The Whistling Kettle

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Recent Tasting Notes

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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60
drank Pearl of Fruits by The Whistling Kettle
6146 tasting notes

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!

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72

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!

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87

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.

Cameron B.

Hah, I only bought a small sample, but I’ll definitely remember to pick some up for you the next time I go for afternoon tea! :)

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73
drank Snowflake by The Whistling Kettle
6146 tasting notes

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!

Cameron B.

I’m always wary of coconut teas in swaps, too. Luckily, I just bought this one a couple weeks ago. :D

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78

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!

Cameron B.

Bah, I didn’t realize this one is smelly or I would’ve double bagged it! :(

Sil

don’t even worry about it. It didn’t contaminate anything – your bags are nice and thick…god that sounds..um… ok gutter out of my mind! or is that mind out of the gutter… wheeeeee!

Cameron B.

Ha ha! XD

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73

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

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

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.

Flavors: Cacao

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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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

This was pretty good – it was definitely lemony with a hint of ginger. I don’t like ginger much except as an accent, so I was glad for that. I liked it hot and iced, but I thought it was better iced.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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!

looseTman

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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90

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.

Yum!

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

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55

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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55

Hmmm…

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.

VariaTEA

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

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57

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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70

Sipdown. I’ve had this sample sitting by my kettle for about a month now, waiting to be sipped down. My thought process was that if I could see it, I’d drink it sooner but that (along with most tea drinking lately) didn’t happen.

This has aged okay – I still get some grape flavor but it’s definitely subdued compared to the first time I had it. Not bad, probably wouldn’t restock in anything other than a sample size though.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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70

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.

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

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65

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.

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

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96

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

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

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55

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

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

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