220 Tasting Notes
I tried to review this tea twice the last two days and the dashboard was frozen. :( I am doing the review from memory now because last night was a sipdown.
Dry: Long dark twists of tea leaves with some shorter pieces mixed in. Appears to be a blend of at least two that are light and airy and thick and furled. The leaf did not appear purple to me, but was rich and dark in appearance and in scent with dark chocolate and honey-sweet wisps. I am a HUGE Alice in Wonderland fan, so I had to have this tea as soon as I saw its name.
Steeped: Rich and dark clear liquor, but the bag said to use 1 TBSP for 1 cup of water. That uses a TON of tea for a 24oz teapot considering that most of the others average 1/2 to 1 TSP per cup. I was wondering if it meant to say teaspoon after all because it never came out quite right with the recommended measurement when the temperature is exactly 205 and the time is exactly 3 minutes. All of my other teas from this vendor have been spot-on though.
Taste: Honestly, I think overleafed is the best description unfortunately. Initially there is a burst of dark chocolate, a hint of floral, wood, and malt. I can tell there is a lot of potential, but there is a touch of a bitter bite because I think there is just too much dry leaf in the water. The best cup I made was when I used slightly less and was able to differentiate the above notes. I think I could have liked this one if I had more than an ounce to play with, but its okay because I still love basically every other tea from WP I’ve tried. :)
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Floral, Honey, Malt, Wood
I wanted a lovely straight black this morning so I went with Zhu Right. The thing is, I was too lazy to look up the steep time or amount used. I really wish Verdant would add it to the packaging like most other vendors. I’ve decided that it is hard to ruin many blacks between 200-205 and 3 minutes, so I went with it. Came out very nice, too. I think actually more flavorful than my previous attempts with Zhu Rong.
This tea is a great start to the day. Honeyed and complex with a touch of malt, cedar, and even something faintly spicy or peppery that I can smell more in the dry leaf and is almost an afterthought in the tea. Happy Thursday!
Flavors: Cedar, Honey, Malt, Peppercorn
It is cool and crisp this morning- change is in the air! Getting ready to go on a bike ride and I have been trying to put together an order with David’s only because I desperately want Pumpkin Chai. My cupboard is overflowing though and I need to really sipdown some of my less favorite teas so I can make room. This is one of those that I need to finish already so I am working on it. It tastes exactly like it is supposed to – buttery and rum-y with a hint of coconut and vanilla, but I am just not a liquor-tea person apparently. Really, I much prefer beer in the alcohol department. Last night we had a growler of New Holland’s The Poet and it was goooooood. I am a huge fan of porters and stouts, so sadly, rum doesn’t have much consideration in my life. This, however, is still a good flavored tea! I have enough for a few pots and fall/winter seems like the perfect time to sip this one down. I have lots of tasting notes that I didn’t post when Steepster was broken- hopefully this one works and I can start catching up. Happy Saturday all!
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Rum, Vanilla
I have been enjoying my Whispering Pines orders all week but haven’t had a chance to actually write out a detailed review of anything when Steepster has been up. Today is no exception and I have to leave soon, but let me just say that I made GO as a latte this morning and it is so delicious! For vanilla lovers, it is perfection. I will buy this tea again and again.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Vanilla
I am incredibly happy right now because I finally found my favorite vanilla tea- and it’s my birthday, too! This is vanilla- not the fake powdery stuff so often found in flavored teas, but rather the complex and true vanilla that can be enjoyed when one is separating vanilla beans. And like that isn’t already enough, this tea also has chocolate and other lovely notes to enjoy in the same cup. I will write a more formal review later this week, but I am in love and will be reordering for sure.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Vanilla
My first Whispering Pines package arrived! GO should hopefully arrive tomorrow. I can’t wait to try it. Can’t. Wait!
In the meantime, this tea is fantastic! It reminds me of Laoshan Black with the dark chocolate aroma/taste and the tea is very flavorful and rich. So glad I was able to try it as it will need to be a reorder for sure. I asked my husband if he wanted to partake. He sniffed the bag he gave me a thumbs up. I was hesitant to make a whole big pot if he didn’t like it because it isn’t the cheapest tea. He laughed and replied, “Enjoy it! Are you saving it for the Dutchess or something?” Lol, but he does have a point. I am always so inclined to horde tea that I really love and I need to stop. So I steeped a large teapot worth and was glad for it. I’d rather spend the moola to have a lot of a tea that I really love than a lot of teas that I am meh about.
I will post a more in-depth review when I have some time later this week, but it is rich, dark chocolately, and malty with a touch of sweet fruitiness. Yum! I tried it straight and with agave added and it is quite good both ways- the flavor profile is more notably chocolate with nothing added and the cherry profile makes more of an appearance with sweetener. Great tea!
Flavors: Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Malt
English Breakfast is hitting the spot this morning. I added a touch of whole milk, but it is still a classic morning cup that I am quite enjoying. I would actually say that this is one of my favorites from H &S along with some of their other stronger straight blacks. With a good malty base, this is mild and flavorful that stays true to itself with age and is forgiving to steep when barely awake. Nothing magical, but sometimes all one needs is a good straight English Breakfast. Bumping the rating up a bit as I did not fully appreciate this one for what it is until this morning.
In other news, I’m taking my Great Dane to his doggie cardiologist today. Nervous about what will be said as his medicine keeps having to be increased. He has lost weight, but he is still in good spirits and is getting around okay. He is the best dog and I know he will break my heart before too long, but I’d be grateful for another good month or three, you know?
Sadly, I think this one is losing some of its “oomph” with age. It is somewhere between 6mo-1yr old, but it just doesn’t have the richness of flavor from the chocolate and coconut that it used to. I still have a few oz left so I am going to start making iced tea with it and see how it turns out cold brewed. It isn’t bad by any means, just not as delicious as it was when I first opened the tin.
Flavors: Cocoa, Coconut
Still needed something for a vanilla-ish fix so I went with an old favorite. The sweet caramel note is lovely and although I forgot to set the timer and oversteeped this baby pretty significantly, it still managed to be pleasing, if a touch overdone. I usually go with 3 min or so today was 5-6+ (my bad!)? Happy Saturday!
Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Sweet, Vanilla
Sipdown, but a lovely one. As strange as it sounds, today I am getting a faint leathery note with the honeyed sweet potatotes and malt. This is one of those teas that always comes out a little bit different each time I steep it, but always makes for an enjoyable cup. TGIF!
Flavors: Honey, Leather, Malt, Sweet Potatoes