Irish Breakfast Tea - Special Reserve

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
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Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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63 Tasting Notes View all

  • “...and this lovely, finished! Made a giant, hearty milk and sugared mug for homework doings. Stout but a little mellowed by time. Just tasting a hint of raisiny stone fruit flavors. I think...” Read full tasting note
    JacquelineM 1112 tasting notes
  • “For me, this tea is fresh bread. The kind of bread that is dense, hints of yeasty, is almost sticky in the middle and has little bits of chopped nuts and seeds in it? Yeah, that kind of bread. ...” Read full tasting note
    89
    aug3zimm 911 tasting notes
  • “I drank this tea all day at work today. *ifjuly* sent me a generous sample, and I spent the day with it. I don't have much to say about it. It was great, nice smooth blend. I really enjoyed it....” Read full tasting note
    Dexter 734 tasting notes
  • “It's gray and peaceful outside but warm and comfy inside. I had the previous cup of malty assam and it left me wanting something more, something maltier and more great flavor. I reached for this...” Read full tasting note
    92
    teaman 115 tasting notes

From Golden Moon Tea

Combining ultra-premium estate teas, this blend far exceeds the typical Irish Breakfast. Beautiful golden tips highlighted against deep black leaves. The robust flavor is equally elegant and complex. Rich and malty character, with subtle notes of ripe cherries, dark prunes, and hints of hazelnuts and honey. Full bodied, dark in the cup, and further enhanced with a touch of milk or cream. A connoisseur’s breakfast tea.

About Golden Moon Tea View company

Golden Moon is dedicated to offering outstanding, whole-leaf teas of the greatest quality and finesse. All Golden Moon Teas are hand-plucked and meticulously crafted to enhance leaf character, aroma, color, clarity, body, complexity, and above all, flavor.

63 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

…and this lovely, finished!

Made a giant, hearty milk and sugared mug for homework doings. Stout but a little mellowed by time. Just tasting a hint of raisiny stone fruit flavors. I think this tea is at least two years old – it’s held up remarkably well! I enjoyed every pot — this was the first Irish Breakfast I tasted with complexities, and I would be pleased to find it in my cupboard at a future date.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Happy homework to you! I’m just sitting down to get started (easing back into a writing project after 2-week hiatus). I’m not good at starting to think in the afternoon.

ashmanra

We had to tear up part of the kitchen and I had to move my tea. I am astonished at how much tea there is, yet at the same time that I am vowing to drink up this tea, I am staking a couple of websites planning my next order. Time for an intervention!

gmathis

Yep. I just finished picking out a small shoebox full of half-packets to share with my teaching partner at church and making another list of gotta-gets. Ay-yi-yi.

JacquelineM

I’m down to 47 teas, guys! I am so proud of my restraint! I am going to place a Harney order soon, but it’s mostly going in with my coworkers for a few things and maybe I’ll finish a few others before it comes. I still can’t decide what is a reasonable amount. 30 seems too little, 40 too much? I usually drink 2 types of tea a day and have half of my teas at work, so maybe…36 to make it even? 18 at work and 18 at home? LOL.

ashmanra

38 Harney, 21 Teavivre, 9 Tin Roof Teas, 4 Dammann Freres, 6 Red Leaf, and about 25 assorted. Oh my goodness. Not counting samples and swaps. Oh dear.

ashmanra

Oops, I missed the Harney ones in the living room so more like 44…

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89
911 tasting notes

For me, this tea is fresh bread. The kind of bread that is dense, hints of yeasty, is almost sticky in the middle and has little bits of chopped nuts and seeds in it? Yeah, that kind of bread. It’s flavorful and smooth but with good texture though not quite chewy – it is an Irish Breakfast and it tastes like it, but it’s a classy, well-rounded, full-flavored Irish Breakfast.

Yep, quite glad I got a tin of this one. Even though it is making me crave fresh bread. Fortunately, I’ve got to run to the store today so I bet I can dig something up.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
gmathis

Yum and yummers.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Now I’m thinking about still warm from the oven bread…

fcmonroe

I’ve got a tin of this on the way!! I can’t wait to have it again. It was one of my favorites from the sampler.

Auggy

Very yummy! Both this tea and warm bread! :) This one is a pretty awesome tea. Mmm.

teaplz

So nom! I have to have the little bit in my sampler packet left, so I’m going to make this one up again soon! Such a good tea. Much love for Golden Moon and for Auggy!

Auggy

Aw yay! Much love for you! Can’t wait to see your log on this one, too!

Cynthia Carter

Dang you, you’re going to make me bake something.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Bake Cynthia bake! Then post photos for us.

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734 tasting notes

I drank this tea all day at work today. ifjuly sent me a generous sample, and I spent the day with it.
I don’t have much to say about it. It was great, nice smooth blend. I really enjoyed it. Some blends are too this or too that – I found this to be really well balanced for my tastes. Really enjoyed it.
I’ve been really happy with the Golden Moon Tea samples that she sent me. This is a company that I would like to explore further, if I ever get my cupboard under control.

Terri HarpLady

That’s the big ‘if’, right? If I followed that, I’d never get to order tea again, hahaha!

Dexter

LOL I think “if” leaves a little wiggle room or room for negotiation. Had I said – “when” I get my cupboard under control – then I’d never get to order tea again.
It’s just right out of control now….but it’s too much fun to stress over…. :))

keychange

I plan on exploring GM as well, actually. You know, “if” my cupboard controls itself soon.

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92
115 tasting notes

It’s gray and peaceful outside but warm and comfy inside. I had the previous cup of malty assam and it left me wanting something more, something maltier and more great flavor. I reached for this tea. It’s an amazing cup that’s a blend no less. Not all blends work well but this one is a mix that has a “wow” factor for me. It’s got a sweet malty pow that stands out and not in a sharp astringent way at all. It’s a bold flavor that with some sweetener really hits the spot. This is a really fantastic tea and will remain on my restock list for likely a long time. If you find something better that has a similar description let me know. For now I will sit back and enjoy this wonderful cup of flavor.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Eric Walter

Sounds fantastic. Does this tea come in any of the Golden Moon samplers?

Teaman

I have never gotten their sampler sets, however in viewing their page for them I would be highly surprised if the 31 tea sampler set didn’t have it. I got the sampler as a standalone, which is a dollar. Their sample sizes are small, about enough for 1 cup, so steep it right. I steep all my assams about 2 minutes, no more than 2 1/2. It is a fantastic tea. I have tasted tons of tea and this one is very good… if you like assams.

Eric Walter

I’ve had a little experience with assams… however I haven’t had your background so I’m still trying to gain a palette in that regard. Any suggestions?

Teaman

When I started out on loose teas I didn’t like Assams at all. They were always bitter for me. I figured I must not have found the right ones or they weren’t for me. That was part of the problem I found… but the main problem was steep time. In my opinion, for some reason Indian teas start turning bitter after about 2 minutes of steeping. Bitterness comes from the release of tannins in the tea leaf and those teas seem to release it quicker than most. I love most Chinese black teas and they don’t have this sensitivity I found. You can steep them 3-5 minutes and little impact but Indian teas, Assams in particular, it is much more sensitive. So, combining that with finally stumbling on some Assams that have a nice malty flavoring and I started really enjoying them.

I’m still very picky about my Assam picks. Some even claim to be malty but when I try them they aren’t that malty in my opinion. I have found some that are really good. It varies by the source and by the year even. I’ve had some one year that were very good and the next season they are not good. So each year I go through a sample and trial period trying various places till I find a few that are great and then order more. I have found some really good ones from teasource.com, a shop in MN that I stumbled on, however they are out of stock (OOS) on the ones I’ve found to be really good such as Special Reserve or Panatola. I have also found some from a Portland shop called taooftea.com such as their Golden Tips Assam. The Mokalbari Estate tea from SpecialTeas.com I’ve find is good however it too is OOS. They have had a Salonah in the past but it’s OOS. I’m sure there are others, just can’t keep ordering more and more tea, I already have too much.

Just thought of another consideration. 2009 was not a good year for Indian teas due to the drought. It has resulted in far less tea output hence higher prices. It has also had impact on the flavorings of the teas. Some are saying they are stronger flavors not necessarily in a good way. I haven’t determined if it’s related to the drought or to the randomness of the year and the source as already mentioned.

Try some assams from various sources (get samplers) and try steeping them for 2 minutes or 2 1/2 and see if you find a difference. Hope this helps.

takgoti

THANK YOU FOR THIS. Seriously, I was just lamenting to Auggy about how my black tea tends to go bitter on me a lot, and I do believe that this is why. It doesn’t happen with all Indian Blacks, and I think that some of them are simply beyond fixing, but I’ll be shortening my steep time down to 2 minutes on a lot of them to see if that helps. FANTASTIC.

Teaman

Takgoti! You crack me up… some (Indian Blacks) “…are simply beyond fixing” LOL! Yes I hope this helps you start to like some of the great Assams out there!

Teaman

Eric, I misspoke on that recommended tea from SpecialTeas.com. I stated Mokalbari Estate but I was going from memory (bad idea). I meant Majulaghur Estate Assam. I’m having another cup of it now and it’s really good. I recommend it and it’s for a great price on their site. BTW… I have no connection with any tea source… other than as a customer.

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89
361 tasting notes

Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act IV scene 1

Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest,
Set less than thou throwest;
Leave thy drink and thy whore,
And keep in-a-door,
And thou shall have more
Than two tens to a score.
King Lear, Act I scene 4

When I received Doulton’s box and eagerly pawed through it I remember seeing this baggie and thinking, “Oh, I’ve tried that — I think it’s one I really liked.” and then continued rummaging. Well, this morning I wanted a Shakespeare tea and I wanted one that would get me going. This is the one I chose. I started drinking it and it was sooo perfect and yummy. Then I hopped on Steepster to see if I had indeed reviewed this before.

My jaw dropped.

This is the tea that I had my mini-meltdown of “why oh why can’t I appreciate black teas?!?!? Waaah!” and ~lauren had given me some encouraging words. This was about a month ago. My oh my, how things have changed! I think the highest contributing factor to my current enjoyment is my new electric kettle. Seriously. I have found that I love most black teas when the water’s heated to 205. Anyone new to tea who happens to stumble across this note: have a way to get accurate temps for your water. It’s not even funny how much of a difference this makes. Seriously. My original rating was 47 and M.

Enter The Fool from King Lear. Such a wonderful character (even though he does disappear) who’s the only sane one in this play. I wrote an epic paper in my Shakespeare course all about Lear and the verbal abuse going on within it. Christopher Moore’s The Fool is also a book that’s been on my “to read” list since it was released. Know that for me to name this tea The Fool is a high compliment. I also feel foolish for my earlier Note where I howled like Lear. I feel like this tea just gave me a talking to and set me straight. Yum. It’s just a great Irish Breakfast tea with a very subtle plum note. NE

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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91
255 tasting notes

I’m sampling this today with much gratitude to Auggy. I’ll need to invest in a full-size. It’s certainly the best Irish Breakfast I’ve had in…well, in forever, I would guess. Although I’m not picking up on the delicacy of prunes or hints of truffle or whatever else is promised, I do have a good strong cup of flavorful, malty, fresh caffeine. I liked it better with the addition of some sugar and milk, but I’m a milk/sugar addict. Or a milquetoast? Or a milksop? I must consult dictionary.

Very smooth, just slightly astringent, this is helping me to wake up on a lazy Friday morning that is now approaching 2 PM.

Thank you, Auggy. You send out the best and most beautifully packaged samples.

My 125th tasting note!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Auggy

Aw, yay!

teabird

I’m really looking forward to this one now!

__Morgana__

Congrats on 125!

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85
218 tasting notes

TTB #8

My husband and I woke up to an insanely snowed in driveway. He couldn’t get out of it even with 4WD, so we had to shovel some of the snow out of the way. I knew my modest lil’ car would never make it, so I had to call off work. Not happy about it but OH WELL… I guess I will stay and taste some tea instead.

It seemed right to start off with some breakfast blend. Travelling Tea Box offered two Golden Moon ones (yay!): English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast. When I have a choice between these two, I always choose Irish. It could be the loyalty of coming from a tormented-by-history country, I guess ;)

The only Irish Breakfast blend I had before this one was Twinings’ bagged one. You can all take an educated guess that this is going to be the better one of the two ;D The color is deep, deep malty-red. And the smell… Here is the only point in common with the Twinings Irish – the sweet, grassy smell that reminds me of early afternoons at our cabin (alas, not a log cabin!) in the woods where we spend most of our time off from spring to autumn… Ah, it feels like we haven’t been there for ages!

Back to the tea though, the flavor is amazing! Pretty bitter, but not too much, it doesn’t need sugar or any other sweetener in my opinion. It sure gives you a solid kick and could replace any Colombian coffee any time (not that I care, I haven’t had coffee for months – and do not miss it). I also detect some very interesting undertones of cherry perhaps? Some kind of tart fruit.

As it cools down, it starts to taste really creamy. Delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
bluebelle

I knew it’d find a better home if I put it in! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Kat_Maria

I might have been slightly harsher with some other company. But Golden Moon Teas put a spell on me. I really love their teas!

Terri HarpLady

I love a good Irish Breakfast!

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93
224 tasting notes

First of 31 :D
It’s my work tea for the day.

I intended to steep it for 3 minutes then forgot a bit – so it was probably like 5 minutes or so.
Color is well black tea typical – more brown than red. It’s bit bitter for me. Quite strong. I even taste a little earthiness that reminds me of pu-ehr’s.

Think it would be great with milk. Gonna try it in a bit.

Oh it got better colder. Nice flavor.
Note – yummy with milk.

Quite good this one is. Yeeeesssss :D

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
__Morgana__

Yay! Have fun with the Golden Moons!

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84
953 tasting notes

Golden Moon sample No. 13 of 31. Have been eyeing this since I pulled it out of the basket a couple of days ago and waiting for work from home Wednesday when I have all my necessary tea accoutrements near me to give it a go.

I’m pretty sure this is my first Irish Breakfast. So I don’t have anything to compare it to on that score. Also, I think this one should probably steep a bit longer than I steeped it for full effect. That said…

They weren’t kidding about “the beautiful golden tips highlighted against deep black leaves.” Though I’d say the leaves were more brown than black and straight in shape, the tips are huge and an amazing contrast in color as well as in texture. The nose of the dry leaves is roasty, even slightly smoky, and seriously malty in a Guinness Stout sort of way. I am guessing that that is what characterizes Irish Breakfast, though I haven’t yet looked it up.

The aroma after steeping is sweet, sugary, definitely malty and interestingly complex. Maybe I’m just suggestible today, but they told me there were cherries and I found cherries, they told me there were prunes and I found prunes, they told me there was honey and I found honey. I didn’t really find hazlenut, though there was something I could call nutty. In addition, I detected a chocolate note and a caramel note. The liquor is a very lovely deep tawny red-orange-brown.

The flavor is smooth, sweet but not too sweet, with some deep, fruity notes. I definitely tasted prunes, which made me smile. The maltiness isn’t as great in the taste as in the aroma, but it is definitely the backdrop. I’d like to steep it stronger and see what that does. I was a little distracted by work (heavens to betsy!) as I was drinking, but since this is definitely tasty enough to enjoy again, I’m looking forward to exploring its mysteries further.

If breakfast blends are to tea as black is to shoes, soon my cupboard will be mimicking my closet. I don’t even remember how many pairs of black shoes I have. [hangs head in shame]

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Rabs

There’s no shame in having a discerning taste in both teas and shoes! ;)

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67
1737 tasting notes

Another one for future full review on www.itsallabouttheleaf.com. General first impression: While rolling around possible adjectives for this tea, stout and robust didn’t make the list at all, but there’s still enough character for it to stand up to the “breakfast” category. No milk needed, but a.m. additives don’t weaken its taste or personality.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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