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Getting mail is usually my favorite part of the day, I get packages of tea from all over the world, I get books from Goodread’s First Read program which is usually awesome, and sometimes I get presents from my friends and family on the other side of the country. But there are some days when the mail betrays me and brings me an unexpected and gut wrenching medical bill that I have no idea how I will afford. So much for doing anything fun for the next couple months, so lame, I clearly need a tea that will cheer me up!

Today’s tea fits that description perfectly, Golden Orchid by Whispering Pines Tea Co is one of the few teas that not only puts me in a good mood, it makes me feel better. A blend of their North Winds tea (which is a blend of Chinese Yunnan Dian Hong and Chinese Fujian Black Tea) and hand-chopped Grade A Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans. If that sounds incredibly decadent to you, well, I am certainly not going to say you are wrong. The aroma is so intensely rich and so incredibly sweet, it is a blend of sweet vanilla (real vanilla, not vanilla extract smell) with a warm cocoa, a touch of honey, a pinch of cream, and a finish of sweet dried cherries. I admit when I first sniffed this teas I just kinda sat there in awe, I do not say this very often, but the aroma blend was perfection.

Before I get too much farther into reviewing this tea, if you have not, you should read Whispering Pine’s tea descriptions! They are inspired by the creator’s experiences in Northern Michigan (and occasional Middle Earth) and they might be the most transportive descriptions I have had the pleasure of reading, even though they are about Michigan, they remind me of my time in the North Woods of Minnesota, so it touches a very special place in my heart. The now soggy leaves are a swirling sweet blend of creamy sweet vanilla and cocoa, it wafts out of my gaiwan and seems to coat the entire tea area in sweetness. Sniffing further into the leaves I can detect notes of cocoa, sweet potatoes, pepper, and of course vanilla. The liquid is intensely creamy with notes of vanilla, cocoa, a touch of cherries, and a tiny bit of pepper at the finish.

When I sip this tea, I feel the need to go Greek and lounge, or at the very least slouch in my chair, because this tea makes my head spin. When I brew it I use a pseudo-gongfu, I use my gaiwan set (because I want tiny sips) but I brew it similar to Western style using less leaf than I usually would and letting it steep longer. The taste starts out rich with notes of cocoa mixing cocoa butter creaminess and rich dark chocolate, this is accompanied by sweet caramelized sugar. At the beginning there is a hint of rich vanilla that builds around the mid-taste, this explodes into a sweet, creamy crescendo at the end which blends perfectly with the finishing notes of malt and pepper. The aftertaste is vanilla, and it lingers for quite a while. A fun thing about this tea that makes me giggle is the slightly tingly mouthfeel from the golden tea’s fuzzies, teas with fuzzy trichomes make me immensely happy.

The second steep’s aroma has even more of a vanilla presence than the first, it almost smells like creamy vanilla icecream…you know, the good stuff that has bits of vanilla bean in it, that was always my favorite vanilla. The taste takes a cue from the aroma and starts off with a strong vanilla presence, it is joined in the mid-taste by notes of roasted peanuts, sweet potatoes, caramel, and of course a strong cocoa finish. The cocoa and vanilla have a gentle finish together and both linger into the aftertaste. This tea very much so double features as a dessert tea and a feel good decadent tea, it has become my new morning wake up sip, and I jokingly told the proprietor that it cured my Fibromyalgia. It is wonderful to find teas that taste good, I have found hundreds that I enjoy and certainly dozens that I love, but I have only found a few that make me feel good physically, spiritually, and mentally…this tea joins that lofty few.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/08/whispering-pines-tea-co-golden-orchid.html

Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Pepper, Vanilla

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

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I am a nerdy, obsessive, crafty, tea blogging, gaming nut. Yeah, that about sums me up! Ok, you want something more informative….

I am a Geek, hardcore fan-girl Geek. It shapes my life. I spend a lot of time making things out of perler beads and I bet you can guess what inspires them. Other than the obsessive pixelizing of things I spend a large portion of my time doing origami (especially Lucky Stars and modular geometric designs) it is an equal obsession. I hoard dice, get obsessed with games, and will talk about whatever fandom, game, etc that I am obsessed over until I am blue in the face. I am not just a gamer girl type Geek, I also fit in the collecting knowledge and spending way too much time reading, category of Geek.

But there is more to me than just being a giant nerd. I love tea, always have and have just gotten more and more obsessed as I get older. I love trying new teas and then writing lengthy descriptions about them on my blog, I love reading and researching the history and culture of tea, I love collecting tea pots and fancy tea tools.

When the weather allows it, I love to go mushroom hunting. I don’t eat them, instead I use them for photography and spore prints. It is my dream to one day become a Mycologist studying slime molds.

I have Fibromyalgia, it sucks, but I feel people who are going to interact with me should know since I tend to vanish because of it. So fair warning!!

I also have cats, love the ocean and all aquatic life, love cheese, and collect hats.

My favorite tea is definitely Oolong, but I also love Japanese greens and…ok I just love tea actually :P I am not a huge fan of lemony teas or tart fruit teas. I also loathe hibiscus (usually)

This is my actual tea wishlist, you know that I actually update and keep track of…I tend to forget Steepster’s https://www.facebook.com/notes/amanda-wilson/tea-wishlishtshopping-list-perpetually-in-progress/10152336515414411 I use my steepster WL to keep track of teas I have had and really want more of :P

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Kansas City, MO

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http://ramblingbutterflythoug...

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