Golden Moon sample No. 13 of 31. Have been eyeing this since I pulled it out of the basket a couple of days ago and waiting for work from home Wednesday when I have all my necessary tea accoutrements near me to give it a go.

I’m pretty sure this is my first Irish Breakfast. So I don’t have anything to compare it to on that score. Also, I think this one should probably steep a bit longer than I steeped it for full effect. That said…

They weren’t kidding about “the beautiful golden tips highlighted against deep black leaves.” Though I’d say the leaves were more brown than black and straight in shape, the tips are huge and an amazing contrast in color as well as in texture. The nose of the dry leaves is roasty, even slightly smoky, and seriously malty in a Guinness Stout sort of way. I am guessing that that is what characterizes Irish Breakfast, though I haven’t yet looked it up.

The aroma after steeping is sweet, sugary, definitely malty and interestingly complex. Maybe I’m just suggestible today, but they told me there were cherries and I found cherries, they told me there were prunes and I found prunes, they told me there was honey and I found honey. I didn’t really find hazlenut, though there was something I could call nutty. In addition, I detected a chocolate note and a caramel note. The liquor is a very lovely deep tawny red-orange-brown.

The flavor is smooth, sweet but not too sweet, with some deep, fruity notes. I definitely tasted prunes, which made me smile. The maltiness isn’t as great in the taste as in the aroma, but it is definitely the backdrop. I’d like to steep it stronger and see what that does. I was a little distracted by work (heavens to betsy!) as I was drinking, but since this is definitely tasty enough to enjoy again, I’m looking forward to exploring its mysteries further.

If breakfast blends are to tea as black is to shoes, soon my cupboard will be mimicking my closet. I don’t even remember how many pairs of black shoes I have. [hangs head in shame]

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

There’s no shame in having a discerning taste in both teas and shoes! ;)

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There’s no shame in having a discerning taste in both teas and shoes! ;)

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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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