Golden Moon Sampler No. 5 of 31, selected at random.

Wow, back to back selection of the teas Ewa said she was dreading. [Twilight Zone Music]

I’m also dreading this one, not because I don’t like coconut, but because when I looked up Pouchong I learned that it is between a green tea and an oolong. I’ve only had one flavored oolong which was good, but I’ve never met a flavored green tea that I really really liked, with the exception of the Samovar Moorish Mint. I really wanted to like this one. It seems as though it has many fans, so I was hopeful as I started out.

The dry leaves are medium length, twisty, a dark to medium green with yellow highlights and smell like toasted coconut. It’s like someone put a maccaroon in this tea! (I heart maccaroons, so now I’m even more hopeful.) There is also a pronounced floral note. I looked at the ingredients to make sure there wasn’t a flower scent in there as well, but if there is it isn’t listed.

My first steep didn’t go particularly well. I decided to make this in a small teapot, and I thought I’d use just the amount of water that I’ve been using in my tastings of these samples — but that amount of water wasn’t sufficient to cover the leaves. So I had to add a bit more. I am concerned that it was too much. The liquor was a very pale yellowish color, almost colorless, and the aroma and flavor were buttery with a hint of coconut but not a great deal of depth to the flavor.

For the second steep, I used a Finum filter and steeped in the glass. This definitely made a difference in strength. The color was deeper; still pale, but very definitely yellow. The aroma was milky/buttery, floral and toasty/maccaroony.

The first, too-watery tasting made the buttery note primary, and a little on the weak side. But the second is much more satisfactory. Yes! I can taste coconut! It’s a mild, mellow flavor, but it is there. And now I’m kicking myself for not getting this right on the first steep as I can only imagine it should have been a far more accessible flavor the first time through.

I’m thinking I have to order more of this and keep working at it until I find the steeping sweet spot. If and when I do, I expect this will be extraordinary and deserve additional points.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became less appealing to me — but I still enjoy nicely done blends where the base doesn’t taste like hamster cage chips. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation. These days, I’ve been drinking primarily green tea during weekdays after my first cup of coffee. On weekends, I’ve been drinking only tea.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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