Yum. Drinking a cup of this with some half and half and simple syrup. Wonderful evening treat.
411 Tasting Notes
From It’s all About the Leaf – http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/1429/tea-review-golden-moon-tea-imperial-formosa-oolong/
I know I tend to repeat myself on this point, but I really adore that first whiff of a new tea. The myriad of preparation techniques and additives means that each new tea is an olfactory adventure. Or, more succinctly – dang, they can smell great! And this one – wow. Aromas of dark sweet fruit, like raisins or dates combined with malty, yeasty overtones. It reminded me of whole wheat raisin bread in the first few sniffs.
So I eagerly dumped the packet into the gravity teapot I use at work so I could try this tea. This is where I ran into my first problem. The sample size was pretty small. So I scaled back the size of cup I was planning to make and added my 190 degree-ish water and commenced steeping.
The resulting brew was a beautiful deep brown. But the flavor was a little light. Tones of nuttiness, raisins and a light floral overtone which may have been orange blossom, but nothing outstanding. It was a pleasant cup, but not an outstanding one. I did play around with the steeping parameters to try and improve it, and wasn’t able to get it to sing. I would like to get a larger sample someday and try playing with this tea again.
I found this at Whole Foods the other weekend, and remembered it was on my shopping list. It’s a little more tannic than I expected – and I even steeped it a shorter amount of time than they reccomended. I think I will pick more up and play with the parameters because I’m not really liking this cuppa as much as I hoped to.
A while ago, one of the local tea shops had a little class/preview session of the Tea Forte mixology set. You get 2-3 bags of each of their mixology teabags, two little steeping containers, and a recipe book.
I couldn’t resist. Booze + Tea? YAY!!!
My favorite of the set is the silk road chai – which I use to make white Russian chai drinks. Take the chai bag, steep in vodka, then mix with simple syrup and a milk product. Tres YUM.
Since I got this set, I’ve been experimenting with making a Earl Grey white Russian (and the testing process has been lovely) using other brands of tea. You can use any teabag to infuse in the liquor. And, if you go with Tea Forte, their teabags are strong enough to infuse multiple times (their literature leads you to think otherwise).
If you do not shun liquor, this may be something interesting to try. Their set is a nice way to start, but not necessary. Cheers!
Met my husband at the door this morning with a large pot of this wonderful tea. He’d gone to stand in line at MicroCenter to get my Christmas present (a laptop!) and it’s COLD around here. So a hot pot of tea was just the ticket.
And it was extra yummy this morning; apparently being made as a thank you makes the tea taste even creamier. :)
I am thankful. I’m thankful for my friends (both on-line and off), I’m thankful for my husband, my health, my pets, and many other things.
I am also thankful that two pots of this tea can help ease the memory of the awful, awful meals my mother in law subjects us to each holiday season.
(I am not thankful for the fact she can’t cook.)
I wandered through Whole Foods looking for that sparkling jasmine tea, and I couldn’t find it anywhere, but I did find this. What the heck! Looks interesting, so I thought I’d try it.
It’s nicely spicy, and isn’t sickly sweet like some pre-made chai tea can be. But I wasn’t too pleased with the chocolate – it felt like gilding the lily; unnecessary and too fussy.
These tea leaves are awesome. They look like they’ve been pressed in a book like wildflowers. Flat spiky leaves that smells delightfully like something like I’d like to have as a vegetable side dish with my dinner; well spiced green vegetables. Almost reminiscent of green beans. Once brewed up, the spicy green bean scent is enhanced tenfold.
The tea is very light colored, and as mentioned very, very fragrant. It’s both savory and sweet with hints of nuts and grass. The cup does leave some astringency to it, but just enough to make you want to drink more. Green teas can run the gambit of so tannic they make you pucker more than lemons all the way to spring water. This tea is slightly tannic but nowhere near the lemon end of the continuum.
This is a very enjoyable cup of tea – light, flavorful, fragrant, and just plain yummy.
Oh, so much better!
After my last review was so negative, I went back to the store and had the owner show me how to make this tea right. (And can I just say how awesome it is to be able to go and talk to the guy who owns the land where the tea is grown to talk to him about how to best brew it! HEE!) He showed me what I did wrong, and how to do it right.
Now, brewed properly, it’s not a sweet tea. It’s got bitter tones to it, but brewed right – they work.
No longer do I have visions of using it for cleaner; I’ve been actively craving this tea. And I know it’s got TONS of vitamin C, so for the cold I’ve got right now, it’s a very good thing.
Another of my Angrboda teas, and this one is a nice solid black blend. My first steep, even though I thought I shorted the time a little, seemed a bit over-tannic to me. The second steep is milder, but nicely mellow. Overall – a decent cuppa. (I would like to try this iced sometime.)
Need to start off the day with someone decent. So I turned to Dawn this morning. Yum…
Soothing yet energizing. :)
Ah, yum. I was cleaning out the tea cupboard today, and found I’m down to my last few cups of dear old Tiger. So today, I’m going to savor the heck out of this tea and then say goodbye.
My It’s all About the Leaf review
Blood oranges fascinate me. I know they are becoming more popular (like the surge of pomegranate flavors over the last 3 years), but they still seems exotic, unusual and downright fascinating. It’s the dark red color of the fruit’s flesh combined with the bright citrus flavor that just get my mouth watering!
My first impression is that this tea smells awesome; dark and sweet and tangy. And upon the first sip, the taste lives up to the smell. I brewed this up in my zarafina tea maker at work, and added half a packet of sweetener and the first cup disappeared within minutes. So did the second cup. And the third. Additionally, it withstood a second brewing quite well. Which is a little unusual for a highly flavored black tea. This helps in making this tea a good value for your money – always a bonus!
I’d recommend this tea to anyone who likes black teas and citrus flavors. It tastes great and is a good value.
A tale of woe, from It’s All About the Leaf
Dear Tea Companies,
Your packages’ brewing instructions matter.
Let me explain. I have run into many a situation where I’ll get some amazing sounding tea. I’ll read the instruction on the label, and do what it says. I have to trust that the company who gives me a tea, knows how to make it the best. It will look lovely, the leaf will smell lovely, and the brew will be the most beautiful color ever.
And then that first sip will make me cry. Wonky preparation details will take my little cup of heaven and make it undrinkable.
Such was the case with my first experience with Royal Garland by Samovar. Many of my on-line tea friends experience heighten states of being when they have Samovar teas. So I was really looking forward to the experience of this tea. And then I got it, and read the package where it called for 2 tablespoons of leaf being steeped in 5 ounces of water for 3 minutes. MEH?? I know some teas, especially the fluffier ones, break that 1 cup = 1 tsp golden rule, but this sounded really funky. And everything I’d read says that more leaf = shorter steep. This just couldn’t be right.
But, I decided to trust the tea company. The leaf was gorgeous and smelled amazing. But when I tried that brew… Oh, when I tried that poor abused cup of tea, I almost sprayed the room. It was horrid. Bitter, astringent, and just plain awful. And it was a goodly portion of my tin, since it had called for so much leaf. It honestly took me a good few months to think about trying the tea again.
But, luckily, this tea story has a happy ending. I, after asking around for suggestions of brewing parameters, played with brewing some additional cups. And I’ve gotten the brew to where it’s pretty darned good. It’s a light yellow color, with a clean and slightly astringent flavor with overtones of cashews. I can get multiple yummy steeps out of the same, much smaller, amount of leaves. This is a really nice oolong. Just don’t use the preparation techniques on the container!!
Another old friend is done. Goodbye old friend. You were a damn fine Earl Grey.
Alas my yummy friend, you are gone. You are gone, I have too much other tea, and my cupboard is too full. I may replace you, because you are an awesome tea. You remind me of autum leaves and are a great tea for the pre-winter months.
However, it will be a while until I could replace you. So long! Farewell. Be well until we see each other again.
Yum. Smoky, but not overly so. This doesn’t remind me of campfires or feel as strongly masculine as Caravan by A&D does, but has a nice husky flavor. I tried this both unsweetened and lightly sweetened. In both, there was a inherent sweet flavor at the end of the sip that very much complimented the smokeness of the brew.
Nice nice tea. I need to go find myself more Kusmi teas! (time for a Dean and Deluca run I think)
So, I made the mistake of reading the other reviews before drinking the tea and I was a little worried…. I’m the lucky person to get the rest of Angrboda ’s sample, and almost expected to see an actual grandmother in the tin once I opened it.
And wow – it definitely smelled like soap when I sniffed the leaf. Woo – SOAP. Soapy-soap-soap. But once brewed, I didn’t get that at all. In fact, I only vaguely got a floral taste. (Mind you, I did sweeten immediately – I didn’t even try unsweetened.)
I’m getting a diluted Earl Grey with a general floral undertone. Not bad, but not great.
Not Grandma, maybe Aunt Doris instead?
NOM! Ok, I’m liking this a lot. I’m not tasting the individual fruits (possibly because I’m also eating some of this amazing cranberry grapefruit sauce I made at the same time) but I’m really liking this. Smooth, fruity, flavorful.
I wish I had more so I could try this with cream and sweetner. Must find some of this!!
Interesting tea. I only really liked it when it was sweetened. But I didn’t get enough rose with all the fruit. The rose flavor only really popped out occasionally, and one time, popped out as a soapy flavor. Which I didn’t really enjoy.
Overall, not a bad tea, but not one I’ll reach for again.
Now, on to another Angrboda tea… :)
My palate for greens is getting more refined. I can taste in this tea the elements in other greens that people like very much.
It’s grassy, almost buttery, with a medium-high level of astringency, but it leaves a crisp, clean taste in your mouth. And there’s hints of sweetness.
I am enjoying this, but it’s also telling me that in general, I’m not a big fan of greens unless it’s in blended flavors. While this is quite good, I think I’d rather be drinking an oolong or Chinese red.
Another of my Angrboda teas.
Never had a darjeeling oolong before. I’m not a big fan so far. As Angrboda said previously, it’s got a bit of a sour tone to it, along with the grassy flavors and normal oolong-y ness.
I’m glad Iv’e gotten to try it, but I’m just not liking it much. Meh.
(thanks for the sample Angrboda!!)
Another of the teas that make it to my husband’s top iced teas list. And another he’s drunk me out of. I found this way too easy to oversteep and become made of tannin. He found it a pleasant iced tea. Maybe I’ll go get him some more to protect my better teas!
So, I’ve found a good way to help go through all the various tea samples and teas I’m not so wild about in my cupboard. I’ve managed to convince my hubby that iced tea from a jar is crap, and he needs to brew his own.
This mostly works. Unfortunately, he likes the black teas, and will go through teas I much more quickly than I expect him to. (And doesn’t always just stick to the teas I really don’t like!)
He really, really liked this tea as an iced tea.
Alas, Thomas, I hardly knew ye. However, the husband said you were a good man.