Golden Moon sample No. 7 of 31. You guessed it — randomly picked.

This is going to be interesting. It’s my first loose leaf gunpowder green tea. I’m enjoying looking at the little rolled up leaves as I haven’t been able to see them before when I’ve had bagged gunpowder. They’re nestled in and among the brighter green, flat mint leaves.

It’s also going to be interesting because of my love affair with Samovar Moorish Mint, the only flavored green tea that has my number so far.

Smells minty (duh) and the dusky smell of the tea adds some depth and darkness. I’m reminded of Girl Scout thin mints. I heart Girl Scout thin mints! This bodes well.

It steeps to a golden yellow with a hint of green. A dark champagne color. The minty aroma has become duskier, greener and lost its thin mint quality. It’s more like a warmed-up mint cordial.

The minty note is fresh and clean, and lands softly on a surprisingly mellow gunpowder base. I expected it to be more pungent than it is. I’d describe it as a cross between wheatgrass and parsley with maybe a little moss thrown in. It’s not quite sweet, but it’s not overpowering or bitter either. The tea feels soft and velvety, and the finish is sweet with a persistent minty freshness.

It’s a nice mint. I’d drink it if I couldn’t get the Samovar and I wanted a mint tea instead of a tisane, but it isn’t a replacement for the Moorish Mint.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Mmmm…thin mints… ::drools::

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Mmmm…thin mints… ::drools::

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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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