drank Imperial Formosa by Golden Moon Tea
244 tasting notes

This is the NYT crossword puzzle of teas. What I mean by that is that everything is there, right in front of me, but I just don’t get it. =)

They make it sound so grand, don’t they? Let’s see how my experience compares to the expectations created by the description:

“Mesmerizing, silver-tipped leaves…” – Absolutely. I never (okay, almost never) notice the quality/attributes of the leaves I’m steeping. I’m generally as oblivious of them as I am of a film’s score and soundtrack while I’m watching it: that is to say, completely. But these actually warranted a second look. They seem delicate, a bit like very fine yarn.

“…with a nectary amber liquor.” – I would say honey more than amber, but okay.

“A supple bouquet of orange blossoms…” – Um…what? [looks under a leaf] Where’s that hiding, then?
“…and chestnuts…” – Eh? You’re having a laugh, surely.
“…gentle hints of dates…” – Well, maybe. I did occasionally detect an underlying sweetness that could, if one were feeling quite generous, be attributed to dates. Maybe.
“…musky cedar…” – Finally! Finally something I can sort of detect. A sort of smoky, roasty kind of thing. Woodsy kind of thing. Not in a rooibos way, but like in a forest kind of way. In a go-chop-some-wood-for-the-fireplace kind of way. It’s not overpowering, but it’s definitely there.

So, did I dislike it? No, no, not at all. The flavour isn’t bad, but after my BLAMINYOFACE introduction to lapsang souchong, I’m learning that that smoky roasty thing in a tea doesn’t really do it for me, especially if it’s the star of the show. Golden Moon’s description of this makes it sound like it’s not really meant to be the star of the show, but that’s how it worked out for me. What worries me is how many folks said that this description is spot-on. That means that my tea palate is even less developed than I’d hoped it’d be by now. In any case, I like this well enough to drink the rest of it, but not well enough get more of it, or even re-steep this sample.

Tea amount: 1 sample packet
Water amount: 16oz./~475mL
Additives: After a few unadulterated sips, ~1 level tbsp Demerara sugar.
Caffeine: Seems to me to be pretty high. I’ve not drunk much of the tea from my mug, but am already exhibiting some of the symptoms of too much caffeine (my tolerance for it is extremely low).
Dry mouth factor: 6/10. It’s not very bad, but it’s a little bit more than middle of the road.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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2012.10.07: I hear people like to understand other people’s ratings, so here’s a loose guide:

01-29: Dear God, why.
30-49: I’ll finish this cup, I guess, but no more.
50-59: Meh.
60-69: Decent. Maybe I can blend it with something else and make it better.
70-79: Heeey, this is quite good!
80-89: I love it, but I’m not in love with it.
90-100: Permanently resident in my Happy Place.

Update: I have steeped, and it was good. =] Still a tea-ophyte, though.

This is a tea site, so I feel like “well, I’m Indian” should be enough of an introduction. Because, I mean, it’s kind of in my genes, right? But the fact of the matter is that I’m an absolute tea-ophyte.

I’ve just discovered a world beyond Celestial Seasonings. I’ve just discovered “sachets” instead of “normal” tea bags and bought my first loose tea sampler. I don’t get the whole water temperature and steep time thing yet, nor that if I want to get a yixiang tea pot, I’d need one for each type of tea. I have this infuser ball thing, but I haven’t used it yet.

Don’t cringe, but right now I’m still just boiling water and pouring it over a teabag, adding some sugar, and drinking a nice, hot cuppa. I’d like to learn more, I think, and I’d like to train my palate. I figure participating in this community is the best way to do that.

So ya. Hi!


South Jersey, US



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