Leaf & Kettle

Recent Tasting Notes


Today’s tea is my favorite vanilla to date. I’ve had it on and off for a while but this is the first time I am reviewing it. Sad to say, not long ago I thought it was expensive now I think its one of the less expensive spectacular teas around. This tea has all sorts of vanilla goodness, its scent reminds me of Mexican vanilla, brewed (long or short) its starts with a vanilla cookie flavor that settles into a bourbon vanilla with cognac. The tea base feels light and supportive. Its black but has more of an orangey hue and there is certainly a caffeine kick but all in support of that vanilla trip. The first few resteeps are similar, missing the sugar cookie sweet start but giving the rest of the vanilla trip. After a few resteeps the vanilla begins to retreat giving a nice rounded clear and light tea after 4 resteeps I move on.

Flavors: Cookie, Orange Blossom, Vanilla

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

If you love vanilla and you haven’t tried Golden Orchid by Whispering Pines, you haven’t lived! It’s a black tea blended with organic vanilla beans and it is AH-MAZ-ING. It also happens to be the highest rated tea on Steepster :) Check it out: http://steepster.com/teas/whispering-pines-tea-company/43095-golden-orchid


I second everything mj said…and AH-MAZ-ING is right!!!


Y’all won’t stop talking about Golden Orchid. It’s making it very hard to resist ordering!


Resistance is futile :-P


Well I have to say I started all this vanilla with my brand new Golden Orchid in my first ever WPT order and I was terribly disappointed. I am now wondering if perhaps this batch was defective or maybe its not really GO? It doesn’t smell like vanilla, I don’t’ see anything that looks like vanilla. I tried over leaf, under leaf, hotter colder, I’ve nearly used up the whole ounce. I’m cold brewing some, sometimes as it cools I catch a wiff of vanilla. I thought maybe it was me but after a week of getting vanilla from everything else.. maybe I just don’t’ properly appreciate the GO and since its easily 2x the price of the tea above perhaps I should be happy? I did receive a sample of north woods and I understand that’s the base tea for GO so tomorrow I’ll have to try it out. I didn’t do a review because everyone else seemed so happy that I was sure it was me. Afterall I’m having a fisheye problem with shellac and supposedly that can’t happen either..

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hi bizbee…I’m terribly sorry that you didn’t like Golden Orchid…

I can assure you that you definitely got Golden Orchid and it was blended exactly the same way as all other Golden Orchid batches. The vanilla is very hard to see as it is hand cut into very small pieces before being added in. You will most likely see little black dots in your cup, both floating and on the bottom, and those are vanilla seeds.

The vanilla is mainly in GO to enhance the cocoa notes. If you are used to flavored vanilla teas, you will most definitely not find the same sort of vanilla notes in this tea. The sweet chocolaty smell of GO is actually the vanilla mingling with the cocoa notes, and the creamy body is also from the vanilla.

So yeah, if you’re in search of strong vanilla notes, GO is probably not the tea for you. Perhaps try drinking it while looking for chocolate notes instead and you might find it more enjoyable :)

Once again, I’m sorry that you were disappointed, and I hope you enjoy the rest of them! :)

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I’m trying to clear out my tea cupboard, its not so impressive as most of the steepster’s tea stashes and I have to share it with my SO who loves twining’s packaged tea bags. So this tea is still kicking around. Brewed it traditionally in the am but doubled the leaf and surprise it has a bit of a malty almost assam like flavor. I also sunbrewed a batch and its not bad it loses some of the too floral and sweet notes that troubled me the first few times around. I am hot because I am outside applying shellac to a chair for that very same SO (a rocking chair) resteeping tea and applying shellac seem similar to me. you keep going one more and one more wondering how it will come out and should just do one more coat than that will it still be worthwhile or have I tapped out this portion? Perhaps I’m just dizzy from the alcohol fumes?

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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The description of this tea sounds wonderful and much like a tea I should like. So as I was leaving Leaf & Kettle without the teas I wanted (they were sold out) I had them throw this in. Why do I do this to myself, I hadn’t’ tried it the aroma of the dry leaf was unremarkable. All the same I’ve tried brewing it twice with boiling water the second time even overleafing it and I get..colored slightly sweetened water? Is that a hint of honey? It tastes like corn syrup but so slight. I expected more well anything, not sure why but I thought I would be more like a good Ceylon. I will try once more with cooler water but I gave up and threw out my second cup because I really need something cheering and bold this Monday morning.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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