483 Tasting Notes

drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
483 tasting notes

pecan? chocolate? honey? I’m not getting any of these. . .well, maybe the honey, just a little. Honey notes in tea sometimes confuse me and don’t always come through the same. I’ve had a couple of black teas like this one. I call them mushroom teas as that’s all that comes too mind when I taste them. Not quite my cuppa, but not a bad tea. No bitterness or astringency.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

It’s already a given that I love dark roasted oolongs. The darker and roastier the better.

I was curious about this one, being labeled “dark chocolate” oolong. Obviously, it’s not chocolate flavored, but I wondered how it came upon the name. I did not detect any obvious chocolate notes, but the same hidden sweetness that I find in all dark roast oolongs. Who knows, maybe that is supposed to be ‘chocolate.’ There was however something slightly different in the aftertaste of this tea, but I thought maybe it was my imagination. Something vaguely coconut, possibly caramel (caramel teas tend to leave me with coconut-esque after tastes). I really do not like coconut in tea, at all, ever. I kept drinking my cup to cover the aftertaste and by mid-cup, I didn’t detect it anymore. Either I developed tolerance for it or there was just something funky going on with my senses at the time. Oh well!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

You’re most likely getting the caramel notes since you brewed it on the lighter side of things. To intensify the dark chocolate notes, brew 1tsp of leaves in 8oz of boiling water for 10 minutes. A lot of my teas have special brewing parameters or stories that inspired the tea that you should read up on prior to drinking it. http://whisperingpinestea.com/darkchocolateoolong.html

Did you enjoy the cup?

Shelley_Lorraine

ah, yes I did re-read the 10 min recommendation (after I already brewed my cup). I always read tea descriptions (but don’t always remember special instructions!). I especially like the stories you include for yours (I even read the one for Manitou mist to my parents when I brought them a sample ;) ).

I’ve seen teas here and there with super long brewing times recommended, but I’ve always been too afraid to try it. I’ve never steeped a tea for 10min! Even my herbals I keep at 5-7min. But I promise I will try this next time (I have plenty to experiment with).

I left this tea unrated for now because I also wasn’t sure if maybe the two cookies I had eaten previously were messing with my tastes. Of course I enjoyed it as I like roasted oolongs in general, but because of this I have to be picky about deciding which ones will join my regular purchases :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) Good to hear that you’ve been reading the descriptions! I feel like a lot of people miss out on the full experience because they don’t know what the tea was inspired by. Also, when you make The Sleeping Bear Blend, make sure to get a second infusion on it, and wait about 20 minutes between the first and second infusions. The pine flavor will really shine in that second infusion :)

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80

This is the strangest looking tea. The leaves look like little pebbles. After steeping for 3 minutes, only a few of them opened up (I was wondering if that would even be possible :) ) Although most of the leaves remained in their pebbly shells, they produced a flavorful cup (it’s supposed to be good for 4+ infusions, so Im sure the leaves will all open eventually). The smell reminds me of these things that my mother used to buy long ago as a homeopathic remedy for ADHD (for my bro) and anxiety (for the rest of us). I don’t remember what they were called, but they were chewy algae things. I think they were also sold in other forms, but we got the chewy things.

I would hardly recognize this as an oolong if it didn’t say oolong on the package. It has a strong barley flavor, but not the same kind that I associate with many white teas. There is also a recognizable licorice aftertaste just as indicated in the description.

Over all its a good cup of tea, but probably no one I’d have everyday.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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95

A Tasty japanese green that meets all my expectations. I love the flavor resulting from deep steamed leaves. I’m not too sold on every-day sencha, but sometimes my wallet is :) Definitely a case of “you get what you pay for.”

Because the leaves are so small, there is residue in the cup. It adds a textured mouth feel that I quite enjoy, although the bottom of the cup of these types of greens is a bit much to handle ;)

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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65

I feel like I should be accumulating extra lives and lots of money. But alas, I feel the same and I’m still poor. I must consider the irony of drinking the quintessential life-elixer beverage of tea while noticing the reflective “film of sprinkle” coating.

As a reminder for anyone who hasn’t kept up with my fascinating tealog, chocolate teas and I have a rough history. I love chocolate and I love the smell of most chocolate teas in dry form, but brew them up and VOILA, instant cheap health-bar flavored chocolate.

Now, enter the power of marketing and it’s not so bad! I mean come on, its the Konami Code tea and I got it. For free. Because I am so awesome!

Really though, as far as chocolate teas go, it’s not so bad (or maybe I’m developing a tolerance for the mutated tea-chocolate flavor). The vanilla doesn’t come through so strong, the base seems a bit fruity, and the chocolate adds a touch of bittersweet.

I finished the cup, so that’s saying something.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

I received my first order from Whispering Pines today and this is the tea that I tried first.
As all the teas from this and three other orders were sitting out on my counter, the scent from this one stood out the most. I didn’t recognize it as safflower as I didn’t know what safflower smelled like before. To be honest, the smell wasn’t terribly inviting, yet I chose to try it first anyway. I was excited about an elderberry tea. Elderberry syrup is my remedy of choice every flu season and it works! If I could have it in tea instead, bonus! I brewed 16oz to take in a thermos and share with my parents this evening. I only poured a small bit for myself to sample. I was undecided about the first couple sips, but as I finished my small cup, the taste became more comforting and I can definitely see myself stocking up on this for winter time. My mother and sister really loved it and my father liked it OK too so I sold them the rest of the bag (They are moving to Montana in a week, so I thought it more convenient to sell them mine than to place an order when their address in in limbo :p) Now I need to buy more for myself! But I’m out of money for a couple weeks :(

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Glad you enjoyed it! :) I’m going to be putting plain herbals on the site today, and pure elder berry will be one of the options :)

Shelley_Lorraine

Ah gee, you can’t do that yet, I’m out of money till next payday! But if you tempt me, I’ll have to explain why I’m serving only tea for dinner, having spent the grocery money on it. LOL.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I decided to hold off…for a day ;) There’s now a ton of basic herbal options, most being $2/oz. Enjoy!
http://www.whisperingpinestea.com/herbal.html

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65

This is a flat tasting spiced tea; something like when cinnamon candies go stale and loose their kick. I do not detect the ginger at all, and that’s highly unusually for me. As a flavor I’m not keen on, it tends to stand out to me even when used sparingly. Although this should be a plus for me, it’s not a plus for a tea that is supposed to have ginger in it according to its description. Not a winner, but as always, I’s still happy to have tried it. Thanks DianeInOz

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Cream by Adagio Teas
483 tasting notes

I was almost certain that I wouldn’t like this. Probably bad approaching teas with certain expectations, but you know how it is… (gah!, yes I have definitely been watching way too many old Leave it to Beaver episodes recently)

I take my tea and my coffee black. No cream, no milk, nothing creamy at all. The only exception is if I am getting a crappy gas station coffee, I’ll mask it with a flavored creamer. Also, let me tell you a little story about cream itself. I was in London (the time I was supposed to be there for the MJ concert and we couldn’t cancel all the reservations so we went anyway) and during one of the tours, we were offered scones with cream. It was like, have a little scone with your cream…. seriously, it was a mountain of cream and I felt sick just looking at it! I don’t not like cream, I’m just very picky about where and when I’ll have it.

This tea turned out alright. I’m not in love, but it could grow on me. It has a nice texture and the cream flavor is subtle. It’s very much like caramel flavored teas I’ve had but without the caramel (yes, that made way more sense in my head at the time). But really, that’s how it is to me, so I’m sticking with it :p

Thanks for the sample DianeInOz :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

haha, so here I was complaining about a high rated tea just before this note and now I’m about to rave about a less popular one (so like me…)

Super yummy hibiscus-dominated fruit blend!!! I LOVE hibiscus! and I love blueberries and apples.

Thanks for sending this sample my way Linnaete (^o^)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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45

Wow, this tea has a lot of positive reviews. I (yeah, I know, I’m a tough critic :p ) wasn’t impressed.

This is a very strong hay/barley flavored white tea with no detectable strawberry flavor. I’m not quite sure there was any guava either, though I don’t remember exactly what a guava tastes like. The description is spot on when it says, “just a touch of ginger”. This is it’s only redeeming quality. I don’t generally like ginger, but it did add just a tiny bite to the white tea, which was nice.

Thanks for the sample CK!
I’m going to give the rest of it to my father, as I think that he may like it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Name: Shelley Lorraine Limegrover
Location: Wyoming
Occupation: Student and Evil Genius
Ward: 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 1 Cocker spaniel, 1 super cranky but lovable siamese cat, one bipolar black turkish angora, and my husband’s black and white cat.

Hobbies: Learning, reading books, math, physics (have a degree in it), literature (have a degree in it too), anthropology, traveling, piano, and making TEA, of course (^o^)

Future plans: World domination >-)
Graduate school for Comparative literature (in German, Latin, and Greek) – Update: I’m going to the University of Colorado in Fall 2014!! yay me!

Favorite teas: Kukicha, Green teas in general, aged oolongs, charcoal roasted oolong, taiwanese oolongs, Assam . . .

Don’t like: Genmaicha, Earl Grey, Darjeelings, ginger, coconut, smokey teas (even mild ones), nut flavors, overwhelmingly strong floral flavor (esp. Jasmine), most della derra and adagio teas. . .

My Rating System

100 My happiness absolutely depends on it

95 Will definitely repurchase

85: Might repurchase (teas that depend on my mood)

75 Won’t repurchase (but I would drink it again if offered).

65: meh

45: I reluctantly finished a cup.

15: Couldn’t finish a cup.

I simplified my ratings to single numbers rather than ranges because I can’t precisely compare so many teas with a system more detailed than this.

An unrated tea is most often one that I recognize as having significant notable quality, but that does not suit me personally. Sometimes, I leave teas unrated for other reasons, such as I am undecided or I brewed it wrong, etc.

Note: Boiling temp. barely reaches 200 where I am (and a few times it sticks at 195, I assume due to unexplainable shifts in altitude or the position of the moon. . .aliens?. . .).

Location

Wyoming

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