146 Tasting Notes


Lewis and Clark TTB #9

I’m not absolutely certain this is 2014, but it was received this year, so I’m pretty sure it is.

This tea has a rich, complex nose and taste. The dominant taste is grass, but there are overtones of veggie, fruit, and spice. Rich, buttery full mouth-feel. There is a hint of bitterness in the finish, but it barely detracts from this well-made tea. Second steep is still powerful, but less subtle and a bit too astringent for my taste

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Lewis & Clark TTB #9

The dry tea was very tightly compressed, so I let it rest for 5 minutes after a 30 s rinse. It didn’t really separate until the second steep.

The tea is rich and smooth, with flavors of wood, leather, and cherry. There is a little bite of astringency at the finish, which doesn’t detract from the taste. I want to say it has lots of cha qi, but it may just be that a lazy Sunday morning is emphasizing that aspect of the tea. I lost the cherry in the second steep, but the cedar notes came to the fore, with what I think is a touch of smoke. Overall, an enjoyable tea; I nearly purchased some today, but need to think about it for awhile.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 147 ML
Tea Sipper

Glad you liked this one and I included it in the tea box!

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Lewis and Clark TTB #8

This is a bit lighter than many Yunnans, but I really love the flavor. Wood and leather and a touch of earth. Rich and deep and complex. Smooth and round, with a long, deep finish. Another review mentioned bitterness; I am very sensitive to bitterness and didn’t detect more than a trace.

The taste corresponds perfectly with the price point on YS: between an ordinary Yunnan and one of the top (or should I say tip) “golden” teas. Fair value.

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Lewis & Clark TTB #7

First cup of the morning. Rich color, but not much aroma. I’m not a big fan of Assams, because they tend to be bitter. This one has decent flavors, but an underlying bitterness that doesn’t do it for me.

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Lewis and Clark TTB #6

Try tea has strong almond aroma. It’s even more powerful in the cup. The almond comes close to drowning out the flavor of the tea, but it does peek through underneath. I like this tea, but that is because I really love almonds. Even so, it’s almost too much for me.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Scottish Blend by Simpson & Vail
146 tasting notes

Lewis & Clark TTB #5

I usually add sweetener to breakfast teas, but started this one plain, and I’m glad I did. It has a nice, understated nose, powerful flavor, and excellent, long finish. Slightly tart but not bitter. There aren’t a lot of extraneous flavors, but this is a perfectly balanced definition of what a Scottish tea should be.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Lewis & Clark #4

Soft nose. Bold flavor. Classic first flush flavor with hints of stone fruit. Becomes slightly bitter at the finish, but not enough to spoil the taste. The finish is very long, adding depth to the following sip.

There was a discussion topic about Darjeeling a few weeks ago, and this tea sums up my feeling in the discussion. There are hundreds of good, solid Darjeelings out there; each one a pleasure to drink, but few can distinguish themselves enough to rise to the top of the ratings.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Lewis & Clark #3

I’m really looking forward to this tea; I almost added it to my order last Month, but fiscal reality prevailed. The nose is surprisingly light; almost green in nature. The first sip started slowly but built inside my mouth until it was just huge. Big long finish.

I’m at a loss for words to describe the flavor. It is sweet, definitely smoky, but with an almost medicinal, herbal undertone. (after writing this review I read other reviews, and realize that “smoked meat” is fairly close. It sounds weird, but tastes good.)

The most interesting feature for me was that drinking this tea put me into a powerful meditative state, similar to a pu-erh with a lot of cha qi. I don’t recall seeing this in a black tea before. My rating is based upon this aspect of the tea. Were I judging on taste alone, it would be about an 85.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

I love this one. Need to get more, 50g is not enough for me , I like to gongfu it

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Lewis & Clark #2

I need to start this review by stating that I didn’t follow the vendor’s steeping instructions. They call for a tablespoon of tea per cup and pre-packaged the sample into 4.5 gram packets. I decided to follow my usual steeping approach for black tea, which is 1.5 grams for a 6 ounce pot. It seems unfair to compare a pot that is three times as strong as the competition, especially when one of the selling points of the tea is its strength.

The nose was rich and powerful. Earthy notes dominated. The taste was dominated by what I call “forest floor”: a sort of damp woodsy taste, which I’m not overly fond of. I occasionally spotted a hint of fruit or chocolate, but for the most part don’t see all the flavors in the website description. The finish is good, but somewhat short.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

i had it yesterday. my parameters for black tea are 3g 8oz western.

Cameron B.

I made a cup with one of the portioned servings and thought it was too strong.


He’s changed his parameters on the website to .5T from 1T.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Yeah, I changed them about a month ago. I’m glad people aren’t paying attention to the labeled parameters! I highly recommend to always check on my website for recommended steeping. I have detailed info for both Western and Gongfu on there :-) http://whisperingpinestea.com/the-jabberwocky.html#product_tabs_Brewing


I only noticed you’d changed it because I was trying to remember what you recommended for the third steep western style, Brenden. I generally look at what’s on the package because that’s in my hand when I’m making it, and my computer isn’t.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Yeah, I wish I could somehow let everyone know when I change them :-(

Dr Jim

As I said in the review, I just think it’s fair to use the same baseline for all teas that I review. If I own a tea, then I can experiment, but for just one cup, I go with the baseline. I also like to use weight rather than volume, especially with teas that have large leaves.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I totally agree with that method. I do the same thing when sampling potential offerings :-)

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very solidly compressed. 2 20-sec rinses, then (15s): Clean aroma; no earthiness. Woody with a hint of fruit; bitter at the finish. 2nd (15s): more fruit, hint of caramel in nose. Taste is mostly just woody, with a bit of earth, but less bitter than before. 3-6th steeps similar. OK but not much character.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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Retired engineer/physicist.
My ratings will usually be based on multiple tastings. Oolong teas are generally 3 grams of tea in 6 oz water for 1 minute. Black teas are 1.5 grams of tea in 6 oz water for 3-4 minutes. Pu-erh is 3 grams in 3 oz, generally 20, 20, 30, 40, 60 sec.

My numerical ratings are all based on how much enjoyment I took from the tea. Since I prefer blacks and oolongs, they will receive higher scores. I also give a couple of extra points to decafs, just because I can drink them in the evening without staying up half the night. I don’t dislike flavored teas, but find that they lack the complexity of finer teas.

90-100 = superior, worth a high price
80-89 = Excellent. Will buy again
70-79 = Good tea, but probably won’t buy
60-69 = Nothing really wrong, but…
Below 60 = Wouldn’t drink again



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