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5 Tasting Notes

84

Another gorgeously fragranced Golden Moon tea! Those people are good. There’s vanilla up front, of course, but there’s also this lovely suggestion of milk chocolate in the background. The jasmine comes to life in the steep, as the vanilla mellows out a bit. After around 2-3 minutes, the resulting brew is a gorgeous amber brown color (a VERY welcome change from my earlier tea today, which was a scary, medicinal yellow). The sample pouch calls for a 3-5 minute infusion, but I’m erring on the side of caution – I’ve had enough bitter tea for one day!

Unsweetened, you get a lovely, soft mouth feel, not unlike the sensation of a really good piece of chocolate melting away. Jasmine up front, with a vanilla-y wash on the end. Definitely another one I’m saving the pouch from, so I can sniff it..

Sweetening this has the same interesting reversal of taste that the Coconut Chai did. Golden Moon, you tricky little people, how do you DO that?? The scent of the vanilla jumps back to life after sweetening, and the tastes kind of flip flop, but not entirely. It may just be my nose playing tricks on me, but I definitely get more of the vanilla up front in the sip, which washes into the jasmine, and back to the vanilla again.

I have no idea how Golden Moon does it, but they do it well. Another incredibly tasty, and
satisfying, cup! This is going perfectly with a babka one of my co-workers made (which is
more like a drier, lighter hot cross bun!) Yum. =) Can’t wait to see what a second steep does!!

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32
drank Lemon Ginger Snap by Teas Etc
5 tasting notes

I am apparently in the minority here, but I was not thrilled with this tea. Overwhelmingly lemongrass up front! You get the ginger a little bit after, but even that seems to have a bitter bite to it. Really worried it’s not going to mellow, that the green won’t balance it out..

I think I must have done something wrong here. This tea was top 5 in Flavored/Blended Green at the 2008 World Tea Championships, and to me, it’s just bitter. The water was fine, the steep time was fine (maybe a bit long?), the proportion was fine.. I really don’t know for sure what happened.

Going to try second steep, see if it helps any.

And it did! Perhaps I let it steep too long the first time. Second steep MUCH less bitter, but still almost medicinal.The lemon definitely carries over from the smell to the taste, although it loses some pungency. The ginger comes to life in the steeping, but I really still can’t find much green in there. Maybe guo lu is milder than what I’m used to?

Definitely relaxed a bit as it chilled (thank you, overenthusiastic office air conditioning).
I think I prefer this iced, but I’d be wary of how to steep it well. Brewing a cup and letting it chill gently seemed to do very nice things to it; will have to experiment further!

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84

Just breaking open my sampler of 50 teas from Golden Moon, and this one literally jumped out at me. Opening it up was heaven – warm, toasty coconut smell, with a little bit of something resembling marzipan. Infusing it was interesting! The intense smell of the coconut dissipated a little, and the ‘greeniness’ of the leaves started to creep in, in a nondescript, mellow kind of way. I let it steep for 3 minutes, I think next time I’d pull it out at 2 instead. The first taste that I get is definitely the green, but it blossoms out into that same warm, toasty coconut smell that I first experienced. Definitely not screamingly sweet, but delicately so. There’s a faint tang of bitterness, but I think that’s my fault for leaving it in a minute more than I had intended.

Sweetening this after tasting it first has a really interesting effect on the tea. Sweetness brings the toasty coconut to your palate first, which then washes into the green, and then back to the coconut it goes (killing a bit of the bitter tang that I had accidentally created, by the way). Definitely a solid tea, one I’d certainly try again! Much prefer this to Zhena’s Coconut Chai, but that’s a whole different animal, so I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to compare. Have to see what a second infusion might do to this!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

Got this from a friend; I was a little nervous to try this one. My only real exposure to straight, unflavored tea has been mainly at Japanese and Chinese restaurants, where I’ve been happy to have unsweetened, (mostly) unflavored tea to balance out the tastes of yummy sushi happening.

The aroma is definitely woodsy and toasty (I can definitely see where some of the other comments about an almost-pot-esque aroma come from), and the taste was surprisingly light. Very balanced, nice and toasty like it smells, and not at all bland like I’d been fearing. Drank this unsweetened, and piping hot – it settled my slightly upset stomach, and definitely educated me. I would absolutely have this one again! Not my favorite ever, because I’m still very attached to flavored teas, but a really solid tea to keep around.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Orange Sencha by Den's Tea
5 tasting notes

This was an interesting experience. At first when I opened it up, the orangey perfume was really bright and intense; it tapered off as I was getting it ready, but as soon as the water hit the leaves, the perfume blossomed again. I let it steep for closer to two minutes, because the water wasn’t quite hot enough for a 30 second steep to cut it. At first, all I tasted was the Sencha; as it cooled, the orange flavor developed more, and I sweetened it, bringing out even more of the orange flavor. I would definitely try this one again, with properly boiling water, and see how it goes.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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