Whispering Pines Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

92

There is so much fudge here.. I’ll never have to buy fudge again. This tea is my new, regret-free, fudge, that doesn’t make me feel violently ill after consuming too much of it (yay).

Golden Orchid has quite a few similarities to North Winds, such as the delicious stonefruit and cocoa honey notes, but the additional vanilla makes this tea it’s own individual entity (aka-fudge). There’s some waffle cone malt too. My only hold up is that it doesn’t have the multi-steep prowess that North Winds demonstrated, although it’s still adequate.

Flavors: Apricot, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Stonefruits, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
TheTeaFairy

Mmmmmmmm.

Cavocorax

So I just had a cup of this because of your review, and then moved things around on my cupboard so that I could make this one tin-worthy (and therefore more likely to have a permanent place on my shelf!) Mmmm… fudge.

pyarkaaloo

this sounds absolutely outrageous! going on my wish list.

TheTeaFairy

Hehe! Totally tin worthy :-)

whatshesaid

Now I want sommmmme

CrowKettle

This is on my tin-worthy list too. I hope the fudge appeal lasts a long time :)

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95

This is one of my favs, Brenden use to sell it back before the new site update.
I bought up a bunch of it because I liked it so much hopefully I won’t run out anytime soon but if I do maybe I can get some more.
It bews up nice and dark and it tastes roasty toasty and sweet with some slight fruity notes, very yummy :)
A great rainy day tea :) I love these type Oolongs on a rainy day.

Flavors: Fruity, Roasted, Toasty

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100

I wish I had the fairy powers (and the money), to travel all around and drop a sample of this marvel of tea in each of your mailboxes, Steepster friends…

For real…

Sweet goodness coming from what seems to be a Vanilla Tee Tree.

It’s just blissful in my newly seasoned VANILLA DREAMS yixing clay pot.

Upping the rating, it’s just perfection!

(See previous note for more details)

Marzipan

We should start a Kickstarter for that purpose.

TeaterTotter

I really like the name of that tea haha. It feels all ancient and mystical.

TheTeaFairy

Haha! That would be an awesome Kickstarter Marzi, you always have the best ideas!!

TeaterTotter, funny you say that…it does feel ancient and mystical when you drink it also :-)

TeaterTotter

I love vanilla flavored teas with a fiery passion. I’ll have to try this one out eventually. Also, you can fund anything on kickstarter these days, just look up the potato salad guy.

TheTeaFairy

Then you will not regret trying this TeaterTotter. But please note that this is blended, not flavoured. REAL hand cut vanilla beans :-)
I personally don’t like vanilla flavoured teas much… this is something completely superior and different!!

Dexter

?? I thought you had Fairy Power? Stuff magically appears in my mailbox….

TheTeaFairy

Some powers…. :-)

TheTeaFairy

When are you trying this one Dex? Did I mention I overleaf it to get even more goodness?

Sarsonator

You’ve inspired me to make this one tonight!!!!

Dexter

I don’t have a tin available for it…. :((

TheTeaFairy

Sars, aren’t you supposed to play “pupu destroyer” tonight?

(dex, me think we both need more black tins…)

Dexter

I am not allowed to buy more tins….. :((

TheTeaFairy

( I think I’m lifting the tin restriction rule. This tea is tin worthy. I’d be very surprised if you don’t repurchase it. But you must TRY it in order to know that!!!)

Sarsonator

I played pupu destroyer this AM, pookie. There’s a note on your Taiwanese Wild Mtn Black review. :)

I need time to recover before the pick comes out again!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Aaaah! I was on the go this morning, I missed some comments, will go read about it :-)

Ubacat

I’m not really a black tea lover but that sounds so good!

Terri HarpLady

Teatertotter, although this one has vanilla beans in it, the vanilla flavor is not as strong in this tea as it is in the Golden Orchid, which is very vanilla!

Sarsonator

I picked out a pot to be my vanilla dreams teapot!!!! So exciting!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Yay! Sars that’s great! I’m planning to try PORT in mine today…should be epic!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, and Which one did you choose?

MzPriss

I’m seasoning my vanilla pot right now

Sarsonator

Well MzP suggested the lotus gaiwan, but I really want to use that for one of my pu’erhs, and I was reading that banko clay gives teas a sweeter, smoother finish over time, and that sounds perfect for vanilla, so I picked this one:

http://www.tealux.ca/hakucho_banko_houhin_teapot

MzPriss

That is cute!

Sarsonator

It’s hard to see in that pic, but the knob on top is a cute little flower. :)

MzPriss

It’s precious!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, that is lovely. And I love Tealux, just wish they had tinier yixing pots.

Sarsonator

Thanks! I never ordered from them before, but they seem to have some great stuff! Hopefully my little teapot gets here soon! Vanillaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Let me know when you order. I have tried almost every tea (unflavoured) they have, I can give you great recommendations. Their oolongs are fantastic.

Sarsonator

Oh pookie pie! You know I have no self-control! I ordered that days ago. :)

I got a bunch of tins because I need some so badly! I didn’t get tea this time because I’m living in pu’erh city over here….

MzPriss

I need (* hides LTF’s eyes *) more tins

Sarsonator

Tinzzzzzzz. Give us all the tinzzzzzzz!!!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Hurry up Missy. I need more tins also. Y’all know what it means.

MzPriss

We do know. How did I use up that many already?? And someone got more than me and you need more???? Laughs. We need an intervention. And I need some organization. I got a decent grip on it, but alas – out of control again.

MzPriss

I went to Harney for tins this time since I wanted some soba and they will stack and they are $1.75 for a 4 oz BLACK tin. I may spend some of today figuring out where all this tea is going to live permanently

Sarsonator

Oh that’s a great price, LHBQotTFRotCT. Now that I am getting my collection of pots curated and housed (my shelf is on the way), I need to figure out a plan for ALL THIS TEA. I have some preliminary ideas, but I’m still working out the details.

Not sure if I showed you guys the shelf I picked out. If not, here it is. I think it will be great for little gaiwans and houhins and teapots :)

http://www.amazon.com/Intersecting-Squares-Decorative-White-Shelf/dp/B00GOFZ7B2

MzPriss

Oh that shelf is way cute.

Sarsonator

It seemed perfect because it has so many little “cubbies”. I can fit 8 different teawares, and I think I could even go up to 11 if needed. I just have to make sure it’s hung VERY securely.

MzPriss

A stud-finder is your friend

Sarsonator

I don’t have studs :(

Don’t tell my BF I said that :p

I live in an older house, so it has lath and plaster walls. I like them because they aren’t “perfect” and they have some visual interest, but I also hate them because it is such a PITA to hang heavier things.

MzPriss

OMG how will you DO that with those walls?

Sarsonator

There are special support thingies you can buy. That’s the technical name: “support thingies”

You drill small holes and insert them. They expand inside the wall and keep your nails or screws from just falling out. It’s going to be a project, but I think it’ll be worth it :)

And I guess I should say that I DO have studs, but they are spaced much further apart, which is why it’s so hard to do this stuff.

MzPriss

toggle bolts

Sarsonator

Well fine, if you want to get all specific about it. You are correct :p

Terri HarpLady

Sars, I love that teapot & the shelf! I am now fantasizing about buying the swan yixing…OMG, it’s adorable!!

I also live in an OLD house, with lathe & plaster walls. When I was painting one of the bedrooms on the 2nd floor I accidentally bumped the wall inside the closet, & pretty much watched all the plaster disintegrate before my eyes. What followed was a crash course in ‘this old house’ style fly by set of your pants wall repair.
Even worse was when we had to run new wiring for a ceiling light…we finally cut some holes in the ceiling, which I later went back & patched with my now amazing speckling skills. LOL

Sarsonator

Thanks, Terri!

Hahaha. You know exactly what I am dealing with then. I love my old house, but on the other hand, certain things are a pain. I will find a way to make the shelf work, but it will probably involve cursing, alcohol, unintentional holes, and yelling. :p

TheTeaFairy

Haha! This is amusing..also an old house owner here! We disagree at times, but I love most of its imperfections. Also, I like the way it cracks and makes funny noises sometimes, as if there were ghosts in here :-o

Sarsonator

Maybe there are :)

Terri HarpLady

There are :)

TheTeaFairy

Hehe…I’d love me some ghosts friends :-)

Sarsonator

I dont think I would mind a friendly ghost.

MzPriss

My house is old-ish but not the kind of old y’all are talking about – mine is from the 1940s and it has its own problems – like zero insulation :(

No ghosts though my house also makes creaky noises

Marzipan

Mz were the $1.75 tins online?

Shelley_Lorraine

I have a ghost, but my house isn’t old (built 2004). I also had a ghost in my previous apartment, I think its the same one. takes all the cheese and candy foods, sometimes leaves pennies. . Im really not kidding that I think I have a ghost that follows me! at least it doesn’t take my tea. Because then I would be prompted to call in the professionals. (^o^)

Marzipan

Takes the cheese and candy? We would be fighting. It is obviously a very old ghost if it only compensates you with pennies.

MzPriss

@ Marizpan – yes. I had to google empty harney tins to find them – the website didn’t make it easy

TheTeaFairy

No ghost of mine will ever touch the cheese. Ever. There would be an epic battle…and I promise the fairy would win.

MzPriss

I would help you fight that battle. Cheese is serious business

Sarsonator

I wonder if that’s why I don’t have a ghost… No cheese!!!!!! Maybe my house had a ghost but the poor thing ran away!!!

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89

I had two steeps of this earlier this afternoon.

I really really enjoyed both of them.

This tea is smooth and chocolatey with a nice thick mouthfeel.
And cocoa.
Did I mention cocoa?

It would be impossible to not have a good afternoon when you are drinking this tea.

It’s one of those “Serenity now” in a cup types of teas.

Amariel

I have some of this to try from CrowKettle

TeaTiff

Agreed!

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88

This was the sample included with my first order from WP! Thank you!

This is a lovely oolong! This turned out very light for as dark and twisty as the leaves are. I drank WP Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Oolong 2 nights ago and I believe in comparison this tea doesn’t have as much citrusy/fruity tang to it. It is more a roasty nutty flavor. This is more comforting while the Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Oolong has a little more flare. This isn’t the dark, dark side of oolongs, but there is a hint of roast that says hey I am not a green oolong. They are both wonderful and I will definitely reorder this one at some point. Thanks again for the sample and the opportunity to try this one.

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88

MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #12
Another tea with just a little left in the teabox so I steeped another not-full mug. I love these types of white teas. The flavor notes sound DIVINE. The highest quality white tea can become a favorite, even if you don’t think you will like a white tea at all. Just give the best ones a try! Obviously a white tea from Whispering Pines would be delicious. The leaves are different colors, different textures. None of the usual fuzzy nonsense here… somehow this one is super creamy, tiny hints of sweet citrus… it’s almost like a lemon cream cake. Definitely one of my favorite white teas, right next to Verdant’s Bai Mu Dan which also happens to be in this teabox. The second steep was a little disappointing, but I left the leaves for 24 hours a probably steeped it wrong. The flavor just wasn’t nice on that cup. I remember Verdant’s Bai Mu Dan’s second steep was even more flavorful than the first and just creamy lemon…so distinct I remember it months later, so I guess I liked that one more. This one is in a nice metallic pouch, so I don’t think it’s due to road weariness.
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // ??

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Probably because you left the leaves for 24 hours ;)

Tea Sipper

I figured, but I sometimes leave leaves (haha) out 24 hours and resteep and I don’t usually taste as much of a difference. Are these leaves just more delicate than others? Also, I was just headed to the Whispering Pines site for research when I saw you commented on my tasting note. :D

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Yeah, some leaves release a TON of flavor just between the time it takes to finish the first cup. I’ve actually gotten 5 infusions out of this one, too.

Tea Sipper

Wow, I had no idea! Is this a problem with specific types of tea more than others? White I would imagine shouldn’t be left out the most. Would black tea/pu-erh be okay waiting the next day for second steeps?

Tea Sipper

Oh, and I’m raising the rating on this one. The first cup was higher than an 82.

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95

This is one of those teas that when I have, I want to smack old me on the head. For some reason I used to avoid unflavored black teas like the plague. I guess I assumed all black tea tasted like McDonalds sweet iced tea (which, as much as saying so might get me stoned by the cult following said tea has down here, I can’t stand).
Thankfully, and to my total surprise, straight black teas can actually be good! Especially this tea. I get a great amount of cocoa out of this tea. Cocoa and caramel are the two strongest notes I get. I’ve never had caramelized plum (sounds divine) I can imagine that the dark, tantalizing, fruity undertone that I’m getting here is just that.

Absolutely amazing, this tea is a symbol for everything I was missing when I was shunning black teas.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

I love this review Mandy…me and Aila have a very special relationship as you may or may not know :-)
If you like them, try eating fresh cherries with it….divine!!

Mandy

Oh I can’t help but notice all of your favorite little tea babies. You’re definitely one of the reasons I have such a hard time not placing more orders for more tea!

I really need to get some cherries! Seeing you mention them all the time has got me craving some!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Cherries are the best. EVER. :)

Cheri

It is cherry season…..

I have the same relationship with straight blacks, although not because I thought of McD’s sweet tea…but I have avoided them, but I’m working slowly on changing that. Mostly because people write all these amazing tasting notes.

Tea Sipper

Oh my gosh, you need to introduce those McDs iced tea fans to actual tea!!

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92

This sample is courtesy of MzPriss. Thank you!

I can’t believe you shared this one with me:) This is such a special tea. I will be honest, I was really scared to try it for fear of the price point and the hype. I finally caved today. This is all it is cracked up to be. This tea brings me back to all of my favorite back packing trips, staring at stars around the fire in places that make you feel so small. I can’t really explain the flavor. There is a lot going on here. Black base, sweet, vanilla, cold figure tips and chilled nose. Opps, I am letting my memories slip into my taste buds. This is really good and it has brought a smile to my face this evening! Thank you MzPriss for this special treat.

Sarsonator

I love teas that evoke lovely memories! This one is definitely awesome.

MzPriss

You are so welcome! I’m really glad you like it so much!

TheTeaFairy

This is gold…

Cheri

This is one of those teas that I really want to try, but I think I’m not quite ready for. (Brenden even told me he thought I’d do better with another tea for now.) I love love love saffron, and for that reason alone, I’d love to try this tea. Maybe in a few months….

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90

I have been excited to try this since my favorite Teacret Agents: TheTeaFairy and MzPriss, posted their reviews from the samples they received. So here we go…

Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 200 degrees, 3 minutes, brew-in-mug strainer & Dr. Who mug

Dry Leaf Aroma: I do not work for WP and I am telling you the honest to goodness truth – this smells EXACTLY like those gooey chocolate covered cherry candies, specifically the ones with the cherry surrounded by cherry goo and vanilla goo, then covered in chocolate. I brought the bag of tea into the living room, and I’m sitting on the couch, opening it and smelling the tea, then closing it to let the aromas accumulate again, then sniffing. It’s like a cherry-vanilla-chocolate heaven.

Brewing Aroma: Oddly, this just smells like tea, with a light creamy note. I don’t smell cherry. I start to get a little sad.

Flavor: I take a sip. Tastes like black tea, with a lovely sweetness, but WHERE’S THE CH…

Ooohhh. There you are, sneaky monkey. The cherry is hiding on the end of the sip, and it’s not on every single sip. However; when it’s there, it’s just lovely.

I have a feeling that this one may even get better with a little age. I have about 8000 lbs of pu’erh to keep me busy for awhile, so I’d like to try not to drink this, let it sit just a couple weeks, then see what’s what.

Even though I know this isn’t scented or flavored with cherry, my mind doesn’t seem willing to believe it. What tea magic is this??? :)

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

All of the vanilla teas with real vanilla beans get better with a little age They get smoother and even more lovely. I am enjoying a cup right along with you right now.

Sarsonator

Yep, that’s what I was thinking, schmoopie. I know that my GO improves with a little time, so I hoped this would be the same. Not that it’s bad AT ALL. I just think it’s the sort to mellow nicely and get smooooooth, like buttah.

TheTeaFairy

(It’s subbliminal cherries!!!) Yay, glad you like this one….I like it so much, I ordered the poster to have it framed in my kitchen, lol. (And I would love to get me a few beans of that tahitian vanilla!)

Sarsonator

I have some sort of vanilla beans… I wonder what kind. I will have to look!

I gotta try this with some fresh cherries. Or dried cherries. Or cherry pie. Or some of that coconut cream.

TheTeaFairy

Yes! Some sort.

MzPriss

Oh I did cherry compote with the Terricreme

TheTeaFairy

I know, I’m still gushing over that picture!

Sarsonator

Pics, pls. And speaking of, I posted my pu haul for you on the Today’s Mail post, but here it is again.

https://www.flickr.com/x/t/0090009/photos/124304184@N02/14672325832/

Also, picture, in your mind, my new shelf on the wall above this table. It’s white. And it will have my cute little yixing gaiwans when they arrive from far away lands. Can’t wait!

Dexter

(Sars that photo makes ME happy and it’s not even MY tea….)

TheTeaFairy

Lord…I’m in awe. Best “starter kit” ever!!!! Actually, this will not only start you, it will last you for the next five years!!!

Sarsonator

There’s a saying: Go Big or Go Home. LOL I went big!!!!

I really do need to stop now. For realz. I have a few things I want if the Butiki sale happens, and then I want some sleeping bear and jabber. But that’s it. Two orders. Then NO MORE TEA.

I know I am (sort of) a grown up, and I should show some self-restraint, that’s not really my thing. Moral support will be appreciated!!! Whatever it takes! Dex: please drive to PA and hip check me if I even LOOK at a new tea! :p

Dexter

Got it – Butiki sale and TWO teas from WP… and then no looking – but for how long? What’s the goal?
I think there are a bunch of us who should be stopping, and we should be supporting each other – not that I would complain about a trip to PA for a little enforcing… ;))

Sarsonator

Good questions… At least 2 months. Hopefully more. The goal, beyond not buying more than I can drink, is to be happy with what I have. That’s more of a personal Sarsy goal.

Also, I am going to stop enabling all of you! Instead, I think we should find new ways to enjoy our existing teas, either by mixing, icing or mixing and then icing.

Maybe we need to do a google+ Teahab Support Meeting once a month or something.

Sarsonator

Oh, and I am cancelling my subscription services.

Nxtdoor

I know it’s going to be hard for all of you but you HAVE to stop reading about tea and looking at websites and seeing what everyone else is drinking. I didn’t have a problem as big as yours might be, but it was a problem. I was spending money I didn’t have on tea. I mean if I had the cash maybe I wouldn’t have worried. But I was borrowing money (credit card) to buy tea. So I kinda stopped looking around at all the tea I didn’t have. I read steepster notes but without focusing on the specifics. So “oh my god, that sounds so good, what tea is THAT?” turned into “that’s nice, she’s having a good time”.
I made a purpose of not looking up websites of tea companies. Cause once you’re there the pictures are pretty and they show juicy cherries or something equally colourful.

there’s always gonna be tea and no matter how much you try, you can’t drink all the tea because the tea makers just blend new stuff all the time. So just forget that. But hey, keeping up with the jones’ is an old, old habit. And if you do have the money, I don’t really see a problem with pleasuring oneself :)

I know, it’s unsolicited, but your chatter was inviting.

Sarsonator

Good thoughts, Nxtdoor. I’m not going into tea-debt or anything, but I do (just as part of my personality) tend to go overboard on things in life, not just tea.

I have a good selection of teas now and I think it’s time to focus on enjoying them, which is what I plan to do. :)

Nxtdoor

Unless you get high on buying, not so much on drinking. Like someone I know, not naming names!

TheTeaFairy

I get high both on buying and drinking :-o
Seriously, I totally understand what you are saying nxtdoor and thanks for bringing that out of genuine concern..,
I joke a lot about it all but things are not as out of control as they seem…oh, they are in the sense I could totally put that money somewhere else, but I don’t have kids and have pretty much only myself to take care of… But it is definitely an addiction, not gonna lie…

Sarsonator

Totally agree, TTF. We have quite a few parallels.

I am guilty of retail therapy and I like shopping, but I genuinely love tea. I also joke around about my tea addiction, but I haven’t taken out a 2nd mortgage or anything. :)

Also, no kids, so no one is impacted by my little sprees!

I go back and forth with these attitudes:
-Life is short! Spend it all! Have fun!!!! Wheeeee!
And
- I am an adult. I will behave with decorum. Look at how grown up I can be.

MzPriss

What LTF said. I could do other things with the $ nand really I have too much tea – but it’s GREAT tea and I really am figuring out what I love and getting rid of the things I just HAD to try and now I have some and don’t LOVE it. And I got more mail just now. I got some HOT COWBOY and a pot. But SHOULD I slow down? Absolutely.

Sarsonator

OMG! Which was the hot cowboy? The HOTOT right?

MzPriss

Yes ma’am

TheTeaFairy

These days, and I mean by that in the last 2 months, I hardly bought any tea I dislike. That’s why I keep writing raving reviews, cause I pretty much only drink the teas I love. I’m also getting rid of all the stuff I don’t like and buying those allowed me to figure out what I definitely DON’T like.

And HOT COWBOY…and that pot…lol, thats all it took to get me going again.

(P

MzPriss

You know that’s me too – I’m just drinking stuff I don’t LOVE. I’m rooting around for last little bit of SB

Sarsonator

I think I’ll make that in the AM, HoneyBelle. Last time I had it, I felt happy and serene. Seems like a great way to start my day!

MzPriss

I only have enough for one little cup because I only had a sample and I didn’t know how awesome it was and by the time I did, this month’s was already sold out.

Sarsonator

I got a sample today. But I did talk to Brenden about it. He gave me the timeline, so I’ll be sure to get some of the August harvest. That’s one of my pre-approved purchases. :p

MzPriss

Good sleepytime tea

TheTeaFairy

If you change your mind and still want me to send you some just say so:-)
I’ve been having it almost every night, that’s why I need a monthly subscription…

Sarsonator

I’m going to try my sample tomorrow night. I love a good evening tea to wind down the day with.

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100

Jabberwocky

Any references to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass make me happy. Partly, the reason is I’ve learned some of my English in their company. Crazy, right? The riddles and the unintelligible language just had me fascinated. I had both the French and English versions and used to read both at the same time to understand. Well at least try to understand. This quote was tailor made for me:

“Speak in French when you can’t think of the English for a thing – turn your toes out when you walk – And remember who you are!”

How could I not fall in love with this magical world?

I find also that magic in the tea blends concocted by our Tea Whiz Of The Woods (aka Brenden of Whispering Pines) or better yet, tea hobbit Brendenol PinePeaker as MzPriss affectionately calls him.

I think his teas have put a spell on me, cause every time I am sent a new sample to evaluate, I keep thinking, how could it be better than the previous one? I mean, I can’t go higher than 100 on that rating scale anyways!

HoneyBelle (aka MzPriss) and I did our tastings simultaneously, like we always do.

First thing to notice is it has in its base two of my favourite black teas: Fujian Black and beloved Ailaoshan Black. At the first sip, I went, whoa!!! This is good.

But what’s that fresh menthol taste that feels like a light winter breeze?

I am told it comes from a high-mountain wild picked purple leaf tea. Same as in my “Gold” tea PORT!

The taste opens with subtle floral notes and quickly transforms into a honeyed creme caramel mouthfeel, I call that feeling “pudding mouth”. It’s thick and coats the entire mouth.

This tea is so smooth and sweet, it will take any steeping abuse. (I tested it!) There also a certain saltiness to be found, a bit like honey crackers if you’ve ever had one.

The smell is out of this world, fresh baked crusty bread.

But what really gets me to the core, is that complex morphing eucalyptus ending. It provides such a warming feeling…a great tea that opens your mind the way a good Sheng does.

Hard to explain how special this is…

If Alice was drinking this Jabberwocky, she’d say the same thing she said after reading the poem:

«Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate.»

Well this tea fills my own head with beautiful things….Then who killed what you may ask?

This Jabberwocky… yes, this tea nearly killed me: that’s clear, at a hundred rate :-)

MzPriss

Perfect note for this! <3

whatshesaid

You two are too much. I love reading your WP reviews even if they make me want to buy lots more tea to try!

MzPriss

Pudding mouth!!!

TheTeaFairy

Happy to entertain Whatshesaid. Spending for this tea won’t hurt, I promise, I put a Fairy Seal of approval on it!

TheTeaFairy

mzPriss don’t you think it’s totally pudding?

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:D I seriously love these reviews!

MzPriss

Yes I do!!!!

Sarsonator

This is adorable. Love it!

Roughage

You and MzPriss are clearly influencing each other in the right way … or it could be the tea drunk! ;) Either way, your two reviews of this tea are the bear-st I have read in ages.

TheTeaFairy

Thank you Dr.Roughage, great compliment coming from you. And thanks for my daily bear pun fix ;-)

Roughage

You’ll be bear-gging me to stop before long, bearcause I shall be dredging the bottom of the bearral! :) Now I really should get back to work instead of reading Steepster.

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97

Somewhere out in the Wild Piney Woods dwells a Tea Hobbit, Brendenol PinePeaker. He spends his days in his wild piney woods collecting pine needles to roast, picking mushrooms and dreaming up dreamy teas.

One recent morning, he chortled to himself as he mixed:

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’

I was chortling the same thing as I sipped this tea. The very first thing you notice as you sip is the sweetness. The honey-nectary sweetness rolls around with the warm bready bottom while a wee bit of minty freshness breezes through at the end. The sweet fruity-floral to me is very slightly reminiscent of that bug-bitten/Oriental Beauty sort of flavor. My beloved malt makes an appearance to keep everything reassuringly grounded.

The Lovely Tea Fairy (LTF) and I were given this tea to preview. As is usual for our first try, we followed the steeping instructions Brenden provided to the letter: ½ tablespoon of tea to 8 ounces of 205 degree water , steeped for 3 minutes – no more, no less. LTF and I are both what I call “heapers and steepers” in that we generally use more tea than called for and we frequently steep for a longer bit of time. We agreed Brenden’s parameters for this were perfect. On the first sip, the following conversation ensued:

LTF: “Oh crap, not another one.”
MzP: “yep.”

I don’t know how The Tea Whiz of the Woods keeps dreaming up these amazing teas that demand a permanent place in my cupboard. But he does. When he says he is a Tea Mixologist, he speaks the truth.

I know the base of Jabberwocky is Fujian Black and I know some of the high mountain wild picked purple leaf tea that is in Port is in there as well. This is not a big chocolate fudge bomb – there might be a very light waft of chocolate here and there, but you don’t immediately think chocolate. This is a medium bodied tea that will serve multiple purposes for me – a sweet comfort after a hard work day, a sprightly little wake up or a nice afternoon treat. This could easily be a daily drinker.

As I write this, I’m sipping on my last little bit, but I know I have more on the way (maybe even today or tomorrow) so I’m not sad, but I am savoring every mouthful, rolling it around my tongue and inhaling the malty-sweet updraft and enjoying that fresh little breeze at the end. It makes me hear this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFvXvfUF-Co&feature=kp

And because I think everyone should read The Jabberwocky as often as possible:
http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/jabber/jabberwocky.html

This tea? ‘Tis brillig.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Eucalyptus, Honey, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 0 OZ / 0 ML
TheTeaFairy

Haha!! Oh crap is right :-) you crack me up!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, and you have all my admiration for doing this on tiny wee iphone!!!

MzPriss

My darling LTF – it was a mofo! And I have to fix stuff when I get home :)

whatshesaid

Another great WP review!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Such a lovely review :)

Sarsonator

Wonderful, as always. You both get to keep your Teacret Agent titles :p

Roughage

Thanks for a superb and entertaining review. You really make me want to try this.

MzPriss

Awwww thanks y’all so much. I love this tea

@Roughage – I’m glad to entertain and I think you will like it very much if you try it. It’s happy face tea for me and Pudding Mouth for the Fairy :)

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Did I say you crack me up?

Roughage

Happy face and Pudding Mouth? Most excellent. :)

MzPriss

No YOU crack ME up schmoopie!

Sarsonator

Schmoopie is one of my fave pet names LOL. That and PookiePie

TheTeaFairy

Oh! I love being called schmoopie :-)

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100

Sooo…some awesome person that may be the creator of this fabulous tea has suggested the idea of a pot devoted to the VANILLA DREAMS family of tea. My own family of VD teas consists of GO, PORT, ELDERWOOD, and soon to be received COCOA AMORE. (Not counting new EL DORADO cause it’s a chai).

Since all those teas are blended with hand-cut vanilla beans, I can only imagine what kind of flavour this will be rendering later.

I started the seasoning process very late last night, and kind of fell asleep during the soaking part. Oops. Does that mean that my pot bathed in awesomeness all night long?

Hell yeah! Now, that cannot be a bad thing…

Well, let me tell you I am drinking GO right now Gongfu style for the first time and it is just dreamy….Awwwww this is soooo gooood!!!

It’s a lot more concentrated this way, and the vanilla seems a little boozy somehow, hard to explain. Probably the minerals from the pot has to do with that.

It maltier this way, also fruitier and more fudgy. All the flavours are so condensed and smooth.

This will turn into a serious addiction, I can tell. Oh my.

Great idea Brenden, and this will make me drink even more of your tea, if that’s possible!!

MzPriss

WOOOOO! When my new yixings get here – I’m going the same thing!

MzPriss

Go look at your PM. And “bathed in awesomeness all night long” is full of win!

TheTeaFairy

Lol, I guess not! Can’t wait for you to try this…

MzPriss

I think I want my Vanilla Pot to be the purple one that sadly, is coming from China so will take a while. Maybe I’ll change my mind and use another one for the vanillas.

TheTeaFairy

You have the purple and the one from mandala coming right? Any others I should know about?

MzPriss

No. I finally managed to stop after the Mandala one. For pots anyway – I do have that lotus cup coming. But I also have 2 others I need to season. One will be just for SD and one will be for other shous and that will leave one for…..?

MzPriss

I REALLY want the purple one to be the vanilla one though, so I may have to wait

TheTeaFairy

Yes, you better wait for what you really want…just pretend you did not see this note this morning…

MzPriss

I will try

Sarsonator

This new yixing habit is going to get expensive… I can already tell. In addition to the yixing gaiwans I’ve bought over the past few days, I bought a wall shelf last night, to keep them on. Because you can’t have broken tea ware! And now I see this idea, so I need another yixing gaiwan!

This time, I blame Brenden. You’re off the hook, Foxy!

MzPriss

I’m having GO as my going out the door tea this morning. @Sars the lotus gaiwan need to be the Vanilla one

TheTeaFairy

Have a great day MzPriss!!

Sars…it’s totally on him, thank you.

Sarsonator

Which lotus, HoneyBelle? I got two. Though one is a different type of clay. So maybe I should stick with the yixing for this. Not sure.

Love the new mug!!!

TheTeaFairy

The mug looks awesome!!!

MzPriss

The one where the lotus is actually the shape of the clay with no glaze. Isn’t that mug cute? $4.99 @ TJMaxx

MzPriss

OK out the door with my GO. Have a great day y’all

Sarsonator

Thanks for the suggestion, MzP! Have a great day!!!

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88

This is from my WP sample pack. This got left off the purchase list this time around but only because I see myself drinking this more in the fall and winter instead of the summer. This is my last cup of this tea and it is putting me in tea heaven. A warm cup on this polar vortex summer day. It dipped down to high 50’s in July! Bring on the cold. RAGBRAI is next week and cycling and camping in cool summer days would be a dream!!! Amway, back to the tea. This is my 3rd time with this tea and I think I finally got it right. I steeped it a tad longer than suggested and added a bit more leaf. It is nutty, it is has that roasty, citrusy tang that I really like in some oolongs. It is slightly sweet and oh so yummy. Definitely needs to be on the next order.

Terri HarpLady

Today’s weather was heavenly! :)

TheTeaFairy

Lol, it was a polar vortex summer day here too!

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92

So…our little Snaily has a new playground: spice!

Chai lovers of this world, this is something to try.

I like that this is pretty traditional and not too over the top. Chai blends are often too busy or not enough. This one is an excellent example a true balance.

But there are many other decent chai blends out there…

What makes this one special?

Vanilla beans and Golden Snail.

The naturally creamy base tea paired with the vanilla bean soften greatly all those spices. They are usually bitter when you don’t add milk or sugar. But here, you end up with a dessert-like cup of spicy honeyed goodness, without having to add anything.

And the beauty of this blend is that I can taste all the spices…ginger, cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Add to that the buttery taste of the base tea, and you have something reminiscent of grandma’s apple pie.

Today, we had thundershowers all day. Grey sky, cool temperature. Thought it was the perfect day to try this for the first time.

But the next time I have it will be on a hot day, cold brewed in almond milk with a little maple syrup…mmmm.

Sami Kelsh

Oh, this sounds NICE.

Sarsonator

This sounds super good. I love almond milk chai. But I never tried it with maple syrup, so of course, I’ll be doing that next. :)

MzPriss

This is exactly the way I feel about it. The spices are really balanced – you can taste them all, not just the cinnamon and I love what the vanilla does.

Sarsonator

That’s actually great news for me, HoneyBelle. I generally find that cinnamon overpowers everything, but I am a total sucker for cardamom and I like to be able to taste it!

Cameron B.

But the important question… Is it ginger bonanza?!

MzPriss

Not too much ginger for sure – you don’t get a lot of cardamom either – I am a cardamom freak and I would add a LOT just for me – but there is balance here and it’s good. I like it Terri-style with a little maple

Dexter

(MzPriss – have you tried Cardamon Black from NMTC… I think I’m the only one that LOVES it, but it’s JUST cardamon…)

TheTeaFairy

I agree…the only thing bonanza about this cup is how creamy it is. The spices are there, but they don’t fight with one another.

Sarsonator

Cardamom black???? OMG. Need. That.

boychik

Cameron, Ginger is strong here. I added some milk which I normally don’t do. I like it a lot with maple, without milk. It is strong

TheTeaFairy

Lol, see I don’t get ginger, but not stronger than any other flavours…but I do love ginger, so I guess what is little for me might be a lot for someone sensitive to it.

Terri HarpLady

love me some ginger!

TheTeaFairy

I meant “I do get ginger” in comment above.

Yes terri, me too! And there is definitely some in here. But it’s not overpowering the rest for me.

Nicole

this sounds really excellent

MzPriss

Dexter – I have not tried that but I would LOVE it – I LOVE cardamom!

I don;t find the ginger stronger than anything else – in fact when I make my on chai – I pump up the cardamom and the ginger because those are my two favorite chai spices

Kirkoneill1988

i don’t really like chai tea :(

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I had Golden Orchid yesterday evening, and this morning I had the base tea for GO! North Winds is unmistakably the base blend but it lacks the smoothness and the creaminess of GO. (Those vanilla beans make a huge difference.) It has notes of cocoa, honey, fruits, chocolate, and grain. It’s chocolate but it’s not a DARK chocolate. The fruity notes are simultaneously like plums, cherries, and raisins, but then it’s not quite any of them. There’s a hay-like flavor as well. Some caramel sweetness peeks out in the aftertaste, but it’s subtle. I want to say there’s a somewhat mineral quality to it, too. Maybe I’m crazy!

Now that I’ve had the two, I think the main differences between GO and NW are texture and sweetness. While GO is like satin and velvet—soft fabrics—NW is like freshly sawn wood. It’s soft, but there’s a graininess to it. GO = glossy. NW = matte. I hope that makes some sense.

I hate to compare the two because they are not the same. They are teas for different occasions. (At least for me.) North Winds is for mornings; Golden Orchid is for evenings, a time where you can devote your attention to something luxurious. I now have a greater appreciation for the latter.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Plums, Raisins

Sarsonator

Lovely review. I enjoyed your textural descriptions!

pyarkaaloo

wow, thank you so much. this is perfect. your descriptions & comparisons of texture are so helpful. i recently had Verdant Tea’s Laoshan Black (which i love) & it sounds a lot like what you’re describing here, though i don’t doubt there could be a world of difference between them! i read so many rave reviews about Golden Orchid which naturally drew comparisons to North Winds. i was dying to know the real difference. your review answered so many questions, again thank you :) both go on my wish list!

kimquat

Thanks you guys!

@pyarkaaloo I’m so glad I could help you out! There is bit of difference between LB and NW. NW is a little darker and heavier, as far as texture and flavors go. I prefer it for that reason. I do hope you enjoy it!

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I love mint chocolate chip. I usually love anything that tastes like that. But this tea…I don’t know. It definitely tastes like mint chocolate chip, but the mint really got me in this tea. Maybe I’m beginning not to like mint in teas? I’m not really sure now. 0_0
They are pretty hit or miss for me.
Not gonna rate this yet. I’ll have to try this one again. :S

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90

I live in what is weather-wise, sort of the armpit of hell. For much of the summer it’s close to 100 degrees with 100% humidity. It’s during those times that the TV warns people not to go outside due to the heat index, and we hear of people dying due to no a/c. I remember some of our Danish family sort of pooh-poohed the weather (how bad can it be?) and then then came here in July. They tried to walk to the end of our street and my brother-in-law almost stroked out because he was so hot. Amateurs!

So today it’s July 15th, and the temperature outside is 66! It’s so unusual, and so wonderful! We have the windows open and I am just thoroughly enjoying it. I don’t even mind so much my weather induced headache.

Oh yeah, tea! My first cup of tea this morning was a sample I was sent to evaluate, and it was a little disappointing. So I really didn’t want to gamble with the second cup, and I’m having this. I think I am getting a little tea spoiled, because I have so many awesome ones here by now and I am turning my nose up at the more pedestrian ones. It’s nice to be moving out of the “must try all the teas” phase though.

Stephanie

I couldn’t believe how nice it was outside this morning when I took the dog out. I’m LOVING it!

Mandy

I so understand the hot humid weather problems. Enjoy your 66! It’s still 90 here

TheTeaFairy

The ultimate cup of goodness!!

Enjoy the fresh weather :-)

boychik

It’s 66F in Pocono and lotsa rain

TheTeaFairy

Same here boychik! It’s pouring nails!!! But I love it :-)

Angrboda

I dread to think what the UV index gets like where you live. My skin is very white and can’t tan at all, so UV is something I’ve learned to pay attention to! I buy the highest factor sun cream I can find. (Annoyingly, the higher the factor, the higher the price) If I were to visit you in July, it sounds like I would be pretty much stuck indoors for safety reasons. O.o I’ll stay over here, thanks.

boychik

Angrboda, my oldest dd and my son have such a pale skin you can see veins. It has bluish tone. While me and my middle dd have olive tone. They have to wear rush guards and SPF 50 and still burn. My middle dd tans naturally even with the same sunblock. Her skin looks like peach. My oldest complains cause she want to be tan. I tell her she looks like English lady, royal blood haha. We try to avoid sun all the time.

Cheri

It’s 67°F here and currently cloudy. It is the week of the Ann Arbor Art Fairs (I work in AA) which is normally the hottest week of the year, although there is always one day with nasty storms. This is completely different than normal and it’s blowing my mind. I almost forgot Art Fair was this week because of the weather.

Marzipan

Angr – one thing our Danish relatives don’t understand is why we don’t spend more time outside and why we don’t walk more places. Once some of them visited, they understood. Not only is the weather awful, but the sheer scale of things is totally different. No bike lanes, so biking isn’t really safe, and we live on a state line, so there’s a huge, huge bridge that we have to cross regularly and it can’t be walked or biked across. You know that old saying, in Europe 100 miles is a long way (km I guess), in the US 100 years is a long time :)

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99

I’m drinking the last of my preview sample which would be sad except I know Brenden mailed my new supply yesterday so it will be here soon and I can have all the chocolate covered cherry tea I want. I think this one will also do that thing Golden Orchid does: it starts out incredibly awesome and then it sits around with that vanilla bean and it gets better and better ad better. This will be a chocolate morning as I have (FINALLY!) Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha. Hopefully all this chocolate will compensate for not enough sleep. I’m really about to lick my cup on this one

TheTeaFairy

Hey, it was officially declared “cuplicker” by you after all…so don’t be shy, go ahead!
(Not enough sleep sucks!)

MzPriss

Yes, but at least I got some. It was in pieces, but I got some. I’m staring at this empty cup and thinking LBCG!!!!!

MzPriss

I even really like CA as it cools down.

TeaTiff

How did I miss this one. Chocolate and cherries. Sounds yummy. I think my next WP order will have to involved a few of the blends. Sorry about not enough sleep. I hope you are able to catch some down time today.

MzPriss

It’s brand new and just came out – go check out TTF’s and my notes on it

TeaTiff

Oh man, I just read through them all. You guys are like WP ultimate sales team:) It makes me want to go order this right now!

TeaTiff

Oh man, I just read through them all. You guys are like WP ultimate sales team:) It makes me want to go order this right now!

MzPriss

I promise that you want some. When my box gets here, I can send you some

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91

Chai was calling my name tonight. I shouldn’t drink tea so late, but it seems that I’ve been reverting to a nocturnal schedule over the past weeks. I’ll just embrace it. Also, why has only one other person reviewed this tea?! Get on it people. Brenden’s chai is the best.

I used almost 1.5 TB for 10oz of water which, after brewing, I realized was potentially crazy. It made a STRONG cup of tea. Fortunately it doesn’t overwhelm! It’s quite tasty. There’s a lot of warm, tingly spice that’s refreshing and invigorating. As teataku pointed out the cardamom is a little strong. Luckily I like cardamom. A lot! And the base tea, my god. It’s thick and malty with notes of cocoa, caramel, sweet potato, and the suggestion of dark red fruits. Plums and cherries and things of that nature. It’s creamy like pudding; luscious, visceral! It’s a sexy sexy tea. This is the first time I’ve used “sexy” to describe a tea, ahaha…I think it’s appropriate! “Intoxicating” is another good word for it. Plus, it’s good for resteeps. The spice and the cocoa pull back a little, the caramel and fruit come forward. Mhmmm. I’m all about it. I love Yunnan blacks and I love chai spice. This is just a marriage of awesome. Bravo Brenden!

Flavors: Caramel, Cardamon, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Red Fruits, Spices, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Thick

TheTeaFairy

Ravishing review :-)
(And why is it that I din’t have this tea yet???)

MzPriss

I don’t have this :(

TheTeaFairy

What, both of us???? What’s wrong with us, thought we were gonna have ALL the TEAS!!!

MzPriss

I don’t even know how it’s possible. And this is a GREAT note

Terri HarpLady

Sounds wonderful

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This was my last tea of the day, & although I enjoyed it, I don’t really feel that I have much to say about it. I did enjoy the Cedar & the Elderberries. It is a gentle soothing cup, especially nice lightly sweetened.
Another sip down, as the rest of my sample is going to Sil.

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96

Wow, did this tea get better? I’ve had it once or twice since my order came in a couple of weeks ago, and somehow it seemed…lacking. Maybe it was because I wasn’t in the right mood, maybe it was because I had different expectations. (It does seem different from the old version but it’s not just the vanilla bean.)

Oh! I just realized, the last few times I brewed I forgot about drinking it until it was lukewarm. It could be an issue of temperature…I’ll take note of that. It’s much better when it’s still hot.

The dry and wet leaves smell absolutely decadent, like cocoa and sweet sparkling vanilla. The tea liquor has an aroma of chocolate fudge, whipped cream, and cherries. Mouth-watering delicious. The taste is very similar, too! It tastes like dark chocolate! Thick, rich, wonderful dark chocolate. I for one think that the darker the chocolate, the better, so this is heaven. It’s so smooth too. Mmmmm. The vanilla bean adds an element of sweetness and smooths out the tea base. Makes it velvety soft, creamy. It’s like a liquid chocolate dessert. I’m noticing fruitiness but it’s not quite cherry. I was thinking plum, then I second-guessed myself and read the tasting note. I guess it is plum! Neat. It’s not very strong, it’s just a subtle hint beneath the chocolate and vanilla. After sipping there’s a slight nutty aftertaste and caramel sweetness. The notes of cocoa carry through. Oh my, my, my. This is so good and I can’t get over how SMOOTH and RICH and VELVETY it is! It’s a keeper. I was unsure, but I’m convinced now. AND it’s good for resteeping. I am so on board.

Upped my rating.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

TheTeaFairy

Great review!! And you will never want to be without this tea again. I think the vanilla bean makes this tea even better with time, that’s why you might see a difference. I know MzPriss (who’s GO is the absolute favourite) prefers it when it’s older :-)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I love lightly aged GO. A month even makes a HUGE difference :)

Dexter

Then mine should be AMAZING by the time I get to it ;)

kimquat

That might be! I believe it. It seems much smoother and sweeter today than before. After this, I’m trying North Winds again to compare. (:

TheTeaFairy

Haha! please dex, don’t wait 6 months before trying this one!!!

Dexter

I’m working on getting better at that… ;))

MzPriss

Yes kimquat – it DOES get better as it sits a little while. The vanilla infuses more and it gets smoother and smoother so it is even more excellent in my mouth.

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89

Sipdown (insert melodramatic tune here). Every time I drink this, it reminds me of good chocolate milk: sweet, creamy, with rich chocolate and a bit of malt. So long Golden Orchid. We will see each other soon, I swear.

MzPriss

That would make me cry like a baby

Terri HarpLady

I packaged some of this up for Sil today…I’m already getting low on it

MzPriss

I can share. Has Sil had it yet?

Terri HarpLady

Nope, but I’m sending her some, along with the tea we ordered from YS, & half of all my recent samples :)

MzPriss

Squeeeee! That’s awesome.

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85

UUUUUUGH this is so GOOD! It’s always a bit different, but wonderfully delicious nonetheless. It has a roasty taste with beautiful cocoa notes that get me every time. Yum

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This is pleasant enough, in a smokey kind of way, especially with just a touch of sweetness added. Sorry I don’t have more to say about it.
The rest of this sample goes to Sil, so this is a sip down!

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