63 Tasting Notes
Sometimes I wonder if I could really notice all the individual notes unless I had read about them before tasting the tea itself.
Can’t say I could for this one, but it was still enjoyable.
I’m a fan of heavier teas and this one was light and smooth but you can definitely taste the quality and care placed into the production of this tea.
To me, it tastes somewhat similar to Teavivre’s Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tips and I have to say I enjoyed that one better but will happily finish off my packet of this.
I’ve only really achieved like, four sipdowns since I started Steepster, but in that time I’ve managed to amass about 120 different teas and not including samples. It’s hard coz I like to make my rounds amongst all my tea so that they all receive relatively equal amounts of affection from me.
This was the first tea to be finished from my The Tea Centre haul at the beginning of the year. It was compulsively likable, and though I initially complained a bit at how I wished the bergamot was stronger, I have grown to like this blend exactly for what it is; a balanced and deliciously fruity tea with a hint of bergamot, sweet and uplifting.
The creamy pineapple jumps out to say hello first. It is then followed by the tangy and refreshing grapefruit to cleanse the palate and prepare you for the mellow green tea, mild but enjoyable.
This was the perfect choice for a day where I was too lazy to make loose leaf and wanted something flavoursome without too much intensity or caffeine.
First tried this instore when it was a half-and-half blend with a chai mix and it was delicious. I was intrigued about how this tasted on its own so I asked for a sample and I’ve come to the conclusion that it seems to be better as a mixer with another blend, or by itself if you add a good dose of milk and honey. Reason being that on its own, I can’t really taste the tea much and so it’s almost kind of chilli and cinnamon water.
Having added the milk and honey, it is still an enjoyable cup but since it’s only okay when I have it straight, I won’t be purchasing this. Will see how this compares to Harney & Sons’ Cinnamon Spice.
Many years ago I visited the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. They had this quaint little ice-cream shop with Aussie bush tucker flavours like wattleseed, quandong, lemon myrtle and even emu.
Wasn’t game enough for emu ice-cream but I happily tried the wattleseed and haven’t had a frozen dessert so lovely since.
This is such an underrated T2 blend. Didn’t even know it existed until it popped up on Steepster. It tastes like waffles and sweet cinnamon and of course, wattleseed, which has that specific nuttiness unique to the Australian wattle tree. This will be a definite purchase.
Heading back to the Blue Mountains in a couple of weeks. Maybe this time I’ll be brave enough for the emu ice-cream.
The notes seem to change quite significantly depending on the steeping parameters though. Made it a few times with slightly differing temperatures, timing and vessels (yixing teapot, ceramic teapot and infuser flask) and each cup has been really quite different. Varies from choc-vanilla French pastry to malty dark cocoa cracker to slightly peppery cherry fudge.
I can’t quite remember what parameters yield which results so it’s almost like a new experience every time. One time though, it was a cold day and for a few hours there was a bit of liquid left amongst the leaves in my yixing from an earlier brew. Not wanting to waste it, I drank it and wow, it was like a cold super concentrated vanilla liquor with zero bitterness at all.
I find myself coming back for cup after cup of this multiple times a day, and while it’s not entirely obsession-level love, there are twelve other Whispering Pines teas I have yet to try and I’m sure at least one of them will inspire that enduring, unending tea love I’ve been searching for.
Personally, I find that bergamot teas can be somewhat divided into two categories; the refreshing, sweet kind or the mature, stuffy type. I love them both equally.
This one falls into the latter category. It utilizes T2’s Yunnan blend, which is smokey, leathery and complex, paired with a noticeable dash of the classic Earl Grey flavour. I do take a tiny bit of issue with ‘flavour’ being an ingredient, as opposed to ‘bergamot’, which is listed in other T2 blends but I wouldn’t really have noticed the difference anyway.
This reminds me a lot of Harney & Sons’ Earl Grey Supreme, which I do think is slightly superior to this one. I won’t be purchasing T2’s Earl Grey Royale, but I will buy the plain Yunnan blend, having thoroughly enjoyed the samples.
Yes, sweet potatoes. Not a fan of sweet potatoes but somehow a massive fan of this tea.
Smooth and drinkable and refreshing. It’s so light and lovely that I find myself making pot after pot of this, drinking it as if it were a replacement for water and deluding myself about the caffeine content, justifiably paying for it at 4am when I’m as awake as an owl.
Very mixed feelings about this one. Many popular teas on Steepster live up to their hype, so I was expecting big things from Teavivre’s Golden Monkey, especially after having just tried and loved their Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip.
First try was with my new yixing clay teapot, which had been recently seasoned with an oolong at the tea house where I’d bought it. Was concerned that future cups of black would taste like oolong but the shop owner assured me that it would be fine. Steeped 3 minutes at 90C per instruction. The result seemed to be rather undetectable medley of flavours, perhaps some tobacco and leather but bold and smooth with a tiny bit of astringency. Can’t say I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would though.
So I tried again with my porcelain teapot, same temp and timing. Seemed smoother and minus the slight smoke detected with the yixing.
Leaves were still in the yixing so I steeped them again, this time for five minutes. While it was clearly still the same flavour profile, there were now certain, specific notes making their appearance with gusto. The first thing that struck me was how much it tasted like honey water. Honey water with flowers. Rather too sweet and floral for me, but this would be absolutely delicious for someone who likes honey and flowers.
Brewing a third steep, seven minutes. More honey water and flowers. A little lighter now. Would make a great, naturally sweet iced tea.
Perhaps today I was after something different to this. I do have a feeling it might grow on me though, and am happy to try it again at a different point in time.
Again with the mediocre black tea base. Otherwise, add some milk and this tastes a little like those Bounty Chocolate bars all covered with coconut. As the tea cools down, it kind of reminds me of watery Bailey’s Irish Cream, which isn’t so bad either.
There are a few flavoured blends from Tealux I’ve really enjoyed and will reorder, but probably not this one.