359 Tasting Notes


This morning was a busy one…I was under a lot of stress and had to run around for several hours.

When I got home, the only thing in my mind was…TEA!

If you’re like me, you try to match the right tea for the right moment. Sometimes it takes me forever to decide. Not today. I wanted comfort, and I knew exactly that good old Earl would take care of me.

I say “Good old Earl” but thats not accurate. This Earl is the next generation.

Yes people, TNG Earl!

What makes it so special? Well, first let’s talk about the base tea found in earl grey teas in general. There isn’t much to talk about, right? What I’ve noticed is no one seems to really care…cause…bergamot. What I mean is, if you’re like me, when you need a bergamot fix, you’re not looking for some fancy black tea…you only care for the bergamot cause you know it pretty much overwhelms any kind of base anyways. So why bother right? That’s the impression I get from what’s available on the market. We get some generic black tea and what makes or breaks it is the quality of the bergamot. What I want is an earl grey that will provide a good balance of the bergamot flavor. I don’t want that overly parfumy and soapy taste they sometimes have. Luckily, I found a few brands that made me very happy over the years and just stuck to them.

When I saw Earl Gold, I said…really Brenden? You’re gonna “waste” some snaily yums on bergamot?

And then I tasted it…and said…damn it Brenden, must you succeed at everything?

Apparently, the answer to that is yes!! He truly is a master blender.

I already love Golden Snail a great deal on its own. But I was so sure everything I love about it would vanish under the oppressive bergamot. Turns out they both complement each other perfectly!

Malt, caramel, chocolate and bread? Please meet citrus and candied orange peel.

A very bright, sweet and warming cup of tea with a big kick.

It is suggested to drink it gonfu so I did try. Surprisingly, the bergamot oil doesn’t rinse off on first steep, it actually stays present through the whole session.

But I must admit, my personal brewing preference for earl grey tea will remain mug style. I just want a huge big fat mug of it and hold it and slurp it slowly while I read a good book. That’s what this tea is to me…a hugger :-)

I’m so happy I’ve got four ounces in the cupboard. It will definitely be one of my favorite comfort teas of the winter!

P.S. When you get this tea at home (cause I know you will, you MUST) please don’t skip the “inhaling protocol”. Beleive me, your nostrils will thank you.

Flavors: Bread, Caramel, Chocolate, Citrus, Malt, Orange


I have some waiting in the cupboard. I can’t wait to set some time aside and enjoy it. It smells amazing!


Just do eeeeeet!!!! ;-)

Can’t wait to see what you think of it!


Earl Grey is one of the few favorite flavored teas of mine. I’m pretty excited to try it.


This sounds amazing. My goodness, I want some EG now!! This one:D


This sounds like one I might have to break my “No more damn Earl Grey” rule for :D


I have that same NMDEG policy Skulleigh, but this one does sound like it’s worth trying.


@missLena, I promise, it’s amazingly good!!

@Skulleigh and @TeaExplorer, lol I have that rule too!!! But this one was worth breaking all the rules for :-)


Your review is forcing me to try Earl Gold again. Most I’ve tried are bergamot overkill, like you mentioned in your review. I love bergamot, but I love black tea more, so can’t wait to try this.


Meant to say Earl Grey . . .


As I put an ounce in my cart I heard “Make it so!” in my head in that well-know voice :)


@pixel : I feel it’s probably the most balanced earl I’ve had and the only one that truly lets the black tea shine :-)

@TeaExplorer: Haha, what are you talking about, that was MY voice ;-)


Thanks Tea Fairy. I will definitely include this on my next WP order!


@TheTeaFairy: Huh. That’s not how I pictured you :-þ


@TeaExplorer: Hahaha! Laughing hard here!! I don’t have the voice of Captain Picard, that’s true, but I AM the voice of tea enabling :D


@TheTeaFairy: You are not only the voice, you’re the poster child :D
And I appreciate that greatly!


Lol, had to Google the meaning of “poster child” (I’m French and some English expressions must looked up at times!) So after finding out what it means, I fully endorse the title, thank you! :D


Thank goodness for Google! Your English is so good that I forget it’s not your native language :)


Squeeeeeeees! How much do we LOVE the Earl of Gold?!!!? This review makes my smiley face ENGAGE! Love it!


@mzPriss, We LOVE it!! lol ENGAGE is right, here’s that voice again @TeaExplorer!

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New oolong players, Taiwan Sourcing!

First to review this it seems…

Pretty dark roast, this oolong surprisingly does not overwhelm with “roastiness”, no burnt taste.

The first note I got was cannabis… How do I know what cannabis tastes like? Well…i’ll leave that to your imagination ;-)

Eucalyptus follows….A fresh mouthfeel.

Dried fruit sweetness as well. A caramel feel, thickness in the mouth.

It rendered many steeps.

The liquor is this amazing amber bronze color, it does wear its name pretty well.

A beautiful tea.

I must say I’m very impressed with the quality I have found in Taiwan Sourcing products so far. With Scott Wilson (Yunnan Sourcing) behind it, why am I not surprised?

Good luck to them! I’m officially a fan :-)





What’s cannabis? …….


@mrmo….no idea. You’ll have to ask The Fairy O.O


I enjoy where this conversation is going xD


Um…cannabis is a medicinal plant that gives intense cha qi?? Hence often used in tea description?


Agreed! Medicinal properties!


Agreed! Medicinal properties!


LOL! My daughter gave me a Baja hoodie today. I thought it was cool surfer gear but she advised me that nowadays it is a “drug rug” or “stoner hoodie.” When I tried it on, I shoved a Baggie of oolong from Whole Foods in the front pouch right away and went around offering everyone some “leaf.”


That was hilarious Ashmanra!


cannabis taste. lol

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I drank Crimson Lotus Whispering Sunshine 2015 raw puerh for the second time. I’ll admit that the first time around, it missed the mark for me. It was too subtle for my liking, but i decided to give another try two weeks later.

The first time, as usual i couln’t help myself and drank it the same day that it arrived. Well I guess it needed some time to air after shipping cause this second time around is lovely!

Very clean as young sheng should be, but with very little astringency. There is a certain bite to it which i love but it’s very light. It’s grapey and apricoty, sweet and a little citrusy with a nice vegetal feel.

It also gave me a pretty strong head buzz which lasted throughout the whole session. I lost count of how many steeps i did.

Now i’m a little puzzled about something…i read somewhere that it was smokey. I am not a fan of smoke in general and trust my taste buds, i will find smoke if there is some to find. I got absolutely none in this, which was fine by me. Just a super clear and clean liquor.

I really enjoyed it and i’m glad I have a whole cake.




Crimson Lotus Tea

2/3rds of the material we used was picked and processed when it was raining in Bai Ying Shan. It didn’t rain a lot, but if there was rain during the sun drying the leaves are brought indoors. Indoors is their kitchen / living area and the large mats the leaves are on are suspended from the ceiling. This is a smoky room. So a portion of the leaves are smoky. Everything is all blended together before pressing.

Perhaps your cake is more from the portion that wasn’t near smoke, or perhaps just the leaves you used today. If you look at the larger picture probably about half of all the Whispering Sunshine cakes we pressed will have some smokiness. Even that isn’t all that noticeable. :-)


Thank you Glen for this nice explanation….makes sense. Will pay close attention to next steepings :-)

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Hi everyone! Remember me? Miss y’all!! ;-)

Not gonna lie…I’ve had a few shopping sprees at Crimson Lotus in the last few months.

Yeah, yeah…I need a good spank!

But to my defense, I will say this: I don’t regret any of it. Top notch quality in the tea and the little pots. Yes, CL does know how to feed my addictions!

Now this tea. My friend MzPriss, who has exquisite tastes, bought this Bulang before I did and she was so excited about it, I could not pass on it since her and I are Teaplets and usually have the same tastes. She was right.

Since it comes in a gigantic brick, they sell it to you in chunks of 250g.

I used 12g for 170ml Jian Shui pot.

After the rinse, I can already tell this will be a treat. The smell is amazing.

Forget traces of barn, seaweed or leather that can be found occasionally in shou puerh. Think more “Caramel alert”. It’s sweet. And it takes over my mouth in a swirl of texture and body.

Yes, I will call this decadent. Creamy with notes of vanilla and dried fruits.

Laters steeps bring some cocoa but not the bitter type…it’s very mellow.

BONUS: it provides a nice relaxing qi, yes i feel like a noodle, and i like it.

Dexter the Dobe is looking at me funny cause I’m a little giddy and he feels it. yes, Momma is high on tea again!

This is something I will be craving. I’m glad I went for the 250g bag instead of the sample.

Now I’ll just close my eyes and dream of getting the 2 kilo brick!!

Pics of the session:





MMMMMMMMM LOVE this one an love that you are writing notes again. We need to spend more time here. I miss it. This is a great note!


Thank you love… I miss it too!! We will be here more often…cuz…FREEDOM!!!


MzPriss & TheTeaFairy,

" We need to spend more time here." Agreed!

Both your presence and contributions have been greatly missed! Welcome back!


Dear looseTman you are just the sweetest !!! Thank you so much :-) I have missed you!


Awwwwww thank you so much looseTman! We are happy to be back.


You both need to hang around here more…. just saying pumidor disciples….


PD – LOL :-D


Aww thank you Mrmo!!


@mrmo – I am dire ned of getting the shoumidor ready. and the shengidor is almost full


nice review! however, i dont really like shou puehr anymore. (except for: http://yunnansourcing.com/en/nan-jian-tea-factory/2935-2006-nan-jian-phoenix-ripe-pu-erh-tea-mini-brick-100-grams.html) that is a great shou. i am a sheng person now

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Greens have arrived at Whispering Pines!

Green teas aren’t usually my go to teas and I’m quite critical of them. I don’t like the grassiness and overly vegetal taste they often have.

Having said that, I do appreciate some of them, dragonwell being my favorite.

When I received this maojian to sample, I was really excited and curious about it. We all know that Brenden settles only for the best so if he decides to sell something, I have high expectations for it.

This tea doesn’t disappoint.

Perfect vibrant green leaves, they look like mini longjing sticks.

I used gongfu brewing method.

First steep and wow! How to describe it?

This is not your typical grassy green. It’s very sweet and fresh at the same time.

I get a sweet minty taste, with notes of artichokes maybe. Asparagus might be noticeable as well, those fresh crunchy asparagus you get early spring.

None of the seaweed saltiness often associated with greens.

Anise is present, but very very subtle. I feel that at the tip of my tongue.

I forgot steep three and it steeped for a good 3 minutes. I was expecting bitterness. But it seems impossible to mess up this tea, it was still sweet and delicious.

Warning though: this will provide some kick ass energy boost. DO NOT DRINK AT NIGHT like I did the first time I had it…Let’s just say I felt woozy for a while!!! ;-)

I’m very happy with this green, it’s a keeper!

Thanks for the generous sample Brenden :-)






Gorgeous pictures!


+1 TTF is quite a pro photog.

Tommy Toadman

Great photos!


Thank you so much y’all!! :-)


What a lovely liquor color.

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A little pretentious?

Sure…you don’t name something Ambrosia if you’re lacking confidence. And this tea is everything…and then some.

The look, the color, the smell, the taste, it’s all heaven. Angels signing in my cup. Mozart’s requiem. Powerful stuff.

The brew is a crimson liquid gold…Oh Dian Hong, how I love you.

The addition of handcut vanilla (side bar: did I write “handcut”? Yes I sure did! This is no vanilla flavor, it’s vanilla. Period. No extract, no essence. Vanilla. Pure. In its original form, just like in all the WP blends. This fact needs to be mentioned and appreciated. End of side bar)

So yeah, as I was saying, the addition of vanilla brings undeniable distinction and sophistication.

The first sip and I’m like “hello, maple syrup”! If like me you’ve added a tad of maple to your black tea from time to time, you’ll get what I’m saying.

It’s sweet and malty. A maltiness that makes me so happy.

It’s a bit woody, and fruity…I get some cherry notes, but it’s very subtle.

If you wonder how it compares to the other Vanilla Dream black tea blends, this is what I have to say in a nutshell:

Golden Orchid is gooey fudge, Cocoa Amore is chocolate covered cherries, Elderwood is floral vanilla and Ambrosia is maple malt. There.

B-Boy, you couldn’t have chosen a better name for it…this is tea for the Gods, it’s blended to purrrfection.

Now I need to hit the “shitload” order button again….sigh.


Maddy Barone

Oh, boy, I need to get me some of that!


I’ve been waiting to see a review on my dashboard xD of course it was you to go first hahah. This sounds amazing :D


sounds wonderful!


Dear God I want to try this SO VERY much!

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This is new. Thank you Tea Hobbit for letting me try it.

I know it’s a mission at Whispering Pines to search for the finest teas, the best among the best.

This tea represents just that. Mission acccomplised.

First sip and I’m in awe.

So sweet, it reminds me of barley sugar candies.

It’s a malty cup, creamy smooth with no astringency. It tastes a little bit like wheat to me.

It’s woody but not smokey at all wich I appriciate a lot.

It’s slightly fruity, I get stone fruit at the end of the sip.

It feels powdery and syrupy in the mouth, nice body.

It’s so good, I need to buy a shitload of it. Yes…more. Please and thank you.

Don’t be afraid to get this one dear tea lovers :-)

On a side note, a friend brought me to this amazing Chinese gift shop today and I found the most beautiful statue to decorate my tea table…she blessed my tea session today I think.






I love that statue, I thought it was new :) I am curious, what caused this to be four points below a perfect 100?


Thank you Haveteawilltravel…
Haha!!! About that…truth??? The effin rating bar wasn’t working on my device! But It is well worth 100 ;-)


hahahah okay xD


TheTeaFairy – I looked this tea up on the WPT site, but could not find the “buy a shitload” button. Guess I’ll just have to settle for a few ounces. =:-P


Smile of the Day. Perhaps WPT should consider a “Shitload” button.


Snort laughs here TeaExplorer and Conchobar…But what do you mean? I’ve been hitting the SHITLOAD button for ALL my WP orders…must be a button for fairies only ;-)


The liquor color is gorgeous. I love tippy red tea from Yunnan.

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Wow…got TeaAve sample box today. I mean…I feel almost guilty not having paid for any of this. It’s beyond any expectations. Fancy and classy.

Really TeaAve, thank you, you really made my day!

I love pretty much all types of oolongs, and this one is no exception.

First the look. OB is a stunning tea to look at. It’s like an autumn bouquet, beautiful auburn, green, grey and brown leaves.

I was happy to see the silver duvet tips in the blend, so pretty.

This tea is bug bitten, so hello honey sweetness!

It’s very fragrant, and the scent is even more powerful using the beautiful aroma teacup set provided by TeaAve.

The color of the brew is a beautiful honey golden color.

The taste of OB resembles more of a black tea in my humble opinion. It is after all highly oxidized.

I get red fruits, muscatel, citrus and honey. Very sweet and zero astringency.

As the steeps evolve, it gets a little spicy and boozy, i also get dried fruits, like apricot and dates. It’s rich and doesn’t loose any of its sweetness.

I did many steeps and couldn’t help looking at the wet leaves when I was done. I found the perfect example of leafhopper bites! See pics :-)

TeaAve and Heidi, thanks again for such a lovely gift…can’t wait to purchase your wonderful teas!






Lovely pics and lovely review!! Leafhoppers!!!


Thank you DFrogs ;-)

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Aaaaah. This.

It deserves all the praises.

Just a quick review cause I have fully reviewed it in the past.

Rivendell gives me a pudding mouth. It’s so sweet and creamy!

This vanilla is decadent…very fragrant, velvety and fruity.

I like the little saltiness I get at the end of every sip. Mineral notes from the oolong.

Surprisingly, this is not floral at all for a green oolong blend. That’s probably because of the cedar leaves. They bring a touch

of spiciness and evergreen. Hard to describe but so fresh and yummy.

Even if you’re not a fan of greener oolongs, you should still give this a try.

I brewed it in my glass pot and sipped 32 oz very slowly…it was pure ecstasy at every sip.

I’m not lowering my rating, well worth 100!!




Everyone raves about this, but it’s been out of stock for ages. Gotta get my hands on some!

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I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect :-/

My relationship with tea in a nutshell:

I’m married to straight Black. I have torrid love affairs with Oolong and Puerh. I party with Green and White occasionally. Flavored are not my BFF, I usually stay away from them.

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others.

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who they are and expect the same in return.

Books! I love classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

Music is also something I can’t live without… From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Animal and nature lover, amateur photographer.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

Not a big «swapper», but will occasionally. Not because I don’t want to share but because I’m trying not to hoard so much.

Also, I have narrowed down the teas I really like over the years, and I don’t feel the need to try and buy everything the way I used to. (Maybe I have become a tea snob? Sigh…)

My ratings: because I pretty much drink only teas that I judge exceptional, my ratings are usually high. Don’t be shocked to see lots of 90’s and a few 100’s. That’s because I’ve had my share of crapy teas and I’m done with that ;-)

You can find me on Instagram here, I post about my tea sessions mostly, but also about the beautiful nature that surrounds me, and my fury companions :-)



The Laurentians, Canada

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