Golden Moon sample No. 14 of 31.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t be in a position to taste this today, but I had to sequester myself at home today to devote myself to finishing a project for work rather than go into the office, and that put a sort of crimp in the day that had me feeling out of sorts, so I decided to give my latest random pick a try over lunchtime and see if it cheered me up.
And boy, did it ever. I have gone from feeling peeved at how my day was unfolding to feeling lucky that such decadence was at hand to improve my mood. And this after having a not so great experience with an earlier Golden Moon oolong. I had been worried that I wouldn’t like this one that much, either. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong!
Tightly curled dry leaves that smell of — crackerjacks! Or maybe those cube shaped caramel candies in the clear plastic individual wrappers. They smell of this, and nothing else I could detect. It’s a delicious, strong scent. It brews to a pale yellow, clear liquor.
When I steeped them the first time, I didn’t get so much caramel in the aroma, though it was there. What I got more of was the butter of green oolong. So I wondered what I’d taste.
And on the very first steep — yum. It’s caramel. Not overly sweet, not overly strong, but definitely caramel. And soothing. There’s butter as well, and a slightly vegetal flavor, but for a green oolong it’s leaning toward nutty/toasty. I suspect because of the caramel, which could easily turn it that way.
Second steep: 3 min. More sugar! The flavor deepens to reveal more sugar and more caramel. The sugar has the quality of the sugar from a dried fruit, which I suppose could be dates.
Third steep: 4 min. A step back on the sugar, though it is still there. The caramel is as well. There is less butter, and less vegetal flavor, and more toasty nuttiness.
Fourth steep: 5 min. The sugar and caramel is mostly gone, but the buttery, nutty taste remains, though it has weakened some. I fear a fifth steep would be disappointing so I am quitting while I’m ahead.
I really like the feeling of something suggestive of candy that is, at the same time, so obviously not candy. That’s why I feel so decadent having this and why I am going to have to order more.
There’s no heaviness to it like what you could get from eating actual caramels, nothing to stick in your teeth. There’s no feeling of guilt afterwards, or bloatedness, or a sugar high or precipitous fall. But it gives (at least the illusion) of the same serotonin-inducing comfort one could get from eating handfuls of caramels.
And I needed that today. Two thumbs up.