The Whistling Kettle
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is the last of the samples I bought from the local The Whistling Kettle location. I think I chose this one because I like white teas and the leaf smells very nice. I don’t really know anything about this tea other than that it’s Chinese. The leaves are somewhat twisty, and a combination of silver and darker grey/green colors. The dry scent is reminding me of something extremely specific, and I’m annoyed that I can’t place it. It’s somewhat close to dried apricot, but it also has a sweet hay quality to it.
Steeped, it smells creamy with strong hay and a touch of savory smoke. I think I oversteeped this a tad, but that’s okay. It’s not straight-up bitter, but it’s developing a slight bitter edge. It has a nice deep hay flavor, and there’s actually a bit of muscatel here. There’s definitely dried fruit, perhaps a combination of prune and apricot. There’s a slight floral characteristic as well. This almost reminds me of Darjeeling a bit, which is odd for a white tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Dried Fruit, Floral, Hay, Muscatel
Thanks Cameron B. for the sample! This is definitely a different fruit/flavour pairing, and I’m always up for a cherry or a fig tea so I was certainly interested when I saw it in your cupboard. It’s what I just finished as my morning tea today at the Kiosk…
Dry the leaf smells very sweet and fruity; very distinctly cherry candy with very little indication of fig; delicious and mouthwatering though. When it was still piping hot and I was walking to work, I thought it was coming off as rather sharp and tart, but once it cooled a bit it was so much more enjoyable.
The cherry does a really impressive job of staying far away from being medicinal and it’s not piercingly tart either (thank you Whistling Kettle for not adding any hibby!). It’s just the right balance between sour cherries and sweeter, candy cherries! Very impressive. The black base is definitely a smoother one too, and does a good job of staying enough in the background the not mask the cherry without being absent. Unfortunately any figgyness in this blend was pretty lost to me; for me this was all about the cherry. I’m still really impressed though and I would absolutely consider getting more of this if I could do so in a smaller quantity.
I’m not too familiar with the company, Whistling Kettle, so I may have to look in to that and see if (in the future) an order is doable/justifiable…
I was playing with our tortoise, who is named after this type of tea, and talking on the phone to my mom about my brother, who lives near The Whistling Kettle, so it seemed like fate. Pao also discovered that the face of my phone is shiny and kept burrowing under my chin to play with her reflection and tap her beak against the speaker…mom loved that XD.
Anyway, I deeply love this blend. When we named Pao, neither of us had actually tried the tea, but we’ve since become big fans. It’s roasty, toasty goodness. We have three different brands, maybe we should try them all next to each other. The dry leaf on this is gorgeous, twisty and long and unbroken. I couldn’t bring myself to use a tea spoon out of fear of breaking the leaves, so I just picked a few out of the bag.
How have we never reviewed this tea? It’s so, so good. Easily one of our favorites. It really, really does taste like a blueberry crumb cake. This is part of a tea of the month club my brother signed us up for one Christmas. I really enjoyed it! It came with two big bags of tea, which is great in the case of this blend, but for the ones we didn’t like, well, it’s not so great. And I wish it said somewhere on the bag just what is in these blends, because they are no longer available online.
Regardless, this tea is an absolute gem of blueberry cakey goodness and it’s my hot toddy of the night with Jack Daniels Honey.
Just chugging along through these Whistling Kettle samples. Mango happens to be one of my favorite fruit flavors, but I haven’t found a really good mango tea, so I figured I’d pick up a sample of this one to try. It’s a very leafy white tea, probably shou mei, and there are feathery yellow flower petals mixed in. Dry, it smells like a mixture of mango and canned or cooked pears.
Steeped up, this is lightly flavored but tasty. I agree with Sil that it seems to be an even mix of mango and pear, though they don’t necessarily blend. The base is very mild with just a bit of hay flavor. Overall, this isn’t my perfect mango tea but it’s pretty tasty.
Flavors: Hay, Mango, Peach, Pear
Still working through these samples from The Whistling Kettle. I really need to go back there, the food was divine… Anyway! I’m not entirely sure why I bought this one, I guess maybe because the flavors are unusual. It looks to be a shou mei (aka cheapo white tea) base and there are dried elderberries and white and pink flower petals mixed in. It smells very candylike and oddly effervescent, like champagne candy. I’m unsure whether that’s a thing or not, but it’s what the scent makes me think of.
The steeped tea smells much better, I can actually smell the hay-like white tea base and there’s a slight effervescent berry accent. This is an odd one. To be fair, I don’t have any idea what arionaberry tastes like. This is going to sound weird, but to me, this tastes like dill-flavored white tea. And it comes off as a bit effervescent, so it’s almost like dill-flavored champagne in a way? Very strange. Not horrible, but not great either.
Flavors: Dill, Hay, Herbs
The Whistling Kettle saga continues! Now normally I tend to stay away from flavored greens, as they tend to disappoint me with their (generally) low-quality sencha bases. However, this one smelled so fruity and yummy that I got a sample anyway. The sencha leaves are actually surprisingly large and unbroken in this blend, and there are a few dried red berries (currants? not sure) as well as pastel purple flowers. Dry scent is very sweet and juicy, and actually it reminds me of cranberry even though it’s not mentioned in this blend.
Steeped up, it still has that lovely sweet/tart cranberry-esque scent, with a touch of candy grape and possibly some orange. Hmm, actually, the taste leans toward orange too, which is odd since there is no orange. Clearly my tongue is drunk. I can also taste a candylike grape flavor and a nice tartness that I assume is coming from the pomegranate. I can barely taste the base, there’s just a touch of grassiness, but I intentionally kept the steep short because I was afraid it would get bitter. Maybe I’ll try a longer steep next time. Overall, quite a decent little fruity green. :)
Flavors: Candy, Grapes, Grass, Orange, Sweet, Tart
Another sample from The Whistling Kettle. I’m not normally a big fan of green and black blends, I just feel like the two things don’t go together and I’m not sure why tea shops blend them (I suppose Nina’s Japon would be the exception). But I picked up a sample of this anyway because it smelled good in the sniffing jar. Visually, the blend is fairly chaotic – a mix of medium green and black tea leaves with a bunch of other stuff like citrus peel and flower petals. In the packet, it just smells like almond extract, which is not how it smelled in the jar. The almond scent probably deteriorated over time.
The steeped tea smells quite fruity (peach?) with some sweetness from the almond. Hm… See, I don’t really see the point of the green tea here, I find that the faint flavor I get from it kind of clashes with the black tea. There’s a vague fruity flavor that tastes like artificial peach mixed with almond extract. And like another tea I had from them, the base is almost nonexistent, which is quite odd. Very slight rose aftertaste.
Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Floral, Marzipan, Peach
This is another sample I bought when I went to The Whistling Kettle for afternoon tea. The black tea leaves are quite small and dark, and there are teensy pieces of crushed almond and coconut mixed in. Dry, it mostly smells strongly of almond extract, which does not make me unhappy. :)
The steeped tea smells a bit… odd. I can still smell the almond extract and I get coconut, but there’s also a weird soap-like aroma that’s making my nose crinkle. Luckily for me, it doesn’t taste like soap. Sil was right in her note, it’s almost like there is no base tea here… It just tastes like mild almond extract and coconut flavored water. Very strange! There’s maybe a hint of wood taste. And I lied, there is a tiny bit of soap flavor here (probably because I’m looking for it, lol). Not a winner for me.
Flavors: Almond, Coconut, Marzipan, Soap, Wood
I bought several samples when I had afternoon tea at The Whistling Kettle a few weeks ago, and I’ve been slacking on trying them all. This one was a no-brainer for me, I love cherries and figs, especially in tea! I don’t see many pieces of fruit in my sample, maybe a couple. The leaves are smallish and jet black. The smell is very strong, and it’s mostly tart cherry.
The steeped tea smells very good – it’s a mixture of sweet and tart cherry with a little bit of fig. I confess, I didn’t know what an acerola cherry was, so I looked it up and apparently they’re quite tart. Hm… This actually came out a teeny bit bitter, but it’s not bad enough to keep me from drinking it. I guess this one needs either a lower temperature or slightly shorter steep. The flavor here is really good though, in fact it reminds me of my favorite cherry tea from Dammann Freres. The cherry definitely dominates, though I can taste the fig as a sort of rich syrupy sweetness in the background. It’s nice as a supporting flavor for the rich cherry.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Fig, Sweet, Tart
cameron B sent this one my way so i could try a few different teas from whistling kettle. I’m always wary of “pearl” teas. I find that the flavouring in those teas tends to be sort of a melange of “stuff” that never comes across as a distinct flavour for me. this tea is no exception. While it’s a fairly smooth base without any bitterness, the flavour is sort of a peach like generic kind of taste. The description indicates a bit of spice, but even my wimpy taste buds aren’t getting any of that. Not a bad cup, and i love trying new things, but not for me :) thanks again cameron!
CameronB sent this my way since i’d never heard of and thus not tried, any teas from Whistling kettle. I am a fan of mangos and pears so i was especially curious about this one even though greens and whites are not generally teas that i drink much of. Brewed, this smells like pear juice…but closer to the juice you get in those fruit cups lol
Sipping on this i get a tea that bounces back a little between pear and mango. I’d say that it is more pear than mango but it’s a nice subtle tea. This isn’t an in your face sort of tea, thank goodness. I suspect if you added a little sugar to this, the flavours would pop a little more as well. thanks cameron!
hey CameronB you get tired of this one, send it my way! This is very much like Della Tterra’s Orange cream, only better. I am a fan of this one! I wonder how it compares to SB’s orange tea from janet’s.. but seriously… this is the right blend of orange and rooibos and DELICIOUS. want moar! lol yep. true story.
Another sample from CameronB. Funnily enough, i was least excited about this one because i’m always wary of coconut. It’s not like the blerg..but i find it goes “off” more easily than not. So i’m always ever so cautious about it. However, this is perfectly fine. :) The blend is more almond than coconut to me, though there is clearly an element of coconut within the tea. I think what i’m finding lacking in it though, is the tea base. The tea itself doesn’t appear to be adding much to the blend. That doesn’t mean it’s a BAD tea – i like the creaminess of this especially. It might make for an interestingly creamy latte heh. thanks again cameron!
sample sipdown! haha i’ve got to get through these wonderful samples cameron B sent me :) before my orders show up. This tea is REALLY smelly haha. It managed to make all the bags in the swap cameron sent me, smell like this tea. Such that when i opened the tin that i put a different sample in, it smelled like this tea. (however, the teas weren’t contaminated so no worries there cameron!)
this is a really nice cherry tea. It’s not too sweet, and it doesn’t have that artificial cherry taste – maybe because of the type of cherry tea that this is? There’s no sourness to this either – i’m not really overly familiar with “fig” as a taste but maybe that’s why it’s got a mellow middle of the road flavour going on from a sweet/sour perspective. It’s also really nice to not see hibiscus in this blend, not that i have anything against hibiscus. :)
I’m curious as to how dexter would rate this one since i equate all things cherry with her haha. Thanks again for the share Cameron! this was a nice cup!
I really need to get cracking on these samples I picked up from The Whistling Kettle! I’ve been trying to work on easy one-cup sipdowns lately, so I haven’t been trying a lot of new teas (or posting many notes). This tea is a blend of red rooibos with orange peel, lemongrass, and flower petals. Dry, it smells quite sweet with a touch of citrus.
This one’s not bad, but it’s a little light on flavor for me. The citrus is more lemony than orange because of the lemongrass, but it still pairs nicely with the creamy vanilla-esque flavor. It’s an okay blend, and I won’t have trouble finishing it, but I did find myself just a tad disappointed by the lack of orange.
Flavors: Cream, Lemongrass, Orange, Sweet, Vanilla
This past Sunday, the boyfriend and I went to The Whistling Kettle and had afternoon tea! Their food was really delicious, and the portions were very generous given the price. I picked up a few samples to take home and try, and this was one of them. It’s a black tea base with teeny marshmallows (the dehydrated kind that you find in cocoa mixes) and mini chocolate chips mixed in. Dry scent is very woody (not sure if this is supposed to be the graham cracker?) with sweet marshmallow and chocolate notes.
Hm… I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It’s very woody, and I’m not sure if this is from the base tea or if it’s supposed to be graham cracker flavor. It’s almost a bit swampy? Reminds me a bit of earthy puerh. It definitely has the marshmallow flavor down, and there is a touch of chocolate that I’m sure would come out more with milk added. But the woodiness is a bit odd! Drinkable, but quite earthy.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Graham Cracker, Marshmallow, Sweet, Wood
Picked this up at a local coffee shop on a whim. Was amazed at how good a tea with coffee influence could taste without the thirst that accompanies drinking coffee for me or the bad breath. It’s almost sweet, has a smell of cacao that you can’t deny and while it packs a powerful punch, is the right cup to turn coffee converts into tea drinkers.
This is the tea my fiance picked out to have iced this week so while I was making some for him, I made myself a hot cup. Unfortunately, I don’t get peaches or strawberries from this tea. It’s on the astringent side and gets better as it cools. Let’s hope my fiance enjoys this more than I did.
This is a pleasant change from the buttery Japanese greens I’ve been drinking these last few days. This is quite a bit stronger in taste which is exactly what I was after.
I had it in my head that this would be smoky, and I kept looking for it. Did I miss it? Or was I looking for a note in this tea that wasn’t present. Don’t know. And because I was looking for a hit of smokiness, I missed out the flavours that were present. I was watching Masterchef and realized that there was something that I recognized in the taste of this tea, but couldn’t define or name. Regardless, I enjoyed the fuller bodied flavour, and I still have a few more steepings with this tea, so I’ll be sure to pay more attention.
This tea was courtesy of looseTman – thank you!
I picked this up this weekend while restocking my fiance’s favorite tea. It smells like a pina colada in the bag! The seven minute recommended steep time kind of freaked me out, but I ended up with a dark maroon brew that tasted like … tropical LifeSavers with pineapple in the aftertaste.
I said I’d try this steeped at home under different conditions before writing it off – and that’s what I did. It honesty was better this way: the grenadine was definitely much stronger and I didn’t get funny, out of place banana notes either. Sadly, that astringency/bitterness didn’t let up and that made the cup a little bit painful to get through.
Still drinkable; but not something I’d want to have served to me. Glad it’s gone. I still have my precious Monk’s Blend from the Metropolitan Tea Company to satisfy me so there’s no need for this one which is coming off as much less stellar.
Also; Tre is in his room laughing at something like a madman and he was the most obnoxious laugh. It’s making taking a nap VERY hard to do! Ughh!
Maybe this one just doesn’t travel well in a timolino? I brought it to work today but I didn’t really enjoy it (to be fair I didn’t really dislike it either). Normally I’m all over Monk’s Blend! I thought it was fairly astringent though – and that the grenadine was a little light for my tastes.
Also, weirdly enough, I kept getting notes of banana? What’s that about?
I’ll hold off rating it though until I’ve had a chance to brew it at home under different conditions. I want to love this one – especially after aisling of tea was kind enough to send so much of it my way.