The Whistling Kettle

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Recent Tasting Notes

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!


You’re correct. Pinhead Gunpowder (Organic) is a fuller-bodied green tea and it’s not at all smokey. I’m glad you enjoyed it. You’re welcome!

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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.


Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Sipdown (178/184)!

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!

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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.


I had to same reaction to this (minus the banana notes)

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Backlog from a few days ago.

I’m obsessed with Teavana’s Strawberry Grapefruit Xue Long. I love how flavorful it is, I love how the fruit is present and doesn’t taste artificial. I love that I don’t need sugar. What I don’t love, however, is that this tea is seasonal so, despite ordering half a pound of it, I might never be able to get it again when I run out.

So, there’s this tea. Which smelled fruity and sweet and effervescent in the store. This tea that is world’s cheaper than Strawberry Grapefruit. I was expecting a similar taste based on the smell of this one dry. Steeped, however, it’s very grassy and the grassiness of the green tea overpowers the fruit flavor. It’s possible that I didn’t get many fruit chunks in the infuser and that’s why this one tastes like a freshly mown lawn. I’m still disappointed that it doesn’t taste more like it smells.

On the bright side, Teavana did fix my shipping address and I should be getting my tea soon! Which means I won’t need to use this as a Strawberry Grapefruit replacement for a while.

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This tastes like grape to me! Maybe it’s because I didn’t get any fruit bits in my infuser? It’s good and is actually what I was expecting Grape Expectations to taste like. I don’t think I’d want to have a lot of this on hand, but it’s a smooth and sweet occasional cup.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a tea tasting at all, let alone from my sample box. I went on kind of an unintended hiatus, sporadically checked into Steepster, responded to 1 or 2 threads, but didn’t have much urge to drink tea. Not saying I’m over that necessarily, who knows though…just something that happens periodically when I’m in a frenzy of something…(Last few weeks my frenzy has been about bento boxes and recipes. I am still interested in those, but now that I’ve bought 1, about to order the Zojirushi Mr.Bento thermo lunch jar, and seriously thinking of buying a bento cube at my local Japanese grocery store…I think that fulfills my bento buying frenzy for now, and have a whole crapload of bento recipe sites bookmarked, many for kids just for the cuteness factor, but plenty for adults as well, and subscribed to a few youtube bento vlogs. )

This tea is from LiberTEAS, which I had bought a box full of an insane amount of teas (Grins)from. As an attempt to keep them slightly organized, I took a few large freezer bags, labeled them Tried and Not Tried. Today I grabbed into the Not Tried bag to find some teas that looked/smelled interesting to try because I was in the mood for something new.

The Tea: It’s…..ok. Not terribly inspiring, but not a bad cup either. Like I’ve mentioned before: I blame certain companies tendency to ‘flavor blast’ their teas so much that it’s hard to appreciate more subtle teas. (I am still a customer of those companies though;)) so unless there is an unusual but pleasing note in the tea, most likely I am not going to consider getting it.

I am going to put this with the samples that I think would taste good cold, but I don’t get the feeling that would improve my opinion of it.

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long, Steepster! I’m in the final stretch of the semester, and also of my undergraduate education. It’s been a very emotional, stressful, and busy time for me.

This is my first experience with a legit, loose pu-erh. My friend, the grad student who interned with me at the library, gave me some of this as a parting gift today. We share a passion for tea, among many other similar interests. I’ll miss him.

The dry leaf smells heavenly— just like caramel. I can see bits of toffee mixed in, too.

I steeped a cup of it in my glass gaiwan. The liquor is a muddy, almost reddish color. It tastes like earth, caramel, and toffee. It’s so rich… Like the Godiva chocolate of the tea world.

Oh, my God… I will be so sad when this tin is empty!

Flavors: Caramel, Earth

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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I decided today would be a good day to go through all the tea I have lying around my house, add it to my Steepster cupboard, and see how much stuff I actually have. On the bright side, I have a lot of samples to go through. On the down side, I may have enough tea on hand for my fiance to put another tea buying ban into effect.

This is one of the samples I dug up. I remember not liking it the first time — too much spice and no chocolate — and thinking it’d be better as a tea latte, so that’s kind of what I did.

I steeped 1.5tsp in hot (lactose-free) milk for six minutes. It’s very sweet and very rich and almost too much for me. I think the milk definitely balances out the spiciness of this one, relegating it to the end of the sip where it’s warming and not overpowering.

So much better!

Flavors: Creamy, Spices, Sweet

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I bought this one because of the smell — chocolate, sweet, spicy … yum! Steeped, however, I’m not loving this one. It’s very spicy, which makes sense because it’s chai, but it’s too much for me. I wonder if it would be any better as a tea latte?

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I made this hot and cooled it down so my fiance could have iced tea. He had the brilliant idea of oversweetening this one a bit and adding a sliced lemon and it is perfection! I actually get fruit this time around and the lemon really brings out the blueberry. Now I wish we weren’t almost out of this one…

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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I made this two ways — hot for myself, iced with German rock sugar for my fiance. I think my mug of this was overleafed because it was fruity with a lot of astringency. Iced and sweetened, I get more fruit, but the bitter edge lingers. Hmm.

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Meh. I really wanted to like this one! I think the name is really neat, and I like the idea of a chocolate chai. Perhaps the idea of it is better than the actual taste. I don’t know what the base is, but it doesn’t taste like assam.
I do like two of the chai teas from Whistling Kettle: Vanilla Chai and Masala Rooibos Chai. I think I’ll stick with those.

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My fiance and I went shopping this weekend and stopped by a tea house one of my coworkers has been telling me about for months. They had just opened up a new location a few streets over from my favorite tea house, making it easy for us to stop over and check it out. And, oh! what a glorious little place it is. All kinds of tea ware and a wall of teas in little jars for customers to smell!


Needless to say, we got a lot of samples, most of them picked out by my fiance to be made into iced tea. This is one of the teas we both really liked, and the first one he requested be made into iced tea. He also requested that I blend it with some (insanely fresh) Earl Grey Cream from my favorite tea shop. Seriously, when did he get so experimental with tea? Is my obsession rubbing off on him?!

I mixed this tea with the Earl Grey as requested and hot brewed it. I added sugar and chilled the tea overnight and wow! Obviously, a 50/50 mix wasn’t the way to go as the Earl Grey kinda overpowered the Snowflake. Otherwise, very smooth, nutty and almost chocolatey. A fantastic after-dinner tea — good job, fiance!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Blueberry Pie by The Whistling Kettle
1248 tasting notes

The leaves are gorgeous, all curled up in pretty little swirls. Smells like blueberries, brews up a clear greenish yellow and surprisingly dark. Tastes like a creamy blueberry, although I’m missing the sweetness I associate with pie, as well as anything crust-like or flaky. Still delicious, and wish I had more.

Almost positive I received this from KittyLovesTea although it might have been Angrboda. Thank you ladies, as I’m grateful to you both for sharing teas with me that I’d only be able to try with the help of lovely folks like yourselves.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Wow! It smells and tastes just like chocolate cake. I added a bit (1/4 tsp) of raw sugar to bring out the sweetness.
It is woody, sweet like honey, and has a really full mouthfeel. I don’t know how, but it’s cakey! Like drinking cake. Weird. But it tastes good, with a nice honey aftertaste. I don’t know if I want 4 oz of it, but a sample size every few weeks is likely in my future. I’m so happy that Whistling Kettle came to my neighborhood. They have many many teas I want to try, and their sample sized insure that I can try a few each week.

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drank Reike by The Whistling Kettle
520 tasting notes

Yes so I am so behind on my tea reviews (unsurprising) and this was from a few days ago. My wife made a big jug of this and we split it, and she’s sitting on the other end of the couch making faces and shuddering, and I’m groaning in delight. Now, our tastes are usually fairly dissimilar, but not to that degree. So we switched cups – and yep, hers was gross. Same tea, same brew time, same jug, wildly different taste. Mine was sweet and lemony and honey-like. Surprisingly delicious when cold brewed and full of agave for what’s supposed to be a relaxing medicinal tea.

Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Thank you Roswell Strange (and aisling of tea) for sharing another Monk’s Blend tea. After the success I had with the first one you sent, I was excited to give this a try. Unfortunately, it just does not compare. It was a sweet black tea but nothing distinctively vanilla nor grenadine flavored. Oh well. Hopefully the Cornelia Bean version is more closed aligned with the Metropolitan Tea Company one since I have 50 g of that lying around.

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I wish I could taste what my wife tastes in this tea, but all I’ve got is lemongrass and hibiscus.

Let me steal hers…

Okay we have two completely different cups that came out of the same jug. I guess all the good stuff settled to the bottom.

I will…revisit this again in the future and STIR IT WELL before pouring.


never would have thought something like that could affect the tea so much.

aisling of tea

Neither would I, it really surprised me.

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I’ve gotten into a nasty habit at work…drinking coffee. I know, bad, bad. But I’ve been trying to kick that by bringing some of my favorite teas to work and to make a thermos full of something before I leave in the morning. For that I’ve tried pu-erh’s because they are usually super strong like coffee.

The other day I noticed that my local tea room just started carrying this blend. I knew I had to get my paws on some ASAP. So I ordered 4oz. I know you might be thinking this is a bit much for a tea I’ve never tried before. But I’ve only ever had one tea I bought in a large amount from The Whistling Kettle that I didn’t like. My order arrived yesterday and I’m just digging in today.

The dry leaves smell like coffee with hints of chocolate and caramel. Not crummy coffee either, like top notch coffee that might be served in some swanky cafe. The steeped leaf smells more like the earthiness I’ve come to expect from a pu-erh tea. The mocha and caramel notes come out and mix really well with one another in this tea. I think I found a nice way to get a little coffee and yet not feel guilty for not having tea!

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Earth

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I think we can like both tea and coffee :) this blend seems to be a nice combination


Oh I know we can. :) I just feel horrible when I have coffee when I could have had tea.

aisling of tea

My brother got me a Whistling Kettle tea of the month subscription for Christmas last year, it was awesome!!


You had this tea before?

aisling of tea

Nope, but their other teas are amazing.


I loved reading this: “I knew I had to get my paws on some ASAP.” Sometimes I like to use the phrase, " … get my mitts on …". ‘Paws’ works too, especially as I feel sometime like I am part canine. :P

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Coldbrewed into a world of nope. It tastes like grapefruit that’s a few days too old and dried out. It’s not a pleasant tart, it’s a stomach-churning tart. Like taking a bite out of a white grapefruit peel.

Maybe it will be better hot. I hope so. I hate wasting tea, but I don’t think I can finish this.

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I received a few cups of this from Marcel Duchamp. Thank you!

Milk Oolong is one of my favorites so I have been trying to sip as many as I can. This one was interesting. It was a bit less creamy than I am use to, it also had a hint of mint at the end of each sip. The tea was a little less green and a bit more roasted than my favorite oolong. All in all it was a good cup but not my top pick for oolongs.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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From the queue. (I’ve upped the posting frequency from the queue because it seems to be growing faster than I’m posting at the moment… 25 pages and counting.)

Bleurgh… Husband is not home tonight so I’m fending for myself dinner-wise. Husband is vegetarian, and I am one on most days for the main reason that I can’t possibly be bothered to cook two separate meals for two people when whatever he’s having is just as good as anything meaty. However, on the occasions when we go out, have take out or I’m feeding myself, I usually fall into the meat trap. It’s possible that I over-do it a bit. Bottomline is, I enjoy the food while eating, but afterwards always feel far too full in the entirely wrong way. Full on meat feels very different from full on a vegetarian fare. To top it all off I also had half a glass of red wine, unusually for me but it’s one of these very posh wines. The sort of that comes in a box with a tap on it, you know. So I’m very very full and kind of sleepy. Hence, bleurgh… In short, my tummy is right now a rabbit of negative euphoria. ( sigh I shall miss Cabin Pressure)

I am in need of something light and restoratative. Green and fruity? Yes. Time for another Try from the EU Travelling Teabox, now winding its way towards Italy.

I’m not generally a green tea person, but I took some of this one because… I don’t need to go into this again, do I? Berry, attraction, done deal.

It definitely smells like blueberry. Actually it just smells blue all round. I’m getting a very clear sky blue. There’s a sweetness to it as well which is not all berry but reminds me of vanilla. There isn’t actually vanilla in it at all as far as I can see, so that might just be my personal vanilla obsession, but that is nevertheless what I’m reminded of.

At first, when I sip, I just get the green tea. It tastes fresh and vegetative, but not in the sort of fat, thick, almost salty way that some greens, particularly dragonwell for me, have a tendency to. This tastes more spring-like and crisp. Then, after a split second, the blueberry comes in. It’s a very clear blueberry flavour, here. Very sweet and a little creamy. Again, it’s as if it has been mixed with a little vanilla. The blueberry flavour sort of builds up as I sip, so that it’s as if the flavouring becomes stronger and stronger.

This is really a very good tea. It’s the sort of thing that makes me wish green blends caught my attention more often. I’m glad I got to try some of this one, although I do wish I’d pinched all of it now. This is a brilliant tea!


Meh, I wish you weren’t so queue-y, sometimes. I would have totally tried this based on this review. And I hear you on the meat.


The queue is there for ensuring my own posting frequency. Otherwise I’d post three posts a day for a week and then go a month just lurking. Mind you, you might not have seen this in time to take some yourself anyway. I’ve still got stuff from the first box that I haven’t tried yet. This could very easily have been one of them.


I know, I know. Your queue discipline is pretty impressive, too.

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This one is a sample from BrewTEAlly Sweet! thanks so much! I’ve wanted to try this one for ages. There is popcorn here! I woke up thinking butterscotch, and I was trying to think of a tea that might fit with that craving. This one works more than any other teas I have, I think! It’s maple, which helps. Also cinnamon. This is tasty but it brews too light for my brain to be awake to read these Tournament books! It’s sweet, it does taste like maple and cinnamon. I can’t really taste any black tea at all. A bit of flavor from the two pieces of popcorn that fell in my infuser. It’s good but it needs a stronger black tea base! It reminded me of another tea I’ve tried… and sure enough, Tealux’s Maple Splash even has the same description. ah well, I have samples of both teas then! (Which is fine since reading the tasting note for the other, it said I wouldn’t mind buying two ounces of it!)

I haven’t been reading tasting notes and I miss them! Trying to catch up on books….


The only maple teas I have tried taste more like table syrup. Are the two you mention distinctly maple?


I don’t know… they’d probably taste like table syrup to you. Maybe I’m stretching my imagination. :D

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