Golden Moon sample No. 29 of 31. The end is so near, and I’m making a push to finish my samples in a fit of completion compulsion.

I’ve been looking forward to this. I haven’t had a non-green, non-flavored oolong in a while. I’m excited to revisit one.

The dry leaves are multicolored: dark brown, lighter brown, some green and some silver. They have a rich, dark, roasty nose that reminds me of the Formosa oolongs from the Upton sampler. Very nice. Toasty/nutty. Steeps to a deep, golden yellow.

The aroma is as I expected from my earlier experiences with different Formosa oolongs. Fruity. Nutty.

It’s very tasty, though I’m not sure I’m getting everything described, at least not in the first steep. I’m not getting chestnuts so much as something that is almost like a Brazil nut; I’m not getting dates so much as something that is almost like apricot. Floral? Some, but I can’t be sure it’s orange blossom. I am not sure I could identify the scent of an orange blossom. If it is citrusy, I’m not getting citrus. Cedar? Well, the roastiness does have something in common with wood, but… hmm.

Second steep: 3 mins. Deeper gold liquor, closer to amber. A very obvious floral note to the aroma, which must be the orange blossom. It’s even slightly orangy smelling, but only very slightly. Flavor is deeper and more complex. I taste citrus! And a nutty/fruity/woody flavor, like you get from sucking on a peach pit, but without bitterness.

Third steep: 4 mins. Still an amber liquor, but in other respects, starting to fade. The citrus/floral note to the aroma is more obvious this time around but against a background that seems a little flat. There is more wood in the flavor this time, and less suggestion of fruit and nut.

I feel like I should try a fourth steep, but I’m afraid to. This seems already to be on the descrescendo.

I like it. I’m not sure I like it more than the Formosa Oolongs I have from Upton though admittedly I haven’t tasted those in a while. I’m going to get another sample instead of a full tin at this point and taste some other oxidized oolongs in the meantime to see how this one rates against them before I commit to a full tin.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 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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