236 Tasting Notes



I kept a sample of this to try from the TTB to try, and found a little piece of vanilla bean in it. I love it when that happens! This smells so yummy, vanilla and creamy.
Taste wise, its nice and vanilla-y and creamy. I don’t remember much else, I seemed to have drank it all without realizing it while doing my homework. It’s good, but doesnt replace my favorite vanilla teas. A good contender though.

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Autumn 2013 Sample
I’ve only ever had one raw puerh before, from Teavivre, so getting an opportunity to try this is a treat. Something I noticed, is that while to me ripe puerhs smell like pond water, this wet leaf smells like a fish tank, a little cleaner and greener and fresher than pond water.

6g, ~5oz water, 180F, 10 sec rinse, and then 15,15,18,18,20 sec steeps. I then switch it up, and do 1,2,3 minute steeps.

The first couple if steeps are dark vegetables with lemon zest and the barest font of apricots. I can’t quite put my finger on the exact veggie this tastes like, I know it, it’s on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t remember. Darker than spinach, sort of meatier or fleshier than kale, more complex than green beans.

Third steep is my favorite. The veggies are very muted and the peach and apricot come out to play. By the forth steep, though, the fruit tones down, the veggies crank up and they meet with the veggies just slightly powering over the fruit. And there’s also a tough of a mineral note.

Sixth steep, I decided to start experimenting. One minute seems to pull the fruit back out and mellow the veggies, and the result is soothing and calming. It just continues to get sweeter through the 9th steep. The mineral note sticks around, sort of grounding the tea, and adding a depth and complexity that might not be there otherwise. But mostly it apricot and peaches. Maybe some pear.


Broccoli? Asparagus? :)

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
236 tasting notes

I first had this months back, before I even liked black tea. In fact, I think it was the first straight black tea I tried since really getting in to tea. And I loved it. It’s sort of funny that it took me a couple more months to go to the dark side. I don’t think I’ve had it since I started to really get into black teas, so when I saw the packet in my sip down pile, I was curious to see what I still thought.

This is one of those teas that almost gets better in the later steeps. The first steep was fine, a bit smokey (that was the note I was picking up the first time I had this that I didn’t like), and a bit cocoa, and almost powdery. But each steep gets fuller and thicker and smoother and more cocoa. Around the fourth steep, there’s a bit of caramel and honey popping up, and some grain.

This is delicious, and I’m almost out. And I can hardly believe that it’s $10 for 100g. I’m still kicking myself for not loading up when it was an additional 40% off. But maybe they’ll run another sale around Black Friday and I can load up (; and even if not, it’s still such a steal that I might even place an order for just this tea.

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I don’t know if this got contaminated or what, but the dry leaf smelled so buttery and creamy and almost cake like. It was in a plastic bag stacked I a pile of my other samples in plastic bags so it’s possible.

I started with a 15 sec rinse, and did three 1 minute steeps. 7g 8oz boiling water.

The rinse was sweet and buttery and creamy and cake like, which I think might have been contamination. The first steep wasn’t as dessert like as the rinse, furthering my conclusion, but it is still buttery and creamy and a bit sweet, but less so than the rinse. The second steep loses more of the sweet, but remains buttery. The third is less buttery, and a tad bit astringent, so I stopped there.

This was surprisingly buttery which I enjoyed, and I’m glad I got to try it.


I love buttery and creamy oolongs. They’re my favorites.

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This was my first cup of the day yesterday, and the cup that started my Whispering Pines day. I know I’ve had this before, but it looks like I never logged it. And unfortunately I didn’t take very good notes yesterday so this isn’t going to be a proper review of the tea either. What I can say was that this was so very chocolatey. Sweet delicious chocolate, with a touch of malt and caramel and just devilishly good.

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Backlog from yesterday

This is one of the Whispering Pines teas I drank yesterday while cleaning. I got a lot more dark plum and raisin and molasses and sweet potato, with a sprinkle of cocoa and it of bread. It’s sort of amazing how the same tea steeped the same way can taste so different depending on what flavors come out more. This time was very dark and fruity, last time was very chocolatey. Either way it’s delicious.

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I got this as a sample for entering the photo contes last month, and with all the teas I’ve got in my to-try pile, I just now got to it. I steeped it double strength, sweetened, and poured over ice. This is delicious, fruity and juicy and mouthwatering. It’s really hitting the spot on this hot summer day. The Assam adds a dark depth and complexity to the background, and it lingers for a while. It works so well with the passion fruit. I know how I’ll be drinking down the rest of this sample.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Today has been a day of laundry, watching Doctor Who on Netflix, and drinking Whispering Pines tea. Right now it’s this tea. It took me over 3 hours to fold and put away the boxes and boxes of clothes that I’d been avoiding since we moved 3 months ago. And I figured this would be a perfect reward. Delicious chocolate with a bit of malt, it’s hard not to love this. So decadent.

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I ordered from Tea at Sea almost 2 months ago, and still haven’t tried most of the teas I got. So today I decided to finally try the sample I bought of this.

The aroma is malt and bread and cocoa. The taste is more malt and bread, but not as much cocoa (but it is there). This is not bad at all, and I wish I was into blacks when I placed my order, because I wish I had more than just the sample I bought.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I made some tea syrup with this to make tea pop.
2 heaping tablespoons
~1.5 oz
stevia to make syrup sweet
Boil together ~3 minutes, and then steep another 5 minutes. Resteeped 3 times and all poured into mason jar for storing.

This makes a delicious tea pop. The tartness goes perfectly with the carbonation, I think that’s what a lot of my previous tea pops have been missing. A little pucker to match with the bubbly and make a more authentic pop. A think this is my favorite tea pop to date. I know how I’ll be using up the rest of this!

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20 years old
I’m starting to grow tired of green teas and green oolongs.
I’ve only recently began exploring straight blacks and puerhs, and I’ve been loving the one with cocoa and bread-like notes the most!
I’m also starting to drift away from flavored teas, but still like a good dessert tea every once in awhile.
I will always love a good chai.
I despise licorice and bacon.

Notes I like:
Cocoa, Bread, Caramel,
Nutty, Vanilla, Cream,
Honey, Butter, Maple, Marshmallow
Fruity, Berries, Lemon, Jasmine

Notes I don’t like:
Banana, Bacon, Licorice, Smoke, Astringency, Bitter, Rose



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