159 Tasting Notes

84
drank Coconut Pouchong by Golden Moon Tea
159 tasting notes

This is great stuff! There’s a freshness and authenticity to the fragrance. When I first opened the packet, all I could smell was coconut. “Where’s the tea?,” I thought. And this was odd, because if you look at the dry tea, all you see is leaves—it’s not like it’s a pile of coconut flakes or anything. After a few breaths, I could smell the fragrance of the tea itself start to creep in. What was interesting about the fragrance was how it changed when I steeped the tea: suddenly, the coconut disappeared and all I could smell was tea. Like I did with the dry leaves, I gave it a few moments and slowly the coconut began to creep in and mix with the tea. I was kind of fascinated by these aromatic acrobatics.

I’ve never had coconut cream pie. I’ve also never had any of the teas that attempt to recreate that flavour. But when I took a sip of this blend, I immediately thought of some sort of creamy, coconut treat. The tea has…substance to it, as if I’d added milk to it. As I was with the fragrance, I was fascinated by the tea itself. It’s really something, isn’t it, that we can combine a tea blend with water and end up with a light amber liquid that tastes…creamy! I don’t mean to make this sound like a science experiment, I just can’t get over this creaminess-without-cream effect.

Okay, so texture and consistency aside, this blend tastes great. It’s flavourful and balanced. It’s light in spite of the smooth, creamy consistency. I found myself sipping this one slowly to make the brew last longer, a clear indication that I need to add this to my shopping list. What I’d like to do, in the future, is try some different preparation methods: first, I’d like to try it iced; second, I’d like to blend it with a chocolatey tea—I love Mounds candy bars; and third, I’d like to make it kind of like chai, with (soy) milk instead of water.

Tea amount: 1 sample packet (I didn’t measure it out, sorry.)
Water amount: 16oz./~475mL
Additives: ~1 level tbsp Demerara sugar

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Good morning Nik! It IS a science experiment, it really is! All of life is Art, & it’s also one science experiment after another, especially in the areas of tea, food, & gardening!(At least, that’s how it is in my little world..) : )

Nik

Good morning! Indeed, you are correct, it is a branch of the science of nomology. =)

Bonnie

Ah, you were seduced by this tea. It happens to all of us. Which is why we are addicts (there are other colorful names I could use but won’t).

Azzrian

This is a good one!

K S

I have been following your Golden Moon reviews with interest. Their’s was some of the first loose leaf I ever tried. I couldn’t wait for your take on this one. I resteeped this nine times. I would have kept going but being new at tea I didn’t know I could keep the leaves overnight. This is a good one.

Terri HarpLady

I actually haven’t tried any of Golden Moon’s teas yet. I’ll have to add them to my list of companies to check out!

Nik

K S, that’s amazing. Nine times! Now I feel wasteful for disposing of the leaves after one steep. =) Terri, they’ve been kind of hit-or-miss with me, but I guess that’s true of most tea-tailers. I am glad that I got the massive sampler box; it’s been great to get a taste of so many of their teas.

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72

Green tea and 100%-natural-cherry-Juicy-Juice sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g…

Sometimes, I love being wrong. The “naturally & artificially flavoured” label on some of my other TCB&TL teas kind of turned me off, so I was a bit sceptical of this blend from the get-go. On top of that was the further concern, again based on prior experience, that the cherry fragrance and flavour would be very chemical in nature, or like cough syrup.

It turns out that I needn’t have worried. The tea is naturally flavoured. The fragrance of the dry leaves is two parts cherry Juicy Juice and one part green tea. The fragrance of the steeping tea is much more balanced, with the traditional “greenness” of green tea coming through clearly.

The flavour can best be described as “luscious.” It tastes, accurately, like a blend of cherry juice and green tea. Not maraschino cherries, not cherry cough syrup, just cherry juice. It’s a surprisingly lovely combination of flavours. As nice as it is brewed hot, though, I feel like it would be even nicer brewed cold. I’ll have to remember to put aside some of the bags so I can try this tea iced.

Tea amount: 2 bags
Water amount: 16oz./~475mL
Additives: ~1 level tbsp Demerara sugar

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Sounds YUMMY!!!

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70
drank Pure Rooibos by Twinings
159 tasting notes

For a bagged tea, this isn’t half bad. Presumably, it’s easier to get things “right” when it’s a straight-up tea, unflavoured and not a blend. This is your run of the mill rooibos: pleasant enough, but certainly nothing to write home about. I love rooibos in all its woodsy glory (maybe I was Elven in a previous life—my ears seem point enough for it), and I wanted something simple and caffeine-free, so I’m happy. (I’d have been happier had I not burnt my tongue, but hey, that’s not the tea’s fault. Clumsy Smurf, me.)

Tea amount: 2 bags
Water amount: 16oz./~475mL
Additives: ~1tbsp Demerara sugar

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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43
drank Kashmiri Chai by Golden Moon Tea
159 tasting notes

Let’s just call this one “Eau de Clove.” I steeped the sample (in its entirety) in water, and clove is all I could smell and taste. The taste didn’t linger like I wanted it to, either, and the dry mouth factor is on the high side. So ya, not a fan.

That said, I’m still tempted to put this on my shopping list and order it in a small size, because I feel like steeping it normally didn’t do it justice. I don’t have the patience to make proper chai, but I feel like if I did, it would have tasted much better and I would have rated it better. I am tempted to give it another chance.

Tea amount: Golden Moon sample size, one packet.
Water amount: 16oz./~475mL
Additives: 2 level tbsp. demerara sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
pyarkaaloo

thanks for the heads up! i love chai but hate clove! perhaps the greatest of ironies, but i just can’t stand it. and don’t put it anywhere near my rice..

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80
drank Tiramisu Treviso by Teavana
159 tasting notes

Back when I used to be able to tolerate caffeine, I used to like coffee (I never got into decaf, dunno why). I never liked the bitterness of coffee, though, just its flavour, so I’d always add a ton of sugar to make it palatable (I can just feel the coffee purists cringing). What I especially loved doing was going to the supermarket and buying these tiny sampler packets of flavoured coffee, much as I now love buying sampler packs of tea. One of my favourite flavoured coffees used to be amaretto coffee. Today, I have found this same coffee in caffeine-free, tea form.

Wait, what? Yep, that’s what I said. If I hadn’t opened the packet and steeped the tea myself, if I’d only inhaled the fragrance and tasted the brew, I would’ve sworn that I was drinking the same amaretto coffee I used to love so much. This rooibos blend smells and tastes exactly like it, and it’s lovely.

This blend should just be called Amaretto Coffea (see what I did there?). It has a bunch of other ingredients that I’m sure somehow work together to give the tea a more full-bodied flavour, but I couldn’t tell you whether it’d make any difference at all if they were absent. It tastes nothing whatsoever like tiramisu, but if you like the idea of amaretto coffee, you’ll nevertheless enjoy this blend.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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65

Does ginseng have a fragrance? I do not know. This CB&TL tea’s dry leaves have a pretty subtle fragrance. They have that fresh, clean, green tea smell, but much of green tea’s usually vegetal aroma is missing, perhaps because of the lemon.

I haven’t had the greatest luck with bagged teas, lately. It seems like no matter how long I steep it, it still ends up tasting pretty weak. This tea is no exception, and I used two bags for my 16oz. mug. The flavour is actually really pleasant, and I would have rated it better if only there were more of it.

In spite of how long I steeped the bags (I meant to do 5-6 minutes, but forgot and left it for about 12), there was no bitterness, which was nice. But the dry mouth factor is middle of the road, a little bit more than my comfort level.

This is one of those teas that I won’t mind finishing, but that I won’t be buying again.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more

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drank Rooibos Chai by Teavana
159 tasting notes

Just a quick note on second-steeping this tea. On the second steep, it’s very cinnamon-y (blech). It’s unfortunate that I don’t have a cinnamon-loving housemate who could enjoy the second steep. I’m going to have to remember this and stick to just the one steep from now on.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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drank Rooibos Chai by Teavana
159 tasting notes

Oh, gosh. Steepster tells me that I last logged this tea almost two years ago. How can that be? Honestly, this rooibos chai is like that tattered, reliable, security bankie that’s always there for you. I’ve had quite a bit of mediocriTEA (c’mon, I had to) of late and allergies have been kicking my butt, leaving me hacking like a cat to scratch my throat. All in all, things have been just that side of miserable.

I wanted a caffeine-free, flavoured tea, preferably something with ginger in it. I’ve been making my way through the Golden Moon sampler set, and the few samples I have left are caffeinated to varying degrees and none has ginger in it. For the first time in ages, then, I looked into my stash to see what else I have, and happily discovered a pouch of this tea.

Teavana don’t, in general, blow my mind with their teas, but sometimes they come up with some really great blends. One such blend is their rooibos chai. The dry leaves smell heavenly: rooibos, ginger and other spices, and, um…okay, this is a bit strange, but…a touch of Tiger Balm. I’m not really sure where that comes from, but I swear, I get a whiff of it every time I inhale. The fragrance of the steeped tea is all that, minus the Tiger Balm, which magically disappears.

Mmmm… Every sip of this tea is just what the doctor ordered. The ginger soothes the throat without burning, the rooibos calms the nerves, and delivers warmth to every part of one’s being. If you don’t like rooibos, stay away; but if you do, and you like chai, you should love this. Both rooibos and chai can be tasted and experienced separately, but together. Each retains its individual profile but complements the other perfectly.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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51
drank White Ginger by Golden Moon Tea
159 tasting notes

Golden Moon’s White Ginger tea is right splat in the middle of the road. Really, all it needs is some oomph to be a lovely, gingery, white tea. Sadly, it is oomphless. It smells like white tea, with a very slightly sweet note on the end that made me think of candied ginger. It tastes like white tea, with a very slightly gingery prickle in the throat as you swallow. If you like ginger, this tea will leave you far short of satisfied. You may be able to give it a bit of oomph by grating some ginger into your infuser, but with so many ginger teas out there, I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I love ginger! Most of the time if I want ginger tea, I just grate a bunch up & add hot water!

Nik

That’s the way to go, Terri. I do, however, also enjoy flavoured teas that have ginger in them as one of the ingredients. In this case, where it was just the tea and ginger, I would’ve been happier grating some ginger into it.

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19

I actually tasted this tea yesterday, but I still don’t really function very well on 11th September, so I wasn’t up to writing a tasting note.

There are only a few samples left from my Golden Moon sampler set. I’m very much a “save the best for last” kind of person, and the idea of white tea infused with melon was so enticing that I immediately put it aside so it could be one of the last ones I tasted.

Imagine my disappointment, then, when I cut open the packet, inhaled, and crinkled my nose in displeasure. The dry leaves smell like stale bread. I persisted, and after a few breaths I could discern a vaguely melon-y aroma. But when I reset my sense of smell and went back to the tea a couple of moments later, there it was again: stale bread. Unpleasant.

As off-putting as the tea’s aroma was, I couldn’t just pour it out without tasting it. And who knows, sometimes the taste is a surprise, y’know? Sadly, the tea tasted like a wilting flower. Other tasters have mentioned alcohol, overly ripe melon, a sort of fermented smell, but the one thing I took away from both the smell and taste of this tea is, “spoilt.” The smell of stale bread and the taste of a wilting flower’s sickly sweet smell. Blech.

As with the aroma, continuing to sip for a while improved the experience ever so slightly, but putting the mug down for a while and coming back to it after a few moments pushed the reset button so that I had to endure the whole stale bread, wilting flower thing all over again. That’s just too much work to try and enjoy a nice, hot cup of tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

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!

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