drank Snow Sprout by Golden Moon Tea
1280 tasting notes

Golden Moon sample No. 11 of 31. Plucked from the basket at random.

I may have used too much water in steeping these leaves. I had about enough for .9 cups in the sample. I played a little with water levels over the course of several steeps.

The dry leaves are long, and silvery green. Snow seems an apt description; it’s like you’re seeing the green of the leaves through a light dusting of white. I didn’t notice any fuzziness to them but I was a little rushed as it was right before dinner so I didn’t get to do a relaxed examination of the leaves. For me it wasn’t an obvious snow, certainly nothing near Christmas tree flocking. Rather, it was all in gradations of color.

When I first started with this one, I thought this was going to be the story of the tea that wasn’t there. The dry leaves don’t have a strong nose. It took a while to get my olfactory muscle memory working enough to detect something describable. When I finally could smell something I could put into words, the words that came were “salty green.” Like the plants in a marsh leading into an ocean. The saltiness also had a sharpness. I know this will sound weird, but it reminded me of the smell of the brown powder in Lipton Onion Soup Mix.

The liquor was virtually clear. It was only a slight green tinge that kept this from being the invisible tea. Aroma-wise, also nothing very strong. Dew, maybe pollen. The borderline between green and floral.

The taste was similarly subtle but surprisingly complex. It took several steeps for me to get a handle on and appreciate the taste. I took it through four steeps. The complexity gradually started to show itself; at the end of four steeps, I wished I had more of this so I could follow where it led.

Here is what I tasted, in no particular order: a light film of butter, a grainy nuttiness (like the kind you find in “Grape Nuts”), a little whiff of salt, a sweet spicy/salty flavor that reminded me of sauteed leeks at times and at others of sauteed scallions. Then I read the notes here and saw macademia nuts. Yeah, I can see that too; it’s a sweet, mild, buttery, salty nuttiness that I associate with those.

After steeping, the leaves looked the color of overcooked asparagus or green beans, a faded olive green. The silver was gone, but they were still pretty.

So yeah, I want to give this another try. It’s surprisingly interesting and even a little challenging, and like good literature, I think there is a lot more there than I found on a first “read.”

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

As usual, wonderfully descriptive tasting note! White teas, for me, taste “soupy” too. I love the Onion Soup Mix reference!


Thanks! No idea where that scent comes from in this tea. It’s reallly fun when something you totally don’t expect shows up in what you’re smelling or tasting.

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As usual, wonderfully descriptive tasting note! White teas, for me, taste “soupy” too. I love the Onion Soup Mix reference!


Thanks! No idea where that scent comes from in this tea. It’s reallly fun when something you totally don’t expect shows up in what you’re smelling or tasting.

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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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