brisket under there. (He pretty much felt the same way about ROT’s – he felt no need to drink Liquid Smoke).
It’s cooled a little so I’m ready to try it. The scent I inhale is sweeter than what I was smelling before. No sweet maple or anything but no vinegar/pickle either. Just like a sweeter BBQ sauce. The taste initially is a lot milder than ROT’s, but it seems to expand in my mouth. Faint smoky tea building until my mouth is filled with a smoky but smooth flavor. If I keep sipping, that taste builds but if I take a little longer between sips, it fades.
I can actually get a little tea undertone to this after I swallow. It doesn’t appear regularly but rather when it’s been a bit longer between my sips so the smoke flavor that has built up in my mouth has faded some. Also, I’m getting a sweet, somewhat meat-like aftertaste.
I’m actually really liking this. I mean, I don’t think I could drink it every day, but I do really like it. To the point that, depending on how the second (and maybe third?) steeps go, I would seriously consider adding this to a GM order when I make one. It’s mild when compared to the ROT but definitely not too mild. Just really smooth and not overpowering. Definitely distinctive but…. relaxing and pleasant. I hope I have enough left of this for a second cup because I want to do a tasting with my dad over Christmas of this one and ROT’s – because if anyone could appreciate a smoke tea, it would be him.
ETA: Second steep @ 6:00. Smooth, smoky, sweet and really yummy. Yeah, I’m going to have to order some of this.
Third steep @ 8:00. Smooth, very sweet and a tail of smoky. SO. FREAKIN. GOOD.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.