Golden Moon TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I don’t quite know what to think of this. The dry leaf has a very strong pear flavor, together with something rather astringent, like vinegar. During brewing, the honey and pear scents are overwhelming, and smell delicious. The tea has a strong pear/honey scent and much milder flavor, but the tea is . . missing, somehow. Possibly I need to use more leaf, but I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that from the scent. I’m wondering if mixing it with another plain black tea might provide a more satisfying cup, or if slightly sweetening it would reinforce the flavor.
Life is starting to become busy again but I’m not sure I’m ready for it! Winter session Shakespeare class for one more week and then the regular semester starts. And I finally have a job. At a coffee shop that sells Rishi tea! I’m kind of excited about that. Maybe I can get a discount or something.
In any case, I’m fully stocked up on tea for at least the next couple of weeks. Orders came in from Red Blossom Tea Co, Den’s Tea, and the famed Golden Moon sampler (so I can finally ship my swap box to you, takgoti! Sorry for the wait, it’ll be shipped tomorrow!). There’s almost too much to take it all in and I’m enjoying it very much.
Last night I pored over The Merchant of Venice and drank somewhere in the neighborhood of half a gallon of tea while doing so. I haven’t done the homework & tea thing since high school! It was great.
Anyway, I’m slowly making my way through the Golden Moon sampler and it was either Vanilla Jasmine or Tippy Earl Grey tonight and my housemate chose Vanilla Jasmine so here we are. The dry leaf has a very warm vanilla scent to it. Not too sweet but just nice and rich vanilla. While brewing the scent was lovely. Light jasmine robed in vanilla, not competing but complimenting nicely.
The flavor is full and robust. It’s dominated by vanilla but with nice floral jasmine notes throughout. The vanilla flavor is wonderful. Rich and creamy and the overall flavor of the tea is perfectly balanced. My housemate loved it too.
I’m not thrilled by this one. I really , really like Earl Grey, but I’m not liking the lavender in this blend. I would drink this if it was served to me, but I wouldn’t seek it out. The bergomot gets kind of lost. It’s as if you planted a citrus tree and a field of lavender grew up around it. IMO, the lavender just doesn’t belong there.
Other people liked it a lot. I just don’t “get it.”
Here we go with my first dark oolong!
Well, I was badly burned by my last oolong and my temperature problems. I have a little bit more of the Orchid Temple that I scortched, but I wanted to try something different. So I pulled out Imperial Formosa, the darker oolong of the two in the Golden Moon sampler.
I opened the little packet, and inhaled. Hrm. Interesting! The smells are not unlike black tea, but it’s lighter. I’m getting somewhat roasted notes, but there’s a sweetness underlying it.
I was more careful with temperature this time around, so I shot for 190 but ended up somewhere closer to 185. Can I talk for a second about how pretty oolongs are? Of course I can. This is my review. The leaves are a gorgeous chestnut brown, twisted and accented with silvery bits. Very, very pretty.
So I tossed a very heaping tsp into my pot, and steeped this one up. Oolongs are so pretty in the pot. This one slowly, slowly unfurled, and the water began to change color at a snail’s pace. Many of the leaves were sort of like in suspended animation; neither floating to the top of the pot, nor lingering at the bottom. Just hovering on invisible jet packs. Very pretty and cute.
When it came time for the pour, I was actually getting quite excited. The wet leaves here smell fruity-roasty now, and the light amber infusion… okay, it’s mouth-watering. There’s only the faintest hint of smoke, but beyond that, I’m getting buttery fruits. Something akin to apricots and peaches, with some date notes.
So I took the first sip and… oolong success! This one is complex and yummy and there’s something for each part of my mouth. The brunt of the flavor is fruity goodness. The stonefruit flavor really comes on strong and sweet, with a high nectar-like note. Surprisingly, there’s somewhat of a mouthfeel here, that evokes those little fruit cups filled with peaches that I used to eat when I was a kid. Sort of like drinking the liquid left behind (which was always the best part, to me).
The roasty notes are very light, and if I suck the infusion in at high speeds ala wine tasting, I get a hint of a cedar-like feeling from the roastiness. I can’t find the orange blossom in here, but I think I understand the chestnut tasting note listed by Golden Moon. It’s sort of the lingering sweetness left on my tongue, that’s savory-sweet similar to the feeling left by chestnuts. It’s not really the taste of chestnuts, but the tastes associated with chestnuts. If that makes any sense at all.
The only complaint I have is that there really is a lot of astringency here. It’s associated with sweet flavors, which is awesome, but after several sips in a row, my tongue sort of feels stuck to the roof of my mouth.
I’m really loving this one. If it can hold up to multiple steeps, we might just have a winner on our hands. I’ll probably rate this one high anyway, just because the first steep is really very delicious!
My mom tasted this, and she went, “Ooh, this is delicious! Fruity!” So there is approval on multiple levels here!
Yay for good oolong experiences!
Second Steep (5:00, 185)
The second steep came out a teeny bit darker than the first and the infusion didn’t smell as wonderful. Not that is smells bad, it just doesn’t really have as strong and delicious of a fragrance. There are some roasty notes mixed with the faintest wiff of fruit, but it’s not anything to get excited about.
The taste this time is definitely weaker than before, and definitely skewed towards a general sweet taste instead of a taste coming from any sort of fruit-related yummyness. The roasty taste is somewhat mesquite and interesting, but it’s not very strong. I’m not sure how much longer these leaves are going to last on me. I think I’ll try one more infusion and see how it goes.
Third Infusion (5:00, 185)
I’m finally tasting that cigar-like sweetness that Auggy mentioned in her review, and it’s sort of a deterrent from continuing. The flavors are also getting really weak and muted, and the sugary taste is too much in the forefront to be enjoyable. At least there’s no astringency! But there’s also nothing interesting, either. The body is thinner overall. I’m going to stop here.
So lackluster subsequent steeps, but the first was absolutely delicious. I’m not sure how to rate this, since oolongs are supposed to sustain over multiple steeps, but I really liked that first infusion.
Another tea from my sample pack. I’m not experienced enough to be able to analyze this tea and describe the subtle nuances of taste that it provides.
If I was going to high tea at the finest of tea houses, this is the black tea I would expect. Very English tasting to me. Now I have to pick between it and the Irish Breakfast. Well, when I have room for more tea, that is! Maybe the best thing would be to keep ordering the sample pack?
Smells like… alcohol. Well, at least the dry leaf does. Add water and it smells sweeter. Not nearly as caustic. I really did not enjoy the smell of the dry leaf and I’m anxious to see how this one plays out.
At first sip I definitely taste the melon. Honeydew and cantaloupe. Lovely. After that the taste kind of diminished and takes a background part to the white tea which is soothing and quiet. A very pleasant tea. I wish there was a bit more melon flavor but it’s good. My first few sips were without any sweetener. I added some unrefined sugar after that but I wouldn’t recommend doing so. The tea took on a sort of “diet” flavor which I did not understand but it became decidedly less pleasant.
I might someday purchase more of this. It’s definitely the better of the two flavored whites I’ve had – the other being Adagio’s tangerine white.
Started to crave a cup of this when I saw it was the Steepster Select and so I made a cup as soon as I got home from work. This is such a wonderful tea! The Pouchong and coconut blend so well together, neither one overpowering the other. They just dance together in perfect harmony.
Yummy flavor. I followed the label instructions and got a very light golden tea. Nice anise flavor, especially lightly sweetened with some agave nectar. The second infusion was very good as well.
I was hoping that this could replace my licorice without having the same worries about blood pressure, etc, so I googled start anise side effects. Did you know there are two types of star anise? There is a Chinese star anise, which is used as a flavoring, and a Japanese star anise, which is used solely for decoration. The Japanese star anise is deadly. AND you can’t tell which one you have by looking at the dried seed pods. The FDA issued an advisory against consuming teas containing star anise in 2003. Chinese star anise is also used in the manufactor of tamiflu. All very interesting stuff. It tastes good enough that I’ll ignore that FDA advisory.
My Monday morning tea today is this very nice blend. The flavor is smooth and malty, a little sweet and can be taken without milk just fine if you don’t steep it past 2 or 2 1/2 minutes. It’s a very enjoyable flavor with deep amber color. My can is getting low and may be soon time to reorder. I recommend this tea!
So I’ve been drinking a fair amount of this over the past couple of weeks but haven’t got around to writing it up yet. But as it’s today’s Select, I suppose I should delay no longer.
The coconut (which, as others have said, is more like a toasted coconut) is definitely more noticeable than the tea when you open up the canister and smell it. This mellows somewhat as you steep the tea: no one would mistake this for tea-less coconut water, but no one would fail to notice the coconut either.
Anyhow, I like it and have been drinking it with some regularity.