Oh man, is this YUM.
As you all know, I heart Golden Moon. Hard. GM pretty much jump-started my tea education with their sampler (the number one thing I can recommend to ANY tea novice). And now they’re pulling out the big guns, offering fresh and new varietals. Let me tell you, the excitement ensues!
Honey Orchid Black is a beautiful tea. When I opened the packet, I nearly squealed at how gorgeous the leaves are. These are huge. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black tea with such full and gorgeous leaves. It’s kind of gnarled, kind of ancient-looking. Twiggy, leafy, and just full. Expensive-looking as well. This is no CTC. No these leaves look like they were carefully plucked from a tea bush with able, loving hands, and dried with the highest of care.
There’s a faintly sweet scent coming off the leaves. And when it comes time to steep this one up, I’m pacing around with excitement. Because as soon as the hot water hits the leaves, a delicious honey-like aroma floods my nostrils. It smells delicious. It smells like clean hay fields and honeyflowers.
I don’t think there’s a such thing as a honeyflower.
ANYWAY, it smells good. Great. Fabulous. And then the timer goes off and it’s time to drink!
The first thing I notice is how unusually colored this one is for a black. It looks more roasted-oolong (or an oolong on the darker end of the scale) than black. The color is a deep honey, nothing at all similar to the ambers and dark browns of a lot of black teas. I take the first sip and YES. This is what tea drinking is all about.
It tastes less heavy than I expected. This tea doesn’t assault you with its flavor. No, it’s subtle and smart. It coaxes a little smile out of you. It elicits a contented sigh. At the beginning of the sip is a delicious sweetness, honeyed deliciousness mingled with a light black tea flavor. Not at all roasty, and entirely smooth. Then there’s this floral component, a JUICY floral component, similar to the way jasmine has juiciness, but not at all the same flavor. It’s softer. Like gauze. Or gossamer wings. It’s lovely.
Then comes the delicious endnote, a whisper of sweetness that lingers and lingers and lingers.
I can’t wait to see how a second steep will go for this one!