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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea is so good!
Yet again, I’ve had a hiatus from serious tea. And also again, I have turned to Whispering Pines to break the hiatus. What can I say? I’m a sucker for inspirational names and tea stories. :p
It has been so long since I have used my Gaiwan, that it had collected debris, despite the lid being on it. I cleaned it out, threw some of this tea in without measuring, poured some water at 200F in and waited about a minute. I wasn’t being to particular about parameters. I was just desperate for some tasty tea! And my tea brewing skills have gotten rusty anyway.
But this tea survived my hasty technique and it tasted amazing. Like an ancient forest in the late afternoon. The first steep was bright, peppery maybe, woody, but with an air of secrets and mystery. I steeped it again for three minutes. The second steep was less bright, with a heavier mouth feel. Very smooth. I liked the first steep best, but next time I have this tea I will have to be more careful about parameters and give it the proper attention Brenden suggests! Stay tuned!
I received a sampler of this from another order and tried it while I was out of town. Sadly I didn’t have the time to linger or think much about the tea. I was more interested in getting as much caffeine into my system as I could at the time.
From what I can remember, it had a nice flavor and a quality I am having trouble finding the words to describe. It left a texture\feeling in my mouth similar to that from something fatty, like heavy whipping cream or butter. Not the flavor, but kind of a coating from a high fat source. I’ve never experienced it before in a tea and found I did enjoy it.
Brewed western style and I found I could get 2-3 nice cups out of the leaves.
This tea is fairly sweet with notes of cream and grass. It is a nice white tea. I recently purchased Tea Honey from the Savannah Bee Company. This honey is nice because it does not overwhelm the flavors of the tea. Overall I like this tea.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 185 degree water for 3 min.
This is absolutely delicious, and I think it’s one of the few earl grey teas that I have had. It’s balanced very well.
I enjoyed the golden snails on their own, and this is a nice twist.
This was batch #8. Excellent stuff. I’m very excited to try the wildcrafted dian hong and the wild grey.
The cold and strep throat stuff is going around here. Luckily, I’ve been able to ward off most of the symptoms. I’ve been doing some apple cider vinegar with garlic and water as an antiviral, lots of eucalyptus, frankincense, and citrus essential oils, and lemon and lime water.
I was happy to see that my WP order arrived today. This is a good tea. Good amount of ginger. I don’t usually add sweeteners, but I’m craving something sweet, and the site said adding honey increases the antimicrobial properties. ;)
Now, white tea and myself do not always understand one another. But when Super Starling! sent some of this my way, well, who was I to refuse?
So I brewed it up this morning, and boy, if this isn’t some good stuff. It had none of the muskiness that I can sometimes get from white teas, and a lot of really lovely, almost earthy flavor. I might be forgiven for thinking this was a black tea, for a split second. Its very rich, and I really enjoyed it this morning!
Alright, Whispering Pines is winning my respect. Everything I’ve tried from them has been good!
I’m tentatively getting to know Earl Greys, and while they might never be my very favorite blends, when I find a good one I can certainly appreciate it.
And this is a good one! The base holds its own against the bergamot, and the flavors balance each other out really well. It was a smooth, tasty cup, and I can’t wait to try more!
Operation redo my entire tea area and most the bedroom began last night accidentally. Friends were getting rid of an awesome set of glass shelves that I gladly took off their hands, my teaware hoard is getting out of hand and taking over every spare surface in the room! Currently the shelf is loaded with my teaware, it will be thinned out a bit as soon as I get my shelf inserts for the curio cabinet (one day) then the tea storage shelf needs to have all the tea transferred to a different shelf which needs cleaning off, it is a big project. What is done though is my painting desk was rearranged, the bulk of the desk held my fishtank which was moved to where the teapots previously lived and now my big tea tray lives there. Sadly I realized too late that my tea tray is in a dark cubby so now I need a desk lamp. The things I do for organization in a very small space.
Today I am looking at a tea that is not only tasty, it is pretty! One of the things that first drew me to Dian Hongs is their beautiful golden trichomes, the fuzzy goodness. Whispering Pines Tea’s Golden Snail is definitely a beauty, nice tight little spirals covered in gold with bits of the dark leaf showing through…the color reminds me of my Tortoiseshell cat! Luckily (or sadly) the smell does not remind me of my cat (I wish she smelled like tea) the aroma is lovely, classic notes of malt and cocoa blend with sweet potatoes, maple syrup, and a delicate finish of cherries, walnuts, and cherry blossoms at the finish. It is sweet with just a slight nuttiness, reminding me of a loaded sweet potato that needs to be eaten by me…I clearly need food.
The steeped tea in my beloved Petr Novak pot smells super good, notes of walnuts and sweet potatoes (sweeter than the starchy yams) sandalwood, cocoa, and a woody undertone. The liquid is sweet and rich, notes of sweet potato, molasses, peanuts and walnuts, and a touch of cocoa waft up with the steam from my cup.
First steep is wonderfully rich and sweet, with a thickness that coats the mouth with honey and molasses. The dominant taste for the first steep is sweet honey and starchy but not too starchy sweet potatoes, specifically reminding me of those sweet potato patties that you buy frozen in the South (I assume they are elsewhere but I only ran into them growing up) and a bit of a woody cacao nib finish. The aftertaste is a hint of molasses that lingers for a while.
The second steep, while having the thick mouthfeel of the first, is also joined by a tingly camphor like texture, similar to drinking a Sheng, and something that just screams Yunnan to me. Granted some teas from that region have a stronger tingle than others, and processing does have an impact, but once in a while you get a Dian Hong that feels almost effervescent. The taste is very rich, strong notes of molasses and cocoa blend with peanuts and walnuts with just a hint of sweet potato. The dominant note is definitely dark chocolate, think like the 80% dark (I do love that stuff) with an aftertaste of molasses and cocoa.
This steep is pleasantly mellow, still has a thick mouthfeel, but no longer the tingle. The taste has mellowed out a bit as well, still has strong notes of molasses and stronger notes of sweet potato like the first steep, but the dark chocolate notes have calmed down. There is something new, towards the end with a note of peanut there is a delicate note of dried cherry. It kept teasing me in the aroma but has finally shown up in taste! This is a wonderful tea, an excellent example of a Golden Bi Luo Chun (or Hong Jin Luo, it has a couple names) being visually stunning and wonderfully tasting.
I get primarily a vegetal note from this tea. A bit of a umami note developed too. While I think this is good quality tea it just isn’t what I like to drink. But as I only bought an ounce it’s ok.
Steeped this two times in a 400ml Kyusu with 8g leaf and 175 degree water. I steeped it for 1 min and 1.5 min.
Got this the other day. There is some smoke to this but it is not overpowering. There is also a sweet note to it, not sure what to call it. It did not need milk but was fine without.
I steeped this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 200 degree water for 3 minutes.
Flavors: Smoke, Sweet
Purchased last year, finished just now. Brewed in a ceramic tea pot or in a paper filter bag.
As I’ve previously stated before, I love masala chai and exploring unique blends. I’m a lover of ginger, and I appreciate the fact that the ginger Brenden uses in his blends is stronger than what I’ve encountered in teas from other companies. But the ginger in this case overpowers all of the other ingredients, both the base tea and the spices. Just barely I can taste the vanilla bean and the chocolately goodness from the black Bi Luo Chun (I’m a fan of his Golden Snail). And I did try to shake up the pouch.
It’s hard to fully comment every aspect. Nevertheless, this makes an excellent autumn tea. It is very comforting. I do recommend it for those who are curious or want a different masala chai. You would most likely get something different out of this.
So I’ve drunk this before, but apparently did not bother to log it when I did so. Whoops.
This smells amazing. Absolutely rich, fudgy, and lush. Its a earthy combination of coco and mushrooms, I’d say, and yes, maybe a touch of wood as well.
It brews up “paler” I’d say then it smells, and the coco note is gone completely. That’s not a terrible thing (chocolate and myself in teas do not always get along), but its a bit of a disconnect.
But this is still a lovely cup, strong without overpowering, and rich without being too much. I’ll enjoy this for sure.
Well boy, was I wrong about that. it still tastes like its trying to take the crown for the most floral TGY on the planet.
I personally love floral Oolong. I love that they taste of nature, flowers, or of flavours I have never experienced before, & I love how they steep for ages & even when the taste goes, the aroma is still there.
I’m at about steep 6-7 & i will go some more.
Its not the creamiest ive had, nor is it the most natural tasting (but those can often be a little more vegetal, at least for me), but for mega super floral aroma it is way up there.. its so perfumed you’d be forgiven for thinking its a Lilac-flavoured Oolong. Also hints of sweet pear in there but the flower does seriously overpower these, you really have to search for them.
Also the liquor is almost hard like UK water. I’m used to hard water, & while some teas seem to soften that aspect, this one seems to be accentuated by it, which is quite interesting. I’ve got no idea how that translates to other water types.
at about steep 10 the leaf finally begins to smell like steamed spinach & the liquor loses the fragrance, but that is pretty good going imo :)
I liked it, another that can be used in the arsenal of teas to convert non-believers.
So glad to see whispering pines getting back on their feet after that flood!
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Pear, Spinach, Sweet
Thanks to Phi for giving me some of this! It’s been on my wish list for ages.
I had enough to try this gong fu style and western style. The dry leaf smells awesome: dark chocolate with a hint of malt and maybe some dark cherry. I got four steeps out of this gong fu style. They all tasted similar, except that subsequent steeps were fainter and mellower. Dominant notes were milk chocolate and, weirdly, cotton candy. But chocolatey cotton candy. It sounds terrible but was actually delicious. Still, I liked this better western-style. I added a teaspoon of turbinado cane sugar and it amplified the flavors beautifully. It’s just creamy dark chocolate-covered cherries. I can’t pick out the vanilla flavor per se but I think that’s where the creaminess comes from. Nom nom nom.
This one was just a bit too vegetal for me. I enjoyed it but not quite so much as I’d hoped.
I did three infusions of roughly 30-35 seconds each. The liquor was light and aromatic but mostly all I could get from it was the spinachy vegetal taste and aroma. If you like that then then you’ll really enjoy this green tea. If it isn’t then perhaps not so much.
I came across a sample of this from Sil, and since I’m still working on clearing out all my samples and smaller quantities, it was a good day for this one, going with short steepings.
The early steeps were wood, with a matte finish (don’t ask me what that means)
Then wood and earth melded, and the color was a rich mahogany.
I didn’t take extensive notes, but I can say that this tea developed a satisfying depth, mildly bitter & almost coffee like in depth, though not in taste.
That’s all I got! Sipdown!
This was the last of the samples sent to me by a kind steepster. Smells great but the tannins quickly overwhelm my tastebuds. Fortunately, a bit of honey tames the Jabberwocky making a nice Saturday morning cup.
I’m afraid the black tea tannins pretty much mask the other tastes and smells or my olfactory and taste systems just aren’t that subtle. However, this was enjoyable. I could easily see myself sipping this on a cold winter morning. Even on this not quite chilly Saturday morning it’s a nice warming cup.
Flavors: Malt, Tannin
This was wonderful!
The gaiwan lid smelled of lilac which surprised me. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled that from a tea before (in my brief tea career). The liquor was buttery and light and refreshing. I must have had at least 10 infusions from the same 3 grams of tea and it just kept going and I didn’t want to stop drinking it.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Spinach, Vegetal
heres a tea ive had for a while but have never reviewed.. so time to write one.
it looks like its rolled a little and its a darkish brown color, un brewed.
after a rinse the aromatics are heavy with roasty notes, like burnt toast and with nuttiness such as roasted almond maybe.
the first steep fluffs up the tea in the pot more. the liquid is an orange-y gold color, and its really nice to see that much color on the first steep. i just taste old stuff when i drink this tea.. of coarse theres a kind of burnt toast taste, but it really makes me think of old stuff, antiques, books, and egyptian tombs- which i can only imagine the smell of.
on the second, im thinking now that maybe this has some herbaceousness as an under note, and with some definite malt. the flavors have mended and are coming out and oh it is smooth, “so much so me brothers, that all the melanky little hairs now stand up on me arms, they do, me brothers.”
this is the first time ive gongfu’d this tea and now i know that western brewing doesnt do this tea justice. im using my cracked sky blue porcelain pot- Neptune, to brew this, with 4.20g of dhp in the mix. despite what i said earlier, i think ill steep this tea in my tumbler tomorrow morning and drink it at my class.. i brought WP’s rivendell this morning, unfortunately i should have brewed it a couple extra minutes. i digress..
3rd- and i get some astringency but it is thin and is noticed at the front of the mouth. the body of the tea is med- light in presence, as it almost evaporates. for me this tea plays out all around the front of the mouth. its not super active- kind of flat actually, but theres flavor there.
ill stop here and enjoy the fourth in peace, jk- not really. reviewing as i drink is a love/hate thing, so i may halt a review early if i just want to sip and re-watch breaking bad.
this is a good tea but i dont know when or if ill purchase again.. there are too many teas to try and not enough time.
This one came out a bit more tannic than the Imperial Buds but was not astringent. I still feel like I have a lot of room to improve my brewing of black teas to avoid the need for sweetener. This one required a bit of sugar to be able to enjoy it but was quite nice with sugar.