1914 Tasting Notes

73

In need of a robust black tea this morning, I decided to give this one a try again. This time I’m steeping it longer based on my previous experience.

I think the flavors come through better, and it certainly didn’t get any bitterness. The bergamot is much more forward and citrusy. I’m definitely enjoying this cup more, but I still don’t think it stands out to me among other Earl Greys. But the flavors are very well executed and blend well together, and I definitely wouldn’t turn down a cup of it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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70

Last of my Golden Moon samples. I haven’t quite taken to white tea so far… it’s not that I dislike it, but I have yet to have one that’s blown me away or had me coming back for more. I suppose Harney’s Winter White Earl Grey is a possible exception. Anyway, I do love melons, so I had to try this one anyway.

The leaf is fairly long and twisty with some long stems, and a fair amound of fuzzy leaves too, and I’m not sure that I ended up with enough tea in my infusion basket. It smells amazing, like the freshest, ripest, sweetest juicy canteloupe, with perhaps some light honeyish notes underneath. Brewed, it smells melony but subdued, and the tea has come forward a bit.

I’m afraid I didn’t put enough leaf in the cup, because the flavor is very light. Still, the melon is definitely present: sweet, juicy, like having a slice of fresh canteloupe. The tea adds a flavor almost like when you eat down to the rind and you get that green, fresh flavor. I’m really enjoying this one even a little weak; it’s delicious and pretty unique, at least to my tea cupboard right now.

Edited: Ok, I took my already steeped leaves and dumped the rest of my sample pack in with them. I know Golden Moon sample packs are only supposed to be one serving, but they usually include a little more leaf than I would typically use in my 12oz cup, so I’ve been measuring out what I usually use and then I’ll see what’s left after that. Since the white tea is so light I put the rest of it in and steeped as before. The liquor is much darker this time, but the tea is, surprisingly, not as good! The melon flavor is just not as evident and it lacks the natural sweetness of before. Too much leaf this time? I dunno, but this isn’t doing much for my experiences with white teas!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

White teas are a little finicky, aren’t they?

Dinosara

Yeah, I think that’s why I have so much trouble with them. Someday I’ll figure it out, I guess!

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71

This tea is so tasty hot, so I thought it would be good cold steeped, but I was so wrong. There was some horrible disgusting aftertaste… it’s a shame because I wasted some of this tea on what turned out to be a failed experiment. I guess if I want nutty cold steeped tea I should stick to Trois Noix.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Kashyap

I generally find if the tea has natural flavorings, dried fruit, or spices, it somes out fine iced…but it they add synthetic flavorings, additives, or perservatives…then it comes out funky…just my experience

Dinosara

Perhaps, but it’s just amazing that none of that comes out when its hot. It’s amazing how different a cold steep can be!

Kashyap

I totally agree….though I think it might be relevant to consider that the reason for hot vs cold complexity logically must come from the votility of the chemical compounds and thier reactive nature to other compounds as well as the receptors in your mouth and how the taste buds process flavors based on temp.. I would think that synthetic flavorings (being less ‘natural’ compounds) are more volitile in hot beverages (and may even be used because of that characteristic) and may then ‘meld’ in the solution, where as the cold brewing is not as reactive an environment and then some of the compounds don’t ‘mesh’ to create the ‘flavor’ they are trying to re-create….just a theory…

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72

I haven’t had this tea in a while, so I thought I’d give it another go. I’ve enjoyed this one in my past tasting notes, but clearly not so much that I am craving it constantly. I based my brewing parameters this time on my last successful cup, so I’m hoping it comes through nicely.

The steeped tea smells nice, but there’s something about this coconut that seems odd to me now that I’ve had some other nice coconut tea. Maybe it’s just the combination with the chocolate, but it’s a bit less fresh, light, tropical (ironic considering this is “carribean”). Don’t get me wrong, it tastes great. Very chocolatey, and the coconut adds a creaminess. It doesn’t really scream tropical to me, but it does very clearly say “Mounds bar”. Definite yum.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaNerdette

So does it sort of have a ‘cocoa pina colada’ flavor?

Dinosara

Not really, because there’s no pinapple flavor. It’s really more straight up, somewhat toasted coconut with added chocolate.

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74
drank Orchid Temple by Golden Moon Tea
1914 tasting notes

Another oolong from Golden Moon. I loved the other orchid oolong that I’ve tried, so it was a no-brainer to get a sample of this one. The dry leaf has a strong scent but it seems lightly scented, if that makes sense: unlike most flavored/scented teas it seems, this one smells primarily like the vegetal green oolong with only a hint of sweet floral aroma to it. Looking back, that actually matches up with the other orchid oolong I tried (the Orchid Oolong from Tea Lux).

That one became very floral when brewed, but this one less so. The florals pick up in the taste a bit, and even provide a lingering sweetness at the tail end, but I wouldn’t consider this to be a highly floral tea. Just a breath of florals, really. It’s mostly the vegetal green oolong, slightly nutty, a bit roasted, and the florals fold in like they were always part of the tea, like it was natural and not scented at all. Overall a nice, tasty tea, but not quite right for my palate.

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

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73
drank Earl Grey Cream by ESP Emporium
1914 tasting notes

Inspired by my successful cold-steeped Earl Grey Cream a few weeks ago, I decided to try cold steeping this one. Delicious! I really like a cold steeped Earl Grey Cream. The bergamot is bright and fruity, and the vanilla is very creamy, and they play so well together. Bergamot seems to come out strongly in cold steeping, as does vanilla, and in combinations with other flavors sometimes they can overwhelm everything else, but paired together they work very well. I’ll definitely be returning to this one often.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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77
drank Lemon Drop by California Tea House
1914 tasting notes

I was feeling kind of bleh this morning, and at first I didn’t know if I even wanted any tea (I know, crazy!) but then I decided this lemon-ginger green might perk me up a bit. It’s totally working: lemony and a bit gingery, it’s settling me down just fine. This will probably become my go-to tea when I need something with ginger.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70

In my new quest to try a bunch of different kinds of oolongs and discover the joys of unflavored varieties, I ordered this Imperial Formosa to try. It may just be the first of its kind that I’ve tried; I don’t have a lot of background in these things. I have to say, the dry leaf smells pretty different from all the other oolongs I’ve tried so far, though I haven’t tried many dark ones yet. It’s very woodsy, and has an aroma that is familiar to me but that I can’t place right now. The directions say to steep for five minutes, which I’m a little worried about (I don’t steep anything but herbals and rooibos for five minutes), but I did it anyway.

Steeped, the aroma is much more familiar as an oolong, albeit definitely a dark one with a rich, almost black-tea type aroma and maybe a hint of a floral note. Honestly, based on the smell of the dry leaf I didn’t expect to like this tea very much, but I am enjoying it. It doesn’t blow me away, but a nice cup. It’s a bit roasty, a bit nutty, the slightest bit vegetal, with a tiny floral note at the end. I feel like that slightly sweet note that oolongs often have is lurking in there, but hasn’t been let out. Tasty, but I prefer oolongs with a bit more florals.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
TeaNerdette

I really love Oolongs and am annoyed that I’ve run out. I plan on trying the Golden Moon company after school starts and I get some of my expenses out of the way.

Dinosara

They definitely have some tasty ones, and it’s nice that you can order a sample to try first.

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63
drank Vanilla Jasmine by Golden Moon Tea
1914 tasting notes

Cold steeped. I’m not quite sure what to make of the flavors of this one when cold steeped. Definintely vanilla, definitely jasmine, but cold steeped they combined to make some other flavor I couldn’t really place. Almost minty, perhaps? Not one of my favorite cold steeps, but still decently tasty. I think I prefer this combo in its incarnation as a Monk’s blend with the added bergamot.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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79
drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
1914 tasting notes

I took the day off yesterday and spent it out and about, hence my lack of tea notes. This is the last black tea I have to try from my Golden Moon order, and I can see that it seems like I will like this tea, or just think it’s too weird.

The dry leaf gives the aromas of what I might expect: intensely pear, with a strong accompanying note of rich, floral honey. It smells a bit like a pear hard candy, with actually a hint of “green apple”. I dunno, I can’t quite place the particular aroma that smells like a candy I’ve had before.

Brewed up, it smells much more like the black tea base. As it cools a bit I get more of that honey and pear aroma from the dry leaf starting to take over the cup. As to the taste, you can count me in the fans of this tea. The aroma of the dry leaf is pretty faithfully translated to the flavor, but with a lovely black tea base that fits in well with the flavors. It’s a bright base, and not especially malty, so that it reminds me of a darjeeling. I would consider the pear the primary note, with the somewhat floral honey backing it up. This honey reminds me of eating comb right from the beehive: it’s fresh and dark and wild (and delicious). I don’t find the tea “weird” at all, like many others, but perhaps that’s because the flavor is already one in my repetoir. I’m really enjoying it and it’s one I would probably keep around.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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