Imperial Formosa

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
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195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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42 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is the first time I can remember that the flavors described on a tea have represented almost perfectly the flavors that I get when I sip it. I know that the gap between what’s suggested and...” Read full tasting note
  • “Sipdown no. 57 for the year 2014 and also the end of revisiting the handful of Golden Moon samples I couldn’t decide about the first time through. I will say that although this sample was tiny...” Read full tasting note
  • “Golden Moon Sampler Tea #30 Almost at the end of my Golden Moon sampler! Basically took the entire month to go through it. Which is a pretty good pace, I think. My mom called right after I set...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’m afraid that I may have prepared this horribly wrong. My sample was the tiniest sample I’ve ever seen. I don’t have a scale, so try to picture the length and width of 4 toothpicks laying...” Read full tasting note

From Golden Moon Tea

Rare. Exotic. A Reward For The Curious and Adventurous.
Mood: Introspective, scholarly
Time: Anytime – in the study or garden courtyard
Cuisine: Fruit, chocolate, or mild cakes and cookies.
Price Per Cup: .31+
Caffeine: Low

Rarely – maybe once a generation – will a tea blend come along with flavors so rich and pure. Close your eyes. Concentrate. You’ll note the subtle wash of dates, chestnuts, cedar, and orange blossoms. It’s a constant reward for those willing to give it a chance.

The fanciest silver-tipped leaves provide a remarkable durable blend good for many infusions without a loss of flavor. It’s a fine value if you’re willing to step out on the skinny end of the branch and reap the awards of risk. Why not add it to your cart today?

About Golden Moon Tea View company

Golden Moon is dedicated to offering outstanding, whole-leaf teas of the greatest quality and finesse. All Golden Moon Teas are hand-plucked and meticulously crafted to enhance leaf character, aroma, color, clarity, body, complexity, and above all, flavor.

42 Tasting Notes

2815 tasting notes

Strangely I’ve had this sample for a while and forgot to log it or finish the rest of it.

I am a fan of dark oolongs although I was a bit undewhelmed by some of the things I tried from Golden Moon. I thought this was very nice. It’s smooth and nutty and seems very clean with a lingering sweetness. I don’t know if I am getting orange blossoms but there is something slighty floral. The color and flavor are reminiscent of sugary toast. :) This is pretty tasty and I would definitely consider purchasing more if I was going to place a new order with GM.

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411 tasting notes

From It’s all About the Leaf –

I know I tend to repeat myself on this point, but I really adore that first whiff of a new tea. The myriad of preparation techniques and additives means that each new tea is an olfactory adventure. Or, more succinctly – dang, they can smell great! And this one – wow. Aromas of dark sweet fruit, like raisins or dates combined with malty, yeasty overtones. It reminded me of whole wheat raisin bread in the first few sniffs.

So I eagerly dumped the packet into the gravity teapot I use at work so I could try this tea. This is where I ran into my first problem. The sample size was pretty small. So I scaled back the size of cup I was planning to make and added my 190 degree-ish water and commenced steeping.

The resulting brew was a beautiful deep brown. But the flavor was a little light. Tones of nuttiness, raisins and a light floral overtone which may have been orange blossom, but nothing outstanding. It was a pleasant cup, but not an outstanding one. I did play around with the steeping parameters to try and improve it, and wasn’t able to get it to sing. I would like to get a larger sample someday and try playing with this tea again.

190 °F / 87 °C

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257 tasting notes

Golden Moon Tea Sampler #17 or thereabouts selected at random

I think that this is a fundamentally excellent tea. I did indeed get the orange/date aroma. It drinks up as a bit woodsy and fruity.

It’s something to consider for a full purchase but right now I’m a bit ambivalent. I only used a 1/4 cup of water—two ounces—because I had such a small sample. I’ll report back if a second infusion provides any great insight.

SECOND infusion: Not much joy here. As Randy Jackson says, “It’s a’ight”.

5 min, 15 sec

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564 tasting notes

Another sipdown! (125) I ran out of things to steep tea in, so I got a little creative and made this in one of my teapots. Oolongs can only benefit from spreading out, right? I definitely understand the date and chestnut claims, and I can smell the cedar strongly, but there’s also something that smells like fresh-baked bread. It’s lovely.

The taste of this is delightful. It is bready and woody like the smell suggests, and then that gives way to an almost boozy note—it’s like what I wish beer tasted like. Still bready but almost fermented. The sip ends with the date note, and it’s strong and delicious. Another one I would buy—oh, my poor wallet.

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1627 tasting notes

AGH! I totally wrote up a whole review on this tea, and of course my internet poops out, sending me into no go territory. I refresh the page, and poof. My post is gone. WAH! >_< Anyhow, I don’t want to go on about this. I’ll try to remember what I wrote. But I do remember how it tastes. This tea is good.

Liquor – deep honey brown
Scent – strong nutty and light florals
Taste – nutty and floral with a hint of sweetness. There is some hint of astringency but it isn’t so bad for me. I assume you can add some sugar to this, but I didn’t try. It didn’t need it.

Overall, a good, forgiving tea. Withstood around 3 steeps. I accidentally left the second steep for 8 min, and the tea was still good. A good way to celebrate passing BLS and all.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I hate when that happens. I also always accidentally hit the back button deleting what I just wrote – haha.


I’ve made it a habit to always highlight and copy what I’ve written if I have to refresh a page anywhere. Some sites can ‘remember’ what was written, but I tend to not take any chances. I’ve had too many times of having to re-write something that sometimes was agonisingly difficult to write in the first place.


Angrboda – so smart… I should start doing that :) Caitlin – hahaha i know!! I sometimes do that too! :)

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237 tasting notes

This one is really making me question my understanding of Oolongs. The dry leaf smells innocuous enough, and the liquor is an unassuming clear medium-brown. Surprises await though, first in the scent. I’m getting a mix of, strangely enough, popcorn and mulch in this one; could that be right? The first sip confirms it. I’ve never had anything quite like it, and can’t figure out if it’s just an acquired taste that I haven’t yet acquired, or if there’s something amiss with this particular batch. After a few sips, the aftertaste is particularly unpleasant, so I don’t think I’ll be finishing this one off. Too bad! I’m going to leave off rating this one, as I really think it could be an off batch.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Wow, that does seem like it was an off batch. I went back and re-read my note and still couldn’t really recall this one. I think that I used the term “musky cedar.” I don’t think that I did an initial rinse on the leaves, but maybe this one needs it. Apparently I did 4 steeps and got some sweet, but overall I think that this was just okay. :(


I don’t recall this one being that different from other darker oolongs. I agree it sounds like an off batch. Or an off taste bud day. ;-)


It’s fascinating to me how taste is so subjective, so much about the relationship between the taster and the tasted. Yet despite the fact that we all come from different backgrounds, some of the teas we taste still rise towards the top and some drift towards the bottom of the rating scale.

So many teas, so little time to try them all!

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409 tasting notes

Golden Moon Sample #?/31

This was another generous sample, around 3.5g, so I used a generous 1.9 in my 4oz pot. The leaves are large and, yes, silvery; they look lovely steeping. Formosa oolongs aren’t usually my favorite, but this one is impressing me. A little bit astringent, but very flavorful. G pronounces it starchy, savory, and nutty. Not getting any orange blossom yet, but maybe on the 2nd steep.

2nd steep (5 minutes) was probably the best, though 3rd at 7 was also good. Both were smoother than the 1st.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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828 tasting notes

I love oolong tea, but for some reason I don’t ever buy any for my cupboard. I am particularly glad that there are several oolong options in the Golden Moon Tea sampler, and am hoping to come across one that blows me away so I’ll have one in mind to order. (That being said, anyone have any favorite oolongs out there??)

So, today’s Golden Moon Tea sample was Imperial Formosa Oolong. Yum. It’s pretty much exactly what the description says. It’s sweeter than I expected, had a distinct citrus smell and taste, and it’s woodsy as well. Ricky made a comparison to Houjicha, which I completely agree with.

It’s good, but not one that I’m craving, and won’t be the oolong that I order more of. Still glad to start the day with it, though! Pictures here:

5 min, 0 sec

Tie Guan Yin is an all time favourite of mine when we’re talking plain oolongs. Da Hong Pao too. For flavoured I had a raspberry oolong from AC Perch’s in Copenhagen which I’ll definitely stock up on again later on, and I have half a sample of a lemon oolong from Nothing But Tea too. The sample I got from there are enough for two rounds of my small pot, so I’m saving the other half for later. Lemon is a good flavour for a green oolong, I’ve found.


Thanks, Angrboda!! This is awesome… and now I have a bunch of other oolongs to seek out! Definitely a good thing! :)

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911 tasting notes

Overall I’m not a huge fan of dark oolongs since they always remind me of cigar smoke but it’s in my sample basket so I’ll give it a shot!

This one so far is pretty typical of my experience with them. There is a sweet and somewhat smoky smell that makes think of cigar smoke. Not bad cigar smoke really. But cigar smoke. The taste is where this is different, though. It doesn’t taste like cigar smoke. Instead, it’s more of a fruity sweet. I can’t figure out what type of fruit but maybe peach? It’s not any of the things they list in the company’s tea notes – in fact I can’t pick up any of those. Yeah, even trying to pick those things out, I can’t find them. But it’s still good. Smooth, sweet and a little roast-y.

I wasn’t anticipating liking this very much but this is enjoyable. Probably a high 3/5 stars… not quite a 4 but it’s pretty close and might be bumped with subsequent steeps. We shall see.

ETA: The second steep turned out to be more cigar sweet even in taste so this one stays at a 3star. Minor adjustment to the rating made.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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132 tasting notes

I am still new to the world of oolongs, but they are fast becomming my new fave! This is a very woodsy/musky tasting tea (but in a good way!) and I can taste the cedar notes, which I just love. The date flavor hits the very back of my tongue to make itself known and then if I really concentrate I can pick up an ever so slight floral finish. This will be put on my “must buy list”, I wish I had more than just the sample that came in Golden Moons sampler pack since I now want to make a whole pot!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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