52

:( I tried this one after my massive lack of success with DT’s Cherry Cola tonight, and unfortunately, don’t like this one much better. The aroma is fairly light and mild, with a bit of a familiar and slightly unpleasant aroma. I feel like it’s an aroma I’ve associated with a black tea in the past, but I can’t for the life of me remember which. The unpleasant-ish aroma follows into the flavour – I’m left with quite a light blend, where I can taste a touch of sweetness that’s unfortunately coming off as something a bit rotten, alongside a pleasant black base. I wonder now if it’s the rooibos causing this…

Anyhow, I was certainly hoping for a whole lot more than I got from this blend :( Although there was a lot of orange peel, that’s certainly not a dominant flavour in the blend (in fact, I can’t even really taste it). I can only catch the barest hint of smokiness; given that this is a “campfire blend” I would have expected more. There is a creamy, pleasant aftertaste, which I wish had more impact upon the rest of the blend, but that’s its only redeeming factor (though, I say that as this tea grows on me a little… I’m trying to give it a chance by drinking the whole cup, which does seem to be improving my opinion of it, but not enough to ever re-purchase.)

Anyhow, I do wish I had better things to say about this blend, but it’s fairly bland (I used 2 tsp for ~10 oz. water, and it got a full 5 minute infusion in boiling water) and has a bit of an odd flavour (although I’m wondering if cross-contamination from other samples from Whispering Pines could be a partial cause of this). Oh well!

ETA: Although I just burnt my tongue on a different tea…. grumbles, the re-steep of this one is fairly decent. Half the water, 6-minute infusion at boiling. I’m tasting light spice, perhaps a hint of citrus, and none of yesterday’s wierdness. I will try this one again soon and hopefully it will be better then! Perhaps let it air out a touch.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm, strange. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this one! Can’t win ’em all! :D

Kittenna

Hmm. I’m really wondering if there’s sample cross-contam in the bag of stuff I got from you. I think one of the teas may be quite strongly flavoured in a way I don’t like, and it may have affected the others. I should go through and try all 5 tonight to see if there’s a common flavour or something. I really want to like your teas! :(

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm…I just checked out the other stuff you ordered and nothing that I can think of would have effected it. You ordered campfire on August 1st though, right? That may have just been too long for stuff to sit together so that might be it. It could be chamomile from the coconut chamomile, which i have noticed doesn’t sit well with black tea.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Remind me to add a free sample of the new (final) version of this on next time you order. The base tea has been changed. It’s gone through about 300-400 versions in the past year – and i’m glad its finally done :)

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Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm, strange. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this one! Can’t win ’em all! :D

Kittenna

Hmm. I’m really wondering if there’s sample cross-contam in the bag of stuff I got from you. I think one of the teas may be quite strongly flavoured in a way I don’t like, and it may have affected the others. I should go through and try all 5 tonight to see if there’s a common flavour or something. I really want to like your teas! :(

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm…I just checked out the other stuff you ordered and nothing that I can think of would have effected it. You ordered campfire on August 1st though, right? That may have just been too long for stuff to sit together so that might be it. It could be chamomile from the coconut chamomile, which i have noticed doesn’t sit well with black tea.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Remind me to add a free sample of the new (final) version of this on next time you order. The base tea has been changed. It’s gone through about 300-400 versions in the past year – and i’m glad its finally done :)

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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