Second to last of the original bagged tea splurge left to write about. Woo hoo!

I wanted to drink this after the White Nectar Osmanthus Spring because the Moonlight Spice is, as the name suggests, heavily spiced and I feared it would influence my palate if I tasted in the other direction.

The white tea in this one is identified on the packaging as Pai Mu Tan (aka white peony). In my admittedly v. limited knowledge obtained from reading books about tea, I would suspect this is the base for the White Nectar as well as it seems to be less costly than other white teas that contain only buds.

When I sniff the bags, the dominant smell is the cinnamon/orange/clove “Constant Comment” combo, followed by ginger, followed by nonspecific citrus. The liquor’s color is quite dark and orange/brown, almost like that of a standard black tea. Its aroma is mostly cinnamon and some clove. It reminds me of the smell of a spiced “tea” my mother used to make for my father when he had colds. I am fairly sure there was no tea in it at all, just cinnamon, clove and perhaps some other spices.

The tea has a slightly tart taste, probably from the combination of the citrus and hibiscus. I note that it contains dried lime, which may be the same lime from the Dry Desert Lime tisane and which is quite tart. The Moonlight Spice is much less tart than that. I can taste cinnamon and orange, and a little ginger. I can taste the tea only slightly, and I may only be able to taste it because I have the taste of the White Nectar still resident in my personal RAM from the earlier tasting.

It’s not bad, but it isn’t something I think I’d choose if I were going to choose a flavored white tea. The flavors are pretty strong for the delicacy of white tea to stand up to. And if I were going to choose tea with this spice profile, I would likely choose one with a black tea base, a tisane or chai. I wouldn’t cast that in stone, though. This could be a good medicinal choice for when a small amount of caffeine would provide a boost and when black tea is too strong or rich.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 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 far less appealing to me. 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.

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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