The Whistling Kettle

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Recent Tasting Notes

95

I have so little of this left. :( The tea they added to replace it…chocolate salted caramel is no bueno. Not at all! I’ve had this tea close to three years now and I probably should toss it, but I refuse. Plus it still tastes amazing. The salt is there in little hints, but the caramel shines through and is simply delicious! I will be very sad when this is gone as I cannot find a substitute for it!

Flavors: Caramel, Salt, Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Evol Ving Ness

I suggest trying Salted Caramel by David’s Tea.

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95

First off…this is the LAST name change I promise. I’m trying to sort out all my online “stuff” so to speak. Sure I could add it all to the galinthegreyhat blog, BUT it always worked better when I kept tea blogging/tweeting to one place and the personal blogging/tweeting in another. Now on to the tea!

For some reason this morning I was feeling like a two cup pot of tea was in order. Well, I was actually feeling a WHOLE pot was in order….but I didn’t check the kettle water level (oopsie). I mixed this tea with another tea from the same company called Nut Crunch Honeybush. I’ve had the Salted Caramel for a very LONG time. The reason being once it’s gone it’s GONE! TWK can’t get it anymore and I can’t find a good place to buy it. (HELP)

Anyway. It still smells amazing (yay). Like those yummy salted caramel truffles at Lindt! While the honeybush smells more like a pastry and on the sweet side. Thankfully after my water mishap this tea turned out perfect. A nice balance of caramel and pastry-ish goodness. Trick will be not to make more for quite a while…I have less than a half a bag left!

1tsp of each tea with boiling water steeped for 5 minutes.

Flavors: Caramel, Pastries, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
IllBeMother221B

Also just let my second cup of this get cold….

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84

It was FINALLY cool enough here to make up a hot cup of tea. And since I’m only allowed 200mg of caffeine a day (isn’t pregnancy grand) I thought I’d make a cup of this one. It does in fact taste like a cinnamon roll complete with gooey frosting, but that migh just be my own wishful thinking. Either way it is a yummy treat tea to kick off my day in the best possible way. The cinnamon give just enough bite to wake me up and get me moving.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Sugar

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84

So I kept seeing this pop up as a “tea of the day” on their facebook page. Today, thanks to lunch with my Mother-In-Law I finally got to try it. It smells just like hot cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven! Once I added a little cream and rock sugar to the mix it tasted a little like there was the added bliss of frosting too! Sadly it’s one of their season teas that the owner is playing with at the moment. BUT you can buy it in the shop, not online.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Pastries, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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87

This tea is a great example of how important it is to get your water temperature correct!!
I had this tea a couple of times and didn’t really enjoy it. It has almost a soapy taste and was overly floral. I really struggled to drink it, even with added sugar. Then I got a variable temperature kettle. I had been brewing this tea at a cooler than boiling temperature, but probably closer to 190. It really needs a temp closer to 170-180. What a change!
I made an infusion this morning at 170 and mixed in a small spoonful of honey. I then made a second infusion at 180 and mixed the two. It was smooth and lovely.
The taste is very fruity and floral. Due to the calendula and sunflower petals, it is also smooth. I think the base is tea kwan yin, as it has a little roasty character. There is a light and pleasant mineral aftertaste.
This has become a tea I can enjoy! Thank goodness for variable temperature kettles!

Flavors: Berries, Floral

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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93

As with most oolong, this tea is good for several steeps, and the flavour changes subtly with each one. It has a pleasant, creamy odour with earthy undertones, and the initial flavour is much the same. This tea tastes almost like it has already had a small amount of milk added to it (hence the name), with hints of the round, almost nutty flavour I’ve come to associate with oolongs. As you steep it more, the milk flavour becomes less prevalent, with the “oolong” flavour becoming more dominant, though it maintains a creamy smoothness throughout the steeps. This tea is delicious, I could happily drunk it all day!

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82

Cold brew of the day, yay!! This is good, but mostly unremarkable. It’s a fruity green, but I don’t know if I would be able to pick out the specific fruits. Still, it will be no hardship to finish what I have, but I doubt I’ll try to get any more.

Sil

dragonfruit! yay!

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81

After catching up on Steepster, I was craving tea. Something strong and malty and…tea like. Nothing masked in flavors, just good, simple tea.

So I dragged this one out and if it doesn’t wake you up in the morning, nothing will. Hoo boy is it strong. Li8ke my father would say, “it puts hair on your chest”. I likely overleafed, because this is a touch bitter for me, but it is hitting that tea craving like no other. It’s good, but considering what my brother has been telling me about Whistling Kettle stores going to crap, I likely won’t be restocking.

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75

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

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

Sipdown (103)!

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…

Cameron B.

I agree, I wanted more fig! But I do love cherry too. :D

OMGsrsly

Tealux’s Cherry Fantasy is a cherry-fig tea that’s exactly the same as a couple I’ve had locally. It sounds and looks very similar to this one.

Cameron B.

Yeah, I think Whistling Kettle just resells teas from bulk suppliers, so you’re probably right.

OMGsrsly

I don’t think it really matters if the tea is delicious. :) And I did like this one!

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96

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.

Preparation
1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

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.

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70

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

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Daddyselephant

My brother lives near The Whistling Kettle and you are making me miss both him and the tea XD

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65

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

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kittenna

Also generally not a fan of green/black mixes. They do not come off as complementary, to me.

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60

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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