Golden Moon Vanilla MintName: Vanilla Mint

Brand: Golden Moon

Type: Blend of green and black teas, flavored

Form: Loose leaf

Review: I confess that this tea had me at first sniff. The blend of crisp mint and rich vanilla reminded me of the “Mint Meltaway” candies of my youth. I couldn’t wait for the tea to infuse.

I wasn’t disappointed. The lovely vanilla/mint nose continued in the infused cup. This tea, with a base of black and gunpowder green teas, medium-light in body and infused to the sort of rich gold-green that is typical of gunpowder greens. This is a strongly flavored tea, with the mint dominating, though the vanilla provides a substantial backnote. I detected the gunpowder tea in this blend: Its strong, roasted notes added some substance. I am not so sure about the black tea, however, and wonder if it was added to give the tea enough body to sustain its strong flavors.

Incidentally, Golden Moon’s Vanilla Mint was good for a second steeping, and if anything, the toned-down mint notes made it even tastier than the first infusion.

Preparation Tips: Golden Moon recommends using “freshly boiled water” to prepare this tea. My own suggestion is to bring the water temperature down a notch, maybe to between 200F-208F. The blend of black and green teas makes the temperature question a tricky one, but I think that this tea is better steeped with slightly cooler water than is recommended. Golden Moon also suggests a 3-4 minute infusion, which is a little long for my taste. This tea is strongly flavored, and the mint can get to be a bit much if allowed to steep too long. Try 2 minutes instead. I found that a shorter infusion kept the mint from overwhelming the tea, plus the sweet and lovely vanilla notes got a chance to shine.

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